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Summary

Mom used to love to be with her family, but now she seems so distant and quiet. She often doesn’t remember names or faces and doesn’t participate in activities she used to enjoy. Frequently, she becomes lost just walking around the block. Her husband, a devoted and supportive partner, doesn’t know what to do to help his wife anymore. The woman who was once so independent and resourceful seems to be disappearing day by day and the whole family feels helpless.

The sad thing is that none of the conventional doctors seem to know what to do about it, either. Their only solution is expensive drugs that seem to cause more harm than good or forestall the inevitable. It’s only a matter of time before Mom will need constant care in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Everyone is dreading that day.

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or any other cause of dementia that would shorten your cognitive lifespan is very frightening. While we hear so much about this disease, many of us may not understand what it is and what some of its early warning signs are. What is even more alarming, many of us do not know some of the simple things that can be done to prevent or reduce risk factors years before it occurs, mostly because there are very few actually talking about what can be done.

This book will tell you what dementia is, some of the things that contribute to it, and what you can do now to prevent or stall its progression.

About the Author

Lauren Russel, ND, is a board-certified licensed Naturopathic Physician in full-time practice at Tahoma Clinic in Washington State. In her medical practice, she focuses on bio-identical hormone therapy for men and women, thyroid imbalances, adrenal fatigue and stress management, gastrointestinal and digestive health, food allergies, sleep issues and nutritional optimization. She was the lead researcher on two studies investigating the effects of physiologic doses of the hormone, aldosterone, on hearing loss in study volunteers at Tahoma Clinic.  

She received her doctorate degree in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington, and undergraduate degree in the Biological Sciences from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Dr. Russel also serves as an adjunct to the naturopathic medicine department at Bastyr University to facilitate key training and testing programs to improve the skills of medical students.

She has been a medical writer and editor for more than 25 years, working with several prominent, peer-reviewed medical and scientific publications and has developed continuing education materials for healthcare professionals throughout the United States.

She has been a contributing author to the publications, NDNR: Naturopathic Doctor News and Review, the Townsend Review for Doctors and Patients, and Life Extension Magazine. She has also co-authored articles with Dr. Jonathan Wright, MD, and researched topics for the newsletter, Nutrition and Healing.

Preface

Introduction

The Emerging Picture of Alzheimer’s Disease

A Global Problem

Why Conventional Medicine Cannot Fix the Problem of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

New Ways of Thinking about Brain Aging and Dementia

1: What is Normal Brain Aging?

Looking into Your Medical History for Clues

2: Where Do We Begin? Causes of Abnormal Brain Aging

What is Really Happening to the Brain?

Other Types of Dementia Affecting the Brain

3: What You Don’t Know Can Lead to a Big Problem Later On: Understanding the Symptoms of Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Assessment and Diagnostic Recommendations for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

4: What Increases Your Risk of Abnormal Brain Aging?

Chronic Inflammation

Hypertension

Insulin Resistance and Diabetes

Oxidative Stress

Chronic Stress and Risk for Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease

Glycation

Methylation Deficit

Homocysteine

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Increased Risk with Lower Hormone Levels that Naturally Occur with Aging

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Toxic Exposures

Sleep Deficit

Immune Response and Infectious Agents as Triggers for Alzheimer’s Pathology

Thyroid/Iodine Deficiency

Calcification

Fatty Acid Imbalances

DNA Gene Mutations

Excitotoxicity

Cholesterol

Periodontal Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease

Anesthetics, Isoflurane and Halothane May Trigger Onset

5: What is Conventional Medicine Doing to Treat Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease? What Do Drug Companies Actually Say?

Drug Treatment Philosophy

Drug Categories

Secondary Prevention—Drugs that Are Intended to be Disease Modifying

Why Conventional Therapies May Make It Worse

6: There Is a Better Way

Here’s What You Can Do to Begin a Therapeutic Lifestyle Strategy Now

Your Strategy for Natural Prevention

7: In Your Brain Healthy Lifestyle, Add In Specific Supplements with Exceptional Benefits

Lithium

Niacinamide

Increase Antioxidants

Curry, Turmeric, and Curcumin

The Case for Supplementing with Vitamins B, C, D, and E

High Dose B Vitamins and Mild Cognitive Impairment

Dietary Folate and Supplemental Folate, B12

Antioxidant Benefits of Vitamins C and E

Powerful Botanicals to Help

8: What We Know Reduces Risk: Recent Research

Cancer History

NSAIDs

9: Natural Therapies—What to Do if Cognitive Decline is a Problem

Improvement and Enhancement versus Therapy and Cure

Cognitive Training—Use Your Brain to Protect Your Brain

Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP)

Controlling Hypertension and Diabetes

Benfotiamine

Dietary Intake of Flavonoids

Anodyne Therapy

Ayurvedic Herbs

Minerals

Botanicals and Plant Constituents

Sea and Other Naturally Derived Sources

Supplements

10: Effective Pharmacologic Therapies

References

Endnotes

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