Alzheimer’s Disease is undoubtedly one of the worst problems that can afflict a person and their family. The afflicted person steadily loses everything that had made them who they are. Memory loss is one of the early and obvious signs. Their ability to relate with others, even their closest family members, erodes. Eventually they’re in complete isolation and completely unable to care for themselves.
As bad as it is for the person with Alzheimer’s, in some ways it’s even worse for the family. Few things are worse than watching the mental capacities of someone you love steadily and irrecoverably probably deteriorate.
It would be great if we could prevent this disease. There isn’t. However,we may be making some progress in that direction.
I saw a recent study that suggested that some simple and inexpensive supplements may have the ability to reduce our risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
I’ll tell you about the study and these supplements in a moment, but first a want to give you a little background.
We really don’t know what causes Alzheimer’s but the distinctive feature of Alzheimer’s is an accumulation of a polypeptide known as amyloid in the brain. As the amyloid accumulates, interferes with brain function, ultimately leading to dementia.
We do have some natural protection. Specialize white cells can differentiate into cells called macrophages that can remove the amyloid as it forms. The study I mentioned earlier was performed to see if nutrients could improve the ability of macrophages to protect against amyloid.
The scientists conducting the study took white blood cells from people afflicted with Alzheimer’s and compare their function with white cells from healthy volunteers. They incubated the white cells from both groups in the presence of amyloid.
They then added vitamin D and curcumin to the mixture, both individually and together and watched what happened.
The results were dramatic. Both supplements increased the macrophages’ ability to ingest and remove amyloid.
Which supplement cause the biggest increase varied between the cells from different patients but all seem to have some improvement.
This was a laboratory study, so the researchers are hesitant to make recommendations about taking the supplements now. But if we wait to the definitive scientific studies are available to take action it may be too late.
Dr. Joseph F. McCaffrey (http://www.jfmccaffreymd.com/) discusses this study on his website at:
Two Supplements to Prevent Alzheimer’s. (That’s actually where I first heard of this study.)
Although Dr. McCaffrey agrees that it’s only a preliminary study, he makes very reasonable suggestions on just what we should do now. If you’re at all concerned about developing Alzheimer’s, you should check out his recommendations.
By the way, another very useful page on that site is: Free Yourself from Worry. In these crazy times I think it’s advice we all could use.