Alzheimer’s, one of the most feared age related diseases of our time, has the attention of scientist who are intensively researching every aspect of the age-related dementia. Once Alzheimer’s takes hold, there is no known cure. There are new drugs available that seem to provide some preventive measures and several theories as to what causes Alzheimer’s. The prevailing thoughts include toxins accumulate within cellular structures causing damage, interruptions in blood flow, and that inflammation is a key player in the destruction of functional tissue. Beta-amyloid, a protein, triggers inflammation in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients causing mild memory impairment or confusion.
Vascular dementia and Alzhiemer’s may share the disruption of normal cholinergic function or acetylcholine. In someone at risk for stroke, elevated C-reactive protein can be an indicator. Unfortunately, there are no test that accurately measures acetylcholine in the brain. Phosphatidyl-choline is the precursor for acetylcholine. Some doctors and nutritionist are aware of its importance and suggest the natural agent phosphatidyl-choline to their clients. The neurotransmitter acetycholine responsible for memory, sleep and cognition, may decline as a result of neurodegenerative process associated with aging.
Phosphatidylserine also is a key component in brain function and an integral component of every cell membrane. One of the vital functions of phosphatidylserine is it boosts the levels of acetylcholine, helps release dopamine, and reduces the stress hormone cortisol.
While reduction of cortisol is important if needed, phosphatidylserine should be taken only under the direction of a doctor because cortisol levels need to stay within the normal range. Too much phosphatidylserine at the wrong time of day can produce undesirable results.
Other natural agents may include quercitin, Vinpocetine and pregnenalone and acetyl l-carnatine. (See article Antioxidants: The Powerful Trio Part 3). Information regarding the role of DHEA may be found in “The Metabolic Plan” by Stephen Cherniski. He makes a compelling argument on the aging model.
Summary noted by Life Extention, July 2003 as follows:
Meta-analysis shows NSAIDs help prevent Alzheimer’s disease
A review of nine studies published in the July 19 2003 issue of the British Medical Journal has found that the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) offers some protection against developing Alzheimer’s disease. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories are a class of drugs used chronically by individuals with arthritis or other painful conditions, and include aspirin and ibuprofen.
The review analyzed studies published between 1966 and October of 2002 that evaluated the NSAIDs’ ability to prevent Alzheimer’s disease in a total of 14,654 subjects. Studies examining exposure to other pain relievers or in which vascular dementia was the primary outcome were excluded from the analysis.
The researchers separately analyzed studies that determined Alzheimer’s disease risk in users of all NSAIDs, in users of aspirin, and in users of NSAIDs according to duration of use. They found that individuals over the age of 55 who used NSAIDs experienced three-fourths risk of developing the disease than that of subjects not taking the drugs, and that the longer the drugs are used, the greater their benefits appeared to be. When aspirin use alone was evaluated, a small but nonsignificant benefit was found, however, this finding may have been due to the smaller number of studies that specifically evaluated the protective effect of aspirin. The appropriate dose and duration of use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories to prevent Alzheimer’s disease remains to be determined.
If you are interested in being proactive against age related disease, consider the benefits of working with the alternative medical doctor who specializes in nutrition and therapies that address the toxic world we live in. Exactly the kind of work we do.