Can Alzheimer’s disease be prevented?

Alzheimer’s disease cases could triple in the U.S. by the year 2050 unless preventative measures are taken, researchers claim—a rise they attribute to the aging Baby Boom generation. Alzheimer’s Disease can be a devastating diagnoses, made worse by the financial aspects associated by the ailment. Like other serious illnesses, Alzheimer’s can be a very tricky subject in the world of health insurance as well.

Although effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has been slow to emerge, there has been substantial progress in identifying AD risk factors and developing treatments that might delay or prevent onset of the disease. However, we have certain studies that shows we can prevent Alzheimer’s disease with some food items and nutritional interventions.

Apple juice

A growing body of evidence demonstrates that we can take steps to delay age-related cognitive decline, including in some cases that which accompanies Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Thomas B. Shea, PhD, of the Center for Cellular Neurobiology; Neurodegeneration Research University of Massachusetts, Lowell and his research team have carried out a number of laboratory studies demonstrating that drinking apple juice helped mice perform better than normal in maze trials, and prevented the decline in performance that was otherwise observed as these mice aged.

Apple juice can be a useful supplement for calming the declining moods that are part of the normal progression of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), according to a study in American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias (AJADD), published by SAGE.

Caffeine

Coffee drinkers may have another reason to pour that extra cup. When aged mice bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease were given caffeine – the equivalent of five cups of coffee a day – their memory impairment was reversed, report University of South Florida researchers at the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

Although caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug worldwide, its potential beneficial effect for maintenance of proper brain functioning has only recently begun to be adequately appreciated. Substantial evidence from epidemiological studies and fundamental research in animal models suggests that caffeine may be protective against the cognitive decline seen in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A special supplement to the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, “Therapeutic Opportunities for Caffeine in Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases,” sheds new light on this topic and presents key findings.

Fish oil

Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center have found positive associations between fish oil supplements and cognitive functioning as well as differences in brain structure between users and non-users of fish oil supplements. The findings suggest possible benefits of fish oil supplements on brain health and aging. The results were reported at the recent International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, in Paris, France.

Souvenaid

Souvenaid contains a patented combination of nutrients (Fortasyn Connect) specifically designed to stimulate the formation of nerve connections called synapses. Loss of synapses is thought by many Alzheimer’s experts to be the underlying cause of memory loss and cognitive dysfunction in AD. Preclinical studies showed that the nutrients in Fortasyn Connect promote the growth of new brain synapses. Subsequently, in a study called Souvenir I, Souvenaid taken once per day over 12 weeks was shown to improve scores on standardized memory tests.

A second clinical trial of the medical food Souvenaid confirmed that daily intake of the nutritional intervention improves memory in people with mild Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Results of the trial – called Souvenir II – were presented at the 4th International Conference on Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD) in San Diego, California on Nov. 4, 2011 by Philip Scheltens, MD, PhD, Professor of Cognitive Neurology and Director of the Alzheimer Center at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam.

Reminyl

Galantamine (Nivalin, Razadyne, Razadyne ER, Reminyl, Lycoremine) is used for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease and various other memory impairments, in particular those of vascular origin. It is an alkaloid that is obtained synthetically or from the bulbs and flowers of Galanthus Caucasicus (Caucasian snowdrop, Voronov’s snowdrop), Galanthus woronowii (Amaryllidaceae) and related genera like Narcissus (daffodil)), Leucojum (snowflake), and Lycoris including Lycoris radiata (Red Spider Lily).

Studies of usage in modern medicine began in the Soviet Union in the 1950s. The active ingredient was extracted, identified, and studied, in particular in relation to its acetylcholinesterase (AChE)-inhibiting properties. The bulk of the work was carried out by Soviet pharmacologists Mashkovsky and Kruglikova-Lvova, beginning in 1951. The work of Mashkovsky and Kruglikova-Lvova was the first published work that demonstrated the AChE-inhibiting properties of galantamine.

The first industrial process was developed in Bulgaria by prof. Paskov in 1959 (Nivalin, Sopharma) from a species traditionally used as a popular medicine in Eastern Europe, and, thus, the idea for developing a medicine from these species seems to be based on the local use (i.e., an ethnobotany-driven drug discovery).

Galantamine has been used for decades in Eastern Europe and Russia for various indications such as treatment of myasthenia, myopathy, and sensory and motor dysfunction associated with disorders of the central nervous system. In the US, it is FDA approved for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

It is available in both a prescription form and as an over the counter supplement.

However, there are noted bad-effects of galantamine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and international health authorities have published an alert based on data from two studies during the treatment by galantamine of mild cognitive impairment (MCI); higher mortality rates were seen in drug-treated patients.

I believe, healthy lifestyle, healthy nutritional diet and physically active life would make a foundation to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Anil Singhal, MD (Homeo)

Can Alzheimer’s disease be prevented?
by ( Author at Dr. Anil Singhal MD (Homeo) )
Posted on at 3:11 pm.
Last updated on July 3rd, 2014 at 9:16 am.
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