Alzheimer’s is hard to diagnose and treat.
Last night, I was on my regular monthly Zoom meeting with some squadron mates from VP-94. VP-94 was a Patrol Squadron stationed in Belle Chase, LA, until decommissioned in 2006 (https://www.vpnavy.com/vp94.html). The topics vary from all corners of the world at some of these meetings. One topic that surfaced last night was Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
It is a terrible disease that affects many older adults and doubles every five years. Currently, nearly six million Americans have AD. It is one of several types of dementia.
I have experienced AD in our family – primarily with my father-in-law and a brother-in-law. This disease has also afflicted several friends. Years ago, I did not know much about dementia, its causes, and options. Since then, I have researched dementia and have written 40 or so articles about it. I speak three or four times a year on age-related diseases also.
I am a researcher, not a physician. I have never been associated with any pharmaceutical company. My first love was chemistry – long before I met my wife of 53 years. Interestingly enough, I said, “I do!” to the Navy on a Sunday afternoon in 1968. The following Wednesday, I said, “I do!” to my wife.
Thirty-one years later, I retired from the Navy. I am retired now with my wife enjoying life. I enjoy researching the human body at the cellular level, chemically speaking, looking for cause and effect relationships. Treat a cause and fix a problem. Treat a symptom, and you will always be treating that symptom.
https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/10_signs. We lose a bit of our memory as we age. It is normal. Is there a defining line that separates normal aging and early-onset AD? Memory loss is not indicative of AD by itself. Coupled with memory problems with difficulty planning and solving problems, the assessment might begin to take shape.
When a person has difficulty doing those things they have done all the time, now there is time to worry a bit. We all forget the right word when it is needed; however, AD makes it a habit. When things are misplaced and decisions become more complicated, the probable assessment is dementia of one sort or another.
Testing for AD
https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/features/diy-test-alzheimers. Yes, some tests give a better indicator of AD. Some are nearly 80% effective in their assessment. However, having AD symptoms is not the same thing as having AD. A deficiency in vitamin B12 mimics AD. (https://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/jnp.12.3.389).
Vegans and some vegetarians have difficulty obtaining and maintaining healthy levels of vitamin B-12. Supplements generally have a vitamin B-12 listed as cyanocobalamin. Technically, it is B-12 (a cobalamin, but a synthetic one). It cannot survive stomach acid. However, some processes coat the B-12, so it survives initial digestion.
Methylcobalamin is a natural form found in certain foods. It is absorbed into the bloodstream subliminally (under the tongue). Both cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin are converted into adenosylcobalamin, the active form used in the body. A vitamin B-12 deficiency can be corrected in generally a month or two. However, do not expect overnight improvement.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is one of four phospholipids the body makes. Over time, our bodies produce less and less. It is a critical component for nerve health and performance. A deficiency in this lipid can account for AD-like symptoms (https://www.verywellmind.com/the-benefits-of-phosphatidylserine-89496).
My brother-in-law had dementia symptoms for a couple or more years. Eventually, he started a daily regimen of PS supplementation. In about two months, he could tell you what was on television last night, what shows he wanted to watch tonight, what he had for breakfast yesterday and this morning. He was literally a new man.
With vitamin B-12 or PSS supplementation, we might only be treating a symptom and not the cause of disease. It fills a temporary need but is not permanent. Ask a medical professional what causes AD, and you will get an answer about beta-amyloid plaques or tau tangles in the brain. And they are correct. But something caused those to occur, which is the part we need to treat before it gets to that stage.
https://terrywahls.com/. I am a believer in balanced nutrition for a healthy life. Dr. Terry Wahls is a physician who developed multiple sclerosis (MS) late in life. No matter what the doctors did, her condition got worse. MS is an autoimmune disease. Dr. Wahls studied autoimmune diseases and wrote her well-known book, The Wahls Protocol.
She put herself on her own protocol (diet, toxin removal, exercise, stress management), and after years in a wheelchair, she was able to walk using a walker after three months. A month later, she walked with just a cane. By the end of the year, she was bicycling eighteen miles.
When I read her book, my wife was nearing the end of her radiation therapy for breast cancer. My wife (and I) started the Wahls Protocol regimen (diet only) on Day 1 of her radiation therapy. The only symptom I could not address adequately was fatigue.
She was taking one or two two-hour naps daily. She stopped taking naps by Day 3 of her radiation treatments. She returned to her volunteer work at our church by Day 7. Months of chemo-fog disappeared, and radiation did not affect her fatigue, although her radiologist assured us it would probably get worse.
On the last day of radiation therapy, we left Houston, Texas, and drove to Jacksonville, Florida, to rent a U-Haul and drive my parents’ estate items that we wanted back home. She drove, by herself, five hundred miles each day for two days – seventy-two hours after her last radiation treatment. That made a believer out of it for me.
Based on that personal experience, I unequivocally recommend that balanced nutrition become a daily part of a healthy life. The Wahls Protocol diet provides over 30+ nutrients the body needs daily. If a deficiency or multiple deficiencies exist, why not correct those quickly by eating right. Now you can eliminate nutrient deficiency as a cause.
Inflammation at the cellular level is the genesis of at least 90% of all diseases. The brain is like most organs in our bodies. It is protected by a blood-brain barrier to keep it healthy. However, things do creep in. Sugar (carbs) increases blood glucose levels. In moderation, our bodies work well.
What happens when moderation is not in our lexicon?
https://chiroproperformance.com/is-your-brain-on-fire-symptoms-of-brain-inflammation/. High blood sugar, chronic stress, food intolerance, and more can increase inflammation in the brain. Antioxidants tame inflammation. Oxidative stress occurs when inflammation consistently overpowers the levels of antioxidants in the body.
One antioxidant I recommend is PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone – (https://drlewisclarke.com/pqq-the-benefits-and-why-your-brain-cells-need-it/). It can pass through the blood-brain barrier and reduce inflammation. Most antioxidants are used once, and they are done. They have an extra electron to donate to shut down a free radical without becoming a free radical after the donation.
PQQ can be regenerated 20,000 times or more – one molecule in the brain is effectively an army of twenty thousand. In my brother-in-law’s case, he was on supplemental PQQ for a couple of months before results were seen – fantastic results. Then, he returned to the everyday world for over a year.
The first thing I would do if I thought a loved one had early symptoms of dementia is to get a CRP (c-reactive protein) test. It is an inexpensive blood test that can be obtained for under $100 (in some cases $12.95 – Google it). That tells quantitatively how much inflammation there is in the body. It will not tell you where, but it will be a good start. That test result and a physician’s visit would be a place to start.
The next thing to consider is changing the daily diet to minimize calories and maximize nutrition (Wahls Protocol). My wife saw results in 72 hours. I would not go to the bank on that testimonial evidence! Identify and remove as many toxins as possible. This includes the foods you buy and specifically the personal care products you use.
Exercise and stress management should be discussed with your doctor, especially on any prescription medications. We want our bodies to function as close to normal as we can. As we address diet, exercise, stress, and more, our immune function improves, which helps fight against disease.
AD is challenging to address when you have many answers in advance. Buying an extra few years might be the best result. It took years for AD to develop, and it cannot be corrected after the horses have left the barn. I have an AD book nearing publication (hopefully this month). It is a compilation of my forty articles and other vital brain-health suggestions.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com