Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia

Alzheimer's Disease usually strikes after age 60, but people as young as 30 have developed this disease. This battle is personal for me, as my wife's mother is affected by it, and her uncle died from it.  My aunt is in a Memory Impaired facility, and does not know any of her family members.  Everybody has a 10-15% risk of developing this affliction, known as, 'The Living Death' by family members.  Alzheimer's Disease is progressive and fatal, it is the most common form of age related dementia and there is currently no medical cure.

The pathology of Alzheimer's begins many years before the onset of symptoms.  A preventative regimen of supplements, and a change in lifestyle are critical to the health of our brain.

Medical tests have shown, the most effective way to delay the onset of Alzheimer's is to keep your mind and body active.  Read and stimulate your mind, play games and do puzzles, learn new skills to keep your mind active.  Physical activity and fitness are also crucial to Cardio and Brain function.  If you are over 65 and still smoking - It's a good time to stop, you are 4 times more likely to suffer mental decline if you smoke.  If you are a heavy drinker, it is time to become a light drinker.  One ounce of alcohol a day has not shown to increase the risk of cognitive impairment.  Binge drinkers increase their risk by 200%

Compared with the brain of a normal elderly individual (Panel A), the wider grooves and narrower ridges of the brains in Panels B and C reflect the shrinkage of brain tissue seen in Alzheimer's disease and alcoholism.
SOURCE: Photographs in panels A and B courtesy of Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, University of Kentucky. Panel C originally appeared in Alcohol Health & Research World 19(4), 1995, p. 268.

Alternative Treatments to delay the onset and progression of Alzheimer's have not been proven to be successful, but there are very promising options available.  The most promising at this time are:

Research has  linked high intake of omega-3s to a possible reduction in risk of dementia or cognitive decline. The chief omega-3 in the brain is DHA, which is found in the fatty membranes that surround nerve cells, especially at the microscopic junctions where cells connect to one another.
Theories about why omega-3s might influence dementia risk include their benefit for the heart and blood vessels; anti-inflammatory effects; and support and protection of nerve cell membranes.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids have the added benefit of reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, depression and a small reduction in blood pressure was noted in those that took fish oil supplements.

Coenzyme Q10, is an antioxidant that occurs naturally in the body and is needed for normal cell reactions.  Because CoQ10 acts like an antioxidant, particularly against LDL cholesterol, supplementation is often recommended for people at risk for heart disease, or for those who currently have heart complications or elevated blood pressure.  This compound has not been studied for its effectiveness in treating Alzheimer’s.

Huperzine A (pronounced HOOP-ur-zeen) is a moss extract that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It has properties similar to those of cholinesterase inhibitors, one class of FDA-approved Alzheimer medications. As a result, it is promoted as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease.  The study results showed cognitive improvement in A/D patients.

Cognitive Function Supplements

Ginkgo biloba  

Ginkgo biloba is a plant extract containing several compounds that may have positive effects on cells within the brain and the body.  Ginkgo biloba is thought to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, to protect cell membranes and to regulate neurotransmitter function.  Ginkgo has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and currently is being used in Europe to alleviate cognitive symptoms associated with a number of neurological conditions. 

However, results of a large, multicenter Phase 3 clinical trial conducted by several branches of the National Institutes of Health showed that ginkgo was no better than a placebo in preventing or delaying Alzheimer’s disease.

Intake of Folic Acid in the form of Broccoli and Green Leafy vegetables is linked to better cognitive function and memory in the elderly.  Folic acid supplements are known to be critical for pregnant mothers in the neurological development of their unborn babies. 

Elderly people with low folate levels in clinical studies have been shown to be at higher risk of developing Alzheimer's. Folate is found in such foods as oranges and strawberries, dark green leafy vegetables and beans. In the United States, it also is added to cereal and flour products. The recommended daily dose here is 400 micrograms; doctors advise women of childbearing age to take a supplement to ensure they get that much.

 Some studies submit that folate lowers inflammation; others believe it plays a role in the expression of dementia-related genes.

Niacinamide is the subject of intense speculation regarding its use as a treatment for mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Results of a 2008 Irvine University study conducted on mice were promising, and researchers are hoping the vitamin can help relieve Alzheimer's symptoms.

Dr. Kim Green, at the University of California at Irvine, gave the human dose equivalent of 2,000 to 3,000 mg of niacinamide to mice with Alzheimer’s disease. After treating the mice for only four months, he discovered the mice were cognitively cured and performed as if they never developed the disease. 
At the end of the study, the diseased mice that were treated with niacinamide performed just as well in memory tests as healthy mice. The niacinamide not only protected their brains from further memory loss, it also restored lost memory function. If this wasn’t exciting enough, niacinamide also improved memory and behavior in the mice without Alzheimer’s.
Niacinamide is a water-soluble form of niacin, or vitamin B-3; it is also referred to as nicotinic acid. People with severe niacin deficiency, also known as pellagra, often display impaired memory, difficulty concentration and personality changes--symptoms similar to those of Alzheimer's. 

Human trials, using niacinimide will administer 1,500 mg twice daily.  These are very large doses to be taken at one time.  Dr. William Kaufman meticulously studied the problems associated with deficiencies in the 1930's.  He determined that since niacinimide is water soluable, it is absorbed quickly into the blood stream and nervous system.  Niacinimide peaked in the body in about 1 1/2 hours and had mostly cleared the body after 3 hours.  The highest dosage the body could absorb at one time was around 250 mg. 

The ideal preventative maintenance dosage for those with genetic predisposition of Alzheimers  would then be to take 250 mg every three waking hours.  Based on studies, it would see that Alzheimers patients would have best results, taking 250 mg every 1 1/2 waking hours.

Remember when coconut oil was so bad for you?  Well that has all changed in recent years and there is a lot of evidence that Coconut Oil can not only slow the progress, it has been shown to reverse cognitive loss.  Do not use hydrogenated Coconut Oil, make sure it is pure.  Watch this amazing video, it is the story of Dr. Mary Newport and her husband Steve.  The video will change everything you thought you knew about Coconut Oil.

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