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Alzheimer's & Dementia 13 Risk Factors, Breakthrough Research

Studies show that Dementia, memory loss and confusion associated with Alzheimer's disease may be the result of potent interplay between intestinal microbes and the brain, essential dietary deficiency, and toxicity. The brain produces new brain cells throughout our entire lives, a process called neurogenesis. Recent discoveries in the field of neurogenesis reveal the secrets to radically improve your brain’s health resulting in powerfully improved memory, learning and cognitive enhancement.

Alzheimer’s Drugs Offer No Help

Alzheimer’s disease Alzheimer’s disease implicates symptoms of dementia, memory loss and confusion. It is a slow, progressive illness that damages nerve cells in the brain. Symptoms gradually get worse over time as more brain cells are destroyed. Though people can have Alzheimer’s in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, the disease is most prevalent in people over age 65

A study from the New England Journal of Medicine titled "Alzheimer’s Drugs Offer No Help." “The drugs most commonly used to soothe agitation and aggression in people with Alzheimer’s disease are no more effective than placebos for most patients, and put them at risk of serious side effects, including confusion, sleepiness and Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms, researchers are reporting today.”


Neurogenesis, Adult Brain Cells Do Keep Growing



Neurogenesis The apocryphal tale that you can't grow new brain cells just isn't true. Neurons continue to grow and change beyond the first years of development and well into adulthood, according to a new study. The finding challenges the traditional belief that adult brain cells, or neurons, are largely static and unable to change their structures in response to new experiences.

"Back in medical school we were told that we were given a certain number of brain cells and that was it for life. However, this idea that humans do not grow new brain cells is now fully demonstrated to be wrong. How exciting it is that we possess the ability to grow brain cells, a process called neurogenesis. Not only that, but we retain this ability throughout our entire lifetimes." David Perlmutter MD

Glutathione Role in Neurodegeneration Diseases

There is significant evidence that the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Dementia and memory loss may involve the generation of reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial dysfunction.

Here, we review the evidence for a disturbance of glutathione homeostasis that may either lead to or result from oxidative stress in neurodegenerative disorders. Glutathione is an important intracellular antioxidant that protects against a variety of different antioxidant species. An important role for glutathione was proposed for the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, because a decrease in total glutathione concentrations in the substantia nigra has been observed in preclinical stages, at a time at which other biochemical changes are not yet detectable.

Because glutathione does not cross the blood–brain barrier other treatment options to increase brain concentrations of glutathione including glutathione analogs, mimetics or precursors are discussed.

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13 Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s & Dementia Disease

Alzheimer’s disease linked to gut bacteria depletion

Risk Factor #1. Your Age

Age is the highest risk factor associated with dementia. Although there are some forms of early onset dementia and Alzheimer’s, those conditions typically have a large genetic component involved. Overall, the risk for developing dementia increases significantly with age. It is estimated that dementia affects 1 out of every 9 people over the age of 65, and 1 in 3 over the age of 80.

Risk Factor #2. Your Birth Gender

In the year 2017, Alzheimer’s affects 5.5 million people over the age of 65. Women comprise 3.2 million of that total. Studies contribute women’s longer lifespans and genetic predisposition as two possible causes. To help improve the odds of avoiding dementia, women should be proactive by limiting known lifestyle contributors to the disease such as those discussed on this page.

Risk Factor #3. Your Tobacco Use

Smokers are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and friends and family who breathe secondhand smoke are also at higher risk. A 2010 study suggests that smoking more than two packs of cigarettes a day between the ages of 50 and 60 had an elevated risk of developing Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. On the other hand, former smokers did not appear to be at an increased risk.

Risk Factor #4. Your Marital Status

Chances of late-life dementia are six times more likely for a widow or widower. Those who divorce and stay single are three times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people with partners. Results vary as to the cause of such numbers; though staying mentally active and socially connected have proven to lessen one’s potential for dementia.

Risk Factor #5. Your Body Mass

A healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) helps fight disease, reduces the need for certain medications, and can also greatly lower risks of dementia. Neurologist Dr. Vincent Fortanasce of UCLA studied 10,000 participants for 27 years and found that obesity increased the chances for Alzheimer's by 74%. In addition to improved cognition, healthy diet and moderate exercise are the best tools for overall health.

