Alzheimer’s is an extremely prevalent affliction -affecting roughly 1/8 of the senior’s population. For such a widespread condition, the average person knows relatively little about this disease – and may be prone to rumours concerning Alzheimer’s. Let’s disperse some of those myths, discuss the condition, and look at several new treatments that are on the horizon.
Not just a senior’s affliction
Almost five and a half million individuals in the US currently have Alzheimer’s disease. Over 200,000 of these individuals are under the age of 65. They’ve been diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s. Symptoms of this variety of the disease can appear as early as your twenties, although such instances are quite rare. Usually, younger-onset Alzheimer’s is found in families whom have already demonstrated a strong genetic propensity for this disease.
Common myths about Alzheimer’s
The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s often attracts myths regarding its causes. Many are little more than superstition. Sometimes rumoured to have Alzheimer’s-causing properties, silver teeth fillings have been found harmless by both the FDA and the New England Medical Journal. Others have speculated that using aluminum cookware, cups, and cutlery could potentially increase your chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Our day-to-day contact with aluminum has not been conclusively linked to Alzheimer’s, but dismissing this rumour does not pardon other heavy metals – especially lead.
This disease has many factors which can contribute its onset – including strokes, head trauma, diabetes, and obesity. Keeping healthy and maintaining a sensible diet may be an effective strategy in reducing the likelihood of Alzheimer’s. The easiest way to discover your nutritional options is to consult with your caregiver, or the dietary advisor at your retirement home.
The future of treatment
Several promising new substances are slowly transforming how Alzheimer’s disease is treated. Scientists at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio have recently isolated a compound called MDA7. Originally discovered during chemotherapy trials, the substance interferes with Alzheimer’s ability to develop – as well as repairing some of the damage already inflicted by the disease. A second treatment called IVIG focuses on delivering intravenous immunoglobulin to a patient. This has been found to prevent the disintegration of memory – including an ability to partially rehabilitate a patient’s problem solving and comprehensional abilities.
Finally, there’s always exercise – a tremendous ally in the quest to optimize our health. By stimulating blood circulation, exercise helps deliver nutrition throughout the body, and assists in the removal of detrimental elements. This can substantially reduce the likelihood of complications like stroke and heart disease – both which are significant factors in the cause and severity of Alzheimer’s.
Josh Byer is an author, blogger, and copywriter residing in Vancouver, BC. His article appears courtesy of SeniorsZen.com,a complimentary retirement resource for Canadian seniors.