Alzheimer’s Disease – CAM Support Protocol

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease starting with a decrease in mental function and resulting in memory loss and eventually death. While

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some people have a genetic disposition to AD, environmental and lifestyle factors also contribute to the progression of the disease.

In order to lessen the chance for AD, the following measures can be taken prior to the onset of the disease or in the very early stages (Pizzorno and Murray, 2013):

• Reduce or eliminate exposure to Aluminum. This can include aluminum in deodorant, food (aluminum foil, baking soda and table salt), antacids and most importantly, in water. Consumption of magnesium-rich foods or supplements may help slow the absorption of aluminum in the body.
• Increase consumption of antioxidants in the diet, such as vitamins E, C, beta carotene, selenium, zinc, and carotene.

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• Drink green tea daily throughout the day. Green tea is high in antioxidants as well as theanine (Suzuki & Isemura, 2012).

• Use dietary supplements such as thiamine, vitamin B-12, zinc,
• Improve sleep quality. Encourage the patient to sleep at least 8 hours per night. People with sleeping disturbances may use melatonin to help them rest.
• Maintain a healthy body weight by eating foods on the Mediterranean diet, keeping calories within a threshold, and limiting sugary and high-fat foods. The anti-inflammatory nature of the Mediterranean diet, as well as the antioxidants found in foods such as olive oils and wine, may help lower risk for AD (Gardener, 2012).
• Supplement with MCT oil. In a study using beagle dogs by Pan et al. (2010), it was found that MCT oil improved cognitive abilities in aging dogs.
• Physical exercise, including walking, may help improve brain health and memory delaying the onset of AD (Shimada, Ishii, Makizako, Ishiwata, & Suzukawa, 2017) and (Lin & Kuo, 2013).
• Exercise the brain. Learn new things, play games, do puzzles, and complete crossword

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puzzles to potentially alter the neuroanatomic structures. It is best to engage in these activities many years before the disease would even present since AD sometimes takes years to develop (Schultz et al, 2015).

Resources:
Banasik, J.L. & Copstead, L-E. C. (2019). Pathophysiology. (6th ed.). St. Louis: Elsevier.

Gardener, S., Gu, Y., Rainey-smith, S., Keogh, J. B., Clifton, P. M., Mathieson, S. L., . . .

Martins, R. N. (2012). Adherence to a mediterranean diet and alzheimer’s disease risk in an australian population. Translational Psychiatry, 2, 7. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/tp.2012.91

Lin, T., & Kuo, Y. (2013). Exercise benefits brain function: The monoamine connection. Brain Sciences, 3(1), 39-53. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/brainsci3010039

Pan, Y., Larson, B., Araujo, J. A., Lau, W., de Rivera, C., Santana, R., . . . Milgram, N. W. (2010). Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs. The British Journal of Nutrition, 103(12), 1746-54. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114510000097

Pizzorno, J.E. & Murray, M.T. (2013). Text book of natural medicine (4th ed.). St. Louis: Elsevier.

Shimada, H., Ishii, K., Makizako, H., Ishiwata, K., Oda, K., & Suzukawa, M. (2017). Effects of exercise on brain activity during walking in older adults: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation, 14 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12984-017-0263-9

Schultz, S. A., Larson, J., Oh, J., Koscik, R., Dowling, M. N., Gallagher, C. L., . . . Okonkwo, O. C. (2015). Participation in cognitively-stimulating activities is associated with brain structure and cognitive function in preclinical alzheimer’s disease. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 9(4), 729-736. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11682-014-9329-5

SUZUKI, Y., MIYOSHI, N., & ISEMURA, M. (2012). Health-promoting effects of green tea. Proceedings of the Japan Academy, 88(3), 88-101. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2183/pjab.88.

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