Risk Factor #6. Your Family History

A specific form of Alzheimer’s – “early onset” Alzheimer’s disease, which affects those under the age of 65 – does increase the probability that close family members will develop Alzheimer’s. In addition, families with a history of Alzheimer's may have a variety of contributors such as genetics, environmental factors, and also lifestyle choices handed down from parents to children.

Risk Factor #7. Your Health History

Conditions such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes increase the chances of developing Alzheimer's and dementia. In fact, recent studies have suggested that type 2 diabetes may be a factor in the development of brain abnormalities that can lead to Alzheimer’s. The good news is, many of these conditions can be reversed with proper lifestyle choices.

Risk Factor #8. Your Education Level

Experts are divided on why limited education increases chances for dementia, yet, all concur there is a correlation. Studies show that higher education may increase a "cognitive reserve" to help offset symptoms of dementia. Other research states that higher education leading to better jobs with medical benefits can help provide quality preventative care.

Risk Factor #9. Your History of Concussion or Head Trauma

The risk of getting Alzheimer's increases exponentially with numerous head injuries. Each year in America, more than 1.7 million people will suffer a moderate-to-severe Traumatic Brain Injury. A TBI is considered "moderate" when memory loss is more than 30 minutes but no longer than 24 hours. Patients with moderate brain injuries are reported to have twice the risk of contracting Alzheimer's.

Risk Factor #10. Your Sleep Habits

Quality sleep plays a significant role in allowing the body to repair itself. In relation to Alzheimer’s, studies show that truly restful sleep (and adequate amounts of it) allow the brain to flush out toxins which are linked to dementia. Sleep-deprived patients with excess amyloid plaque are also known to develop Alzheimer's more quickly than those without.

Risk Factor #11. Your Alcohol Consumption

Excessive drinking contributes to many serious and well-known health issues. Heavy drinking can also lead to alcoholic dementia and increased possibility of Alzheimer's. Unlike unavoidable family genetics, alcohol consumption can be modified to help reduce the risk of dementia. Men should limit alcohol to no more than two drinks a day; women, no more than one drink a day.

Risk Factor #12. Your Active Mind

Remaining mentally active improves the brain in both physical and psychological ways. By making the brain learn new things, nerve cells are strengthened. Regular socialization reduces a sense of isolation, which has been linked to depression and dementia.

Risk Factor #13. Your Active Body

A sedentary lifestyle contributes to many avoidable illnesses. Regular moderate exercise keeps weight gain under control and also boosts energy levels. It also helps the brain by increasing oxygen levels and blood flow. Become more active to greatly reduce the risk of vascular dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and more!

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Toxic Overload Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers believe that the actual cause of Alzheimer’s disease is due to toxic metals that leaches from mercury-silver amalgam dental fillings. Dr. Boyd Haley, Dr. Murray Vimy, a dental researcher from the University of Calgary, Canada, and member of the World Health Organization (WHO), and Dr. Fritz L. Lorscheider reasoned that because mercury vapor from amalgam fillings is absorbed into the sinuses and goes through the blood stream directly to the brain it also is a basic cause of Alzheimer’s.

The world we're living in today is a toxic minefield from vaccines to pesticides to antibiotic-laden foods to mercury-poisoned fish to pollution both indoors and outdoors. Toxic metals can cause or contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, memory loss, confusion and other brain and neurological disorders.

Toxic Overload: How to Detox Dr. Steve Nugent PhD - "Without exception, every North American now has in his or her tissues 300-500 known toxins that were not in existence before 1940."

In 1994, the New York Times reported a scientific study which revealed that aluminum and fluoride in water could be responsible for the alarming increase in Alzheimer's Disease and percentile dementia. This confirmed the long-held suspicion of environmental writer George Glasser that fluoride has the ability to act synergistically with other toxic minerals in drinking water.

