- Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia in people over the age of 65, affecting over 4million North Americans. The disease is characterized by abnormal deposits of a protein called beta-amyloid(plaque) in the brain. As well as by twisted fibers caused by changes in a protein called “tau”(tangles).
- Diagnosis, tests are must rule out a stroke, a brain tumor, and other possible causes of dementia.
DIET AND ALZIEMER’S
- Researchers are studying the role of the B-vitamin folate in lowering risk of Alzheimer’s. this vitamin helps regulate blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid, high levels of which may play a part in the development of the disease.
- Studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s have high homocysteine levels and there is evidence that high concentrations of homocysteine in healthy adults may lead to Alzheimer’s.
- In addition to folate, vitamin B6, and B12 help regulate homocysteine levels. People with high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure are also at increased risk. Consuming cholesterol-lowering drugs, particularly the “statins,” has been shown to reduce the risk. Basically, it appears that what is good for the heart is for the brain.
- The brain is rich in DHA(docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid that is plentiful in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, herring, and sardines. Low-level fat has been associat with age-related dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
FOOD THAT FIGHT ALZHEIMER’S
Researchers are finding many links between diet and dementia, and there is evidence that some foods are powerful allies in the battle against Alzheimer’s.
- FISH especially oily fish like salmon, mackerel, halibut, and sardines, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- EGGS are a good dietary source of a choline-a component of lecithin. They are also a good source of iron, vitamin B12, and other B vitamins. An excellent source of protein, and very easy to eat and digest.
- WHEAT GERM AND WHOLE GRAINS high in lecithin and choline, carbohydrates, vitamin E, B vitamins, and numerous minerals help forestall Alzheimer’s. Whole-grain bread is a popular and readily available item to add to anyone’s diet.
- SOY products are rich in choline and provide protein, carbohydrate, calcium, and fiber. Soy is a good source of folic acid-also known as folate-and are known to lower blood levels of homocysteine.
MONITOR NUTRITION CAREFULLY
- As the disease progresses, its victims may forget to eat or eat only sweets or other favorite foods. Patient is persuad to eat nutritionally balanced meals. They need to be spoon-fed if they have difficulty feeding themselves.
- A multivitamin may also be advisable; high-dose supplements should not be administer unless specifically recommended by a physician.
- Even a small amounts, alcohol destroys brain cells. A loss that a healthy person can tolerate but one that can accelerate the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Alcohol interacts with antidepressants, sedative, and other medications prescribed for Alzheimer’s patients. It’s a good idea to avoid all alcohol.
- People who exercise their brains with education, puzzles, games, and museum visits seem to be less sensitive to brain damage.
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