Mild Cognitive Impairment, Brain Atrophy and Alzheimer’s Disease
We have known for many years that the brains of elderly people show atrophy. More recently, we have realized that atrophy occurs even in cognitively healthy subjects, but is much more accelerated in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show the following:
- An intermediate rate of atrophy is found in people with mild MCI.
- People over 60 years of age without MCI normally have brain shrinkage of approximately 0.5 percent per year.
- Individuals showing MCI normally have a brain atrophy rate twice as high, approximately 1 percent per year.
- Alzheimer’s patients can lose as much as 2.5 percent of brain volume per year.
Drugs Versus Supplements for Sleep Disorders
With the recent finding that prescription sleep medications are linked to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, premature death and other health conditions, I have argued that taking melatonin in a supplement that also includes 5-HTP, GABA and Bacopa monnieri is a much safer and effective strategy to remedy age-related insomnia and sleep disturbances. With recent studies showing that melatonin supplementation may be an important measure to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and stabilize cases of MCI, the argument in favor of using a melatonin supplement as a sleep aid, instead of prescription and over-the-counter sleeping pills, becomes even more compelling.