Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder which clinically manifests itself as progressive mental deterioration, loss of memory and cognitive functions. Alzheimer symptoms eventually lead to the individual’s inability to carry out the daily activities of life. To actually define Alzheimer, or receive a definitive diagnosis, this can only be made by a postmortem biopsy of the brain, which demonstrates atrophy, senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. 50-60% of all cases of dementia, in both the senile and presenile period, are the result of Alzheimer’s disease. Genetics do play a significant role in determining susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s life expectancy, however, environmental factors also play a significant role. Traumatic injury to the head, exposure to neurotoxins from environmental sources, chronic exposure to aluminum and/or silicon, and free radical damage have all been implicated as causative factors in Alzheimer symptoms. Just as in other chronic degenerative diseases, there is considerable evidence that increased oxidative damage plays a central role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease. Therapies designed to support antioxidant mechanisms may be quite beneficial in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease as well as improve Alzheimer’s life expectancy. High doses of the vitamins C and E can prevent further oxidative damage of the brain. High dosages are required because it is more difficult to increase antioxidant levels in the brain tissue compared with other body organs.
Another Alzheimer natural treatment is thiamin. Thiamin specifically mimics the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in memory. Thiamin has been shown to mimic and potentiate the effects of acetylcholine in the brain, and has shown positive clinical results in improving mental function in Alzheimer’s disease and age-related impaired mental function.
Patients who were found to be deficient in vitamin B12 or folic acid, or who had elevated levels of homocysteine, were given vitamin B12 and significant clinical improvements in memory and cognitive function were noted. In other studies, supplementation with B12 showed tremendous benefit in reversing impaired mental function and extending Alzheimer life expectancy. It should be noted that thiamin and B12 should be taken in a B complex formula, as Alzheimer’s may be the result of chronic low intake of essential nutrients and key among these nutrients are the B vitamins.
Another Alzheimer natural treatment is zinc. Dementia, as a result of long-term zinc deficiency, may represent the long-term cascading effects of error-prone or ineffective DNA-handling enzymes in nerve cells. A deficiency of zinc can lead to the destruction of nerve cells and the formation of neurofibrillary tangles and plaques. In addition, supplementation with phosphatidylserine and L-acetylcarnitine have shown significant improvement in those patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
The last two supplements for Alzheimer natural treatment are DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) and Ginkgo biloba. As DHEA levels decline dramatically with age, low levels of DHEA in the brain are thought to contribute to many Alzheimer symptoms including impaired mental function. DHEA supplementation has demonstrated in numerous studies to enhance memory, improve cognitive function and extend Alzheimer life expectancy. Ginkgo biloba has been shown to increase the functional capacity of the brain and normalize the acetylcholine receptors in the hippocampus, to increase cholinergic transmission and to address many of the other major Alzheimer symptoms. Ginkgo helps reverse or delay mental deterioration in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, and may help you or your loved one to maintain a normal life and avoid a nursing home.
Whatever treatment you decide to use, whether conventional or natural, they will be of greatest benefit and help Alzheimer life expectancy if begun at the earliest signs of Alzheimer symptoms.