If you’ve ever known anyone with Alzheimers symptoms, you know how heart-breaking it can be. Not only does it destroy a person’s mental abilities and dignity, but it wipes out the person’s very personality, leaving behind a mere shell of a human being.
Alzheimer’s disease is the world’s most common form of dimentia and one that needs no introduction because a loss of memory and other common brain functions became very common during last decades. These days Alzheimers symptoms are frightening to all of us.
To get a better understanding what our brain consists of and how it operates, you can visit our Brain Anatomy page.
To learn more about necessary general care of this extremely important for our well-being organ you can visit our Brain Fitness page.
After age 40, most of us begin to worry about losing our memory and even worse, becoming demented. This is especially true once we reach our fifties.
In some instances we purposely misspelled words Alzheimer’s symptoms into Alzheimers symptoms. The reason of these “mistakes” is strictly technical, so please ignore them.
You can also search for “Alzheimer’s” using a search function on the bottom of every page. Just one search will open links to each of these pages. We tried to describe everything related to Alzheimer’s disease on every related to it page of our site.
Most of the reasons leading to our premature aging are one way or another linked to a damaging effect of free radicals, which are chipping away from our cells structure and functionality. You can visit our Telomeres Theory of aging page describing very important details of this “chipping away” process.
Each cell in our body is filled with delicate factories that perform all sorts of vital functions such as generating energy, making enzymes and other proteins, and storing information, as with DNA.
Free radicals chip away at these cell factories similar to water dripping on a stone wears the stone away. In the beginning, the damage is so minute that little is harmed, but over time the cell’s function becomes impaired. The effects of this chipping away by free radicals depend on the types of cells affected and how severely they are damaged.
Mother Nature created a system to repair much of this damage, but our poor diets and constant exposure to environmental toxins in our air and drinking water severely impair this repair system.
As a result, diseases are appearing earlier, more often and to a much more severe degree. This is true not only for diseases affecting the brain but also for most other diseases, including diabetes, Autoimmune disorders, many cancers, arthritis, heart disease and strokes.
All of these diseases share the same event - massive production of free radicals over a long period of time and a depletion of the body’s internal antioxidant defenses.
Primary nutrients to avoid causes of Alzheimers disease symptoms
Numerous studies have found that those with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s disease have chronic nutrient deficiencies long before the disease presents itself.
For example, most individuals with Alzheimers symptoms have low levels of
The latter three are particularly important, since they regulate a special series of metabolic steps in brain cells necessary for forming neurotransmitter chemicals and repairing DNA.
When these nutrients are deficient, a special body chemical called homocysteine accumulates. A number of studies have found that a large number of patients with Alzheimers symptoms have elevated homocysteine levels. Elevated Homocysteine is linked to the Vitamin B deficiency by numerous studies.
Besides being a sign of impaired metabolism, homocysteine is in a class of special brain cell toxins called excitotoxins. These toxins literally excite certain brain cells to death. These toxins in the body can also be linked to Vitamin B deficiency.
They are considered a central mechanism in all of the neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Excitotoxins generate large numbers of free radicals in brain cells and brain cell connections (synapses).
Statin drugs such as Lipitor lower cholesterol levels by interfering with a critical enzyme in cholesterol production called HMG-Co-A reductase. This allows the drugs to drastically lower cholesterol.
The problem with lowering cholesterol too much is that the brain needs a significant amount of cholesterol for its rebuilding and functionality. Impaired thinking is a common complication with statin drugs.
Our brain naturally shrinks in volume as we age. By age 60, it’s shrinking by as much as half a percent a year. In those with MCI (mild cognitive impairment), it accelerates to one percent a year.
With Alzheimers symptoms or disease, the shrinkage skyrockets to 2.5% a year. With this shrinkage come –
* severe memory problems
* slower thinking, and
Brain scans of healthy people showed signs that the brain was shrinking in Alzheimer's-affected areas nearly a decade before the disease was diagnosed, U.S. researchers discovered very recently.
The finding, published in the journal Neurology, may offer a new way to detect the disease early, in advance and that could help in the development of effective treatments for Alzheimers symptoms - a brain-wasting disease that affects up to 26 million people globally.
Antioxidants and Vitamin B deficiency are the primary causes of Alzheimers symptoms
* Vitamin E
* Vitamin C * Carotenoids and
* special antioxidants from plants called flavonoids
all act together to protect the brain from free radicals and, hence,
Several studies have shown that increasing these antioxidants in the diet slows the course of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and may prevent these diseases in some people.
A research, published in the journal Public Library of Science ONE, is considered being controversial, because it defies current mainstream scientific dogma about the way to tackle Alzheimer’s disease.
