What A Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease Means For Family Members

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb and Harvard Health Publication….please share your thoughts below…..

seniorcitizenAn individual with a close relative with Alzheimer’s is at slightly higher risk for the disease. Genetic testing for Alzheimer’s risk genes is not generally helpful.

Alzheimer’s disease represents a personal health crisis, but it’s also a family concern. When someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, what does that mean in terms of the risk his or her children and siblings might face?

“People think that if their dad or aunt or uncle had Alzheimer’s disease, they are doomed, but that’s not true,” says Dr. Gad Marshall, assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. “Even though family history adds to the overall risk, age still usually trumps it quite a bit.”

Close relatives of someone who’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s have about a 30% higher chance of developing the disease themselves, according to the January 2016 issue of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch. But it’s important to ask: “30% higher than what?”

A 65-year-old American’s annual chance of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is about 2%. Having a relative with dementia raises that chance by around 30% — to 2.6%. “It means your risk is higher, but it’s not that much higher, if you consider the absolute numbers,” Dr. Marshall says.

Family members often wonder if they should be tested for the “Alzheimer’s gene,” called apolipoprotein E (also known as APOE4). The short answer is no. “Being tested for APOE4 is not going to be helpful, since it won’t tell you whether you will develop the disease,” Dr. Marshall says. “It will only tell you if you are at a greater or lower risk.”

Read the full-length article: “Alzheimer’s in the family”

Also in the January 2016 issue of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch:

* How much meat in your diet is healthy?

* Four steps to prevent colon cancer

* Vitamins and vision

* What to do about knee pain

The Harvard Men’s Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/mens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Fight Alzheimer’s By Taking Part In A Clinical Trial

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Courtesy of PRWeb and Harvard Health Publications…..please leave your comments below…..

seniorwoman2Several clinical trials are testing promising new drugs to prevent and treat dementia.

Women fear developing Alzheimer’s disease more than having a heart attack or stroke or developing cancer. One reason is that cancer, heart attack, and stroke are treatable, but there is little an individual can do to arrest the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. One thing individuals can do is to take part in a clinical trial, reports the July 2015 Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

“There are now opportunities to do something, perhaps to reduce your own risk and also to help the next generation see Alzheimer’s disease as completely preventable,” says Dr. Reisa Sperling, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School.

Clinical trials to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and to slow its progress are now under way across the country and around the world.

Preventing Alzheimer’s disease:

New or upcoming clinical trials are testing drugs that go after amyloid plaques. These are clumps of protein that form in the brain. Plaque deposits have been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Large nationwide studies of plaque-fighting drugs in people who have amyloid plaques in their brains but no symptoms of Alzheimer’s include the following:

The A4 study. Dr. Sperling is a principal investigator of this study, which is testing the effectiveness of solanezumab, an antibody that helps remove amyloid from the brain.

The LEARN study. Researchers will use imaging and memory tests to compare people without amyloid plaques to the placebo group in the A4 study. The goal is to look for other factors that may contribute to cognitive decline or cognitive resilience.

The A5 study. Researchers will test the effects of an oral drug called a beta-secretase inhibitor, which is designed to prevent new amyloid plaques from developing in the brain.

Treating Alzheimer’s disease:

Two major trials will test drugs designed to treat people who have mild or moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The Amaranth Study will test the effectiveness of a drug called a beta-secretase inhibitor. Another study called NOBLE will test different doses of the drug T-817MA, which protects brain cells against the toxic effects of amyloid.

Read the full-length article: “There is something you can do about Alzheimer’s disease—join a study”

Also in the July 2015 Harvard Women’s Health Watch:

* When is an urgent-care clinic as good as the ER?

* Avoiding ankle injuries

* Why statins aren’t for everyone

Harvard Women’s Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/womens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free). Contact us for a complimentary copy of the newsletter, or to receive our press releases directly.

Understanding The Link Between Alzheimer’s And Diabetes

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By Katherine Smith

diabeteswordIn recent years, doctors and scientists are discovering more evidence of a relationship between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Exactly why those with type 2 diabetes appear to be at a slightly higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s is under debate, but a number of studies have demonstrated a link between the two.

