Alzheimer’s disease

General Infomation
Definition: 

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that destroys memory and undermines personality.

The illness begins slowly, usually manifesting itself initially as bouts of forgetfulness. These may be occasional at first, but eventually become more frequent. Ultimately, the disease progresses to a stage in which the individual must depend on others for all of his or her needs, both physical and mental. Before getting to this point, affected individuals experience a range of progressive symptoms that may include disorientation, dysphasia (the ability to find the right word), sudden and unpredictable mood swings, hallucinations or delusions, wandering without purpose, incontinence, and neglectfulness of personal hygiene.

It is important to emphasize that occasional forgetfulness is by no means a sure indication of Alzheimer’s disease. Because there is no way to definitively test a living person for this disorder, diagnosis is based on symptoms and the elimination of other disorders that might cause them.

Almost everything science knows about Alzheimer’s disease comes from post-mortem examinations. The first such examination was conducted in 1906 by Alos Alzheimer, for whom the disease is named. He noted unusual changes in the brain tissue taken form a woman who had developed dementia at the age of fifty and died five years later.

Alzheimer found that the tissue contained nerve cells with tangled fibers and clumps of degenerating nerve endings. Examination of people who have died of Alzheimer’s disease has also revealed that their brain tissue contains higher than normal concentration of the toxic metal mercury.

In Alzheimer’s disease, brain cells disappear from both the cerebral cortex, a structure in the front of the brain that is center of intellectual activity, and the hippocampus, a structure deep in the brain involved with memory and reasoning. As the cells malfunction and die, the connections between them lost. This interferes with the intricate process of cell to cell communications.

Researchers have linked the cellular changes seen in Alzheimer’s disease to a defect in a gene, called the apolipoprotein E (APO-E) gene. This gene is responsible for the transport of cholesterol, an essential building material for all cell membranes, including those nerve cells in the brain. Because cholesterol is soluble in fats bit not in water, it needs a carrier molecule to circulate through the water based bloodstream, so the liver attaches it to a water soluble molecule. When the resulting lipoprotein package arrives at a cell, the protein inserts itself into the cell membrane and unloads its cholesterol. The protein is then snapped off and recycled. In the brain tissue of people with Alzheimer disease, the faulty APO-E gene causes the carrier protein to be snapped off at the wrong place.

Immune cells circulating in the brain respond to the malformed protein as to a signal that something is wrong, and they at the nerve cell. The problem is compounded when beta-amyloid, a type of protein that is break. As beta-amyloid disintegrates, it generates harmful free radicals, which in turn destroy cell membranes. The resulting mass of dead cells becomes entangled and for a beta-amyloid plague. Spiral filaments of protein form irregular circles around the nerve cells and lead to the cells death and destruction.

One of the most important uses of the herbal treatment is as a complement to treatment with the pharmaceutical drug tactrine ( cognex). Herbal treatments are also useful at earlier stages of the disease for retarding the progression of the symptoms.

Beneficial herbs
1. Ashwaganda – reduces the brains reliance on its own cells as a source of the choline.
Form and dosage
Withanolide gel caps; take as directed on the label.

2. Butchers broom – promotes healthy circulation.
Form and dosage
Ruscognenin tablets or capsules; take as directed on the label.

3. Ginkgo – has many beneficial effects on the brain and on circulation.
Form and dosage
Ginkgolide tablets; take up to 500 mg once daily.

4. Gotu kola plus hawthorn – reduces cholesterol plagues in blood vessels serving the brain .normalizes the brains normalises the brains use of oxygen.
Form and dosage
Tincture; take 15 drops of each herb in ¼ cup water twice daily.

5. Rose hip – a traditional Japanese remedy for memory loss caused by aging.
From and dosage
Fresh natural vitamin C capsules; take 1,000 mg daily.

6. Soy isoflavone concentrate – has effects similar to those of estrogen. May slow progression of the disease.
Form and dosage
Tablets; take 100mg daily before a meal.

7. Soy lecithin – prevents brain tissue destruction under reduced oxygen conditions.
Form and dosage
Capsules; take 15000 -25,000 mg daily.

Recommendations
Use essential oil of rosemary in aromatherapy, or add 1 tbsp. of the oil to shampoo. The essential oil realizes compounds that can be inhaled and that prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine.

Take a good combination of antioxidant supplement daily, as prescribed on the label. Although a direct link between increasing dietary antioxidants and controlling Alzheimer’s disease has not been proven, it is likely that antioxidants may slow the progress of the condition. They also have many other benefits.

Eat well balanced diet with plenty of fibre to ensure an adequate supply of all nutrients and the healthy elimination of toxins.

Because of the connection between aluminium and Alzheimer’s disease, avoid exposure to this metal. Do not use aluminium cookware, and buy bottled, not canned beverages. Also read labels carefully when shopping. Aluminium is used in some processed foods such as processed cheese, pickles, cake mixes, and baking soda, and in some antacids, buffered aspirins, antidiarrheal preparations, douches, deodorants, and shampoos. It also is found in tap water in many localities.

Considerations
Practitioners of Herbal medicines recommend a diet rich in cumin, coriander, fennel, ginger, and turmeric for people with Alzheimer’s diseases. These spices contain natural antioxidants that may slow the progression of the disease.

Symptoms: 

SYMPTOMS OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

- Bouts of forgetfulness. These may be occasional at first, but eventually become more frequent.

- Affected individuals experience a range of progressive symptoms that may include disorientation, dysphasia (the ability to find the right word), sudden and unpredictable mood swings, hallucinations or delusions, wandering without purpose, incontinence, and neglectfulness of personal hygiene.

Causes & Complication
Causes: 

Cigarette smoke, alcohol, and environmental toxins. According to a study published in the British medical journal the lancet, smoking more than doubles the risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause symptoms similar to those of Alzheimer’s disease. The deficiency is correctable if detected early, but if symptoms are allowed to become severe, they can be permanent.

Family history and advanced age are the two main risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, although it can strike at any age. Viruses, head injuries, and excessive exposure of certain metals, most notably aluminium, may also play a role as May deficiencies of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin E, carotenoids, and zinc.

By Austine on 10 September 2019

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