How Axona works

Axona provides caregivers with a unique way to care for someone with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease1,2

Axona is not a drug, but a medical food that works differently, targeting a part of Alzheimer’s disease that drug treatments do not. Currently available Alzheimer’s drug treatments target the chemicals that brain cells need to function. Axona provides a specific food source to brain cells to help support memories and cognition (the way someone thinks, reasons, solves problems, and makes memories).

The brain needs fuel to function3

The brain is a hungry machine and needs a lot of fuel to function effectively. The engines inside brain cells (called neurons) normally use glucose (a type of sugar) as the primary fuel source to power the brain’s activities. Because the brain cannot store energy, it needs a constant supply from the blood. Glucose primarily comes from carbohydrates. If glucose levels drop too low, brain cells cannot function properly and this can affect the way someone thinks, reasons, solves problems, and makes memories.

Alzheimer’s affects the way the brain uses glucose3

Thirty years of scientific research have established that in Alzheimer’s disease, the engines inside neurons become defective. Even if there is enough glucose in the body, neurons cannot use it properly. This is called diminished cerebral glucose metabolism (DCGM), or glucose hypometabolism, and it most often occurs in the areas of the brain involved in memory and cognition.


Ketone bodies are the brain’s natural back-up fuel1,3,6

Luckily, brain cells can use a back-up fuel source called ketone bodies. When glucose levels are low (for example, when carbohydrate intake is very low), the liver naturally produces ketone bodies as an alternative fuel source for the brain. Clinical studies have shown that raised ketone body levels can enhance memory and cognition in some people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

Mother and daughter represent the increased level of ketone bodies

Ketone bodies have long been known to have benefits in neurological diseases. In fact, a special very high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet (called the ketogenic diet) has been used for almost 100 years to treat epilepsy, another brain disorder. However, this diet is very difficult to manage and maintain, particularly for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Axona supplies the ketone bodies the brain needs to function1-3

Axona is an innovative medical food therapy that works by supplying the ketone bodies the mild to moderate Alzheimer’s brain needs to power its activities. Axona contains fatty acids called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are converted to ketone bodies. In a clinical study, Axona increased the level of ketone bodies to safe but effective levels in some patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.* Axona can increase the level of ketone bodies, even if glucose levels are normal or if carbohydrates are consumed.

Axona provides another way to approach mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Adding Axona to Alzheimer’s disease management addresses different aspects of the disease at the same time to impact memory and cognition.