The “A” Word?
Just what is the “A” word? Alzheimer’s!
Alzheimer’s a disease causes memory loss, difficulty thinking clearly and some behavioral problems. The disease can progress slowly over a period of time and often interferes with daily activities. Some have coined the phrase “I’m having a senior moment” when they begin to exhibit signs of memory loss. A ‘senior moment’ is a non-medical term describing simple memory lapse or mental glitch. Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten what you were looking for? Or perhaps you’ve forgotten a number that you’ve used hundreds of times before. Although, most of us will grow older and may experience moments like these, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll get Alzheimer’s or are suffering from it.
Alzheimer’s disease isn’t a normal part of growing older either. True, most people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are over 65 years old. However, there is an increasing population of those beginning to show signs as early as in their 40s or 50s.
The collective articles from the National Institute on Aging/Alzheimer’s Diagnostic Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Disease were released this week – the first to be released in 27 years. The update was the result of a two-year review of over 40 Alzheimer’s researchers and clinicians worldwide. The new diagnostic criteria and guidelines define three phases of the disease: 1) Preclinical or presymptomatic, 2) Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), or mildly symptomatic and 3) Alzheimer’s dementia. The guidelines noted that Alzheimer’s creates “distinct and measurable” changes in the brain years, if not decades, before symptoms or memory lapses occur.
What causes Alzheimer’s disease?
Experts agree Alzheimer’s may be linked to poor diet and lifestyle choices as well as environmental and hereditary factors. Although, there are no known cures for Alzheimer’s disease, researchers say there is evidence that physical activity increases oxygen and blood flow to the brain thereby helping brain cells. Cognitive exercises have also shown to be beneficial. They also noted a heart healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, or the Mediterranean diet, may also protect the brain. This isn’t new news to those of you who listen to the ‘Duke and the Doctor’ radio show.
My beautiful wife, Jan McBarron, MD, ND, also recommends an all-natural supplement derived from jellyfish, Prevagen. Prevagen helps improve memory by supplementing protective proteins the body loses over time. So, what is the overall message here? Alzheimer’s disease in not a normal part of the aging process…let the “A” word be just a word and not a reality for you and your loved ones.