I had ideas for umpteen blogs. Here is where they all somehow converge and I attempt to do something productive with my sprawling web presence.
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Memory loss in Alzheimer's patients reversed but more studies are still needed
UCLA has been the first to create a program that has reversed memory loss in some Alzheimer’s patients, reported CBS Local, Oct. 3. This news comes at a time that seems most crucial as Alzheimer’s cases are on the rise.
The disease has seen a 68 percent increase between the years of 2000 and 2010 and, of the top ten causes for death in America, it is the only one that, until now, showed no signs of being preventable, cured or even staved. This despite Alzheimer’s being officially recognized as a disease 100 years ago. It’s becoming increasingly urgent to find solutions or cures as the number of people with Alzheimer’s over the age of 65 is estimated to increase from 5 million to 13.8 million by 2050.
There are many contributing factors to the disease’s appearance, other than age alone. The Motley Fool reports that family history, education level, possible brain injuries, and even a specific gene called apolipoprotein E-4 can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
The latest facts and figures from the Alzheimer’s Association reports that 1 in 3 seniors dies from Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia, making approximately 500,000 people who die annually from the disease. In 2014, it’s estimated that 5.2 million Americans have the disease, including 200,000 people below the age of 65.
The Alzheimer’s Association report stated that 1 in 6 women over the age of 60 would get the disease. This figure is much higher than that of breast cancer. The amount of women with the disease are almost two thirds more than men and statistics state that 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 will end up with the disease overall.
The program involved changes in diet which included an elimination of simple carbs and gluten, as well as processed foods. More fresh fruits and vegetables were added to the diet as well as wild fish. Patients began taking melatonin and fish oils and other supplements daily. Brain stimulations, as well as meditation two times a day were added. Patients practiced yoga as a way to reduce stress and exercised at least 30 minutes a day, 4-6 times per week. Patients also received 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Many other things that affected brain chemistry were included as ways to improve brain function. However, despite the encouraging results of the study, researcher Dale Bredesen stated that more studies must ensue and that “at the current time the results are anecdotal.”
UCLA is constantly raising funds for their Alzheimer’s studies, as well as other research. Their website is set up to receive donations. More studies are still needed to further the cause of preventing and reversing memory loss in Alzheimer's patients.
*originally published on the now defunct Examiner.com