What is Alzheimer’s?
Also known as Alzheimer’s or Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer Type (SDAT), Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a condition that destroys brain cells and leads to a decline in mental function. It is a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys almost all cognitive functions: memory, learning, reason, judgment making, communication and ability to carry out daily activities. As Alzheimer’s worsens, it can also affect an individual’s personality and behavior, causing agitation, paranoia, anxiety, delusions and hallucinations. At present, once an ability is lost, it is not known to return.
People over the age of 65 are most frequently affected by Alzheimer’s. It is the eighth leading cause of death in the elderly population. Presently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, although there are ways of slowing down its advance and helping patients with some of the symptoms. Alzheimer’s is a terminal disease; it is incurable and causes death. Drug companies, academic institutions and medical facilities are working to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. As people are living longer many more are suffering from the disease. It is in everyone’s interest that a cure is found as soon as possible.
Causes of Alzheimer’s
In spite of the advances in medical science, we do not know what causes the onset or progression of Alzheimer’s disease. All we know is that it is not a part of normal aging, it affects both men and women, and it is more common in people as they age since most people with the disease are over 65. It is not caused by hardening of the arteries or by stress.
People with Alzheimer’s disease have an atrophy; weakening or disintegration of the cortical tissue within the brain which causes buildup of tangles and plaques in the brain and leads to disruption to transmission of impulses amongst brain cells. It is this damage that is thought to produce the symptoms of the disease. We may not know the causes but there are certain risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease such as:
Age- As the brain and body age, its ability to ward off internal attacks weakens, making it exponentially more susceptible to diseases such as Alzheimer’s. As damaged nerve cells begin to die the brain loses its ability to function, and age only makes this process worse.
Family History- Genetics play a vital role in likelihood of development of Alzheimer’s. Those with a grandparent, parent, sibling or even child with Alzheimer’s are subject to heightened risk for the disease.
Lifestyle- Research has provided evidence that exercise and a healthy diet reduce Alzheimer’s risk. Avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol consumption, staying socially active, and engaging in intellectually stimulating activities have a protective effect against Alzheimer’s disease. Those who are free of heart or related conditions are at a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
Difficulty performing familiar tasks.
Problems with language.
Forgetting simple words or substituting unusual words
Disorientation to time and place
Forgetting the day of the week or where they were going
Poor or decreased judgment.
Problems with abstract thinking.
Difficulty performing complex mental tasks
Rapid mood swings
Changes in personality
Loss of initiative
Increased anxiety and agitation
Disturbed sleep patterns
Wandering and pacing
Increased difficulty with name and face recognition of family and friends.
Natural home remedies for Alzheimer’s
Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are ways of slowing down its advance and helping patients with some of the symptoms. These home remedies for Alzheimer’s may help with some symptoms.
Raw carrots, taken as salad or in the form of juice, helps improve memory.
Eating fish aids normal functioning of the brain.
Almonds, avocado, hazelnuts, vegetable oils, whole grain products and egg yolk are some of the foods rich in Vitamin E which helps to slow down the progress of the disease.
Extract of the herb called ginkgo biloba can improve the brain functioning. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which protects brain cells from damage. Other herbs such as horse balm, rosemary, dandelion, fava beans, fenugreek, sage, ginkgo, Brazil nut, stinging nettle, willow and gotu kola increase the production of Acetylcholine in the brain and in turn, help in treating or curing Alzheimer’s.
Plants foods, such as dandelion greens, poppy seeds, soybeans and even commonly used mung beans, should be added to a person’s diet. They can help cure Alzheimer’s. Eating pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds improves brain functioning and helps in treating Alzheimer’s.
Diet for Alzheimer’s
Carrots, fish, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds and dark colored fruits and vegetables are good for slowing down brain aging.
Many people with Alzheimer’s disease experience a decrease in taste sensation. Spicing up their food may be a good idea for the taste and for the appetite. Chili powder, pepper, sage, oregano etc may be used.
Alzheimer’s patient should avoid high fat and high calorie diets. They must also abstain from salt, alcohol, cigarette smoking, processed foods, refined carbohydrates and environmental toxins.
Before trying out any home remedies for Alzheimer’s make sure that you consult your doctor.