With over 5.4 million Americans presently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease,  any attention to its prevention catches my attention.  According to the Alzheimer’s Organization,  with early detection, you can:

  • Get the maximum benefit from available treatments.
  • Explore treatments that may provide some relief of symptoms and help you maintain a level of independence longer.
  • You may also increase your chances of participating in clinical drug trials that help advance research.

The following are the 10 warning signs of this disease, as stated by the Alzheimer’s Organization.  (If you know any family member or friend who have any of these symptoms, encourage them to see a doctor)

Memory loss that disrupts daily life ~ for example, forgetting important dates or events, asking for the same information over and over.

Challenges in planning or solving problems ~ for example, difficulty working with numbers, following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills.

Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure ~ for example, difficulty driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work, or remembering the rules of a game, and even simple tasks like working the microwave.

Confusion with time or place ~ for example,  losing track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time, forgetting where they are or how they got there.

Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships ~ such as difficulty reading, judging distances, and determining color or contrast.

New problems with words in speaking or writing ~ for example, having difficult following a conversation, or stopping in a middle of a conversation and not knowing how to go on or using the wrong words to describe something.

Misplacing something and losing the ability to retrace steps ~ for example, putting things in strange places, not able to retrace steps to find something, often accusing others of “stealing” item.

Decreased or poor judgment ~ for example, using poor judgment by giving sums of money to telemarketers, less attention to proper grooming

Withdrawal from work or social activities ~ for example, removing oneself from hobbies, social events, work projects or sports.  Some grow weary of family, work or social obligations.

Changes in Mood or Personality ~ for example, becoming confused, suspicious, fearful or anxious.   They can become upset when out of their comfort zone.

The U.C.Irvine Institute of Neurological Disorders in its article, Stress and Its Influence on Alzheimer’s Disease, focused on cortisol and its effect on the brain.  Cortisol levels, as we know, are increased by stress and studies have shown that people with stressful lives are around 2-3 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease than others.  Obviously avoiding stress is our goal.  Using stress reduction combined with a healthy lifestyle and diet are all part of the plan.    As stated in this article, scientists also are developing drugs to block either the production of cortisol, or to prevent its effects once it is produced to help people reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in old age.

Over time, neural connections become less efficient, impairing our ability to recall, think, and respond. I recently was introduced to a supplement that showed through clinical trials a key nutrient that significantly enhanced memory, sharpened focus and improved reaction time 3 X better than the control group.  The key ingredients in this supplement were shown in laboratory studies to promote the formation of new neural connections and in a clinical study to reduce brain shrinkage rate by 30% over two years.  These nutrients were also shown in laboratory studies to effectively cross the blood-barrier and enter the brain.  It was also shown to support healthy circulation, which is critical for the delivery of oxygen and key nutrients to the brain and linked to neural activity.   Ask me about it and I will be happy to send you a link to purchase or more information about this product.

We cannot control aging or our genes; however, there are preventative measures that can help ~

  1.  Manage your numbers….Do you know if your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol are too high?  Research shows strong connections between Alzheimer’s Disease and conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
  2. Check your weight ~ One study found that obesity can change the brain in a way that raises your odds of getting Alzheimer’s.
  3. Move your body ~ When you work out, even a little bit, more blood flows to the brain which makes your brain healthier.  Just 30 minutes a day, 5 or more days a week is preferred.

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