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ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: Holistic treatment shows promise for the early stages of the disease

Updated: Mar 19, 2022

“Reversal of Cognitive Decline”, the headline was modest but the implications profound. The article suggests Alzheimer’s disease can be reversed, not with a miracle drug or new technology, but with proper nutrition and lifestyle modifications.


This approach addresses some of the underlying metabolic dysfunctions seen in Alzheimer’s disease. There is some level of decreased glucose utilization in #neurons which causes them to literally starve. Alternative fuel sources for your neurons, like ketones, have been shown to slow cognitive decline.


Because neurons become insensitive to #insulin, Alzheimer’s is sometimes referred to as Type 3 Diabetes. Insulin was briefly explored as a potential treatment in the 1970s. Currently, some insulin-sensitizing drugs are being investigated for being potentially preventive and therapeutic.


Researchers at UCLA created individualized treatments for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s based on known risk factors like cardiovascular disease, #diabetes, and decreased intellectual activity.


This research is the very essence of holistic medicine; there is no single cause of chronic disease. In the study, researchers treated the whole patient, looking at sleep quantity and quality, stress, exercise, intellectual activity, #micronutrient intake, hormonal balance, gut health, etc.


This approach allowed the scientists to reverse subjective or objective symptoms in nine out of ten patients. The patient that did not respond had a more developed disease at the start of the study than the other patients involved. This suggests that there are still treatment options for those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.


There is currently not a miracle drug or new technology on the market to treat cognitive decline, but there are ways to improve multiple risk factors. Many studies have failed because they manipulate one variable and the duration of the studies is only one to six months. This study manipulated multiple variables and lasted over a year.


There is no fast and easy way to improve cognitive function as you age, but three simple recommendations I make for my patients are: control your blood sugar levels, learn to play an instrument or pick up a new language, and exercise. Metabolic changes occur years before Alzheimer’s disease progresses to a noticeable state. Emphasizing prevention and early intervention gives these potential sufferers hope.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Dr. Nicholas Morgan is a naturopathic physician and founder of The Center for Integrative Wellness.

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