Monday, 8 April 2013

Souvenaid: A new approach in early Alzheimer's

I have blogged about Dementia before and it is a topic I feel strongly about. We have a number of patients with Alzheimer's Disease in who, along with their families and carers we look after on a daily basis. We probably have many more patients living in our community either undiagnosed or with the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. The extent of this problem will be revealed over the next decade.

I was therefore quite excited about the launch of a new product hailed to help early Alzheimer's disease. It has, however, taken me a long time to get my head around this. There has been very little fanfare - an article in the Daily Mail - and indeed there has been some opposition for patient groups. I notice that there is some debate on the dementia forums online, though

Souvenaid came out at the beginning of 2013 and is only available after consultation with a
pharmacist, specialist nurse or GP. I have done a training course and Barnton Pharmacy is now"accredited" to sell Souvenaid.

It is a drink (strawberry and vanilla) which is recommended to be taken daily and contains a unique combination of nutrients which required to make new brain connections, called synapses. The loss of synapses is one of the key features of Alzheimer's disease .

Brilliant! There is something available which can slow the loss of synapses!  Surely we should be jumping up and down with glee and recommending it to everyone in or neighbourhood? NO? Why not?

Firstly, the cost. At £3.50 one milkshake aday will end up costing £1200 a year and constinued use is recommended for most benefit. That's fine if you can afford it but perhaps there are other things we should be recommending our older folk spend there money on.

Secondly, Souvenaid has been launched as a "food for special medical purposes". It is not a drug. This means it has not undergone the same trial required by drugs before they come to market. This does not mean there is no truth in the claims and health benefits, it just needs to be put into perspective.

So now you see my dilemma. I think there is real potential in Souvenaid and I think there is probably a market. So far, three months in, I have not yet been asked about it by anyone in Barnton.

I would be delighted to discuss the product with you if you want to know more about it fr yourself or a friend or family member.


  1. Who is the manufacturer of this product I wonder, and what are their credentials? Have to say I've not read anything about this anywhere in my reading materialso thanks for flagging it up. Mxx

  2. Souvenaid is made by Nutricia. They are very reputable and make loads of the leading meal replacements and other "medical foods". They actually haven't done anything wrong, but I think my problem is that they may be promising something which is very hard to demonstrate an effect.
    Perhaps this says more abouy your reading material!!!