Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and currently affects approximately 13 million people in the world. There are approximately 170,000 Alzheimer’s victims in Australia alone – with an estimated 1,000 new patients a week being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of adult-onset dementia. In the U.S. the situation is even worse, with almost 1,000 people a day diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. These numbers are staggering, they are also climbing steadily.
Memory and the ability to clearly remember the events of our lives are among the most important aspects of good health. Without an unclouded memory – without the capacity to recall everyday events both distant and near – we lose many if not all the connections to our past, along with the ability to plan for a happy future.
To read more about how you can help prevent or greatly improve Alzheimer’s and some of the more serious memory-impairing diseases, see my book Alzheimer's - The Human Brain - Brain Foods You will find hope and many new options in your personal battle to prevent or stop the progress of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. I offer a sensible, easy-to-follow 4 point program to protect and improve your brain; this can add many healthy and productive years to your life – and represents your best change for saving your brain by using a common-sense approach to living and the latest advances in nutritional medicine.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Symptoms?
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s can include; memory failure, progressive intellectual decline, poor concentration, disorientation, mood swings and personality changes. The earliest features are usually an inability to learn new things and specific loss of memory for recent events, whilst long term memory remains relatively intact.
What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?
The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is multi-factorial.
- Genetic factors are significant.
- Poor diet and nutritional deficiencies will accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease – in particular a lack of antioxidants such as selenium, zinc, vitamins C and E. It is vital to obtain enough omega 3 fats in your diet. These can be found in fish oil, oily fish, walnuts, cold pressed flaxseed oil and green leafy vegetables.
- Diets high in carbohydrate and sugar and lacking in protein and good quality fats increase the risk of dementia. Some researchers refer to Alzheimer’s disease as type 3 diabetes due to the strong association between syndrome X and risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- It has been theorised that Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by an accumulation of aluminium, as autopsies of Alzheimer’s patients have revealed excessive amounts of aluminium in the brain. This has not yet been proven.
- Environmental toxins, like mercury, pesticides, smoking or aspartame can damage brain cells.
- Other risk factors include increasing age and being female.
- Other possible causes of dementia must also be ruled out. These include an underactive thyroid gland, deficiency of Vitamin B12 and other B vitamins, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, syphilis, brain tumour and multiple strokes etc. Conditions like severe depression and alcoholism may also produce a clinical picture similar to dementia.
Exciting new research from Boston University has shown that people with elevated blood levels of the amino acid called “homocysteine” have nearly twice the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This breakthrough study was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine and is the first to document high levels of homocysteine in the blood of people years before they get Alzheimer’s dementia. Therefore a simple blood test may shed light on a person’s risk profile.
In addition to this, a careful clinical diagnosis based on the patient’s history, behaviour, physical examination, neuropsychological testing, laboratory investigations and advanced imaging techniques should give a diagnostic accuracy of around 90 %.
The pathological findings include “neurofibrillary tangles” and “senile plaques” which replace dead brain cells.
Recent studies have also shown
Compared to healthy people of the same age and sex, diabetics are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. It is thought that the high blood sugar, combined with blood vessel damage contributed to dementia by impeding blood flow to the brain. In Alzheimer’s patients, amyloid protein builds up in the brain, while the same protein is depositied in the pancreas of type 2 diabetics. Most people with type 2 diabetes have excessive blood levels of insulin; too much insulin causes excessive inflammation in the body, which contributes to brain damage.
Can Alzheimer’s Disease Be Cured?
There is no cure for advanced Alzheimer’s disease – this is why prevention is the vital key.
Wisdom, peace and happiness should be the redeeming attributes of old age. It is inevitable, of course, that we will all grow old, but I’d like to think every senior citizen would still be able to enjoy good friends and family, experience emotional richness, and find delight in the rapport and the fond memories that took so many years to develop.
To get the most out of old age, nothing is more important than a healthy and functioning brain.
We can become accustomed to grey and thinning hair, a bit of arthritis, less energy and wrinkling skin. After all, isn’t this just a natural part of growing old? But losing mental dexterity and the ability to enjoy our own unique intellectual pursuits and passions is something that no one should accept—especially when there is so much you can do to save your brain.
