Alzheimer’s is the most feared disease (even more than cancer). That’s because the consequences of Alzheimer’s are more devastating than cancer. Alzheimer’s annihilates your memory, dignity and every ounce of yourself, reducing you to a mental vegetable.
Because Alzheimer’s is so devastating, many doctors won’t even tell their patients if they suspect the disease.
Alzheimer’s is now the #1 fastest- growing fatal disease in America, and it is currently the #6 leading cause of death in men and women. It recently became the #1 leading cause of death of women in the United Kingdom.
The degenerative changes in the brain that lead to Alzheimer’s usually start about 20 years before there are any obvious symptoms of memory loss.
Tragically, 95% of people with Alzheimer’s are not diagnosed until it’s too late. Once the disease is diagnosed, people usually die within 3-8 years.
Gone are the days when Alzheimer’s was a disease just for our grandparents to worry about. Brain degeneration is now beginning as early as age 20. This does not bode well for our children and grandchildren, as many of them will be diagnosed with full-blown Alzheimer’s disease in their 40s and 50s instead of 70s and 80s.
By 2050, it is predicted that as many as 2 billion people worldwide may be at-risk for Alzheimer’s—and there is no cure on the horizon.
Alzheimer’s represents an unprecedented health-care crisis that is projected to cost over $20 trillion over the next 40 years. The scope of the looming medical-care disaster is beyond comparison. If this disease is not contained, it will bankrupt the entire US healthcare system.
Family caregivers of Alzheimer’s sufferers experience a high rate of depression, heart attacks, cancer and stroke as a result of the enormous stress.
The cost to care for someone with Alzheimer’s in a nursing home currently exceeds $90,000 per year. That is over seven times the cost of living independently at home.
BRAIN HEALTH BOILS
DOWN TO THESE 5 STEPS: Know, Care, Stop, Do and Do More:
1. KNOW: Knowledge is power, and the fi rst step is to know the vulnerability of your brain and risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. This is done by looking closely at your medical history and family history, as well as specifi c bloodwork items and lifestyle factors. A computerized neurocognitive test and/or brain SPECT scan may also be needed. With this information, we can tell you exactly where you stand and what you can do to make your brain better. You need to know this information because what you don’t know can hurt you (and hurt you bad). The good news is, in most cases, you are not stuck with the brain you have. You can make your brain work better!
Medical history: If you have, or have
ever had, any of the following, you are at an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease: • Anxiety • Attention Defi cit Disorder • Bipolar Disorder • Cancer chemotherapy • Depression • Diabetes OR pre-diabetes (yes, pre-diabetes)
• Head injury of any kind • Heart disease • Hypertension • Being overweight or obesity • Parkinson’s disease • Sleep apnea • Statin drug use • Stroke
Family history: If you have a family history of Alzheimer’s (especially on the mother’s side), you are at an increased risk for developing the disease.
Laboratory Findings: If you have any of the following items on your bloodwork, you are at an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease: • Elevated hs-CRP • Elevated Hemoglobin A1c
• Elevated Homocysteine • Low DHEA • Low Estrogen • Low Pregnenolone • Low Testosterone • Low Free T3 • Low Vitamin D • Low Vitamin B12
Lifestyle risk factors: If any of these apply to you, you are at an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease: • Having more than one alcohol- containing drink per day
• Exposure to hair and/or nail salon chemicals
• Exercising less than 2 days per week • Having less than 10 (not a misprint) servings of fruit and vegetables per day
• Lack of lifelong learning activities • Not going to college or beyond • Getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night
2. CARE: Once you know your risk factors, you then need to care about your brain. Your brain is your greatest asset and its health is indispensable to you and your family. When your brain works right, you work right. When your brain doesn’t work right, you don’t work right. Having a sharp mind will give you years of fulfi lling and productive life. Ignoring your brain can lead straight to dementia. You will then lose your independence and become an enormous burden to your family, and you will die prematurely.
3. STOP: Once you care, the next step is to stop or avoid the things that hurt your brain: • Advanced glycation end-products • Anxiety • Attention Defi cit Disorder • Bipolar Disorder • Brain injuries • Caffeine • Cancer chemotherapy • Chronic stress • Depression • Diabetes • Drugs and alcohol • High blood pressure
Brain degeneration is now beginning as early as age 20. This does not bode
well for our children and grandchildren, as many of them will be diagnosed with full-blown Alzheimer’s disease in their 40s and 50s—instead of 70s and 80s.
April 2016 23
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