Image of male nurse pushing senior woman in a wheelchair in nursing facility

Apple juice could help soften the anxiety, agitation and delusions common to patients with moderate-to-advanced Alzheimer’s, a new study shows.

Institutionalized Alzheimer’s patients were given 4 oz. of apple juice twice a day for the one-month duration of the study. After 30 days, caregivers reported no noticeable improvement in the patients’ dementia symptoms. But they did notice improved behavioral and psychotic symptoms—there was a 27% improvement, mostly in the areas of agitation, anxiety and delusion, according to the study.

Twenty-one patients at two nursing homes in Massachusetts participated in the study. Researchers say the results support the use of nutritional-based approaches to delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The full study is available online for free for a limited time in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias (AJADD), published by SAGE.