Alzheimer’s Disease

It is estimated in the years ahead, that over that 50% of people over the age of 80 will have either Alzheimer’s or other type of dementia. Taking preventive measures while you are young and healthy, rather than waiting for a bad diagnosis, is what we should all be doing.

In addition dementia is now affecting more people under than age of 55 than ever before

In my practice, the thing that my patients fear the most at end-of-life is being demented and leaving a burden on their family for their care.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Basically, in his lectures, Dr Perlmutter explained how oxidative stress, which is like internal rusting, specifically in the mitochondria (the energy centers inside the cell), are a huge contributor to the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s disease. More and more medical articles are showing this.

In fact we now know that most chronic disease is linked in a causative way to oxidative stress. The most common example in our lives of oxidative stress is rusting. A major theory for the cause of all chronic disease aging is that we are “rusting” inside.

This is why for so long I have given antioxidants to my patients  and encouraged all my patients to eat fresh fruits and vegetables which are loaded with phytonutrients, which are mother nature’s antioxidants.

Dr. Perlmutter discussed this extensively in his lectures and showed us the biochemical pathways – which I will not bore you with – that lead to shrinking of the volume of a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is directly linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Some of the things he recommended to prevent age-related cognitive decline include:

1. Achieving an optimal body weight. In one study, at Kaiser Permanente, it was shown that individuals with high amounts of body fat were at an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease of 293%, compared to those with low body fat, when followed up 27 years after their initial valuation.

2. Take antioxidants, specifically coenzyme Q 10. He also discussed the new category of antioxidants which I am very excited about which are called Nrf2 activators. Please talk to me about this when you see me in the office, as I am recommending this to ALL of my patients over age 30.

3. Keep your homocysteine low. All of my patients know that I annually measure my patients’ homocysteine level. Elevated homocysteine is associated not only with heart disease but also cancer and now Alzheimer’s disease. Cardiologists are not paying attention to this important risk factor, nor are neurologists. But in one study, a homocysteine level of just 14 was associated with a doubling of the risk for Alzheimer’s disease according to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine. When you come to the office ask me about your homocysteine level.

4. Countless studies have shown a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease in those who exercised aerobically regularly. In fact in one study it was shown that aerobic exercise increases the size of the brain’s most important memory structure as mentioned above, the hippocampus. And now a new article just published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health has just proven that Yoga improves brain function more than aerobic exercise! This is great news for all of us doing yoga on a daily basis.

We now have, in my office, technologies to measure your degree of oxidative stress and the tools to reduce it. I would be most happy to talk with you about these with your next office visit.

For more information about this I refer you to Dr. Perlmutter’s article for laypeople on the subject at this link.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug And you can find his book called Power Up Your Brain here

Or on Kindle here

About Dr. Soram Khalsa

As an MD, Dr Soram specializes in Integrative Medicine combining diet, nutrition, acupuncture, herbs and nutrition. Visit Dr Soram’s Healthy Living Store where you’ll find high-quality nutritional supplements: