Category Archives: Alzheimer’s Disease

Reduce Your Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease was first identified in 1906 by German scientist Alois Alzheimer. Today, it’s one of the leading causes of dementia, a disease of the brain which affects cognitive ability. Worldwide, there are nearly 35.6 million people living with dementia, according to the World Health Organization. Up to 70 percent of these are thought to have Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (ARPF), there are now 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and it is the sixth leading cause of death in America.

Researchers at the University of Columbia, New York and the Norwegian University of Science and technology in Trondheim, reported findings that could change the course of how we treat Alzheimer’s. They proved that it spreads through the brain from the first cell affected, to the one next to it. It damages each cell connected along a predictable path, eventually destroying a person’s ability to think and remember. If we understand how the disease progresses, we’ll know what drugs might stop it in its tracks. Such drugs should one day be able to trap the disease when it’s in an early stage, said Karen Duff, senior author of the study and professor of Pathology and Cell Biology, Neuroscience at the University of Columbia. Anyone can struggle, at times, to remember the title of an old movie or the name of an acquaintance. But the first symptoms are more dramatic than occasional lapses in memory.

Alzheimer’s disease has a huge impact on our society. For those at risk, you need to find a solution that first recognizes and then reduces the factors that may put you at risk:

Quality Sleep

You need to get the right amount of quality sleep to help your brain function at the optimum level. Lack of sleep decreases your ability to think, solve problems, and process, store, and recall information. It can also affect your mood and leave you feeling tired. Healthy sleep is important for memory formation and retention. Prolonged sleep deprivation seems to increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Most adults require at least 8 hours of undisturbed sleep each night.

Diet and Supplement.

Eating habits that reduce inflammation and provide a steady supply of fuel are best. Focus on eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. Consuming foods such as ginger, green tea, fatty fish, soy products, blueberries, and other dark berries may protect important cells from damage.

Stress Management

Stress that is chronic or severe takes a heavy toll on the brain, leading to decrease in a key memory area of the brain known as the hippocampus, impeding nerve cell growth, and possibly increasing your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Keeping stress under control requires regular effort. Make relaxation a priority, whether it’s a walk in the park, playtime with your dog, yoga, or a soothing bath.

Exercise

According to the ARPF, physical exercise reduces your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50 percent. Regular exercise may also slow further deterioration in those who have already started to develop cognitive problems. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five times per week. Try walking, swimming, or any other activity that gets your heart rate up. Even routine activities such as gardening, cleaning, or doing the laundry count as exercise. Adapting to an exercise routine may be challenging. If you find yourself in a hump, just force yourself to stick with it for at least a month and you’ll find that it will come naturally.

Mental Stimulation

Researchers from the University of California-Berkeley has found that activities like reading, writing, and game playing appear to reduce a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The brain indeed follows the use it or lose it adage. Activities which require multiple disciplines like communication, interaction, and organization offer the best benefits. So the next time you’re waiting at the doctor’s office, take out that crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or mobile game to keep your brain busy.

Active Social Life

Studies show that the more connected we are, the better we fare on tests of memory and cognition. Commit to spending quality time with your partner, family member or a friend on a regular basis. Even during very busy and stressful times, a few minutes of really sharing and connecting can help keep bonds strong.

If you’ve become isolated over the years, you can keep your support system strong and establish new connections by being more outgoing. Get to know your neighbors, join a club, volunteer for a cause, or take group classes.

This article was contributed by VISTA Health Solutions.

Alzheimer s Awareness

The CBS Program “The Doctors” aired an interesting segment about understanding Alzheimer’s Disease. They make mention of the Clock Test.

An individual who commits two errors or more in drawing the clock hands deserves further investigation for a possible dementia. Normal hand placement on the clock drawing test does not exclude AD. However, when prevalence rates of dementia in community-dwelling older adults are considered, these results argue that normal clock hand placement indicates that dementia is unlikely.

Coconut Oil Alzheimer’s Disease Cure?

Coconut oil cures Alzheimers? While we’d all love to believe that this hideous disease could be easily cured with a natural, cheap and yummy food … the eviedence is sorely lacking!

I think this article on Snopes sums it up well. There’s isn’t any credible evidence to support the claim. Stories of AD victims who’ve been “treated” with coconut oil and who have had remarkable improvements are just that; stories. AD symptons can ebb and flow. Symptoms get better and get worse on they’re own, while remaining on a steady downward path.

And remember, taking massive doses of natural supplements can have serious effects:

Many health organizations advise against the consumption of high amounts of coconut oil due to its high levels of saturated fat, including the United States Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization, International College of Nutrition,[25] the United States Department of Health and Human Services,[26] American Dietetic Association, American Heart Association,[28] British National Health Service,[29] and Dietitians of Canada.

Thomas Brenna, a professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University, stated that, “Most of the studies involving coconut oil were done with partially hydrogenated coconut oil, which researchers used because they needed to raise the cholesterol levels of their rabbits in order to collect certain data. Virgin coconut oil, which has not been chemically treated, is a different thing in terms of a health risk perspective. And maybe it isn’t so bad for you after all.”

Coconut oil contains a large proportion of lauric acida saturated fat that raises blood cholesterol levels by increasing the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.[31] It is also found in significant amounts in laurel oil, palm kernel oil (not to be confused with palm oil), human and animal breast milk and sebaceous gland secretions. This may create a more favourable blood cholesterol profile, though it is unclear if coconut oil may promote atherosclerosis through other pathways. The effects of coconut oil on the peripheral nervous system in animal models is that it is acutely anti-inflammatory, although chronically neutral. Because much of the saturated fat of coconut oil is in the form of lauric acid, coconut oil may be a better alternative to partially hydrogenated vegetable oil when solid fats are required. In addition, virgin coconut oil is composed mainly of medium-chain triglycerides,[36] which may not carry the same risks as other saturated fats.

Advocacy against coconut and palm oils in the 1970s and 80s due to their perceived danger as a saturated fat caused companies to instead substitute trans fats, unaware of their health-damaging effects.

source: wikipedia

 

Alzheimer’s Disease: Caregiver Help

What do you do when you find out your mom or dad has Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia? As the population’s life expectancy conitnues to improve we’re seeing a marked decrease in the quality of life when our bodies outlive our minds.

I’ve recently discoved Fit Minds and I’m looking into the products they offer that can help family members ( and the daughter’s of dementia patients in particular ) cope and better manage the care of they’re loved ones.

Do you have any experiences with this product? I’d love to hear from people who’ve use Fit Mind and publish some reviews.