Most people know Alzheimer's disease as the “old age disease” that results in sometimes severe loss of memory. In fact, Alzheimer’s is a form of Senile Dementia, a condition often associated with old age. It is a progressive, degenerative disease that affects the brain, causing memory loss, decreased brain function (intellectual and emotional functions), and even physical deterioration of the brain. Although the disease is not exclusively found in older adults, in the United States it affects approximately 10% of adults over the age of 65 and almost 50% of those over the age of 85.
Besides memory loss and forgetfulness, those affected by Alzheimer's disease may experience depression, fatigue, disorientation, and even aggression and paranoia. Following is a summary of characteristic Alzheimer's symptoms:
- Increased memory loss (both shortterm and longterm)
- Difficulty in remembering vocabulary
- Very shortterm memory loss (repeating questions or comments)
- Difficulty understanding numbers
- Time disorientation
- Difficulty speaking fluently
What Causes Alzheimer's Disease?
The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not yet fully understood, but the most probable causes include:
- Genetic tendencies: There is some evidence that Alzheimer’s has a genetic component.
- Heavy metal poisoning: Aluminum is in cookware, baking powder, antiperspirants, drinking water, and household products. Mercury comes from fish, dental fillings, and environmental pollutants.
- Hormonal imbalances: High cortisol levels and low melatonin levels have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
- Nutritional deficiencies: Folic acid; niacin (vitamin B3); thiamin (vitamin B1); vitamins B6, B12, C, D, and E; magnesium; selenium; zinc; and tryptophan must be present for proper brain function.
- pH Balance: In addition, a proper pH balance must be maintained
Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease
Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are plenty of preventative measures to take now that weren’t known ten years ago. If someone in your family had or has Alzheimer’s, the chances that you might have it are higher and you would be wise to implement preventive measures.
- Take antiinflammatory supplements, including vitamins C and E, and spices such as tumeric, cumin, curry, and cayenne.
- Eat a highprotein diet with plenty of amino acids and antioxidants for good brain function. Consider adding an antioxidant juice supplement to your daily regimen.
- Eat plenty of chelating herbs and foods, including garlic, cilantro, Spirulina, alfalfa, and spinach. Consider supplements of lipoic acid and EDTA for their chelating powers.
- Reduce stress, using exercise, yoga, saunas, and other stressbusting techniques.
- Exercise the brain with challenging activities. Studies show that speaking a second language past the age of 60 reduces risk of dementia by 50%.
- Exercise the body to increase healthy blood flow.
Some experts link the onset of Alzheimer’s to the agerelated decline of the essential fatty acid phosphatidylserine, which can also be taken as a supplement. Also, consider taking acetylcholine, glutamine powder (which is an acetylcholine precursor), B12 (methylcobalamine B12 is best because it has a higher absorption rate than normal cyanocobalamine B12). Research shows that supplementation with the amino acid acetylLcarnitine (ALC) can also do wonders in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Another way to improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and delay its progression is by increasing the brain’s energy and maintaining nourishing, oxygenrich blood. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) does both. Similarly, a 1995 study showed that herbal extracts from the Chinese Ginkgo biloba tree increased memory and attention span in Alzheimer’s patients.