Increases in lifespan should be applauded but with increased age comes a major problem: increasing incidence of cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). In 2009 5.3 million people in the US had AD and the costs were more than 148 billion dollars a year. More than 9.9 million people were unpaid caregivers. The 2101 report showed these figures to be increased to $172 billion in costs and 10.9 million unpaid caregivers. AD was the sixth leading cause of death in 2009.
More telling however is that AD is now the number one worry of aging baby boomers, thus surpassing cancer and heart disease. An integrative care model is based on good science and good sense. Conventional it’s who focus narrowly on this gene or that neurotransmitter or plaques or tangles overlook the fac that the brain is a flesh and blood organ and responds to HEALTH PROMOTING interventions like improved blood flow, nutrition, exercise and stress reduction reversing many of the symptoms of AD and slowing its progression.
There are many theories as to what causes AD. One important theory states that AD is actually type 3 diabetes. Refined carbohydrate consumption results in insulin resistance in the brain causing plaque deposition, dementia, memory loss and AD. Risk factors include increased age, family history, genetic factors, head injury, gender ( women more prone) and educational level ( risk decreases with number of years of formal education). Stress and poor nutrition contribute to the development of AD. warning signs include recent memory loss, difficulty performing tasks, problems with language and abstract thinking, poor judgement, changes in mood and loss of initiative.
A lifestyle program of physical exercise, cognitive exercise and mind body therapy such as meditation to reduce stress is essential. Good nutrition is paramount. Supplements and nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin E, CoEnzyme Q10, tocopherols, Gingko and Omega 3s play an important part in prevention and treatment of AD. Finally, optimization of hormones and decreasing ones toxic burden of heavy metals and pollutants is essential. For additional information contact the office or myself.