Tag Archives: dementia

FIX YOUR BRAIN

brain lightbulbI am envisioning a day when my older patients with significant neurologic issues (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Dementias and Memory Decline of various types) will return to class to improve their brains and physical constitution.   They’ll go back to school….and they’ll like it!   This school would be called DDA …..Dr. Doug’s Academy (I’m riffing on an idea here…so let me have my fun!)

An elementary school at the age of 70, it would be a whole day affair.  It would start early in the morning, as the older set often have sleep issues.  The day would consist of more physical activity than mental activity, because it turns out that physical activity has the strongest correlation with improvement in brain function and memory.  We’d have 3-4 sections of physical activity daily, and then 2-3 classes that are academically oriented, as this remains important in it’s own right.

We’ll serve healthy food, abstain from liquor (to excess…a little liquor would be OK…perhaps even during the daytime!…..You’ll like my school.)  With all of this going on….we might need a naptime too with cookies and milk.

Why do I construct my school this way?  Because research is showing greater potential for spontaneous brain healing than we have previously imagined.  In this article from the WSJ sent in by a patient, you can read about the research that is informing such an approach.   Read>>>>HERE.

 

90…AND GOING STRONG

Smart puppyA patient told me about a 60-minutes piece on the over 80 population, covering the 90+ project at University of Irvine in California.  There are many findings from the study that are contrary to population belief and expectation, and which they feel are revealed in the data they have collected to residents of Leisure World, a retirement community in Orange County.

Findings include:

Being Overweight is good for you

Moderate alcohol and coffee consumption are good for you

Read more>>>>>>>

They report their major findings on their website>>>>>>HERE.

 

 

Major findings

Researchers from The 90+ Study have published many scientific papers in premier journals.  Some of the major findings are:

  • People who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who abstained.
  • People who were overweight in their 70s lived longer than normal or underweight people did.
  • Over 40% of people aged 90 and older suffer from dementia while almost 80% are disabled. Both are more common in women than men.
  • About half of people with dementia over age 90 do not have sufficient neuropathology in their brain to explain their cognitive loss.
  • People aged 90 and older with an APOE2 gene are less likely to have clinical Alzheimer’s dementia, but are much more likely to have Alzheimer’s neuropathology in their brains.

– See more at: http://www.mind.uci.edu/research/90plus-study/#sthash.uOkwjxgE.dpuf

Major findings

Researchers from The 90+ Study have published many scientific papers in premier journals.  Some of the major findings are:

  • People who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who abstained.
  • People who were overweight in their 70s lived longer than normal or underweight people did.
  • Over 40% of people aged 90 and older suffer from dementia while almost 80% are disabled. Both are more common in women than men.
  • About half of people with dementia over age 90 do not have sufficient neuropathology in their brain to explain their cognitive loss.
  • People aged 90 and older with an APOE2 gene are less likely to have clinical Alzheimer’s dementia, but are much more likely to have Alzheimer’s neuropathology in their brains.

– See more at: http://www.mind.uci.edu/research/90plus-study/#sthash.uOkwjxgE.dpuf

Major findings

Researchers from The 90+ Study have published many scientific papers in premier journals.  Some of the major findings are:

  • People who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who abstained.
  • People who were overweight in their 70s lived longer than normal or underweight people did.
  • Over 40% of people aged 90 and older suffer from dementia while almost 80% are disabled. Both are more common in women than men.
  • About half of people with dementia over age 90 do not have sufficient neuropathology in their brain to explain their cognitive loss.
  • People aged 90 and older with an APOE2 gene are less likely to have clinical Alzheimer’s dementia, but are much more likely to have Alzheimer’s neuropathology in their brains.

– See more at: http://www.mind.uci.edu/research/90plus-study/#sthash.uOkwjxgE.dpuf

Major findings

Researchers from The 90+ Study have published many scientific papers in premier journals.  Some of the major findings are:

  • People who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who abstained.
  • People who were overweight in their 70s lived longer than normal or underweight people did.
  • Over 40% of people aged 90 and older suffer from dementia while almost 80% are disabled. Both are more common in women than men.
  • About half of people with dementia over age 90 do not have sufficient neuropathology in their brain to explain their cognitive loss.
  • People aged 90 and older with an APOE2 gene are less likely to have clinical Alzheimer’s dementia, but are much more likely to have Alzheimer’s neuropathology in their brains.

