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5 Proven Ways to Slow Senile Dementia and Alzheimer's:


 By Dr. Myatt

Age-related memory loss and Alzheimer's disease are two variations of memory changes that can take place with age although they are not inevitable. Age-related memory changes (called "senile dementia") can be caused by other medical conditions such as low thyroid function or atherosclerosis. For this reason, it is important for anyone with a memory decline to have a complete physical exam.

Alzheimer's disease is related to the accumulation of a substance called "beta amyloid" in the brain. This is often seen in combination with exposure to aluminum or other toxic metals. Although it is not known if aluminum causes Alzheimer's, it seems prudent at this time to avoid dietary sources of aluminum exposure such as the intake of foods cooked in aluminum pots, foods that come into direct contact with aluminum foil, beverages stored in aluminum cans, and foods containing aluminum additives. Aluminum is added to some municipal water supplies to prevent the accumulation of particulates. In such areas, bottled water may be preferable.

Although there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease or senile dementia known at this time, there are proven ways to greatly slow progression of the disease. In some studies, memory loss was not only slowed, but reversed and improved by these natural treatments.

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), is approved as a treatment for early-stage Alzheimer’s disease in Europe. It's not a cure, but multiple studies have shown that Ginkgo extract improves memory and quality of life and slows progression in the early stages of Alzheimer's. It has also been helpful for those experiencing from multi-infarct dementia (also known as "mini-strokes"). In a placebo-controlled study which compared Ginkgo to drug treatment for Alzheimer's, ginkgo compared favorably with two prescription drugs, donepezil and tacrine, commonly used to treat the condition. Studies have used 120 to 240 mg of Ginkgo extract, standardized to contain 24% flavone glycosides per day, generally divided into two or three doses daily. Ginkgo may need to be taken for six to eight weeks before desired actions are noticed.

Huperzine A (Huperzia serrata) also known as Chinese club moss, is a Chinese medicinal herb. One placebo-controlled study showed an impressive 58% of people with Alzheimer’s disease had significant improvement in memory and mental and behavioral function after taking 200 mcg of huperzine A two times per day for eight weeks. A second double-blind trial using injected huperzine A confirmed a positive effect in people with dementia, including, but not limited to, Alzheimer’s disease. A third study found that huperzine A, given at levels of 100 to 150 mcg 2 to 4 times per day for four to six weeks, was more effective at improving minor memory loss associated with age-related memory loss than the drug piracetam.

Acetyl-L-carnitine (A-LC) is a molecule that occurs naturally in the brain, liver, and kidney. A-LC acts as a powerful antioxidant in the brain. A-LC contributes to the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is required for mental function. Acetyl-L-carnitine levels may decrease with age.
Supplementation with acetyl-L-carnitine has been shown to delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, improve memory and enhance overall performance in some people with the disease. In one double-blind trial, people who received acetyl-L-carnitine (1 gram three times per day) deteriorated at the same rate as those given a placebo. Overall, however, most short-term studies have shown clinical benefits, and most long-term studies (one year) have shown a reduction in the rate of deterioration. A typical supplemental amount is 1 gram TID (three times per day). Other studies have used 500mg 3 times per day with good results.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a vitamin-like antioxidant, sometimes referred to as the “universal antioxidant” because it is both fat and water soluble. ALA is manufactured in the body in small amounts and is found in some foods, particularly liver and yeast.
According to a study in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, alpha-lipoic acid may be an important neuroprotective nutrient in Alzheimer's patients. Scientists gave 600 mg lipoic acid daily to nine patients with Alzheimer's or related dementias who were also receiving a standard drug treatment with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. The study lasted over a year and showed that cognitive functions stabilized in the lipoic-acid group. The patients receiving lipoic acid achieved constant scores in two neuropsychological tests.

DHEA. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormones produced by the adrenal glands. DHEA levels peak in early adulthood and then start a lifelong descent. By age of 60, DHEA levels are only about 5 to 15% of what they were at their peak at younger ages.
Numerous studies have found that people with Alzheimer’s disease have lower blood DHEA than people who do not have the condition. New evidence suggests a possible benefit of DHEA supplementation in people with Alzheimer’s disease. In one double-blind trial, participants who took 50 mg twice a day for six months had significantly better mental performance at the three-month mark than those taking placebo. DHEA is also used in longevity medicine for its anti-aging effects.

Dr. Myatt's Summary: Drug treatments for age-related memory changes and Alzheimer's have been most disappointing, and the natural remedies described above have held their own against drugs in medical studies. Given the relative safety of these natural substances, I'd surely add one or more of them to my program if I suffered from any type of mental decline.
I have patients complain about the "Golden Years" being the pits because of memory loss, yet many of these people just sit back and "accept" their diagnosis. Why? We have proven substances which slow and in some cases even reverse some of the deficits. Why would anyone give up their good memory and normal function without a fight?!

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