It suggests that taking vitamins can achieve results that have so far being avoided by pharmaceutical companies. And that’s despite the millions of dollars Pharma has spent on experimental dementia patentable drugs for Alzheimers symptoms.
Elevated Homocysteine is the first reason for Alzheimers symptoms
Instead of following the company line, the University of Oxford scientists set out in a new direction. They targeted the abnormal physical shrinkage of the brain by prevention!
Their discovery was a result of an observation that higher levels of homocysteine – an amino acid found in the blood - cause brain shrinkage in the elderly. And like other studies this one demonstrated that the primary reason for elevated homocysteine is the Vitamin B deficiency.
The researchers were reasoning that certain B-group vitamins reduce amount of homocysteine in the blood and so might reduce the shrinkage and prevent the Alzheimers disease symptoms.
Their study involved 168 volunteers over age 70. They divided them into two groups, treated by supplements and followed them for 2.5 years.
Half of them took a “dummy tablet” and another half took a tablet with large doses of
* Folic acid
* Vitamin B12 and
* Vitamin B6.
At the end of the trial, the researchers found that effects of the vitamin treatment were dramatic. In fact, the most pronounced benefit appeared in subjects who started out with the highest rates of brain shrinkage, so the highest Vitamin B deficiency.
On average, taking B vitamins slowed the rate of brain atrophy by 30% . In many cases shrinkage reduced as much as 53%.
Professor David Smith is a pharmacologist who coauthored the study said: “This is a very striking, dramatic result. It’s much more than we could have predicted”.
The study was not designed to measure cognitive function directly. But, the researchers found that individuals with the lowest rates of shrinkage had the highest mental test scores.
Dr. Smith said it’s still early to say exactly how vitamin B worked. But we know that the vitamins lower homocysteine, and they also support the membranes around our neurons!
If we have noticed problems with cognitive function or if our doctor has told us that we have some brain shrinkage, taking plenty of B vitamins should be a very promising solution.
The doses the researchers used in this study were much larger than RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance). But when it comes to Alzheimer’s, this is one case where the benefits far exceed any risk, which is extremely low any way.
For Vitamin B12, they were 300 times the RDA.
The Folate dosage was four times the RDA.
For Vitamin B6 they took 15 times the RDA.
That computes to:
* Vitamin B12 - 900 mcg
* Vitamin B6 - 30 mg and
* Folic Acid - 6 mg.
We can attain these doses by buying high potency individual vitamins at our health food store or online and taking an appropriate number of capsules or tablets. As always we suggest you to at least discuss your effort with your physician, trying to gain his/her support by monitoring your progress.
After taking these vitamins for at least 2-3 months you should test your homocysteine level again.
This study on preventing Alzheimers symptoms and disease made international news. According to this report, we can cut our risk of this dreaded disease by 50% just by taking B vitamins.
Alzheimers symptoms and disease prevention
Again - prevention is always better than treatment.
Obviously, the earlier we start, the greater our chances of avoiding Alzheimers symptoms and disease, but no matter how old we are, our chances to avoid many future disasters will be reduced dramatically.
You should visit our Alzheimer’s Prevention and Treatment page for less publicized but possibly even more affective additional ways to stop or even reverse this devastating Alzheimers and disease.
You should also visit our our Niacinamide and Alzheimers page on a very positive role of this supplement in preventing this devastating disease.
Alzheimers symptoms research on a role of our immune system
As we age, the immune system becomes impaired, primarily because of poor nutrition. In fact, several studies have shown that age related immune problems can be corrected with nutrients such as
* Vitamins E
* Vitamin C and
Of even greater importance is the finding that Vitamin D3 plays a major role in preventing overreaction of the immune system, as seen in Alzheimers symptoms and disease.
While a part of the immune system is impaired, another part of it is overactive. This imbalance also causes the problem. The above listed nutrition can re-establish the proper immune balance. If you didn’t do it already, for more information on overactive immune system you can visit our Autoimmune Diseases page.
While the brain isn't technically a muscle, it does have some similarities.
Scientific studies have revealed that, like muscles, the more we use any part of our brain, the larger it will get. They also found that the more we use a particular part of your brain, the more our body or its immune system pumps blood to that area to provide energy. And we all need to know that the more we use our brain, the better it works, exactly as any muscle.
Important to know, some supplements that help build muscles might also help our brain. At least that is what scientists recently discovered when they gave a group of study participants Alpha-GPC.
Bodybuilders love Alpha-GPC because it stimulates the body to produce natural human growth hormone. They can take it and not get accused of taking the synthetic HGH.
But Alpha-GPC, also helps the brain. It not only helps regulate muscle function, but it also helps regulate brain function. The results of the study below show just how well it works.
In this multi-center, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, researchers followed 261 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimers symptoms.
They gave 132 of the Alzheimers symptoms patients one 400 mg Alpha-GPC capsule, three times daily for 180 days.