In the battle against dementia, time is one of the biggest enemies. Don’t wait until it’s too late to start the fight for the health of your brain.
My mother, a teacher of English literature, often quoted the author Tennessee Williams, who wrote Sweet Bird of Youth. He wrote about the three tragedies of life:
- The fading beauty of a woman
- The loss of virility in a man
- That time is the enemy
To me these “tragedies” will remain inevitable in the foreseeable future, but a far greater tragedy is the loss of a human being’s mind. It is the human mind that sets us apart from animals, and it is very sad that for so many of us this great gift can be so fragile.
It will not be easy for scientists to find a cure for degenerative dementia—Alzheimer’s disease, in particular—because dead or badly damaged brain cells will have to be replaced. One day, the miracle of genetic engineering may enable healthy brain cells to be grown from stem cells, but even if this occurs it will probably only be available to the rich.
Fortunately, there are ways in which dementia and Alzheimer’s may be prevented, or have their progress slowed or halted in the early stages. And everyone can use these strategies. This book was written to help you protect your brain cells against the ravages of time and the destructive internal and external influences that speed up the degeneration of those cells.
I do encourage you to act now, before it’s too late.
The next epidemic for the baby boomer generation will be dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form. This is a generation that has been highly successful in changing society for the better and amassing assets to be enjoyed in the golden years of retirement. We have worked hard and the last thing we want is to be left helpless and unable to fully enjoy the fruits of our labour, or be unable to remember the details and the experiences that made us the unique people we have become.
Alzheimer’s disease destroys brain cells to the point that you are left helpless and in a non-functional state that it is the ultimate disability. The disease will then take your life.
The good news is that it’s possible to repair the brain to a significant degree, as demonstrated in a study done at the University of North Carolina that looked into the effects of alcohol on the brain. Researchers discovered that new cells form in the parts of the brain damaged by alcohol in chronic heavy drinkers once they have abstained for only four to five weeks.
Yes, the brain enjoys a growth spurt after you cease drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
Chronic abuse of alcohol damages the parts of the brain—such as the frontal lobes and the hippocampus—that are involved in planning, learning, rational thought and memory. In the study, published in the Journal of Neuro-science, adult rats were given alcohol over four days in amounts comparative to chronic heavy drinking in humans. This amount of alcohol prevented the growth of new brain cells; however, four to five weeks after stopping the alcohol, there was a dramatic increase in new brain cells. Indeed, brain cell proliferation doubled after only seven days of abstinence.
In another study—one that was published in the journal Science just as I was completing this book—tests on mice suggest that the brain damage caused by Alzheimer’s may be at least partially reversible. The mice were genetically altered to develop dementia, but once the engineered gene was turned off, the mice not only stopped getting worse, they also got better. This improvement was totally unexpected.
Though it is a long way from treating a rat or a mouse to treating a person, this is exciting research and it further dispels the established theory that adult animals are unable to grow new brain cells and/or regain this type of lost brain function. Scientists at one time believed that the number of cells in the adult brain was determined early in life, and the only thing that could be changed was the number of new connections between existing brain cells. Thankfully, research is now showing that adult brains can grow new cells throughout their life span.
Learning new skills and acquiring new information have been found to stimulate the brain to make new cells. As a doctor, I have discovered that a healthy diet, regular exercise and specific supplements will encourage new brain cell growth and repair damaged brain cells. This is why it is never too late to try and restore a healthy brain in people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. It will also work for those who suffer with a poor memory even though they do not have Alzheimer’s dementia.
It’s all about quality of life and happiness for you and your family, because if you develop dementia you may be unable to:
- Drive a car
- Enjoy your sports and hobbies
- Read a book or use a computer, telephone or video
- Manage your bank account and investments
- Find your keys
- Express your opinions
- Interpret or remember what is happening around you
- Remember what happened in the last five minutes
- Prepare your food
- Dress yourself
- Go shopping or travelling
- Recognise your family or friends
- Show your love to those you love most
And, unfortunately, if you have Alzheimer’s disease, these problems will only get worse—unless you take action. The rate of deterioration will vary and it may take from several years up to 30 years for the disease to spread through the brain, killing off cells and ultimately ending your life, but have no doubt that Alzheimer’s does have the power to kill.
