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10 Healthy and 5 Unhealthy Foods for the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by on Monday, March 20th, 2017

 Prevention of Alzheimer's disease

 

There are some interesting new diets surfacing lately that are making the claim to fame when it comes to prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.  It’s been said many times by nutritional experts, “what’s good for the heart is good for the brain.”  This may be the case with a new diet called the MIND diet.

What is the Mind Diet?  

The MIND diet is a hybrid diet combining foods from the Mediterranean and DASH diets for an eating guide that will promote heart health. MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, and DASH stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

The Mind Diet and Alzhiemer’s Disease Prevention  

Recently the MIND diet was found in clinical studies to promote brain health.  The study, performed at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, revealed that the MIND diet may reduce risks of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53%.

The MIND diet is thought to be a simpler version of the Mediterranean diet because it is comprised of a list of “10 brain healthy food groups” and 5 “unhealthy food groups” to limit or avoid.  Read on to view the list of these healthy and unhealthy foods that comprise the MIND diet.

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Can Genetics Play a Role in Determining The Best Diet for Alzheimer’s disease?

Posted by on Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

alzheimer's prevention diet

There are many new diets these days, all claiming to be the best for brain health.  Improving cognitive skills seems to have gone mainstream and with all this attention on brain health, more and more brain healthy diets keep popping up. But which diet is healthiest for Alzheimer’s disease prevention?

According to Dr. Angela Hanson, Geriatric specialist at the UW Memory and Brian Wellness Center, the very best diet we have scientific evidence for right now is the Mediterranean Diet. 

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Can Green Tea Really Help to Stave Off Alzheimer’s Disease?

Posted by on Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Green tea for Alzheimer's disease prevention

Green tea has long been recognized for its many healthy properties, but there is growing scientific research pointing to the fact that green tea may offer health benefits beyond what was originally attributed to this nutritious beverage.  Healthy components of green tea have been scientifically found to offer countless health benefits, from providing a strong defense against free radicals to lowering cholesterol and blood sugar, but can green tea really help with Alzheimer’s disease?

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High Blood Pressure May be Linked to Alzheimer’s disease

Posted by on Sunday, September 20th, 2015

 Alzheimer's disease and blood pressure

Experts have known for some time that in general, what’s good for the heart is good for the brain.  It’s true that there is a connection between cardiovascular (heart) health and brain health, but new studies support evidence that there is a stong link between hypertension (high blood pressure) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

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New Study Finds Link between Increased Alzheimer’s Disease Risks and Allergy and Sleep Drugs

Posted by on Sunday, June 14th, 2015

We already know that it’s important to get plenty of sleep as part of a healthy lifestyle for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) prevention.  Many folks have a challenge with getting their 8 hours every night and over the counter sleeping aids are a common solution.  But did you know that many common sleep aids and allergy medications have been linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease in recent studies?

studies for Alzheimer's disease risks

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NBC News: Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic Interview with Dr. Richard Isaacson

Posted by on Friday, December 12th, 2014

 

Next week, NBC Nightly News will air an interview about the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic with Dr. Richard Isaacson by Dr. Nancy Snyderman. The Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic in the Weill Cornell Memory Disorders Program, at New York Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center, was the first program in the world to offer clinical care to help people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) reduce their risk.

 

NBC News Alzheimers Prevention Clinic Dr. Isaacson

 There have been significant advances in the field of AD prevention, so much so that even a new scientific journal called the Journal of the Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease began publication in 2014. For more information on the clinic, read the clinic brochure, or to schedule an appointment call 212-746-0226. The segment will highlight the story of Max Lugavere, a 30-something year old patient in the clinic, who’s Mom developed cognitive impairment in her 50s.  The story reviews the power of music and other lifestyle choices, especially an Alzheimer’s diet choices that can benefit brain health.

 

 

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Are Home Remedies Safe for Acid Reflux? Tips for Caregivers of Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease are prone to many stress induced conditions such as depression, anxiety heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other conditions including; headaches, general aches and pains and acid reflux.  Although acid reflux may sound like a pretty minor ailment, long term sufferers of the condition may have a different perspective and medical experts know that this condition could lead to much more serious health concerns.  

There are many home remedies for chronic heartburn and acid reflux, but are any of these remedies really safe for caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease? 

 

 Studies on Caregivers and Chronic Acid Reflux

The Family Caregiver Alliance National Center on Caregiving reports; approximately one in 10 caregivers report their physical health has worsened as a result of taking on caregiving responsibilities.  In 2005 3/5ths of all caregivers surveyed reported fair or poor overall health status and 1 or more chronic physical conditions (compared with 1/3rd of non-caregivers in the study). In fact, caregivers reported twice the rate of diseases such as; heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis, compared to non-caregivers.

