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: 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: or or by calling: 914-242-8844.