Simply put, if left untreated, Alzheimer’s is a progressive—and an always terminal—disease. As noted in Chapter 1, there are now approximately 170,000 Alzheimer’s victims in Australia alone—with an estimated 1,000 new patients a week being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of adult-onset dementia. In the U.S. the situation is even worse, with almost 1,000 people a day diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In an average year the disease will kill some 100,000 Americans. These numbers are staggering, and as you’ll read later, they are also climbing steadily. But do not despair.
In this book, which is based on careful study and research and my years of experience as a medical doctor, you’ll find new hope and many new options in your personal battle to prevent or stop the progress of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. What I offer is a sensible, easy-to-follow 4-Point Program to protect and improve your brain; this can add many healthy and productive years to your life—and represents your best chance for saving your brain by using a common-sense approach to living and the latest advances in nutritional medicine.
Read on, and discover how you can beat Alzheimer’s before Alzheimer’s beats you.
Treatment and general recommendations
- Exposure to aluminum should be minimized. Avoid – the use of aluminum cooking utensils and aluminum foil; aluminum containing antacids, deodorants, toothpastes and anti-dandruff shampoos; beer and soft drink cans; buffered aspirin; and anti-diarrhoea medications like Kaomagma.
- The use of a water purifier is recommended.
- Regular exercise is important because it encourages production of nerve growth factor, which in turn stimulates neurons (brain cells) to grow new dendritic branches. In addition, exercise is an excellent way to relieve stress and increase your sense of well-being. As well as physical exercise, regular mental stimulation is vital for brain regeneration. This may take the form of reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing a musical instrument, painting, playing cards or any other enjoyable mental activity.
- See my book called Magnesium - The Miracle Mineral This is my latest book and discusses Magnesium as being essential for hundreds of chemical reactions that take place in the body every second, with recent findings also indicating that it offers a wide range of important health-promoting benefits. See page 9 for these benefits.
- Follow the brain saving recipes, foods and supplements outlined in chapter 7 in the book Alzheimer’s – What You Must Know to Protect Your Brain
- Beneficial foods –
- Oily fish (such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, trout etc) which are rich in omega 3 fats.
- Foods high in sulphur (such as eggs, onions, beans and garlic etc) which help to rid the body of heavy metals.
- Foods high in choline, (a precursor of neurotransmitter acetylcholine), such as bean sprouts, beef, lentils, milk, green beans, peanuts and lecithin granules (one tablespoon daily with meals).
- Avoid damaged fats such as those found in deep-fried foods and preserved meats, and trans-fatty acids found in margarines and hydrogenated vegetable oils, as these fats have a deleterious effect on nerve cell membranes.
- Increase your consumption of raw fruit and vegetables and raw juices to provide extra folic acid and Vitamin C to protect your brain cells from free radicals and to improve the cerebral circulation.
- Recommended juice recipes combine some of the following : parsley, spinach, garlic, carrot, orange, lemon to improve the circulation and detoxify the body.
- Other juice recipes may be found in Raw Juices Can Save Your Life
Orthodox Medical Treatment
One of the most exciting things about being a medical doctor—aside from the privilege of helping people—is that I’m a healthcare insider, so to speak, and one of the first to know when there is a promising new treatment on the horizon. With Alzheimer’s disease, the news has been particularly noteworthy in recent years and months, as both the medical and the scientific communities have become more aware of the disease’s seriousness and have started seeking answers to many of the Alzheimer’s questions that for too long were considered unanswerable.
Take 2 tablets twice daily or 1 teaspoon once daily – this may help both the sufferer and the carer, as it is a great stress reliever and will promote a more restful sleep.
Take daily – Omega 3 fats are needed in large quantities for the human brain to function efficiently. Fish oil provides the essential omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.