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Alzheimer's Disease


 

SYMPTOMS – Disoriented perception of space and time, inability to concentrate or communicate, and memory loss.

This produces depression, agitation, withdrawal, insomnia, irritability, memory loss, personality changes, severe mood swings, and senility.

An intriguing early warning sign has been discovered at the San Diego Medical Centre: As much as 2 years before mental decline, those with Alzheimer’s begin to lose their sense of smell. The rate at which the ability to distinguish strong odours is an indicator of how rapidly an individual will lose mental functioning.. (But smokers have already lost part of their sense of smell; so the diagnostic test does not work as well when applied to them.)

CAUSES - Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive mental deterioration. Memory and thought processes are weakened and disoriented. First described by Alois Alzheimer in 1906, it is a condition of gradual deterioration of the ability to think. It is a slow, progressive wasting of the brain. It gradually shuts off production of vital neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, serotonin, dopamine, GABA, noradrenalin and glutamate.

Nerve fibres, leading into, and out of, the hippocampus in the brain become tangled and short circuited. As a result, information is no longer carried to, and from, the brain. New memories cannot be gained and old memories cannot be retrieved.

In addition, plaques of a certain protein (beta-amyloid) build up in the brain, damaging nerve cells.

One form of Alzheimer’s occurs between 36 and 45; it is quite rapid. The more gradual form develops in those who are 65 or 70. Alzheimer’s strikes about 5% of those who reach 65 and over 20% of those who reach 85.

Simple forgetfulness is not Alzheimer’s. If you do not remember your wife’s name, that is forgetfulness; if you forget you have a wife, that is dementia (of which Alzheimer’s is a form).

There are other disorders which produce similar symptoms: a series of minor strokes, hypothyroidism, advanced syphilis. Artheriosclerosis, (hardening of the arteries) slowly reduces blood flow th the brain. Some of those with Down’s Syndrome. Who live to be in their 30s or 40s, develop Alzheimer’s.

NATURAL REMEDIES

The following suggestions deal with ways to prevent Alzheimer’s, which will also help retard its development:

  • Many elderly people are taking 8 or 10 medicinal drugs. This drugging will surely affect the brain. You can see the effects in nursing homes across the continent. Add to this a devitalized diet of fried, processed, and junk foods. Include plenty of fibre.

DIET

  • Folic acid (5 mg daily) helps control homocysteine levels (which become too high in Alzheimer’s).
  • Adequate intake of calcium (1,500 mg daily) reduces aluminium absorption. Magnesium (800 mg daily) works with calcium.
  • Vitamin A and E are antioxidant vitamins which are also important. In addition to shielding neurons from free radicals, vitamin E (400-800 IU) also regenerates areas on neurons where neurotransmitters enter. (Neurotransmitters are chemicals that relay messages from one neuron to another.) Vitamin C (500-1000 mg daily) and Flaxseed oil (1Tbsp. Daily) is needed.
  • Those with Alzheimer’s have low levels of vitamin B12 and zinc (30 mg) in their bodies. All the B complex vitamins are important. Take thiamine (3-8 grams daily).
  • Those who undergo a trial of intensive nutritional therapy, especially B12 injections, may ward off the developing problem.
  • Coenzyme Q10 (200 mg daily) is vital for producing energy in neurons and throughout the body.
  • Those with Alzheimer’s tend to have a strong craving for sweets. But such a craving is frequently an indication of a food hunger for vitamins and minerals, especially calcium.
  • Free radicals are another factor. Avoid foods which contain them

HEAVY METALS

  • Other causes include heavy metals in the body. One particular stands out: When you hear the words ”Alzheimer’s disease,” think of it as “aluminium disease”; for this is what it often is. Autopsies on persons who died with Alzheimer’s reveal accumulations of up to 10 times the normal amount of aluminium in the nerve cells of the brain (up to 50 times in certain parts). Significantly, especially high concentrations are in, and around, the hippocampus. Rats given aluminium develop identical symptoms to Alzheimer’s.
  • Do not use aluminium cookware! Use stainless steel or glass. Do not use aluminium foil on food. Do not take buffered aspirin and certain antiacids; both are extremely high in aluminium! Drink distilled water instead of tap water (which may contain aluminium).
  • But those with Alzheimer’s also have high levels of mercury in their brain. Beware of amalgam dental fillings. Mercury from the filling gradually passes into the body and, over the period of time, acccumulates in the brain.
  • Zinc may be another problem mineral. Recent lab research indicates that zinc, alone of 26 metals tested,made human protein clump together and form amyloid, the destructive substance that builds up in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients.