– See more at: http://www.mind.uci.edu/research/90plus-study/#sthash.uOkwjxgE.dpuf

MY VITAMIN RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SPECIFIC CONDITIONS

balloonsAs most of you know, I am not a huge proponent of vitamins, based on concerns about the potential negatives they can cause,  as well as the lack of evidence for their general effectiveness.

That said, there are situations in which vitamins can be considered and here is a list of my current recommendations, with particular brands mentioned (that are known to be of high quality.  Other brands may be fine, but these are the ones I am comfortable with.)

Bones (documented osteoporosis with added Vitamin D required.)

Natural Factors Vitamin D3 (1000, 2000, 5000 unit capsules)

Calcium Citrate…..Citrical Brand (all varieties)

 

Memory Loss (ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE):

Nature Made Vitamin E 1000 unit capsules, 2 daily

B Vitamins (folic acid & B-12) in the form of Xymogen Methyl Protect, 1 daily (we have this at our office)

 

Fatty Liver (ALSO CALLED NASH…NON-ALCOHOLIC STEATOHEPATITIS):

Nature Made Vitamin E 400 units capsules, 2 daily

 

Hair Loss (Alopecia)

Nature Made Biotin 2500mcg

Natural Factors Easy Iron, 20mg tablets, 1-2 daily

 

Iron Deficiency Anemia:

Natural Factors Easy Iron, 20mg tablets, 1-4 daily (easiest on the digestion)

Ferro Sequels (Ferrous Fumarate), slow release iron, 1-4 per day

Iron Sulfate 325mg, 1-3 per day

DO YOU HAVE CRS? DOES IT MATTER?

brainWhat is CRS? Well…it’s not a scientific term….it stands for “CAN’T REMEMBER SQUAT” …and is shorthand for the memory issues that develop as we get older.

Memory issues develop as young as 40 years-old, with the latest research showing that the 40+ brain is in decline as regards memory, and this is 10-20 years earlier than we previously thought.

With the conversation about dementia increasing with the aging of the population, the concerns about Alzheimer’s disease specifically, is becoming greater and there is an interest in educating the public about this condition.  As a result, efforts have been underway to identify patients with memory loss early to consider interventions in experimental studies.  Unfortunately, there are no medications for early memory loss, so the basics remain:  Good diet, Good exercise, and Good Habits (no smoking…to prevent strokes).

The latest article in the British Medical Journal calls into question the value of identifying patients with ‘CRS’ type memory issues early, as labeling individuals for memory loss may not be strongly associated with future issues of dementia.  Although we all remain concerned about this issue, it may be best to just ‘observe’ your memory and let things be, only  intervening with yourself or your loved-ones if the memory declines to a point of impairing day-to-day function.  Early identification may not provide benefit and may create more worry than help.

 

STATIN SAFETY AND EFFECTIVENESS ARE CLEARCUT…SO DON’T STOP YOUR PILLS!

Statin medications (LIPITOR, MEVACOR, PRAVACHOL, ZOCOR, CRESTOR) have been around for 25 years and have a proven track record of effectiveness and safety. No drug is perfect and these drugs are no exception, but the recent concerns that are raised for use of these medications are important, but should not disuade patients of using them when properly prescribed.

What are the concerns?
1. Diabetes: There is a very small risk of diabetes of these medications. It is very small and statistical. This risk does not outweigh the benefits to heart and brain from prevention of strokes and heart attacks.
2. Muscle pains: True…this is the most common side effect of these medications and if it is a real bother, the medication should be stopped or the dose lowered to prevent bothersome symptoms.
3. Memory loss: There have been some reports of transient memory loss from these medications, but I must say that I have not seen a case of this that I am certain of. Memory benefits of these medications include a presumed lowered risk of dementia by prevention of strokes and microstrokes, thus resulting in less cases of dementia is patients with associated brain damage from plaque and brain injury from underlying degenerative conditions. Although speculative, I feel this potential benefit outweighs the risks of these medications on this account.

In summary, these medications are not for ‘all people’. That is why in my patients I have selected those who will have a statistical and real benefit from treatment. We have chosen wisely….do not undo these benefits by stopping medication based on vague concerns that are not highly likely to cause you significant harm. Do discuss the issue with me directly before considering stopping the medications. I am certain you will benefit from these medications in the long run.