Alzheimer’s Epidemic

“Memory is history recorded in our brain. Memory is a painter. It paints pictures of the past and of the day.” ~ Anna Mary Robertson Moses

Alzheimer’s Disease is on the rise.

Here are some recent statistics:

  • Estimates say one in six women and one in 10 men who live to 55 will get Alzheimer’s disease in their lifetime.
  • A new case of Alzheimer’s occurs every 67 seconds. By 2050 it will be every 33 seconds.
  • 4 million (18%) of US baby boomers will lose their clarity of thought and memory.
  • Alzheimer’s increased as a leading cause of death between 2000 and 2008 by 66%. During this same time heart disease, strokes and breast and prostate cancer all decreased as leading causes of death.
  • The chance of developing Alzheimer’s doubles every five years after age 65.
  • This year 500,000 new cases will be diagnosed. And almost a million a year by 2050. The total number of cases will likely triple from current numbers.
  • The financial cost of Alzheimer’s was $200 billion in 2012. Projections are by 2050 it will be $1.1 trillion per year.
  • The emotional toll is even greater. Family and friends often face years of hardship and heartbreak in caring for Alzheimer’s patients. These people they know and love often don’t even recognize them from day to day.

Not too pleasant, is it?

Of more concern, this disease is showing up in younger people. Some are as young as in their 20s and 30s.

Is It Possible To Treat This Problem?

Of course, prevention is the ideal approach. But how can you treat it once signs appear? And particularly, what natural treatments are effective?

Alzheimer’s is a chronic problem. It takes a long time to develop. And it becomes worse over time. That’s why the earlier treatment happens, the more effective it will be.

The main focus of treatment is restoring clarity and supporting healthy brain function. Treatment depends on how far along the problem is. It’s also useful to know what underlying pattern is behind it. This complex topic requires knowledge of brain chemistry, herbs, supplements and nutrition.

Here’s how to spot early signs:

  • Short-term Memory loss. We all forget things sometimes, but it becomes more frequent than usual.
  • Difficulty performing familiar tasks. A person with Alzheimer’s may forget how to cook, make repairs or play cards.
  • Problems with language. Someone with Alzheimer’s often forgets simple words or substitutes unusual words.
  • Disorientation to time and place. It may be difficult to find their way home.
  • Poor or decreased judgment. Examples: they wear little clothing on a cold day or spend money on things they can’t use.
  • Problems with abstract thinking. Activities like balancing a checkbook may be harder than normal.
  • Misplacing things. Putting them in odd places, like putting an iron in the freezer or a phone in the sugar bowl.
  • Changes in mood or behavior. Rapid mood swings for no apparent reason.
  • Changes in personality. Becoming confused, suspicious, fearful or unusually dependent.
  • Loss of initiative. Sitting around passively.

Ways to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s

  1. Brain Activities. Jigsaw puzzles, word games or chess. These strengthen the brain.
  2. Physical Exercise. Even simply walking thirty minutes a day can help mental functioning.
  3. Getting Enough Water. Dehydration is a major factor in memory loss. Avoid alcohol since it dehydrates the body.
  4. Watch Medication Interactions. Your doctor should know all the over-the-counter and prescribed medications you are taking. Some combinations may cause confusion or forgetfulness, and even long-term damage to your memory.
  5. Eat Well. Get enough protein as well as fresh vegetables and fruits.

By following the above, you reduce your chances of problems later. Don’t be a part of the epidemic.

All the best to you for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

* Brescianini S, Maggi S, Farchi G, Mariotti S, Di Carlo A, Baldereschi M, Inzitari D; ILSA Group. Low total cholesterol and increased risk of dying: are low levels clinical warning signs in the elderly? Results from the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2003 Jul;51(7):991-6.

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