They gave the other 129 patients a placebo. They tested each of the participants at the beginning of the study and again at 90 and 180 days using standard Alzheimer's tests.
The average improvement in test scores for the treated group was 2.42 points after 90 days and 3.20 points at the end of the study. But the group receiving the placebo saw their test scores drop by an average of 0.36 point after 90 days and 2.90 points after 180 days. That's a huge difference.
If you're looking to improve your memory avoiding Alzheimers symptoms, take a lesson from bodybuilders and take Alpha-GPC. It's available in many good Health Food stores and on the Internet.
Avoiding bad diet to prevent and slowdown Alzheimers symptoms and disease
Several years old scientific studies have shown that those with the highest intakes of cholesterol-containing foods had the highest risk of Alzheimers symptoms and disease.
Connected to this observation was the discovery that persons who had inherited two special genes for a fat-carrying protein called APOE4 had a very high risk of developing Alzheimer’s dementia.
In fact, 80 percent of individuals having both of these genes will develop the Alzheimers symptoms and disease. Even having one of the genes for APOE4 substantially increases one’s risk. Having this gene also increases the risk of developing the “punch drunk” syndrome and even mad cow disease.
APOE4 is responsible for carrying cholesterol to the synaptic connections in the brain. The problem is that it does this less efficiently than the protective form of the carrier protein, APOE2. Those lucky enough to have both genes for APOE2 rarely develop Alzheimers symptoms and dementia.
To get some idea as to the impact of dietary choices and our risk of Alzheimers symptoms or disease, we can look at a Zutphen Elderly Studythat examined the diets of 476 elderly persons.
The researchers found that those with the highest total fat intake had a 240% higher risk of developing Alzheimers symptoms or dementia. High saturated fat intake increased risk by 90% and high intake of cholesterol-rich foods increased risk 70%.
Fish consumption was associated with a 60% reduction in dementia risk.
In another study, high meat consumption was associated with a 300% increase in risk of developing Alzheimers symptoms and dementia.
It is also of interest to note that high-cholesterol diets increase the activity of the brain’s immune system, which as mentioned above is also connected to Alzheimers symptoms and dementia.
Fat makes up 70 percent of the brain. Modified fats, listed as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils on food labels, are processed to become rigid, prolonging shelf life but impairing our brain function.
Instead, we should consume these beneficial fats:
* Organic extra virgin olive oil: 1 tablespoon daily, may be added to salad dressing, drizzled over steamed vegetables, combined with freshly juiced vegetables, or used as a dip or spread on whole grain bread, but it should not be heated. If you use olive oil for cooking, consume an additional tablespoon uncooked.
• Organic virgin coconut oil: 1 tablespoon daily in the morning. Coconut oil can be added to smoothies, spread on whole grain bread, or taken in capsules.
A good diet prevents and slows down Alzheimers symptoms and disease
The good news is that reducing our intake of cholesterol-rich foods and increasing intake of vitamin E appeared to turn off this dangerous APOE4 gene, thus lowering the risk of Alzheimers symptoms.
This finding may also explain the significantly lower risk of Alzheimers symptoms and disease in people eating a Mediterranean diet. This diet is very low in cholesterol and total fat content.
Seafoods can be high in mercury (methylmercury), so caution must be exercised. It is best to get our omega-3 oils from supplements. Omega-3 oils are composed of two components, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). DHA is the most important for protecting and nurturing the brain.
In one study, those who consumed omega-3 fatty acid–containing foods once a week or more had a 60% reduction in Alzheimer’s disease. Interestingly, DHA has been shown to powerfully protect the brain from excitotoxins. The EPA component had little effect. Pure DHA supplement can be obtained from most health supplements suppliers.
Another source of omega-3 fatty acids is from special eggs that contain high amounts of this beneficial fat. The chickens producing these eggs are fed a special diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, which then enters the egg yolks. A single egg supplies about 600 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
Fruits and especially vegetables contain some of the most powerful chemical antioxidants found naturally. They also contain powerful anti-excitotoxic, anti-inflammatory, immune-modulating and antiviral components as well, protecting us from Alzheimers symptoms.
Eating at least five servings of vegetables a day also plays a major role in preventing these neurodegenerative diseases. A recent study found that of 1,367 people over age 65 followed for five years, those with the highest intake of flavonoids from fruits and vegetables had a 51 percent lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease
Of a particular interest has been blueberry extract.
In one study, it was found A blueberry extract helps not only to slow the aging of the brain down but also to reverse other aging changes. A more recent study found that blueberry extract could completely prevent Alzheimer’s disease in a hereditary animal model of the disease.
This means that blueberry extract might prevent the disease even in those inheriting both of the APOE4 genes. It is important to appreciate that these experiments were done using blueberry extracts and not whole blueberries.
