You might have heard about this terrible Alzheimer’s disease before. Alzheimer disease is the leading cause of dementia in people over the age of 65, affecting millions worldwide. It is believe that more than 5.5 millions of Americans might have been suffering from this disease. This disease believed to be the 6th leading or may even be the 3rd leading cause of death in the US only. Alzheimer’s is characterized by abnormal deposition of a protein called beta-amyloid, a plaque in the living brain. And also fibers caused by changes in a protein called neurofibrillary or tau (tangles). The plaque and tau spread slowly throughout the brain, and brain tissue starts shrinking significantly. Loss of connections between nerve cells, called neurons in the brain is another characteristic. People with severe Alzheimer’s cannot even communicate and are fully dependent on others for their care. This is a terrible situation.
What are the exact causes behind Alzheimer’s?
What is more shocking to us is that these patients are unable to do their day-to-day activities and are completely dependent on other’s help. I have a deep feeling for them. Nobody knows what causes the Alzheimer’s in most people. Even scientists don’t yet fully understand this. There are some genetic imbalances, Down syndrome, environmental and lifestyle factors behind this. Lifestyle factors such as high BP, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity that cause the early-onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The risk differs from person to person. Here I am not bringing you all details out about the cause. You can learn more about this disease online as there are tons of articles out there on the web. All I am about to discuss here is providing you with some preventive tips that you can take to mitigate the circumstances. You can prevent Alzheimer’s before it hit you hard. The preventive steps such as eating nutritious diets along with certain hand-picked natural foods, exercising, and socializing can give you some sort of relief. If it’s not you, then at least your friends and relatives can benefit from it.
The cause of Alzheimer’s disease still remains unknown to us, but researchers believe that chromosomal and genetic factors are responsible for some cases. Researchers also have discovered a genetic marker, apolipoprotein E that can be detected by blood tests. Did you know that nearly 40 percent of patients have the gene that produces this protein? Research is still going on. Unfortunately, women are afflicted more often than men. And studies suggest that estrogen replacement therapy may be protective. Prolong use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs i.e. NSAIDs is linked with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s. These drugs may lower inflammation in the brain linked with the disease. Thyroid disorders are also linked to this disease.
How do you Diagnosis?
For diagnosis, you need to do rigorous tests to rule out other ailments such as stroke, brain tumor, and other possible causes of dementia. It is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking ability where the patients even fail to do the simplest tasks.
What Are the Available Alzheimer’s Treatment?
Once we catch up with Alzheimer’s disease, it is unlikely that any drug or other intervention can treat it successfully. There are certain approaches that will focus on helping people maintain their mental function, manage their behavioral symptoms, control lifestyle diseases and slow down certain problems like memory loss. Researchers hope to develop therapies targeting specific genetic testing, molecular, and cellular mechanisms so that the actual underlying cause of the disease can be stopped or prevented. Alzheimer’s Association is a good way to connect for getting more information.
Researchers are unable to pinpoint any specific dietary factors that can increase the risk of or help preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Research has implicated that aluminum might have caused abnormal tangles in the brain cells of some Alzheimer’s patients. Aluminum is likely to be found in Alzheimer’s brain cells as the diseased brain may retain it. Some antacids contain aluminum. Yes, you heard it right. So by avoiding antacids, you can eliminate a possible cause of Alzheimer’s. Although most researchers argue that aluminum may not cause the disease, its increased concentration in the Alzheimer’s brain worsens the condition. They recommend that patients should avoid taking antacids with a high level of aluminum or avoid using aluminum cookware. Concerns have also been raised about the aluminum content of drinking water in areas where aluminum compounds are used as flocculating agents in city water treatment.
Diet and Alzheimer’s disease:
Researchers are studying the role of the B-vitamin folate in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. This vitamin actually helps regulate amino acid-homocysteine. A high level of homocysteine may lead to the development of this disease. Studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease have a high level of homocysteine and it’s evident that high concentration of homocysteine in healthy adults may lead to Alzheimer’s. And folate in vitamins B6 and B12 help regulate homocysteine levels.
People with high cholesterol and high BP are also at increased risk and taking cholesterol-lowering drugs such as ‘statins’ has shown to reduce the risk. Hopefully, what is good for the heart is good for the brain. The brain is rich in DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that is found abundant in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, herring, and sardines. Low levels of this fatty acid have been associated with age-related dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Can Antioxidants be Preventive for Alzheimer’s?
Antioxidants can help eliminate free radicals from your body. And thus can prevent you from this disease since the body’s ability to neutralize these substances declines with age. The trial result published in the Archives of Neurology are in fact not so encouraging. Trials with antioxidant-Ginko biloba were also less encouraging.
People with this condition have very low levels of choline acetyltransferase. The Choline acetyltansferase is an enzyme necessary to make acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a brain chemical believed to be responsible for learning and memory. The brain cells most affected by Alzheimer’s are those that respond to acetylcholine. Lacrine, a drug that may improve the memory of some Alzheimer’s patients, may increase acetylcholine levels. Some nutritionists believe that supplements and foods containing high lecithin or choline can also slow the progression of Alzheimer’s by raising acetylcholine production. Some nutritionists feel that foods such as egg yolks, organ meats, peanuts, wheat germ, whole grains are high in lecithin and choline that may help prevent symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Why You Should Monitor Alzheimer’s Patient Carefully for Proper Nutrition:
As the disease progresses, Alzheimer’s patient may forget to eat or eat only their chosen foods. In that case, the patients need to be convinced to eat nutritionally balanced meals. A quality multivitamin may also be given under the recommendation of a physician. The patient should abstain from alcohol as a small amount of alcohol can destroy brain cells and accelerate the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Alcohol may interact with antidepressants and other prescribed medications. The evidence is accumulating for the ‘use it or lose it’ theory of reducing Alzheimer’s risk. People who take part in exercising their brains with education, puzzles, games, and other activities seem to be less sensitive to brain damage.
Several medical reports proved that you can cut the risk of Alzheimer’s by 50 percent through diet alone. Researchers at Chicago’s St. Luke’s Medical Center had found that older age people who ate fish once in a week had a 60 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s than those who did not eat fish. Researchers are also searching for links between diet and dementia, and they found that some foods are powerful in the battle against Alzheimer’s.
Now, as a precaution, you need to consume plenty of–
**Fresh Leafy green vegetables, orange juice, liver, cooked beans and lentils, corn, asparagus, peas, nuts, enriched bread and cereals for folate,
**Fresh Lean meat, fish, poultry, or dairy products for vitamin B12
**Meat, fish, poultry, whole grains, beans, lentils, avocados, nuts, potatoes, bananas, and leafy greens for vitamin B6
**Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines for omega-3 fatty acids and should be eaten three times per week.
**Egg, liver, whole grains, brewer’s yeast, and wheat germ that contain good sources of lecithin and choline. Additionally, eggs are also a good source of iron, B vitamins, vitamin B12 and an excellent source of protein and easy to digest.
* Wheat Germs and Whole Grains: They are high in lecithin and choline, carbohydrate, vitamin E, B vitamins, and numerous vital minerals that can help forestall Alzheimer’s.
What to Avoid?
Antacids containing aluminum and avoid using cooking utensils made of aluminum.
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