OTHER POINTS

  • Stop using alcohol, tobacco, and nicotine. Smoking doubles the risk of getting Alzheimer’s.
  • Women with Alzheimer’s have lower estrogen levels than normal.
  • Decoashexaenoic acid (DHA) is a fat which helps retain brain function. (Do not mistake it for DHEA, a hormone.) Take 100 mg of DHA (which is manufactired from microalgae) daily.
  • Chelation therapy may be able to help Alzheimer’s patients.

HERBS

  • Ginkgo biloba is one of the best herbs for preserving memory. Many studies have been done on ginkgo biloba extract. It helps delay mental deterioration in the early stages of Alzheimer’s; but in later stages, it has ben found to be of little value.
  • The Chinese use Asian ginseng (100-200 mg daily of the standardized extract), Siberian ginseng (2-3 grams daily of the dried root or 300-400 mg of solid extract), and astragalus (2-3 500 mg capsules, 3 times a day) for maintaining memory functions.
  • St. John’s wort helps calm people who anger easily, which sometimes occur in later stages of Alzheimer’s.

ACETYLCHOLINE

In th eearly 1990s, it was discovered that Alzheimer’s can be slowed if a chemical, acetylcholine (normally in the brain) is kept from being destroyed. This chemical is a neurotransmitter important for memory in the brain. The drug used to preserve that chemical damages the liver. But several herbs help protect acetylcholine.

  • Rosemary not only contains several compounds which attack free radicals, but also some which prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine. Rosemary has for a long time, been used as a “memory enhancing” herb.
  • The Chinese herb, club moss, contains tuperzine A, which blocks the breakdown of acetylcholine.
  • Horsebalm (Monarda, various species) contains carvacrol, which helps keep acetylcholine in the brain. In addition to swallowing it, some recommend rubbing it on the scalp.
  • Choline, a B vitamin, is one of several important building blocks for acetylcholine. The richest sources of choline are blackstrap molasses and lecithin. Levels of choline and ethanolamine are lower in those with Alzheimer’s.

IMPORTANT !! – There is now evidence that eating beef, pork, chicken, or fish which have been fed regular animal feed (which contain dead, deseased animals) can produce Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the symptoms of which are essentially identical to those of Alzheimer’s.

LIVING WITH ALZHEIMERS

Maintain simple routines. Avoid unscheduled changes. Frequently reassure him that everything is all right and of your concern for him. Be calm, patient, and understanding. Provide him with a safe environment, Your touch, smile, tone of voice, and frequent eye contact reassures him, even when he cannot understand your words. Do not show anger. Express only one idea at the time, and in simple sentences. Speak in a clear, low pitched voice. If he does not grasp it, speak the same simple words again. Demonstrate what you want (gesture toward the street he should go to, etc.). Be panctual, so he doesn’t wait. If he is doing something inappropriate, distract him with a different activity. In case he may wander off, sew name and address labels in his clothing. If a person is developing Alzheimer’s, he should be told early on, so he can prepare for the future and settle his afffairs.

ENCOURAGEMENT – How can we be in doubt and unsertainty, and feel tha we are orphans? God gave all heaven in Christ; and, as we come and claim the great Gift, heaven begins here. Rejoice, rejoice. If you will cling to Christ, your future is very bright.

This extract was taken from “Natural Remedies Encyclopedia”, (Heritage Edition 2004), Harvestime Books, - Page 485-487.