Have you ever walked up to someone you knew and they had a hard time remembering who you were? They might be suffering from memory loss, or even worse, Alzheimer’s disease. It affects up to 5 million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death in the US. Many patients who are diagnosed with disease feel there is no hope.
Recently, a study out of UCLA has brought promise to those suffering from Alzheimer’s. Patients, ages 55 to 75, who were in various stages of the disease, were put through a rigorous program, and 9 out of 10 say their symptoms were reversed. Just a few months after starting the program was when their condition improved or showed signs of being reversed.
This report, written by Dr. Dale Bredesen, director of the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA, published in the journal Aging this past fall, shows how attacking every factor leading to Alzheimer’s could help reverse the disease if caught early enough. There are 36 different factors causing deficiencies, imbalances, and inflammation.
The ten patients in the study had anywhere from 10 to 24 of these identified problems that were addressed, following an evaluation where they received a series of tests, brain scans, and blood drawn. Most drug companies only address one of these problems at a time.
For one patient, the study outlined these changes: Eliminating simple carbohydrates and processed foods from their diet; taking probiotics and coconut oil; rigorously exercising; and sleeping as close to eight hours as they could. They added herbs and an array of supplements to their diet, along with several other changes. Between four and six months later, they said, their acuity with numbers and faces returned.
It is hard to say for certain if this method will work on every patient, as more studies like this one would need to be done to prove it’s effectiveness. James Hendrix, director of Global Science Initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association, explains that they do not know what the effect would be if these were to be applied to a loved one outside of a research or study setting, as not enough people have been studied, and those that had previously participated had an array of diagnosis.
This is a very promising study with positive results, and one patient who suffered memory problems began by adding fish oil and other supplements to her daily regimen. In several studies, people who took the supplements performed better on memory tests and had bigger brains. She also started meditating twice daily and sleeping seven to eight hours each night; adequate sleep and exercise improve blood flow to the brain and instigate neuron generation.
Hormone replacement therapy is indicated for women who have a hormonal imbalance that may be affecting brain function, so the patient started that too. She saw positive results.
The one thing that separates this study from already known treatments, is the Bredesen’s study, given the complexity of Alzheimer’s disease, is focused on addressing multiple risk factors.
To recap: Here are several simple steps that participants took to reverse the symptoms of memory loss.
1. Allow 3 hours between dinner and bedtime, and 12 hours between dinner and breakfast.
2. Supplement your diet with DHA and Vitamin D
3. Avoid overeating grains, starchy vegetables, processed foods and sugar as it generates inflammation in the body and brain
4. Sleep 7-8 hours to allow the body to restore itself, and use melatonin to help fall and stay asleep
5. Incorporate fermented foods, coconut oil, and probiotics into your diet for a healthy GI tract
6. Hormone replacement therapy, which has an affect on brain function
For more information, contact your physician, or call the practice about becoming a patient at the Divine Health Wellness Center at 407-331-7007.
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