In 1995, attention was drawn to the possible link between electromagnetic radiation and Alzheimer's disease following a landmark publication in the American Journal of Epidemiology by researchers at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. Subsequently, these researchers confirmed a direct relationship between occupations exposing individuals to higher levels of electromagnetic radiation and the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Their report, published in the December 1996 issue of Neurology, revealed a substantial increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, dementia, memory loss and confusion in individuals whose occupations exposed them to higher than average levels of electromagnetic radiation. The occupations determined to be "high risk" with respect to exposure included electrician, machinist, machine operator, seamstress, sewing factory worker, sheet metal worker, typist, keypunch operator, welder, machine shop worker, and several others. The risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in these individuals was calculated to be as much as four times higher than the general population. Subjects evaluated were at least 65 years of age. at the time of their first examination and their recorded occupations reflected what they had been doing up to 40 years prior to their evaluation and diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

Modern cosmetics contain a host of dubious ingredients that would be more at home in a test tube than on our faces.Coal tar colors, phenylenediamine, benzene, even formaldehyde, are just a few of the synthetic chemicals commonly included in cosmetics, shampoos, skin creams and blushes - toxins which are absorbed into your skin with every use.

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Three Potential Causes of Memory Loss:

Around 60 per cent of Alzheimer’s patients are put on an anti-psychotic, even in the early stages of the disease, in order to control behavior such as aggression. This effect has earned the drugs the epithet of “the chemical cosh”. The drugs can cause a serious deterioration within six months, and new research is exploring the suspicion that the drugs are also increasing the death rate among Alzheimer’s sufferers. Researchers from King’s College London and the Universities of Oxford and Newcastle made the discovery when they observed the progress of 165 Alzheimer’s patients in care homes. The anti-psychotics reviewed by the research study were thioridazine (Melleril), chlorpromazine (Largactil), haloperidol (Serenace), trifluoperazine (Stelazine) and risperidone (Risperdal). Public Library of Science Medicine, 2008; 5: e76 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050076.

Other potential causes of memory loss

Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, argues that gluten and carbohydrates are at the root of Alzheimer's disease,. And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can cause Alzheimer, dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more.

The vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease may cause an immune overreaction causing severe brain swelling. Some six percent of participants in a trial of the vaccine suffered from severe brain swelling, leading the vaccine manufacturer, Elan, to call off the trial. Researchers examined the brain of a woman who had taken the vaccine and died after a fall in order to investigate the side effect. They found fewer plaques in the woman’s brain than in Alzheimer's patients who did not receive the vaccine.

Vitamin deficiencies have been implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease. A vitamin B-12 deficiency is particularly serious as it can mimic the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and may even progress to Alzheimer's disease itself. One recent study found that 40% of elderly Americans suffers from a vitamin B-12 deficiency. People who have had surgery for stomach ulcers are particularly prone to a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Lack of vitamins A, E, and beta-carotene has also been linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease. British researchers found that Alzheimer's disease patients admitted to a London hospital had only half the vitamin E level in their blood as did healthy, matched controls. The patients' beta-carotene levels were four times lower than that of the controls.

The Immune Response in Alzheimer's Disease

Immune cells that normally help us fight off bacterial and viral infections may play a far greater role in Alzheimer’s disease than originally thought, according to University of California, Irvine neurobiologists with the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center and the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders.

While many studies have explored the role of microglia in Alzheimer’s, very few researchers have asked whether a different set of immune cells called T-cells and B-cells that reside outside the brain and play a large part in autoimmune diseases might also impact Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of age-related dementia and is thought to be driven by the accumulation of a protein called beta-amyloid that aggregates to form amyloid plaques in the brain. Microglia, immune cells that reside in the brain, attempt to clear this buildup, but in Alzheimer’s, they appear to be fighting a losing battle.

Mineral Deficiency Impairs Memory and Cognitive Skills

Fulvic Acid can also be known as nature's electrolyte, and increase the activity of a multitude of enzymes. It charges and restores the potential that is or once was normal to the cell, and in doing so, balances and super charges cellular life. (do not confuse "fulvic acid" with "folic acid" which is a common B vitamin).

