Alzheimer - Dementia

Selected items for close encounters Alzheimer's and Dementia

Richard N. Podell, M.D., reports that recent research concerning ginkgo may have finally convinced U.S. physicians to seriously consider natural treatments. It isn't because there wasn't evidence to support ginkgo as an effective treatment for dementia (declining mental power), but the evidence, until now, was not the kind U.S. physicians took seriously. The recent ginkgo study was done in the United States. It appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The bottom line is this: Ginkgo surpassed placebo for the treatment of Alzheimer's dementia. It is definitely not a cure, but it probably works as well as any drug that has been tried. And crucially, for this fragile group of patients, side effects were few.

Emily Rosenblum writes, "As life expectancy in the United States continues to rise, so does the risk of Alzheimer's disease, an illness characterized by memory loss and plaques in brain tissue. Although only about 3 percent of men and women aged 65 to 74 have the disease, nearly half of all adults over age 85 exhibit symptoms. But perhaps Alzheimer's doesn't need to be that common. New research shows that getting your daily dose of B vitamins may help prevent this devastating disease."

Vitamin E was shown to slow the progression of AD by 25 percent, according to a study published in the April 24, 1997 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. In the study, 2,000 International Units (IUs) of Vitamin E were taken for two years to delay the clinical signs and symptoms of the disease. The U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin E is 30 IUs per day. Because the vitamin may be associated with increased bleeding in individuals with risk factors for these problems, all decisions regarding medications or vitamin supplements should be discussed with a physician.

Be prepared. When Alzheimer's and Dementia affect a loved-one, have your reference materials handy to deal with common fears.

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Selected items for close encounters with Alzheimer's and Dementia