What We Know

Some research shows that those with type 2 diabetes are, in some cases, twice as likely than others to develop Alzheimer’s later in life. Diet seems to play a large role in the development of Alzheimer’s, and both diseases are affected by the role insulin plays in the body. In individuals without diabetes, insulin helps cells take in blood sugar and keep the blood vessels that supply the brain healthy. Insulin also allows the neurons in the brain to take in and utilize glucose, which is the brain’s primary fuel source – and insulin also plays a role in many other brain functions, such as memory formation and learning.

Previous research has established a link between type 2 diabetes (i.e. insulin-resistant diabetes; the body produces a normal amount of insulin but cells don’t respond to it) and Alzheimer’s. But new research from Kaiser Permanente is demonstrating a correlation between type 1 diabetes and Alzheimer’s as well. The subject was previously not well-explored due to the fact that, in the past, many patients with type 1 diabetes did not live as long into their senior years – but now that most type 1 patients can expect to live well into the age range at which dementia typically develops, the potential of a connection can be scientifically explored.

Lowering the Risk Factor

It’s important to note that the study claims no evidence of causation – in other words, there’s no way to tell whether type 1 diabetes is causing Alzheimer’s; the evidence only shows that in patients who have one condition, a higher percentage than usual (compared to the general population) also have the other. Though there’s currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, it stands to reason that taking measures to prevent diabetes, or to manage the disease properly, could also lower one’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

As type 2 diabetes is often associated with being overweight or obese, a weight-loss plan developed with one’s doctor is an excellent way to reduce the effects of the condition. Controlling carbohydrate intake can also help type 2 patients manage their symptoms and control their diabetes. Creating an eating plan with a nutritionist is an option for patients who find themselves unsure of what to eat.

diabetestestFor those with type 1 diabetes, it’s important to take steps to monitor blood sugar levels and keep them as close to recommended levels as possible. Though injection therapy is an effective way to manage insulin, an insulin pump can help provide a steady dose of insulin throughout the day without injections. The device delivers a constant dose of insulin through a cannula inserted under the skin. A pump also has the added benefit of holding enough insulin to last for multiple days – the t:flexⓇ by Tandem holds 480 units, which can last for up to three days depending on an individual’s needs.

Treatments

Although there are no clearly defined treatments for Alzheimer’s, researchers have begun exploring the possibility that some of the same medicines being used to treat type 2 diabetes can also help treat, or at least alleviate, some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Doctors are also hopeful that further research can provide a more definitive picture of the link between Alzheimer’s and diabetes, as well as potentially produce a way to treat or prevent dementia.

Brain Aging & Alzheimer’s Disease – Preventing Loss Of Self – Part 2

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By Dr. Michael Wald

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

brainthinkingCarnitine is a vitamin-like substance that is responsible for the transport of fatty acids into and out of the mitochondria. Evidence suggests that carnitine may protect neurologic tissue due to its antioxidant and energy producing activity, and its role in neurotransmitter function.
While there are many forms of carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) appears to have better activity in the central nervous system, including brain tissue. ALC administration in patients with primary degenerative dementia showed therapeutic efficacy in clinical, behavioral, and neuropsychological evaluations. A series of controlled studies suggests that ALC may slow the natural course of Alzheimer’s disease. In particular, persons with dementia given 1.5 to 3 grams ALC daily for 3 or 6 months have shown improvement in numerous clinical measures of cognitive function. In addition, “safety and tolerability of ALC [are] remarkably good,” further demonstrating the potential use of ALC in a number of progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Go to: www.blooddetective.com for L-Carnitine.

B vitamins, homocysteine, and neurological function in the elderly

Folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 are critical to many bodily processes, including the health of the nervous system, blood, and cells. In addition, these B-group vitamins have been shown to protect against depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, peripheral neuropathy, and seizures. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “the status of these vitamins is frequently inadequate in the elderly and recent studies have shown associations between loss of cognitive function or Alzheimer’s disease and inadequate B vitamin status.”

Research has shown that an inadequate B vitamin status may result in neurocognitive dysfunction through elevated homocysteine concentrations in the blood, or hyperhomocysteinemia. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is produced in the human body. Prevalent in the elderly population, hyperhomocysteinemia is largely attributed to insufficient levels of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12.

seniors2The association between cognitive dysfunction and hyperhomocysteinemia has been demonstrated in numerous studies. For instance, Dr. Selhub and colleagues reported “patients with Alzheimer’s disease had higher total plasma homocysteine concentrations than did age-matched healthy controls,” while “elderly patients with depression who had lower cognitive screening test scores had significantly higher homocysteine concentrations than did patients with normal cognitive screening tests.” Because folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 are often deficient among many elderly patients, the importance of these vitamins in the prevention of hyperhomocysteinemia and neurocognitive dysfunction cannot be overlooked. Be sure and use the active forms of folic acid (L-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid), B12 (methylcobalamine and pyridoxyl-5-phosphate.

