Use it or lose it

Thursday, April 30, 2020

I needed to write about something other than Covid-19. I'm struggling with how this virus has turned everything upside down. In my 50 years of medical/health involvement, I've never seen a situation where healthy people get quarantined, just the ones who are sick. This is really upside down. While this is an amazingly beautiful world, it can also be equally cruel. Nowhere is this more easily seen than with the ailment of Alzheimerís 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.

Alzheimerís 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 didnít 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 Iíd be wanting them to start using and stay on a high quality fish oil or calamari, Uridine, B12 (methyl type) and phosphatidyl serine. All of these supplements have good science supporting their use. None will stop Alzheimerís from progressing to the natural end but are likely to slow the progress and improve the quality of life for a longer time. I'm adding Saffron extract to the list, too.

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 certain 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.

Iíve been around people with neurologic, (brain and nervous system) medical, psychologic and/or emotional difficulties from a professional standpoint for more than 50 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 ó she is missed sorely.

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