Pre-Reversing Alzheimer’s

August 26th, 2010

By Jean Carper, Author: ‘100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s and Age-Related Memory Loss

“I have discovered a large contingent of Alzheimer’s researchers who are extremely positive about prevention and not counting on an elusive drug to stymie the growing Alzheimer’s epidemic of aging baby boomers.(…) There is a plethora of upbeat dialogue in the scientific community that does not grab headlines because it’s not about big money and a magic cure. It’s primarily about what people can do to change their own trajectory toward Alzheimer’s.

Contrast the recent disturbing headlines in the New York Times about Alzheimer’s drugs and diagnosis with the June, 2010 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. It is a special issue devoted to finding ways to prevent Alzheimer’s. [In it[ Dr. Jack de la Torre boldly asserts that (…) “Alzheimer’s is incurable, but it is preventable,” he says. “We need to identify and lower Alzheimer’s risk factors in people when they are still cognitively normal and long before irreversible symptoms appear.”

While the search for a pharmaceutical cure plays front and center, quietly in the background countless neuroscientists worldwide have concluded that Alzheimer’s, as well as memory decline and other age-related dementias are actually slow-developing chronic diseases, like heart disease and cancer, partly dependent on lifestyle and other treatable diseases.

De la Torre, for example, is convinced that Alzheimer’s and dementia are particularly tied to cardiovascular factors, notably, constricted blood flow to brain cells, and that midlife screening to detect and correct such heart-related deficits would help prevent much brain degeneration during aging. The special journal issue produced by de la Torre, called “Basics of Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention,” also included new research on the relationship between Alzheimer’s and diabetes, high blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol and cholesterol- lowering drugs, (statins), a Mediterranean diet, exercise, fish oil, B vitamins and antioxidants.

This special issue of JAD is but the latest example of a shifting paradigm toward prevention. Other leading medical journals are full of studies, often funded by your tax dollars, filtered through the National Institutes of Health, revealing the dangers of alcohol, smoking, toxic chemicals, head injuries, infections, certain forms of anesthesia, excess copper, low vitamin B, excess calories, obesity, diabetes, thyroid problems, sleep deprivation, and depression in raising your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.”

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