We’ve all heard of Alzheimer’s Disease, but how many of us know what it actually is, aside from a degenerative condition typically affecting older people? Would you know how to recognize symptoms in yourself or a loved one?
According to Alz.org, “Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.”
Q. What is Dementia?
A. Dementia is an umbrella term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities that are serious enough to interfere with one’s every day life.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. It accounts for 60 to 80% of dementia cases.
Alz.org also writes, “Alzheimer’s worsens over time. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, where symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions.”
According to The Mayo Clinic: “Of all the people who have Alzheimer’s disease, only about 5 percent develop symptoms before age 65. So if 4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, at least 200,000 people have the early-onset form of the disease. Early-onset Alzheimer’s has been known to develop between ages 30 and 40, but that’s very uncommon. It’s more common to see someone in his or her 50s who has the disease.” To read more about early on-set, please see the links below this article.
10 Signs of Alzheimer’s:
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life (especially short term memory).
2. Difficulty in planning or problem solving.
3. Difficulty completing daily or routine tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
4. Confusion with time or place, i.e. losing track of dates, seasons and the passage of time, having trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately, forgetting where they are or how they got there.
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships, i.e. regarding perception, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room. They may not realize they are seeing their own reflection.
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing. For example, People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following a conversation. They might stop in the middle of a conversation, having no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with words, have problems finding the right one or call things by the wrong name (i.e. calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”).
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time.
8. Decreased or poor judgment or decision making. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.
10. Changes in mood and personality. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.
For more information on these symptoms, please click here.
But what causes Alzheimer’s Disease?
Some people do carry a genetic pre-disposition to Alzheimer’s. However, seemingly irrelevant health complications, products we consume every day and even environmental conditions have been linked to more recent diagnosis.
Brian Merchant, GBPSR & SEHN write, “According to the authors of a new report, Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging, environmental factors are key drivers in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. In addition, the report describes the substantial emerging evidence that, collectively, these environmental factors alter biochemical pathways at the cellular and subcellular levels. These alterations fuel Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as other chronic illnesses referred to in the report as the “Western disease cluster”— diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Each of these diseases in turn increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. These collections of disease are being driven by dramatic alterations over the past 50 to 100 years in the U.S. food supply, an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, and exposure to toxic chemicals.” These chemicals include Lead, Air pollution, Pesticides, high saturated fat intake, bisphenol A, aluminum, industrial emissions, solvents, PCBs, and electromagnetic fields. Read the press release & download the report here: www.agehealthy.org
Dr. Norm Shealy writes that inflammation and inflammatory reactions “are major contributors to Alzheimer’s disease and to Atherosclerosis, including coronary heart disease.” He also writes, “Anti-inflammatory drugs are increasingly being touted as useful in treating pain, as well as for preventing Alzheimer’s and coronary heart disease.” He suggests a number of anti-inflammatory herbs, which are “much safer than any of the commercial N-SAIDS”. You can read more about it in the article, Anti-Inflammatory Herbs Versus Drugs by Dr. Norm Shealy.
Dr. Vijaya Nair discusses in her article, The Diabetes & Alzheimer’s Link, Curcumin. “It is a component of the spice tumeric, and can be found in typical Indian foods known as curries, or can be taken as a dietary supplement. Research has shown that curcumin prevents the spread of amyloid protein plaques – thought to cause dementia – in the brain.”
In an article by Valery Elias, “…according to the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, peanuts contain niacin, and when consumed on a regular basis, can provide some protection against the incidence of Alzheimer’s.” More on the benefits of peanut butter can be read here.
Most interestingly, Dr. Mary T. Newport has written an article entitled, What If There Was a Cure for Alzheimer’s Disease and No One Knew? This article relays her family’s experience with this disease and her research into a dietary intervention (Coconut Oil) that may benefit persons with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. She has found that administering organic virgin coconut oil can reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s as well as potentially protect oneself from ever developing it. Links about coconut oil: its benefits and where to purchase it, can be found below this article. For more information on Dr. Newport’s research, please read Mary T. Newport M.D.: Alzheimer’s Reversal with Coconut Oil.
Important Toxins To Avoid
According to Dr. Mercola, Aspartate (and Glutamate) which are by products of artificial sweetener Aspartame, has been documented to aggravate many conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Hypoglycemia, and more. Details can be found in the article Aspartame: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You by Dr. Mercola.
From the Mayo Clinic:
Where To Buy Coconut Oil: