Alzheimer’s Disease
Pat Zifferblatt | August 12, 2008

In May 2008, Johns Hopkins Hospital, the #1 hospital in the United States for over 17 years, released the following information on Alzheimer’s disease to U.S. News and World Report for the entire world to read.

Did you know that:
  • If they live long enough, one out of two men and women will eventually get Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Scientists have discovered a gene that can lead to Alzheimer’s in people where there is a documented family history.

  • Physicians now have three major drugs that can help delay the onset and slow the progress of Alzheimer’s when the disease is diagnosed at an early stage. These medications are Aricept (donepezil), Reminyl (galantamine), and Exelon (rivastigmine).

  • Smoking should be avoided at all costs! Any individual over 65 years of age and still smoking is four times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than people who don’t smoke.

  • You’ve heard that fish is brain food? That may hold more truth than you realize. Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids including docohexaenoic acid or DHA for short. “What is DHA?” you might ask? Simply put, DHA is manna for the brain!

  • Repeated fluctuations in insulin levels can result in high and low blood sugar. This fluctuating sugar level can result in cognitive decline. If you want to keep your brain sharp, keep your blood sugar stable.

  • Hypertension can cause damage to blood vessels including those found in the brain. If you have high blood pressure, get it under control with diet, exercise, supplements, and if you need it, medication. You may not like medications, but I’m sure you like remembering who you are. Do what it takes and if that means medications, take them.
Alzheimer’s Prevention Program
No one can guarantee that you’ll never get Alzheimer’s disease, but there are some things that you can do to reduce the risk.
  1. Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables. The more colorful the vegetables and fruit, the better for you.

  2. Eat lean sources of animal protein--fish, poultry, and lean cuts of beef and pork.

  3. Exercise regularly. That means 30-45 minutes most days of the week, and preferably every day.

  4. Don’t smoke cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. If you do smoke, find a way to quit and don’t stop until you succeed.

  5. Don’t drink alcohol to excess.

  6. Learn to manage stress.

  7. Take a dietary supplement that is high in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA.

  8. Consider taking a stress B-complex supplement that has 25-50 mg of all the major B vitamins and is even higher in vitamin B12.

  9. Basic antioxidant supplements can complement the fruits and vegetables in your diet.

  10. Reduce the amount of junk foods, high-sugar foods, and fatty foods and snacks. In other words, if it’s refined, try to avoid it. We all like treats, but regular consumption is verboten!
Bottom Line
Your brain is what makes you you--the knowledge and experience you have, the memories of friends, loved ones, and children, and much more. You want to remember them every day you’re alive. Put the odds in your favor: live a lifestyle that will keep your memory solid every day you’re alive.
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