Alzheimers Treatment – An Ounce of Prevention

Alzheimers Treatment – An Ounce of Prevention

Alzheimer’s disease currently affects an estimated 5.8 million Americans. That number is expected to grow to 16 million by mid-century. Alzheimer’s is a terrible, debilitating disease; when diagnosed with it your remaining life expectancy is immediately cut in half.

There is no cure. There are some Alzheimer’s treatments that may slow the progression of the illness, but this is always fatal. As the disease progresses, victims gradually lose more and more of their personalities and memories. The mind is the first to go; eventually they lose control of their bodies.

The prognosis is to become a burden on your family and spend an average of 8 years in care facilities (at a cost of $42,000+ per year). And to finally die in your bed, with no control of your bodily functions, not recognizing friends or family and not even knowing your own name. A grim prospect indeed. No one wants to end up with Alzheimer’s disease. So what can you do about it? Are there preventive measures you can take? Are there treatments that work?

Alzheimer’s disease has been the focus of intensive study in recent years. What we know about it is that it appears to be preventable. While some of the new Alzheimer’s treatments show promise, the best they have been able to demonstrate so far is to provide a delaying effect, prolonging a not-very-happy life.

There is a genetic link to Alzheimer’s, but even amongst brothers and sisters, even between identical twins, environmental factors and lifestyle choices make a huge difference. Enough to mean that while one gets it, others, with the same genes, no. So you can make a difference, if you decide to.

We also know that the disease starts much earlier in life, decades before the first symptoms appear. The beta-amyloid plaques and tau protein tangles in the brain that characterize the physical evidence of the disease, begin to show up in people in their 30’s and 40’s. So prevention should start early. What do we know about prevention? First off, what’s good for the heart is good for the brain. Exercise, healthy diet, weight control… all contribute to brain health. Secondly, more attention to proper nutrition and antioxidants is called for. Third, stay mentally active; use it or lose it…

Many researchers now believe that many diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, Parkinson’s and others, may be an effect of long-term malnutrition. The lack of certain nutrients in sufficient quantities has two effects: short term and long term. Conventional nutrition advice is based only on short term needs.

The steps indicated for Alzheimer’s prevention (and Alzheimer’s treatment) are neither drastic nor severe. A few simple changes in diet, dietary supplements and lifestyle can make enormous differences. Enough to drastically increase your chances of avoiding it altogether and living a long and healthy life.

For more information on Alzheimer’s treatment and prevention, follow the links below…

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