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Alzheimer's

About Alzheimers | Recommendations | Symptoms | Causes | Nutrition | Risk

Alzheimer's disease affects more than 5 million Americans in 2013. Studies are showing that specific nutrients can help prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease as well as help slow down the effects of Alzheimer's on memory loss.

Recommendations

According to a 2011 article in Lancet, the best prevention for Alzheimer's is both physical and mental exercise.

  • Exercise your mind daily with puzzles and learning new things.
  • Get daily exercise, at least a long walk every day. Getting enough exercise is essential because it influences other conditions such as your weight and blood pressure.
  • It has also been found that some nutritional deficiencies may contribute to or mimic Alzheimer's

Nutrition

Clinical trials and double-blind research have indicated that there may be connections between nutritional deficiencies and Alzheimer's. In some cases, nutritional supplementation may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and/or delay its progression. Learn more.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Alzheimer's include a pattern of forgetfulness, short attention span, difficulty in performing routine tasks, language problems, disorientation, poor judgment, problems with thinking, misplacing things, depression, irritability, paranoia, hostility, and lack of initiative.

Causes

  • 2014 research connects declining cognitive functioning to irregularities in homocysteine levels.
  • 2013 research connects Alzheimer's and cerebrovascular disease.
  • Scientists believe that genetic factors may be involved.
  • High levels of a protein called beta-amyloid has been found in much younger family members where there is a history of Alzheimer's, decades before symptoms appear.174 New research is testing a vaccine that appears to trigger the body's immune defence against beta-amyloid.175
  • A protein called apolipoprotein E (ApoE) may be important. Everyone has ApoE, but the function of ApoE in the brain is not well understood. One form of the protein seems to protect a person from AD, and another form seems to make a person more likely to develop the disease.
  • Scientists have found aluminum, zinc, and other metals in the brain tissue of people with Alzheimers.
  • Some scientists think that a virus may cause the disease.
  • Alzheimers is most likely to be caused several factors that act differently in each person.

Note: certain vitamin deficiencies and other conditions can mimic alzheimer's disease symptoms including:

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause nerve damage including short-term memory loss, sometimes accompanied by low-back pain, fatigue, burning feet or sore tongue. Even so, blood tests may appear normal.
  • Vitamin B1 deficiency can give rise to memory problems and mental imbalances,. Diuretics can aggravate B1 deficiencies.
  • Vitamin B9 (folic acid) levels are tied to depressed mood.
  • A decline in estrogen production among menopausal females can result in depression and may be linked to the development of dementia.
  • A stroke can mimic Alzheimer's disease.
  • Parkinson's, a disorder featuring resting tremors, gait disorders, and slowed movement, may sometimes first manifest as amnesia.
  • Brain dysfunction can also be caused by a thyroid disorder.
  • A number of studies connect Alzheimer's and diabetes

Conventional Treatment

Although conventional treatments do not stop or slow progression of Alzheimer's, medications such as tacrine, donepezil, and rivastigmine are designed to bring some short-term memory impairment relief by slowing down the breakdown of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter in the brain). Some doctors may also recommend a low daily dose of aspirin.

Nutrition

Key Nutrients

Other Nutrients

These are other nutrients that might be related or helpful.

  • Acetyl-L-carnitine
  • B Vitamins: B1, B12, Folic Acid
  • Phosphatidylserine: Lecithin
  • DMAE (2-dimethylaminoethanol)
  • CoEnzyme Q10
  • Zinc
  • NADH
  • DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone)

Botanical Treatment Options

In addition, there are a variety of botanical treatment options.

  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Huperzine A
  • Vincamine

Research

See footnotes and research on which the above discussion is based.

See additional research.

More footnotes

174. Eric M. Reiman, et al, Brain imaging and fluid biomarker analysis in young adults at genetic risk for autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease in the presenilin 1 E280A kindred: a case-control study, The Lancet Neurology, Volume 11, Issue 12, Pages 1048 - 1056, December 2012
175. Bengt Winblad, et al, Safety, tolerability, and antibody response of active A-immunotherapy with CAD106 in patients with Alzheime's disease: randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, first-in-human study Lancet Neurology, Volume 11, Issue 7, Pages 597 - 604, July 2012

About Alzheimers | Recommendations | Symptoms | Causes | Nutrition | Risk