Forgetfulness has long been a comic staple of old-folks humor and a common theme of funny birthday cards. But it’s no laughing matter when forgetfulness turns out to be a symptom of Alzheimer’s.
As little as we think about it, loss of memory will cut you off from life even though you may be physically healthy. So mental health is a serious private concern. In fact, it is paramount — and loss of memory is a tell-tale indicator that our world is changing. Figuratively, we are leaving flesh and blood and headed toward a vegetable. Love and affection will be gone. All of us know someone who has gone through this.
But how can you tell if someone is beginning to suffer? If mental lapses happen only occasionally, there’s little cause for concern. They’re a normal consequence of aging and can also be caused by stress, fatigue, or big distractions (like a tax audit or the arrival of a new grandbaby).
There is a “Top 10” list of early warning signs of Alzheimer’s to watch for, compared to normal, typical age-related changes.
1. Memory loss that affects daily life. Memory loss — especially short term memory — forgetting important dates/events/appointments, asking people to repeat themselves over and over, and not recalling things later.
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems. Trouble planning ahead or working with numbers or fine details, like how to use a TV remote or cellphone, following a recipe, keeping up with monthly bills, difficulty concentrating or staying focused on a task or topic.
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks. Getting confused or lost while driving, unable to get to a familiar location, managing a budget, repeatedly forgetting the rules of a favorite game.
4. Confusion with time or place. Losing track of dates, seasons, passage of time, forgetting track of where you are or how you got there, having trouble understanding something if it’s not happening here and now.
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. Problems with reading, judging distances, identifying colors or contrast (not associated with cataracts).
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing. Having trouble following a conversation, losing a train of thought in the middle of a sentence, inability to find the right word or misnaming things.
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. Putting things in unusual places (like sticking shoes in the refrigerator), being unable to think back to where they should likely be, accusing others of stealing when losing track of something.
8. Decreased or poor judgment. Degradation of judgment and decision-making, like using poor judgment in money matters and giving large amounts of money to telemarketers, paying less attention to grooming and keeping clean.
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities. Drawing away from hobbies, social activities, work projects, sports, avoiding social interactions because of changes being felt, pulling into a shell and shutting people out.
10. Changes in mood or personality. Becoming confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, anxious, getting easily upset when out of your comfort zone.
Alzheimer’s disease is the curse of modern medicine. Trouble is, the medical people don’t have a clue as far as therapy.
Reverse the Curse
We place our confidence in natural nutrition that feeds and keeps the blood thin as we age, supplements such as ginkgo biloba, garlic, niacin, EDTA and nattokinase. Blood flow to the brain is essential for brain health, and these are all age-old blood thinners and nutrients. They are known quantities — just like the Biblical teaching that life is in the blood. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood… the life of all flesh is in the blood.” — Lev. 17 11:14.
Like all other parts of your body, the brain needs proper nourishment and regular workouts to keep it strong and supple. Here are some ideas on brain-training activities you might try:
- Start a new hobby; learn a new talent or skill.
- Travel (keeping your agenda full of learning about what you see that is new).
- Get a part time job, volunteer or learn a new foreign language.
- Attend adult community seminars and events on interesting topics.
- Play mind activity games like crossword and puzzles.
- Listen to inspiring authors — such as Esther Hicks, Wayne Dyer, Michael Beckwith or others — to focus on feeling good in your relationships and perspective.
An old friend of mine who is always active and on the go said to me once, “When I rest, I rust.” He’s not wrong. Oxidation is rust, and a steady stream of anti-oxidants and circulation to the brain helps to keep it from rusting.
A product called phosphatidylserine (PS for short) can help reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s, as reported by James F. Balch, M.D., in his newsletter, Prescription for Healthy Living.
He writes that, “As long as you have plenty of PS in your bloodstream, your body automatically builds thousands of vibrant, healthy new brain cells at any age. In fact, PS is already reversing Alzheimer’s symptoms — not just in a few individual cases, but in scores of scientific studies by major institutions involving tens-of-thousands of patients.”
There are a number of other dietary supplements that have been shown anecdotally to help slow the advance of Alzheimer’s. They include:
- Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone, ubiquinol).
- Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH).
- Herbs and extracts: Cat’s claw, Bilberry and blackcurrant extracts, Huperzine A, Vinpocetine (cognitive protectant from the periwinkle plant).
- Amino acids: Acetyl-L-carnitine, L-glutamine and L-tyrosine
- Vitamins: B6, B12 and folate, D3, E
Getting a lot of attention today is curcumin, an anti-inflammatory molecule in the turmeric root, a relative of ginger. Turmeric has been used in Asian cultures for thousands of years as a food flavoring and in medicinal preparations. It’s a common seasoning in the cuisine of India, which has a low incidence of Alzheimer’s.
Mary S. Easton of the UCLA Alzheimer Translation Center stated, “Our group has tested curcumin in several models and found that it not only reduces oxidative damage and inflammation (as expected), but also reduces amyloid accumulation and synaptic marker loss while promoting both amyloid phagocytosis and clearance.”
The principal defense against Alzheimer’s at present is simply to keep yourself — and your brain — healthy and active.
P.S. — This article originally appeared in The Bob Livingston Alerts™. If you would like more of this kind of exclusive information and insight into health, finance and everything else we research, delivered to you every month, follow this link and subscribe today!