Early Onset Dementia: A Clue to Bigger ProblemsOver the past twenty years, dementia has become a larger problem. And it’s not just because people are living longer. It’s true that death rates from dementia, for those over 75, have just about doubled. But it’s also true that early onset dementia is becoming a much larger issue. Two decades ago, early onset might show up in someone’s early 60s. Today, it is showing up in folks in their 40s, or even occasionally in their 30s. As you can probably guess, the brain hasn’t changed a lot in the past 20 years. So what’s to blame for this gross increase? Believe it or not, research points to pollution being the biggest culprit. There may be other factors, but they are almost certainly environmental in nature. That’s making dementia and Alzheimer’s more pronounced and more prevalent. It’s bringing brain problems on at younger and younger ages. But it also points to your first step, when confronted with dementia.
Memory Supporter #1: Detoxify Your BodyNot long ago, I treated a patient who came in with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. It had been spotted in an MRI, and this 72 year old man’s doctors were recommending a highly aggressive, highly experimental stem cell treatment. I wanted to start with something simpler first. Especially since a stem cell treatment won’t work in a body already troubled with disease and toxicity. You have to start with the underlying problems first. I gave him a blood screening and checked for toxins—this should always be the first step when dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It turns out, he had a number of toxins in his blood—especially
Memory Supporter #2: DMAE For Neurotransmitter HelpIn most cases of dementia or Alzheimer’s, in addition to problems with neurons and synapses, there are often issues with neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals that help carry signals, from nerve cell to nerve cell, throughout the brain. And production of one neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, is believed to be helped by DMAE. Acetylcholine production drops off for everyone as you age, and is the cause of some senior moments. But it is depleted by as much as 90% in Alzheimer’s patients and is a promising avenue for treatment. But DMAE helps in other ways as well. It appears to protect neurons themselves. And it actively fights the amyloid plaques that build up on the brain – thought to be a major component of Alzheimer’s. DMAE is considered a good supplement for overall brain health. But it’s especially powerful for fighting Alzheimer’s. It was one of the supplements I gave my recent patient—and something I tell all my patients fighting dementia to take. You should take at least 400 mg daily, though some studies have used doses as high as 1,800 mg, without showing ill effects.
Memory Supporter #3: NAD IVNicotinamide adenine dinucleotide—or NAD—is present in every cell in your body. It’s an essential chemical used by your cells to produce energy. And, in addition to being responsible for energy levels, it’s a crucial part of creating a number of neurotransmitters, like serotonin. NAD production naturally declines with age. And we are learning that there’s a direct connection between a decline in NAD and dementia.
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