Spring Forward With Alzheimer’s

Spring Forward With Alzheimer’s
Spring is the season of hope. Seed energy helps the earth regenerate. New green growth emerges with no consciousness of the past to make a fresh start. Those afflicted with Alzheimer’s can reset their natural rhythm with nature: More outdoor time, visiting and even better, participating in a park or courtyard garden, and enjoying the energy of sunlight. Caregivers too will feel like they have more daylight hours to get things done as well as not be cooped up indoors due to inclement winter weather. Spring also heralds seasonal holidays like Easter and Passover whose themes are resurrection and liberation.

New findings reveal the powerful anti-inflammatory effect of green tea. Of course, testing is being conducted on mice and scientists are using an extract. However, the results are encouraging. Researchers at the University of Michigan have found a new potential benefit of a molecule in green tea: Preventing the misfolding of specific proteins in the brain. The accumulation of these proteins, called metal-associated amyloids, is associated with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

Along with drinking two to three cups of green tea daily nutrition researchers recommend eating salmon three times a week. According to the University of Pennsylvania Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish have many different health-promoting effects, like protecting the immune, nervous, and cardiovascular systems. However, fish oil capsules don’t seem to convey the same benefits as fish food. A new study questions fish oil capsules’ cardiovascular benefits like the ability to lower blood pressure. It is still preferable to get your nutrients and anti-inflammatories from real food as opposed to supplements.

In addition, drug testing is being conducted on combination drugs for the treatment of moderate stage Alzheimer’s. Researchers are taking a cue here from successful AIDS treatments and chemotherapy drugs which have a synergistic effect on disease when they are used in combination therapy. A new drug may improve memory problems in people with moderate Alzheimer’s disease according to a phase II study which will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16 to 23, 2013. The drug is called ORM-12741. Stay tuned.

As spring approaches, so do new drug therapies and natural remedies. The oldies are still goodies:
  • Exercise for neuroplasticity
  • Adhere to a Mediterranean diet
  • Don’t be a shut-in. Reach out to friends and get social support
  • Approach life with a beginner’s mind and a beginner’s heart

For more information on caregiving read my book, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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