Nov 29 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
A CARING family is hoping their father will be the first man in the world to take part in a ground-breaking Alzheimer’s study.
Vrajlal Parmar, 67, also known as Reg, was diagnosed with the degenerative disease in 2010 and since then his doting family has been doing everything they can to help him.
The former mechanic and businessman, lives in Kenton Lane with his wife, Taramati, 63, and son, Kal, 30. Mrs Parmar has been putting pure coconut oil on his Weetabix in the morning and in rice for 18 weeks and the family claim this has made a dramatic improvement to his health.
Kal said: “In weeks one to 10 we saw his mood change and he became more positive and in weeks 10 to 18 the magic happened.
“It is very hard for my mum, it is still a very sombre experience, but now we have hope. He is now drinking himself and is shaving himself. He used to be very opinionated and passionate about his views, but he lost all of that. Now he will say where he wants to go and what he wants to do.”
Kal said his father, who also has two daughters, now knows his National Insurance number, full name and date of birth and can read and write again.
Kieran Clarke, professor of physiological biochemistry at Oxford University, is developing a substance containing ketones, the same active ingredients found naturally in coconuts.
He has managed to produce the ketones in a lab and it is hoped these could stop people with Alzheimer’s getting worse, though this is yet to be proven. Professor Clarke has run a week-long trial on humans with diabetes and their weight dropped. The study was small and has not yet been published.
Kal has started a campaign to raise money to fund a clinical trial into the benefits of ketones and wants his father to take part.
He said he has support from Harrow East MP Bob Blackman and a letter of support from the Prime Minister David Cameron and is hoping to organise a fundraising event with high profile celebrities to make enough money to allow a clinical trial for 100 people to go ahead.
He is also hoping to turn the story of his father’s life into a film.
Kal said: “He would be speechless if he knew everything we had done for him, he is a very humble man. I know he would do anything for me and we love him and we would do anything for him.”
His wife said: “He was very handsome when he was younger and very brave. He was a brilliant man and now when I look at him I can’t believe that this has happened.
“Before, it was very hard, but now it is better. Now he gives us attention and I know what he wants, it is much easier now. We all hope he will get better.”
Jess Smith, research officer for the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “There haven’t been any studies into how coconut oil helps people with Alzheimer’s. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from taking it but there has not been enough research into it to allow us to recommend it to people.”
She added: “I am sceptical about these things as I am a scientist and it would be very, very good if we had the research to back it up.”
Anyone interested in supporting their cause or getting advice from the family can email KalParmar81@gmail.com.