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Holiday Guide for Living with Those with Dementia-Festive Meals that Promote Prevention of Alzheimer’s

Posted by on Saturday, December 21st, 2013

If you are a caregiver or family member of one of the 5.4 million individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, you may be wondering what the upcoming holiday season will bring, particularly if you have a  family member with progressive cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s dementia.  You may have many questions such as “how can I make a holiday meal that will promote the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and ensure the food I serve is healthy enough for the Alzheimer’s diet?”   

holiday meals for prevention of Alzheimer's

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There are many ways to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday with your loved one who has dementia. Below are some tips on transforming a potentially stressful holiday season to an enjoyable and safe event for those who have a family member or close friend who suffers with dementia:

  • Encourage the individual with dementia to follow their own instincts when it comes to setting limits on how much t social interaction they are able to engage in.  Remind other family members that individuals with dementia may not be able to participate in every event.
  • Encourage family members and friends to be sure to visit the person with dementia over the holiday season, even if it is difficult.  Socialization is great for prevention of Alzheimer’s, but it is a good idea to limit the number of people who visit to only a few at a time to keep distractions at a minimum.  Be sure that there is adequate time for rest between visitors if many family members are planning to visit.
  • Keep the noise level low and avoid over stimulating the individual with Alzheimer’s by keeping lights low-avoid drastically change the intensity of light.
  • Caregivers should take advantage of the holidays to visit family members and take a break from the day to day routing of caring for someone with dementia.  Seek out help from other family members to cover for you if you need to. Continue reading…


Nobody Ever Said Prevention of Alzheimer’s Would Be a Sweet Deal!

Posted by on Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

With the holidays approaching, it’s a great time to talk about healthy sweeteners-particularly for those who are following a diet for Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).   One important aspect of an Alzheimer’s Prevention diet (based on scientific evidence that proves certain people can delay the onset of AD) is avoiding unhealthy foods high in sugar, fructose and high fructose corn syrup. These unhealthy sweeteners are  present in many of the holiday treats that are available in abundance at this time of year.

Fructose is a natural ingredient in fruits and vegetables, however when it is extracted from natural foods, leaving it void of fiber, fructose becomes a sweetener that is high on the glycemic index chart (the higher the rating, the faster the food causes spikes in blood sugar).  Fructose is processed the same in the body as sugar.  Fructose is added to many types of processed sugar such as white table sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  

high fructose corn syrup not recommended for prevention of Alzheimer's

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When it comes to sugar substitutes there are many different alternatives  including; NutraSweet, aspartame, saccharine, Sweet-n- Low and more.  Then there are the natural sweeteners such as; honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, coconut sugar and stevia.  But with so many choices,  which type of sweetener is best for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease?

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New Research Shows Improvement in 36% of AD Patients who Took Axona, 44% Stabilization

Posted by on Monday, December 2nd, 2013

There are some very exciting new clinical trials that have shown a new medical food therapy (available now in the US) may help some patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  

A recent study of the effectiveness of caprylic triglyceride (CT) – the active ingredient in a non-drug prescription called Axona, was conducted by Dr. Steven Douglas Maynard and Dr. Jeff Gelblum at Indiana University/Mount Sinai Medical Center. The research article was published in the Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment Journal in October 2013.

The primary reason for the study was to evaluate the effects of CT in those with mild to moderate AD in a routine clinical practice setting. The effect of CT was evaluated in the study by medical records reviews by the physicians, as well as reports from caregivers who were asked to answer questionnaires at specific intervals during the study period.  

alzheimer's research effecitiveness of Axona

Image Source: Bestinfographics

The study included male and female participants age 50 and over, diagnosed with probable mild to moderate AD who had received this new prescription-only medical food for over 6 months.

The results of the study were encouraging.  Of a total of 55 participants who took Axona in addition to medications for AD, 80 percent were stable or had improvement in cognition.  This was after an average of over 18 months of taking Axona, where 36.9% of the participants in the study improved (and 80% of patients improved or remained stable). 

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