New This Week — Vitality 101 News: August 20, 2008
Alzheimer's and Senility are Reversible; More on Thyroid Issues
Alzheimer's and Senility are Reversible
Alzheimer's is a common form of dementia (senility) affecting almost 5 million Americans. As our population ages, this is an area that drug companies believe may be quite profitable, so there is heavy advertising being done for the medication Aricept, which has very minimal to modest benefit.
The only definitive test for diagnosing Alzheimer's is a brain biopsy, which appropriately is not done. Because of this, and because most doctors do not have time to do a proper 30-60 minute evaluation for underlying causes (Medicare pays poorly for visits over ~ 5 minutes), many elderly folks get a label of Alzheimer's slapped on them and a prescription for Aricept at first sign of confusion, and perhaps a cursory look for other causes of confusion. In addition to the tragic personal costs, the financial cost of caring for someone with Alzheimer's averages from $70,000 to $174,000 (over a lifetime) with global costs for care being $248 billion yearly. It is insane to not aggressively look for and treat simple reversible problems that can cause or aggravate dementia.
Let's look at a simple medical approach to evaluating and treating people with mild to severe loss of mental function. When doing this, you may find that the person never had Alzheimer's, and that even if they do, even modest improvements in mental function can dramatically improve the ability to function and remember names and people. We will also discuss a promising new medication for Alzheimer's that can stop it in its tracks (well, really an old natural compound that they will try to pass off as new).
Also, for those of you with day to day "brain fog" wondering if you may have Alzheimer's, here's a simple rule of thumb:
Alzheimer's is not when you keep forgetting where you left the keys—it's when you forget how to USE the keys.
This article will focus on Alzheimer's and dementia, as well as poor memory & mental function in general. It will also lay the foundation for next week's newsletter on "Brain Fog in CFS & FMS."
Are you ready to get your memory and mind back?
MORE ON THYROID ISSUES
A surprising new study suggests that your thyroid hormone may work better if taken at night!
Thyroid Function and Alzheimer's
Low normal thyroid, even with normal thyroid tests (TSH over 2) is associated with a more than doubled risk of developing Alzheimer's in women. Read more »
B Vitamins May Help Prevent Alzheimer's
B vitamins may also be important in preventing Alzheimer's. Read more »
Testosterone Associated with Lower Alzheimer's Risk
Higher testosterone in men is associated with lower risk of Alzheimer's. Read more »
Antioxidants Help Mental Function
Getting forgetful? Try blueberries. Read more »
Drinking Tea May Lower Alzheimer's Risk
Increased Fish Oil Also Lowers Dementia Risk
B12 Deficiency and Cognitive Dysfunction
Vitamin B12 deficiency causes reversible cognitive problems. Could the B12 deficiency be causing the Alzheimer's? If yes, it's another reversible cause. Read more »
FEATURED QUESTIONS FROM READERS
Q: Why do you talk more about estrogen than progesterone? Answer »
Summer in NYC—Very Cool!
QUOTE/JOKE OF THE WEEK
A police officer came upon a terrible wreck where the driver and passenger had been killed. As he looked upon the wreckage a little monkey came out of the brush and hopped around the crashed car. The officer looked down at the monkey and said, "I wish you could talk."
The monkey looked up at the officer and nodded his head up and down. "You can understand what I'm saying?" asked the officer.
Again, the monkey nods his head up and down.
"Well, did you see this?" "Yes," motioned the monkey.
"What happened?" The monkey pretended to have a can in his hand and turned it up to his mouth.
"They were drinking?" asked the officer. The monkey nods his head "Yes."
"What else?" The monkey pinched his fingers together and held them to his mouth.
"They were smoking marijuana?" The monkey nods his head "Yes."
"What else?" The monkey motioned "kissing."
"They were kissing, too?" asked the astounded officer. The monkey nods his head "Yes."
"Now wait, you're saying your owners were drinking, smoking and kissing before they wrecked." The monkey nods his head "Yes."
"What were you doing during all this?" "Driving" motioned the monkey.
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