Article by Angela Haldane
Q. My mother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and I want to do my utmost so that it doesn’t happen to me. What naturopathic measures should I put in place now at the age of 52?
A. The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has not yet been determined, however, if we apply the knowledge we have from brain autopsies and the biochemical cellular activity of certain nutrients we can hopefully be doing our best for prevention.
The neurons are in tangled in clumps specifically in the cerebral cortex, and the hippocampus of the brain. Glial cells and astrocytes proliferate.
Glucose metabolism and dopamine is reduced.
If you are a close relative of an Alzheimers disease patient, your risk of being affected is 4 times greater than the general population.
200ml red wine daily may help to prevent AD by inhibiting the neurotoxic effects of Amyloid-Beta Protein (a neurotoxic protein strongly implicated in AD). This may be due to the resveratrol and other polyphenols of grape skins used to produce wine.
CoQ10 has shown to cause an improvement in several AD evaluation scales. CoQ10 helps to prevent the neuron damage that leads to AD.
A good antioxidant containing vitamins A,C,E and selenium acts by mopping up the cellular degeneration. Vitamin E is found to be 50% lower in subjects with AD, and selenium is also low in AD. Currently under investigation for the treatment of AD, is superoxide dismutase (a power antioxidant that works on the cellular mitochondria).
B complex plays a valuable role in the mental function, and emotional symptoms of AD. You would need to supplement 50-100mg daily to get the therapeutic beneifits of each of the B vitamins.
Fish oil – rich in Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may help prevent AD, it may also increase the removal of the harmful Amyloid-Beta Protein.