Evidence supports the narrative that the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is not strictly a result of a genetic malfunction. According to the Mayo Clinic, less than one percent of the time, Alzheimer’s is caused by specific genetic changes that ensure an individual will develop the disease.
As more research surrounding Alzheimer’s is conducted, conclusions are illustrating that prevention and reversal of the form of dementia are possible.
Every 65 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease
With the prevalence of Alzheimer’s rising over the past decade — between 2007 and 2017 deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased by 145 percent — over 5.8 million Americans are living with the disease.
The relation between the increase in Alzheimer’s disease and the declining lifestyle habits of Americans is appearing to be a direct link.
What is the Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease?
What we today commonly call Alzheimer’s disease was first described in 1906 by German physician Alois Alzheimer. Over 100 years later, the specific causation to the neurological condition is yet to be determined.
However, through years of research, medicine has found that two proteins are tied to the disease.
Beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles are linked to neuron disruption within the brain
- Beta-amyloid plaques are remaining portions of a larger protein that cluster together within the brain and result in a toxic trait on neurons.
- Tau tangles change the original shape of the tau protein and limit the ability of neurons to move nutrients between cells.
In the numerous clinical studies that have been conducted on Alzheimer’s disease, an association between lifestyle and social elements has shown to impact the likelihood of an individual developing the disease during the course of their life.
Factors that relate to an individual being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s includes:
- Sleep Schedule
- Anxiety and Stress Load
- Social Connection
- Cognitive Stimulation
How to Prevent and Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease
Diet has shown to lower the risk of developing the disease. Through the combination of two diet plans — Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and the Mediterranean diet — has strong links to the protection of the brain.=
Nicknamed the “MIND” diet, this green plant-based eating plan has shown in observations to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 53 percent. In a study following older adults, individuals whose diet closely correlated with the MIND diet had brain function as quick as people 7.5 years younger.
The MIND diet suggests these eating habits:
- At least three servings of whole grains a day
- Green leafy vegetables (such as salad) at least six times a week
- Other vegetables at least once a day
- Berries at least twice a week
- Red meat less than four times a week
- Fish at least once a week
- Poultry at least twice a week
- Beans more than three times a week
- Nuts at least five times a week
- Fried or fast food less than once a week
- Mainly olive oil for cooking
- Less than a tablespoon of butter or margarine a day
- Less than a serving of cheese a week
- Less than five pastries or sweets a week
- One glass of wine or other alcoholic drink a day
2.) Regular Exercise
Closely tied to diet is the regular activity of exercise and weight management. Studies relating to autopsy reports have stitched nearly 80 percent of Alzheimer’s patients to also having cardiovascular disease. It is recommended that 30 minutes of physical exercise five days a week yields positive defense against the development of dementia-related illness.
Exercise can help as a preventative to Alzheimer’s disease
3.) Adequate Sleep
Regular sleep patterns that average between seven and eight hours a night also promote healthy brain function. In addition to giving your brain proper rest, limiting stress and reducing the body’s hormone, cortisol, has shown positive marks for decreasing an individual’s chance of Alzheimer’s.
Through empirical investigation, researchers have noticed that both social connection and learning new skills can help provide prevention.
4.) Constant Monitoring
Another large portion of taking steps to stop Alzheimer’s relates to the monitoring of what is ongoing inside an individual’s body. Knowing and maintaining healthy levels of blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol have been noted in the research of the disease. This is where functional medicine comes in.
An example of an individual who was displaying dementia-like symptoms underwent several blood tests, the patient was found to have high levels of mercury. He was treated with foods like kale, watercress, and cilantro; herbs like milk thistle; nutrients like selenium and zinc; and supplements that helped him overcome his genetic difficulties by ridding toxins like mercury.
The Bredesen Protocol
Dr. Goodbinder has recently initiated a regimen for his Alzheimer’s patients called the Bredesen Protocol which was developed by neurologist Dr. Dale Bredesen of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.
This treatment plan hits upon several key factors mentioned above, combining lifestyle and nutritional changes to help prevent and reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
The goal of the Bredesen Protocol aims to treat biochemical and metabolic imbalances within the body. Through a low-glycemic diet which includes fasting for 12 hours overnight to induce ketogenesis, reduce insulin levels, and reduce amyloid beta.
Bredesen Protocol also hits upon lab test tracking, regular exercise habits, and brain stimulation through cognitive activities.
Treat Dementia Naturally Today
Contact Dr. Goodbinder and his team to learn about the positive effects of his treatment methods, and how he can help treat forms of dementia.
Jay Goodbinder DC DABCI is a doctor in Overland Park, KS who serves patients in surrounding Kansas City areas, cities across the United States, and in several countries around the world.