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Alzheimer’s Disease, Senile Dementia, Dementia

Dementia Medical Considerations
Alzheimer’s / Dementia Discussion
Brief Discussion on Supplementations

Medical Considerations

Nutritional Blood and Hair Analysis: A complete “Nutritional Blood and Hair Analysis” is the corner stone. Then follow up with a “Chelation Urine Challenge” test. Degeneration of brain tissue has been linked to heavy metal toxicity. If the Hair Analysis test comes out negative for heavy metal toxicity, yet symptoms of brain degeneration are obvious, it could be there are significant heavy metal toxins which are “hidden” inside the body and is responsible for the neuro-degeneration problems. “Hidden” means a normal hair analysis test is negative. This means the body is not excreting those toxins naturally. Therefore, a chelation agent is administered. The urine is tested before, then after the chelation agent has been orally given. The chelation challenge will find those hidden toxins which will be excreted in the urine. After heavy metals are identified, then a chelation protocol is prescribed.

Multi-Vitamins: High quality multi-vitamin / mineral formulas are needed to add the necessary “co-factors” needed for enzymatic pathways. Organic chemistry studies (a requirement for medical school students), demonstrates that all enzymatic, energy, and virtually all biological pathways in the human body, need many nutrients, or co-factors, to properly complete each pathway. Shortages of needed nutrients results in dysfunction of the organs for which those pathways could not be completed properly.

Antioxidants: Free radical damages can be linked as one of the causative roots of many diseases, including dementia. Antioxidants help correct and then protect from further free radical damages. What is a Free Radical? A Free Radical is an unstable oxygen molecule that possesses an unpaired electron. This molecule is constantly trying to become whole by robbing cells of vital components. These biochemical compounds called Free Radicals damage our body and its cells. Both external pollutants and biochemical process of the body cause excess Free Radical reactions; Environmental pollutants, numerous food additives, and stress are only a few of the many ways Free Radicals are formed. The way in which Free Radicals are normally kept in check is by the action of Free Radical Scavengers that occur naturally in the body. These scavengers neutralize the Free Radicals. It’s important to assist our body by additionally supplementing daily with Antioxidants. Supplementation with only a few antioxidants though, gives us much less protection, than utilizing a complete array of antioxidants. This is due to the fact that the antioxidant defense system works as a team. If members of the team are missing, the outcome is poor. Maximum protection requires the complete array of established antioxidants in nutritionally meaningful amounts. Stressful living produces a much higher amount of free radicals than found in otherwise normal individuals. Free radical damage has many extreme negative complications, including faster aging, and is believed to be the root cause of many of our degenerative diseases. It is my professional conviction that “Type A” personalities will have a far greater amount of free radicals in their bodies when compared to Type C personalities. It is well known that Type A personalities die more often of heart disease, stoke and cancer than Type C personalities. Type A personalities do not handle stress well. Type C personalities are not affected by stressful situations like Type A personalities are, and they handle everyday stressors calmly. Most people I have met while working in my profession are Type A.

Co- Q-10: Coenzyme Q-10 is a naturally occurring substance found within our food and is synthesized by each and every cell of our body. It is a vitamin-like substance that resembles Vitamin E, but is an even more powerful Antioxidant. It is the only natural antioxidant found in human tissue. Coenzyme Q-10 declines with age and should be supplemented in the diet. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that Coenzyme Q-10 alone is effective in reducing mortality. Its functions include: 1. Antioxidant ability – By scavenging free radicals this compound stops damage to cell membranes that may occur from excess free radicals 2. Energy function – Coenzyme Q-10 is vitally important in the formation of ATP by the cells of the body. ATP is the molecule responsible for energy stores within the body. All cell functions are dependent on adequate cellular levels of ATP. Adequate levels of ATP must be maintained or the body suffers from severe energy loss and poor organ function. The supplemental use of Coenzyme Q-10 has been well researched in cardiovascular disease. There are numerous double blind studies that show its benefits in congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy (poor pumping of the heart). Co-Enzyme Q-10 appears to increase the heart’s ability to tolerate lower levels of oxygen and has shown benefits in individuals with angina (chest pains from decreased blood flow to the heart). It also benefits allergies, asthma, and respiratory disease, and is used to assist the brain for abnormalities of mental function such as those with Alzheimer’s.

B-Complex: B vitamins have long been known as the “Anti-Stress Vitamins.” B vitamins are essential in providing support against anxiety and depression. The more stress we have in our lives, the faster the B vitamins are used up. This is important to understand, as B vitamins are also critical in: energy production; maintaining healthy nerve function; liver detoxification processes; healthy skin and muscle tone; and are essential co-factors in hundreds of other chemical reactions with the body. Homocysteine levels, when elevated, can cause stroke, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Homocysteine levels are reduced by proper amounts of B6, B12 and Folic Acid. B vitamins are important in the functioning of the liver and in energy metabolism. They are necessary for the formation of the red blood cells, numerous hormones, and specific neurotransmitters. Adding a full B vitamin complex, and or adding all the B vitamins separately, is part of the standard protocol in EDTA IV Chelation therapy. If high amounts of stress are present in your life, it is essential to increase the amount of B vitamins in your diet. You will not be able to get enough B vitamins in your food to meet your body’s physiological needs, when modern day stresses are prevalent in your life.

