Research finds non-prescription treatments and preventatives help Alzheimer's Disease

Tuesday, May 03, 2011 by: Cindie Leonard
Tags: Alzheimer's disease, natural solutions, health news

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(NaturalNews) A recently published study on a popular Alzheimer's disease drug demonstrated that there is no significant difference between patients taking the prescription drug and those taking a placebo. With one in seven Americans over the age of 71 affected by some form of dementia, the popularity of pharmaceuticals that offer any glimmer of hope is soaring. The problem is that many of these drugs have crippling side effects and can erode the patient's (and their family's) savings accounts. Recent research is providing encouraging news regarding natural treatments and sound methods of prevention.

Non-prescription alternatives that help prevent memory loss and boost brain power include certain foods, dietary supplements, and lifestyle management.

Turmeric (Curcurmin) is a popular spice in India, where Alzheimer's disease is uncommon. A recent study at UCLA demonstrated that curcurmin helped bind amyloid beta, preventing the "gunk" that forms the plaques and tangles in the brain which lead to the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

Omega-3's, fatty acids which protect cells and control inflammation, have been shown to clinically enhance the brain's ability to process and store information. Exciting results from a UCLA study highlighting the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids were reported by researcher Fernando Gomez-Pinella: "Omega-3 fatty acids support synaptic plasticity and seem to positively affect the expression of several molecules related to learning and memory that are found on synapses." Excellent food sources include beans, olive oil, walnuts, winter squash, and fish. Fish and flaxseed oil supplements are also good sources of Omega-3's.

The April 1993 issue of Drugs and Aging summarizes a clinically significant study pointing to the effectiveness of Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine (GPC) as a memory booster. Alzheimer patients who took 1200 milligrams a day of GPC reported an increase in memory recall and a sharper degree of attention. An added bonus was that most patients also reported a boost in mood.

Ginkgo Biloba may offer an improvement in brain function and memory recall. UCLA researchers measured brain activity using positron-emission tomography (PET) on subjects taking Ginkgo Biloba. The subjects taking Ginkgo Biloba had slightly elevated brain activity in the areas of the brain related to recall. In a study published in the Journal of Gerontology, subjects taking a special extract of Ginkgo Biloba, EGb, experienced an increase in cognitive performance along with the exciting possibility that it might prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease in the first place. It is suggested that you take 60 to 120 milligrams two times a day with food. Memory improvements may take six to eight weeks.

A moss extract, Huperzine A, is showing promise as a natural supplement which aids in preventing further memory loss. In a study of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, Huperzine A proved to be as effective as one of the most popular prescription medications.

Lifestyle plays a major role in preventing/managing Alzheimer's disease. Relevant and recent research attest to the positive results of stress management, exercise, quality sleep, and the amazing preventative power of challenging your brain by continually learning and cultivating curiosity.

Considering the costs of prescription medications for managing Alzheimer's disease -- financially, physically, and now the question of "does it work?", it seems that it would be prudent for the medical community to support and endorse natural supplementation and lifestyle management.


Lon S. Schneider, M.D., professor, psychiatry, neurology and gerontology, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles; Greg M. Cole, Ph.D., neuroscientist, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, and associate director, Alzheimer`s Disease Research Center, University of California Los Angeles; April 11, 2011, Archives of Neurology, online.

Scientists Learn How Food Affects The Brain: Omega 3 Especially Important.
Science Daily, July 11, 2008 Clinical efficacy and safety of Huperzine Alpha in treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer disease. July 25, 2002.

Alzheimers Association:

Drugs and Aging: Multicentre study of l-alpha-glyceryl-phosphorylcholine vs ST200 among patients with probable senile dementia of Alzheimers type; L. Parnetti; April 1993

Brain Research Institute UCLA:

About the author

Cindie Leonard has a Master's degree in Psychology and specializes in research (namely psychoneuroimmunology), enjoys savoring time with family and friends, spoiling her pets, travel, beaches, cavorting around San Diego, volunteering at Torrey Pines State Reserve, and working on perfecting the art of "il dolce far niente."

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