According to WEB MD.com GI problems are commonly worse in those who are caregivers as a result of increased stress.  Stress is a common factor in many GI conditions including chronic heartburn. 

acid reflux treatment for Alzheimer's disease caregivers

image source; http://www.nerdgraph.com/acid-reflux/

The Family Caregiver Alliance National Center on Caregiving reports; approximately one in 10 caregivers report their physical health has worsened as a result of taking on caregiving responsibilities.  In 2005 3/5ths of all caregivers surveyed reported fair or poor overall health status and 1 or more chronic physical conditions (compared with 1/3rd of non-caregivers in the study). In fact, caregivers reported twice the rate of diseases such as; heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis, compared to non-caregivers.

According to WEB MD.com GI problems are commonly worse in those who are caregivers as a result of increased stress.  Stress is a common factor in many GI conditions including chronic heartburn.  

The good news is there are many simple home remedies and tips that can help with symptoms of chronic heartburn. 

First and perhaps most important, realize that many types of over the counter medications for acid reflux may cause symptoms to actually worsen with long term use.  With your physician’s approval, it may be best to slowly wean off of antacids such as H2 blockers and Proton Pump Inhibitors. 

Tips for Alleviating  Chronic Acid Reflux or Heartburn

Eating a proper diet is vital for those with chronic heart burn.  The following are great diet tips to avoid acid reflux:

  • Maintain a high fiber low saturated fat diet including fruits, vegetables and lean meat
  • Oatmeal and bananas are great for decreasing stomach acid
  • Avoid red sauce as much as possible
  • Eat plenty of beans and legumes- lentils, navy beans, black beans and more
  • Avoid fatty meat and all fried foods
  • Replace applesauce for oil in baked goods and other recipes such as pancakes
  • Try mixing about 1/3 to 1/2 tsp of ginger in hot water to make an acid reducing tea
  • Sip on a glass of water with 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar as a great home remedy to reduce heartburn
  • Be sure to eat small frequent meals during the day
  • Avoid eating at bedtime
  • Drink plenty of water to help promote healthy digestion
  • Avoid the following; fatty red meat, spicy foods, fried food, raw onions, tomatoes, butter, oil, chocolate, wine and other alcoholic beverages and caffeine
  • Avoid peppermint-some studies show that peppermint actually relaxes the muscles around the esophagus allowing acid to flow back into the esophagus Maintain a healthy body weight-studies indicate a strong link between acid reflux and excess body mass index
  • Refrain from wearing belts and tight clothing-which acts like excess belly fat by pushing against the stomach forcing acid into the esophagus
  • Elevate your head slightly when sleeping (perhaps 6 inches or so) which according to studies helps the stomach acid to drain from the esophagus faster than when you lay flat.
  • If you are smoker, quit smoking, nicotine has been shown to cause bile salts to leak from the intestines into the stomach and also reduces the amount of saliva (containing acid reducing chemicals

Is Baking Soda Safe for Acid Reflux?

Use caution if you use baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) as a household remedy for heartburn.  Drinking too much baking soda can cause serious complications because of its high sodium content as well as its alkalizing effect on the body.  Side effects of sodium bicarbonate could potentially include; increased blood pressure, edema or swelling, hypernatremia (excess sodium in the body), or even more serious conditions such as; metabolic alkalosis (symptoms include: confusion, tremor, feeling light-headed, muscle twitching, nausea, vomiting, prolonged muscle spasms) or even congestive heart failure. Excessive use of baking soda could also result in a syndrome that causes kidney stones-particularly if the bicarbonate is taken in conjunction with tums or other calcium supplements.  Be sure to consult your physician before taking baking soda on a regular basis.

In Conclusion

Acid reflux is a serious condition that if left untreated could lead to severe health concerns.  As a caregiver of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) it’s very important to practice self-care, so you can better care for the one you love.  Learn more about self-care for caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease at http://www.alzu.org.  

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Clinical Research Initiative for Troubling Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by on Sunday, November 30th, 2014

The final topic of discussion at this year’s 7th annual CTAD gathering was recent clinical research for treatment of the most troubling symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The presenter/author for this clinical trial was Rachelle S. Doody, MD, PhD, Director, Alzheimer’s disease and Memory Disorders Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.  The clinical trial involved development of AVP-923 (Dextromethorphan/Quinidine) for Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA) results from the Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia Cohort of PRISM II. 

clinical trial for Alzheimer's disease

Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA) is emotional lability which sometimes occurs as a symptom of neurologic disorder (such as Alzheimer’s disease) characterized by involuntary crying or uncontrollable episodes of crying and/or laughing, or other emotional outbursts. 

The Prism study is a twelve week Phase 2 trial with patients presenting with various neurologic diseases including Alzheimer’s disease.  The trial was initiated in order to observe the safety, tolerability and effectiveness of AVP—923 for PBA in those with dementia, traumatic brain injury or stroke.  The initial outcome of the trial has shown that the drug significantly lowered PBA symptoms and it was tolerated well by participants in the study with dementia. 

Other presenters at the CTAD gathered to discuss many other important new possibilities for new and better treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.  To learn more about the full program you can view it online by going to go to www.ctad-alzheimer.com