'Memory Herb' Helps Alzheimer's Patients

Alzheimer Myth Ginkgo Biloba, an herb touted as a memory booster, shows promise in treating Alzheimer's disease, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests. Previous studies have shown that ginkgo improves blood flow to the brain. In Europe, there is now a large and convincing body of evidence showing how the herb Ginkgo Biloba will help boost memory and brain function, as long as the patient takes it for several months.

German researchers, for example, found that giving people who had been diagnosed with memory and learning problems ginkgo biloba significantly improved their memory skills after six weeks, and dramatically increased their ability to learn after five months. Ginkgo biloba were found to benefit cognitive, (which means learning, memory, and knowing things) function, within three months. In fact, Ginkgo is so effective that some scientists now suggest everyone over 40 should take a daily dose to help prevent the slow but inevitable decline of brainpower that is a feature of aging. In Germany, Ginkgo is the most widely prescribed herb, as it is considered to be as effective as drug treatments used for treating Alzheimer’s disease and other severe forms of memory and mental function decline.

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Essential Fatty Acids Deficiency and Alzheimer

Flaxseed oil Healing Power Omega 3 fatty acids in the form of flaxseed oil dramatically improved brain function in Alzheimer's patients with dementia and cognitive memory loss. Among various organs, in the brain, the fatty acids most extensively studied are omega-3 fatty acids. Alpha-linolenic acid (18:3omega3) deficiency alters the structure and function of membranes and induces minor cerebral dysfunctions, as demonstrated in animal models and subsequently in human infants. Even though the brain is materially an organ like any other, that is to say elaborated from substances present in the diet (sometimes exclusively), for long it was not accepted that food can have an influence on brain structure, and thus on its function.

Consequently, the nature of polyunsaturated fatty acids (in particular omega-3) present in formula milks for infants (premature and term) conditions the visual and cerebral abilities, including intellectual. Moreover, dietary omega-3 fatty acids are certainly involved in the prevention of some neuropsychiatric disorders, particularly dementia, notably Alzheimer's disease.

James Scala PHD - "Fish oil, omega-3 oils, and among them is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), essential for brain and eye tissue development (specifically the retina) in infants; it remains fundamental to those tissues throughout life. Current research focuses on these oils—often woefully short, if not deficient, in modern diets—as one cause of attention deficit disorder . Once more, modern research is validating folk wisdom—fish really is brain food." The basic building blocks of our brain cells are essential fatty acids such as EPA and DHA from fish oil. These fatty acids are also used as fuel for brain metabolism and help control the chronic inflammatory processes involved in degenerative brain disorders.

A study conducted by Uppsala University in Sweden looked at the effect of Omega 3 fatty acids on patients who already had Alzheimer's disease. Researchers gave 89 patients Omega 3 fatty acids for a period of 6 months and another 85 were given a placebo in the form of corn oil. After the initial 6-month period, the placebo group also switched to Omega 3 for a further 6 months. Although there was no real differences noted between the two groups in general, there was an interesting result where 32 patients who had milder mental impairment showed less of a decline whilst taking Omega 3.

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Homeopathy can Improve Cognitive Function

Whether they are suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia, often homeopathy can, at least to a degree, help. It usually will not cure, but will often slow the decline and make their life much happier. Here is one case to give you an idea how this works:

Ruth was a woman in her early 70’s who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Stage 3. She had moderate level of memory loss and confusion. She talked of her fears of what was happening to her and what lay ahead. Her main concerns though were of her past life. She described a life of many hurts. Of people doing things that emotionally made her feel very bad. Of feeling alone and sorry for herself. Of all the love she felt but couldn’t always express. Of her headaches and arthritis pains.

Based upon this and many other symptoms we gave him a homeopathic dose of Natrum Sulphuricum (note this was the right remedy for her but the possibility of it being the right remedy for another person with Alzheimer’s is very low). By one month she was much happier. Her memory was much better for both the past and the present. She was much less tired. She said that she felt better than she had in years. She no longer felt so dragged down by the past.

