What to do for dementia

Thursday, May 29, 2014

This is an amazingly beautiful world; it can also be equally cruel. No where is this more easily seen than with the ailment of Alzheimer's disease. While there has been much attention given to this type of dementia recently not much has been said about the natural approach. The natural supplements can mostly be used alongside the prescribed drugs.

Alzheimer's disease is classified as one of the dementias. A dementia is a decline in mental ability that usually progresses slowly, in which memory, thinking, judgment and the ability to pay attention are reduced and personality may change along with. There is no known cause for this disease though genetic factors seem to be a key factor. Though, I remember a conversation with my medical division chief at Harbor/UCLA who had made dementias an area of special interest and he believed that if you didn't use it you lost it. He believed in keeping the mind active in as many ways as possible, yet remaining focused.

Certainly, if one of my family members showed signs of dementia I'd be wanting them to start using and stay on a high quality fish oil, vinpocetine (unless on prescribed blood thinners), Uridine, B12 (methyl type) and phosphatidyl choine. All of these supplements have good science supporting their use. None will stop Alzheimer's from progressing to the natural end but are likely to slow the progress and improve the quality of life for a longer time. A supplement that I'm currently researching is N-acetyl cysteine and is promising.

Other supplements should be on your short list as well. These are phosphatidyl serine and coconut oil. Again, good science exists on the possible benefits of these supplements for dementias including Alzheimer's.

From a whole food choice point of view, the Mediterranean plan is the best. Of course choosing locally grown and organic meat and veggies is the way to go. Emerging science is showing a linkage between grains/whole grains and increased inflammation found in the brain. Sugars and carbs have been identified as the source. Some physician/scientists have seriously questioned the role of a low fat diet along with the practice of prescribing cholesterol lowering statin drugs, too.

I've been around people with neurologic (brain & nervous system) medical / psychologic / emotional difficulties from a professional standpoint for over thirty years. Understandings have deepened and advanced in the care of these precious souls but nothing gets you to know like experience does. My friend Hazel was my mentor while I learned from her as she developed Alzheimer's...she is missed sorely.