Prevention is the key! Be proactive as most regular physicians have no nutritional training and are not up on the latest scientific nutritional literature and advances.

– Dr. Michael Wald, aka The Blood Detective, is the director of nutritional services at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, located in Westchester New York. He has appeared on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Channel 11 PIX, Channel 12 News, CNN, The Food Network and other media outlets. Dr. Wald earned the name Blood Detective for his reputation to find problems that are often missed by other doctors. He earned an MD degree, is a doctor of chiropractic and a certified dietician-nutritionist. He is also double-board certified in nutrition. He has published over a dozen books with three additional titles due for release late 2013 including: Frankenfoods – Genetically Modified Foods: Controversies, Lies & Your Health and Gluten-A-Holic: How to Live Gluten Free and the Blood Detective’s Longevity Secrets. Dr. Wald can be reached at: www.intmedny.com or www.blooddetective.com or by calling: 914-242-8844.

Brain Aging & Alzheimer’s Disease – Preventing Loss Of Self – Part 1

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By Dr. Michael Wald

seniormanIf you are part of the baby boomer generation, then you face a unique problem; namely, the very real potential exists that you will loose your memory slowly over the later part of your life. Here are a few facts that you need to know:

• As you age your risk of memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease rises

• Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of the aging process. The incidence of the disease doubles every five years beyond the age of 65.

• As the number of people over age 65 doubles between 2010 and 2056 to approximately 88.5 million (or to about 20% of the population), those over the age of 85 will increase three-fold, and the incidence of memory issues, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease increases as well.

• A half of a million Americans younger than the age of 65 suffer from some form of dementia (memory loss) including Alzheimer’s disease.

Nutritional science offers some important options for the treatment and prevention of all stages of memory loss. If you think that you are suffering from memory loss first visit your doctor. Then seek out a trained clinical nutritionist to perform a detailed nutritional-health consultation and appropriate nutritional lab work. Here are a few things you might consider in the meantime:

Fatty acid levels analyzed in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid found in salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and shellfish and is essential for proper brain functioning. A lack of sufficient DHA may be associated with impaired visual functioning, depression, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.

brainAccording to Dr. Julie Conquer and colleagues in Lipids, low levels of omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA, may be a risk factor for cognitive impairment and/or dementia. A recent study sought to determine the concentration of DHA in a group of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias compared to a group of elderly control subjects with normal cognitive functioning. For each participant, blood was collected and tested for DHA concentration. Results demonstrated that the concentration of DHA was 48% less in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and 21% less in patients with other forms of dementia, compared to the elderly control subjects with normal cognitive function.

Dr. Conquer and colleagues stated, “A decreased level of plasma DHA was not limited to the [Alzheimer’s disease] patients but appears to be common in cognitive impairment with aging.” More studies are needed to investigate whether DHA supplementation can reduce the occurrence or symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. (Lipids 2000; 35(12): 1305-12.).

I have observed DHA deficiency in my clinical practice over the last 22 years. It’s my judgment that it is safe and worth adding as a nutritional supplement to a balanced diet. See: www.blooddetective.com for Krill Oil and Vegetarian Omega 3 Fatty Acid.

Acetyl-L-carnitine may prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..

– Dr. Michael Wald, aka The Blood Detective, is the director of nutritional services at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, located in Westchester New York. He has appeared on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Channel 11 PIX, Channel 12 News, CNN, The Food Network and other media outlets. Dr. Wald earned the name Blood Detective for his reputation to find problems that are often missed by other doctors. He earned an MD degree, is a doctor of chiropractic and a certified dietician-nutritionist. He is also double-board certified in nutrition. He has published over a dozen books with three additional titles due for release late 2013 including: Frankenfoods – Genetically Modified Foods: Controversies, Lies & Your Health and Gluten-A-Holic: How to Live Gluten Free and the Blood Detective’s Longevity Secrets. Dr. Wald can be reached at: www.intmedny.com or www.blooddetective.com or by calling: 914-242-8844.