Vitamin E: There are more tocopherol forms of Vitamin E than just the alpha tocopherol as found in most available brands of Vitamin E. This health fact is extremely important. Utilizing a complete Vitamin E source has been shown effective in suppressing free radicals that are not controlled by the use of only alpha tocopherol alone. Studies have shown these mixed tocopherols have enhanced immune system benefits, improved antioxidant properties, and improved cardiovascular benefits above and beyond using only alpha tocopherol.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is the single most cost effective antioxidant (dollar-to-dollar amount for antioxidant properties), than all other available antioxidants. Vitamin C performs many vital functions within the body. It increases the strength and integrity of connective tissue including the inside of your blood veins, producing significant positive effects upon the cardiovascular system. Vit C supports the immune system, fights viruses and some bacteria, functions as an important antioxidant and enhances adrenal gland function. Vitamin C was first discovered because of unresolved scurvy when sailors were out on the seas. Scurvy is the breakdown of small capillaries, or small blood vessels. Additional Vitamin C is needed during times of stress.

Ginkgo Biloba: The mechanism of Ginkgo is an increase in blood flow through “micro capillaries.” Micro capillaries are the very tiny blood vessels the supply oxygen and nutrition to the more delicate organs of the body, such as the brain. Without proper oxygen and nutritional to the delicate organs of the body, degeneration occurs. Dementia in the elderly is often a result of insufficient blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Also associated with these deficiencies are short-term memory loss, vertigo, headache, ringing in the ears, lack of vigilance, and depression. Much of this is due to the presence of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Because of the mechanism of Ginkgo, ginkgo can offer great hope. (See also Chelation Therapy, below.) Ginkgo has also been shown to normalize acetylcholine receptors in the brain of aged animals and to also increase transmission of nerve impulses. Both of these factors are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Shop carefully for the best available quality and potency of ginkgo, as this will make a big difference in effectiveness.

Chelation Therapy: The evidence of aluminum in the brain as a causative factor in Alzheimer’s disease is growing. Both aluminum and silicone have been detected in the neurofibrillary tangles and senile plaques of Alzheimer’s patients. Canadian research investigators call Alzheimer’s disease, “Aluminum Dementia.” Chelation therapy reduces the amount of heavy metal toxicity in the body, including the brain. Aluminum is one of the heavy metals that chelation therapy will remove. Another cause of dementia in the elderly is insufficient blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Much of this is due to the presence of atherosclerotic disease. Research and clinical experience over the last 50 years has demonstrated significant benefits when using the specific chelator know as “Ethylene Diamine Tetraacetic Acid” (EDTA). Alternative-care minded medical doctors belonging to the “International College of Integrated Medicine,” the “American Board of Chelation Therapy,” and the “International Board of Chelation Therapy,” all agree as to the effectiveness of EDTA against atherosclerotic diseases. (The AMA and FDA do not agree.)

Zinc Picolinate: Free radical damage is particularly detrimental to our immune system. Zinc absorption in the elderly is marginal as best. Even an adequate dietary intake of zinc does not mean adequate levels of zinc absorption, which seems to be dependent of adequate picolinic acid secretion by the pancrease. Since elderly individuals usually have some degree of pancreatic insufficiency, zinc picolinate is probably the best form of zinc supplementation for a majority of the elderly. DNA is the genetic core that serves as the blueprint for cellular functions and cell replication. It has been suggested that dementia, possibly because of long-term zinc deficiency, may represent the long-term cascading effects of error-prone or ineffective DNA-handling enzymes in nerve cells. The end result could be the destruction of nerve cells and the formation of the neurofibrillary tangle and plaques found in Alzheimer’s patients. Further research is needed. In any event, zinc supplementation will improve immune function in the elderly.

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Alzheimer’s / Dementia Discussion

Alzheimer’s Disease is a senile or dementia disease in which older individuals develop progressive memory loss with eventual inability to carry on daily functions of life. It is important not to assume that all memory loss is due to Alzheimer’s disease. Autopsy studies have shown that fifty to sixty percent of all cases of dementia are the result of Alzheimer’s disease. The remaining forty to fifty percent of these cases are considered a result of senile dementia, senile, (confusion and memory loss in the elderly).

Dementia can usually be traced to nutritional deficiencies such as a B12 deficiency, however it is usually the combination of several vitamin / mineral deficiencies. Another causative factor could be heavy metal toxicity, especially aluminum, and other environmental toxins in the brain. Still another factor could be cerebrovascular insufficiency, which is lack of blood to the brain. Actually, in most cases it is a combination of several causative factors. Home treatment can be attempted in simple cases of Dementia. However is it best to consult with your health care practitioner for further evaluation, preferably a practitioner who understands nutrition, heavy metal toxicity, and Environmental Medicine.

Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive mental deterioration with loss of memory, loss of cognitive function, and the inability to carry on in normal daily life activities. Its diagnosis is usually made by elimination of other causes, but its definitive diagnosis can only be made by a postmortem biopsy of the brain, demonstrating presence of atrophy of the brain with “senile plaques,” and “neurofibrillary tangles.” It is a progressive degenerative brain disorder with deterioration of memory and mental function. Alzheimer’s Disease is characterized by distinctive changes in the brain tissue. The primary change is the formation of “neurofibrillary tangles” and “plagues.” These tangles and plagues resemble scars, composed of various proteins and cellular debris. The result is a massive loss of healthy functioning brain cells. Some studies suggest these symptoms are due to reduced levels of “acetylcholine,” which is a very important neurotransmitter, essential for memory.

It is estimated in the United States the five percent of the population over sixty-five suffer from severe dementia, while another ten-percent suffer from mild to moderate dementia. With increasing age, there is a rise in frequency. In people over the age of eighty, the frequency rate for dementia is over twenty-five percent. That is one in every four seniors at age eighty.

The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is being extensively researched. Some genetic factors may be involved. However it appears environmental factors may play an even larger role. Head trauma is causative as well. Aluminum and or silicone brain content is highly probable. Aluminum content has been found in the brains of autopsied Alzheimer patients. Aluminum conducts electricity and part of aluminum’s involvement may be a “short circuiting” mechanism. Heavy metal toxicity also produces a lot of free radical damage which in turn damages delicate tissues such as brain and vascular. There is a lot of Aluminum evidence; the exact mechanisms are not decisively been determined. In any matter, do not cook with that once common aluminum cookware from the 1960’s and 1970’s. If you do, you may not remember long enough, to remember you should not have used it. Once thing is very certain with aluminum and Alzheimer’s. “Aluminum accumulation in the brain greatly contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.”

From the perspective of natural medicines, the primary goals of intervention involve prevention by addressing suspected disease processes (IE: aluminum and free- radical damage) and using natural measures to improve mental function in the early states of the disease.

I routinely conduct a screening hair analysis to get a good picture of the vitamin / mineral content, as well as the heavy metal content, in my patients. Those patients who have low levels of their vitamins and minerals usually, across the board, have corresponding high levels of heavy metal toxicity. This is due to the fact that there are competing sites where, if a particular vitamin or mineral is missing from the diet, then the heavy metal that uses the same binding site enters the body chemistry without restrictions.

The remedy for heavy metal toxicity is chelation therapy. Only a doctor can only order chelation therapy. It must be performed under close supervision of a doctor. Once chelation therapy is underway, it is customary to conduct a urinary analysis about every sixth treatment to monitor heavy metal removal rates. Chelation therapy, by nature, removes metals, vitamins, and minerals from the blood vessels, and the rest of the body. Not many clinics will offer replacement Vitamin / Mineral Intravenous Therapy (I.V. s) between each chelation therapy. I believe this to be wrong. Chelation therapy should not be conducted unless the patient’s total health analysis and care is being carefully monitored. A thorough nutritional analysis becomes paramount at this time. Many supplementations will be recommended according to the hair, and later urinary analysis reports.

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Brief Discussion on Supplementations

The following suggestions are valid for both Alzheimer’s as well as Senile Dementia, and Mild to Moderate Dementia.

There is evidence to suggest that antioxidant nutrients offer significant protection against Alzheimer’s disease and any forms of dementia.

Magnesium supplementation can decrease aluminum absorption because magnesium competes with aluminum for absorption, not only in the intestines, but also at the blood/brain barrier.

Zinc supplementation is demonstrating good results in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

The results of using L-acetyl-carnitine to delay progression of Alzheimer’s disease have been outstanding.

DHEA shows promise in enhancing memory and improving mental function in the elderly.

Ginkgo Biloba extract, 80 mg three times a day, helps with circulation (perfusion of oxygen and nutrient carrying blood), to the tiny capillaries that feed the outer most parts of the brain. This is also extremely helpful for any dementia condition.

Co-Enzyme Q10 is very effective for the heart, thereby affecting improved circulation.

Vitamin E: 400 – 800 IU per day is very helpful in any dementia.

Methylcobalamin (Vitamin B12) is very helpful in any dementia. The use of a highly potent source of B-Complex is a better way to go. Please be careful to purchase a high quality, and high potency source. Thiamin, B2 is also very helpful, as may be B6; hence, the B-complex recommendation.

Vitamin C, 500 – 1000 mg three times a day, is very helpful in any dementia.

Last on this list, but FIRST in priority, is a “High-Potency Multiple-Vitamin-and-Mineral supplement.” This should be considered the first starting point. Remember, nutritional deficits are a key element in any dementia. Remember quality and potency are paramount.

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DISCLAIMER This information is provided for Educational Purposes Only and has NOT been designed to diagnose, treat or cure any health conditions. Please consult a qualified Health Care Professional with Nutritional Training to diagnose your health conditions and avoid self-diagnosis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have not evaluated statements about these health topics or any suggested product compositions.