Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Battling Brain Atrophy and Alzheimer’s Disease for better health

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.

 

July 8, 2012 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Melatonin Supplementaion may help Alzheimer’s disease over time

Melatonin Supplementation Studies

In recent years, the landmark studies showed that patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who were administered melatonin had significantly less progression to Alzheimer’s disease over time than MCI patients who were not taking melatonin supplements. In these studies, the dosage range was 3-9 mg, taken one hour before bedtime. In addition, two other preliminary studies showed improved cognitive performance in MCI patients using melatonin dosages as low as 1 mg and as high as 6 mg.

This research is particularly compelling when you consider the fact that melatonin levels begin to decline during our teenage years, and by age 40 have reached a low enough level to often trigger sleep disturbance problems. The pineal gland in the brain normally secretes melatonin in the late-evening hours (darkness is a trigger), which helps to induce sleep. As such, lower age-related melatonin levels in the brain are a major cause of insomnia and interrupted sleep as we get older.

Many people take melatonin as a natural sleep aid because it helps them fall asleep. However, melatonin is also a powerful brain antioxidant, and its ability to quench free radicals in this role and suppress the build-up of beta-amyloid plaque are the ways in which it has been shown in experimental studies to inhibit the steps that lead to Alzheimer’s disease. The recent clinical trials showing that melatonin helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease in high-risk patients is of great significance when you consider that MCI affects a large percentage of the population over 60 years of age.

July 6, 2012 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ways to Combat Against Memory Loss

Avoid excessive drinking

FIGHTING BACK AGAINST MEMORY LOSS

   For us baby boomers our number one health related worry is rapidly becoming Alzheimer’s disease.

   As we enter our senior years it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between our age-related forgetfulness, dementia, and the early stages of the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease.

  For millions of us across America memory loss and the fear of Alzheimer’s have overtaken hearing loss and cancer as our main senior-life health concern.

   According to health professionals people start noticing changes in their memory as they past their 40’s and enter into their 50’s.  Lapses in memory are considered to be age associated memory impairment and in most cases they are just a normal part of the aging process.

   Mild cognitive impairment becomes a more serious form of memory loss and is highlighted by trouble making decisions or handling money; losing track of what is happening during the day; forgetting how to do things we’ve always done many times before; and repeating questions and phrases/stories during the same conversation.

   When memory lapses become frequent enough and noticeable to concern you or a family member then it’s time to consult a physician.   A thorough physical and mental exam by a neurologist might be needed.

EARLY SIGNS OF ALZHEIMER’s are:

1)      Poor judgment and decision making.

2)      Losing track of the month of season.

3)      Regularly misplacing things and not being able to find them.

4)      Inability to pay bills

5)      Difficulty having a coherent conversation.

The best defense against any serious loss of memory is to begin taking good care of ourselves from an early age.  It is the same guidelines that have been around for years.

Compensate for forgetfulness through:

1)      Healthy Diet

2)      Regular Physical Exercise

3)      Strong Social Network

4)      Stay Creative & Intellectually Stimulated

It is estimated that one out of every two people lucky enough to reach the age of 85 will have Alzheimer’s disease.

July 23, 2010 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , | 2 Comments