The extracts contain much higher concentrations of the blueberry flavonoids than found in a bowl of blueberries. We can find blueberry extract in many good Health Food store or on the Internet.
Researchers at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology in Tokyo, Japan, found that milk thistle may be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, which is characterized by progressive cognitive impairment and the formation of plaques in the brain.
The research team fed mice a powdered diet containing milk thistle for six months. They found that the mice showed a reduction in brain plaque formation and an improvement in behavioral abnormalities. The milk-thistle-treated mice also showed less anxiety. The researchers concluded that milk thistle is a promising agent for prevention of the Alzheimer’s disease.
Most milk thistle products are standardized preparations made from the seeds of the plant. Most preparations are standardized to contain about 70% to 80% of silymarin. Like other herbal preparations, milk thistle can be taken in capsule form, as a liquid extract, or in tincture form.
One of the experts in the field of Alternative Medicine, Dr. Russell L. Blaylock is disputing a recent announcement by a National Institutes for Health panel that there is little strong evidence that changes in diet and lifestyle can reduce a person’s risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Blaylock says the problem with the panel’s conclusion is that it is based on an evaluation of studies that looked at the merits of diet, supplements, exercise, and other things individually, when in fact they work in concert together and should be evaluated as such.
Vaccinations connection to Alzheimer’s symptoms
We already mentioned on our Insane Vaccinations page that according to one of the worlds leading immunologists, Dr. Hugh Fudenberg, who has conducted related studies, those who receive the flu vaccine yearly for three to five years increase their risk of Alzheimer’s disease tenfold.
Dr. Hugh Fudenberg attributes this to the mercury in the flu vaccines.
It is known that mercury poisons many of the critical brain enzymes, even in very low concentrations.
In an article published in the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association, Dr. Russell L. Blaylock demonstrates another connection to vaccines in general.
He indicates in this paper that when vaccines are given close together and in significant numbers, the way many doctors give them, the brain’s immune system is over-stimulated, resulting in destruction of the very brain cells we see destroyed in Alzheimer’s disease.
Numerous studies have shown that chronic activation of the brain’s immune system is closely connected to this terrifying disorder. Many of these studies also have shown that the greatest risk is among those with impaired immunity.
Common toxins linked to Alzheimer’s disease symptoms
Aluminum has been a suspect in Alzheimer’s dementia symptoms for many years.
Studies of human populations point to the problem, and experimental studies show that aluminum can produce all the same changes in the brain we see with Alzheimer’s disease.
Most of us are exposed to dietary sources of aluminum including cookware, medications, baking powder, vaccinations, certain teas and public drinking water.
Normally, people absorb very little of ingested aluminum, but recent studies have discovered that those with Down’s syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease absorb a lot more aluminum than normal.
In fact, Down’s children absorb 11 times more aluminum than is normally absorbed. Children with Down’s syndrome have the same pathological changes in their brains as those with Alzheimer’s disease.
Ironically, some commonly consumed products dramatically increase the absorption of aluminum and increase its toxicity in the brain.
For example, fluoride in our publicly supplied drinking water which also contains aluminum and when combined with even small amounts of this aluminum, produces dramatic destruction of the same brain cells that are destroyed in Alzheimer’s disease.
In fact, as little as 0.5 ppm (parts per million) fluoride added to aluminum in water was found to create extensive brain cell loss in the hippocampus, the memory part of the brain. Most public water systems add 1 to 1.5 ppm fluoride and all add aluminum.
According to WikipidiA - The hippocampus is a major component of the brains of humans and other mammals. It belongs to the limbic system and plays important roles in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory and spatial navigation.
The amino acid glutamate, as found in monosodium glutamate (MSG), also increases aluminum absorption and deposition in the brain. MSG is added to most processed foods, usually under a disguised name such as hydrolyzed protein, soy extract, natural flavoring or even spices.
As with fluoride, glutamate is even more destructive to brain cells when combined with aluminum.
Another surprising culprit is citric acid. Lemon juice is high in citric acid, as are most citrus fruits. Adding lemon to tea, for example, increases aluminum absorption from the tea (which contains very high aluminum levels) over sevenfold. This is why we should not add lemon to your tea.
Finally, consumption of large amounts of excitotoxins adds considerably to the damage caused by the other factors. Excitotoxins, already mentioned above, dramatically increase free radical generation for a prolonged period after a single exposure.
When we eat processed foods, we are consuming large amounts of excitotoxins. These excitotoxins are used to enhance the taste of foods. Some foods add three and even four forms of excitotoxins, which is particularly dangerous since studies have shown they have additive toxicity.
People with neurological diseases, the very young and the elderly are at a special risk from excitotoxins.