Over the next 10 years there was a very slow gradual decline into dementia but much slower than average for Alzheimer’s patients. Whenever she didn’t feel as good she took a dose of her remedy which lifted her up for weeks. Despite the decline she was happier than she had ever been in her life. The remedy helped her memory, health and happiness tremendously and slowed but did not stop the development of the disease.

In this example you see the difference between homeopathy and other approaches for treatment of Alzheimer’s. After the right remedy we expect to see everything getting better in the person’s life. In some very early stage Alzheimer’s cases we can see complete cure. More often we see improvements as in this example.

Alzheimer's Disease Responding to AFA
Gabriel Cousens, M.D.

Presently there is a common belief that there is no cure or even amelioration for the degenerative process called Alzheimer's Disease. Having personally experienced and witnessed in my patients the brain function enhancing qualities of a blue-green algae named aphanizomenon flos-aqua (AFA), I was interested when I read some reports of its effects on Alzheimers Disease. This algae is particularly high in active neurotransmitters and appeared to have positive therapeutic results in people whose general mental functioning seemed sluggish.

For my experiment I chose two individuals who had well documented Alzheimer's Disease, dementia and memory loss. They had obvious deficient mental functioning. Each month, besides my notes, the mate of each of the patients was asked to fill out a questionnaire covering thought process, memory function, ability to focus, judgment, perception, emotions, ability to care for oneself, and sleep function. Each section had several categories to be evaluated from 1 to 10 for a total of 28 questions. Each case has been followed for 12 months.

The first case is a 66-year-old women with a seven-year history of Alzheimer's; the last five of which were thoroughly diagnosed in 1978 and followed at Stanford Medical Center. She had also been through oral choline and I.V. chelation therapy without any effect on her deteriorating state.

On initial exam she revealed a significant aphasia. She seemed unable to express her thoughts in words; her long and short tern memory was significantly degenerated; she had great difficulty focusing on the present situation. In essence she seemed absent. She also had a severe Parkinson-like tremor, had much difficulty in walking a straight line and tilted to the right.

According to the report from her husband, she was completely unable to take care of herself or even dress herself. The husband seemed hopefully pessimistic. After one month of taking the blue green algae some decrease in the aphasia was clearly discernible. A glimmer of awareness seemed to have returned to her eyes. Some of the hand tremors had also decreased. She was also able to put on an apron and tie it - something she had not done for months. She also seemed to be able to express her feelings more. By two months, her communication improved and she was able to watch TV and understand what was happening.

By six months, her husband and I both agreed on our subjective experience that her spirit, humor, and sense of awareness had significantly improved. She was now able to work intellectually with the environment. Her short term memory had improved. The aphasia had significantly improved over the past six months, but had seemed to level off in the last month. Her attention span had improved to the point that she could sit for several hours listening to music. Her judgment, reasoning ability, and clarity of thinking had significantly improved. There was no change in her long term memory. On the physical level, she had moved from not being able to dress herself to being able to put her clothes on, although sometimes backwards. She was able to walk a straight line and stand almost straight.

At 12 months, some slight improvement in these areas was noted. Her course at this point, after relatively rapid improvement in six months, seems to be a very gradual improving situation. The second case involved a 64-year-old lawyer from the Midwest who was diagnosed as having Alzheimer's in 1982 after a series of neurological and psychological tests. Before he had come for diagnosis his intellectual functioning and memory had significantly decreased. He could no longer perform his work, or remember what transpired beyond 15 minutes, and his IQ was measured at 92, significantly below that of the average lawyer. He was put on the same protocol of the blue-green algae as the first case. After one month his wife noted a cessation of the degenerative process. After 12 month, she has noted no further obvious degeneration, yet no significant return of lost function. The wife of the patient is quite pleased with the results and feels the basis of a solid husband-wife relationship has been preserved.

Two thoroughly documented cases have been reported: one showing some significant return of function and the other showing cessation of progressive degeneration from Alzheimer's. These preliminary results suggest that Alzheimers may be a degenerative process that indeed may be halted and possibly at least partially reversed by the use of aphizominon flos-aqua. " Gabriel Cousens, M.D . (Dr. Cousens is an orthomolecular psychiatrist who practices in Petaluma, California)




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