Recently, I interviewed
Sue Halpern, PhD about her new book, I can’t Remember What I Forgot
. This is an excellent resource about what is happening on the front lines of memory research. Halpern focuses on what the experts really know! She is quite candid about her evaluation of the “Five Year Plan,” a common answer given by researchers, regarding a miracle cure. What can we do about Alzheimer’s and what is the truth about prevention? Recommended so far:
- Stay heart smart
- Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Exercise to increase neurons and communication between synapses
- Keep learning
- Manage your stress levels
- Be sociable
At the close of her interview, Halpern grew animated about a new drug coming to fruition after rigorous testing and an impressive European investor climbing on board. This new drug, Flurizan, which is actually on the horizon could potentially change the preventive landscape of Alzheimer’s. Flurizan claims to reduce the amount of toxic beta amyloid in an Alzheimer’s brain. The participants in this clinical trial, which is impressive because it is in its final phase of testing, are all in the early stages of AD. Unfortunately, Flurizan does not treat middle to advanced cases of Alzheimer’s, only those people in the early stages. For flurizan to work best, the optimum time, is before any symptoms manifest, before the disease actually takes hold- as much as nine years prior. Currently, a blood test could be helpful or perhaps if there is a strong genetic suspicion, a geriatric psychiatrist or neurologist can be consulted for a more scientific evaluation involving testing cerebral spinal fluid. For more information and regular updates visit Sue Halpern’s blog
On a simpler note, for a more homespun effort, the humble celery stalk and the green pepper are being studied as a potent anti-inflammatory. Brain inflammation is believed to be a precursor to cognitive impairment and dementia. Luteolin, the key ingredient in celery and green pepper, has been shown to reduce in lab mice inflammation in the brain's hippocampus, the area related to memory and learning. The researchers conclude that luteolin "may be useful for mitigating neuroinflammation." The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Jang, S. May 27, 2008; vol 105: pp 7534-7539.
At this point the way I see it, your best bet is to live a healthy lifestyle and have a romance with life. Happiness is a great hedge against stress which is a potent root cause for disease. And while you are at it, eat a stalk of celery daily!
For more information on taking care of yourself (mind and body), read my book, Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul
. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show