(Natural News) The Alzheimer’s Association defines dementia as “a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life.” However, over 40 percent of dementia diagnoses are actually wrong.
Here are seven health conditions that are often confused for dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- Side effects of artificial flavors, food colors, and sweeteners – These artificial additives are linked to dementia symptoms. Studies have determined that aspartame, an artificial sweetener, can impair cognitive function and cause memory loss.
- Inflammation from food allergies, low-level infections, Lyme Disease, and mold – Inflammation occurs when the body tries to get rid of toxic elements or organisms. Studies imply that neuroinflammation may cause mental disorders.
- Mercury or other heavy metal poisoning – Silver amalgam fillings contain 50 percent mercury that isn’t stable or inert. The mercury in filling “off-gasses, crosses the blood-brain barrier, and destroys neurons even without contact.” It’s hazardous to remove these fillings unless mercury-safe protocols are observed. Annual flu shots also contain heavy metals like aluminum and mercury.
- Nutritional imbalances and deficiencies – Deficiencies of folate (vitamin B9), magnesium, omega 3s, probiotics, selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, and other nutrients may cause the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia. To address deficiencies, follow a balanced Mediterranean-style diet to slow down cognitive decline and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Coconut oil can boost brain health while turmeric can improve your memory.
- Prescription medication side effects – Drugs, like pain medications, psychotropic drugs, statins (for lowering blood cholesterol), and sleep medication may severely disrupt cognition and increase the risk of dementia.
- Stress and stagnation or inactivity – Stress will elevate cortisol levels, and this causes inflammation. Inflammation then results in cognitive impairment, delayed healing time, hormone imbalances, hypertension, increased blood sugar levels, and susceptibility to disease. The body’s self-healing mechanisms requires the unimpeded flow of blood, lymph, and other fluids, which are improved with exercise. However, if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, cells in your body may shut down or become blocked, which can impede the natural healing process. Misdiagnosis linked to stress and inactivity often occurs in individuals with depression or alcohol addiction. (Related: The many ways stress makes you sick.)
- Thyroid and other hormonal imbalances – Individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia often have low T3 thyroid hormone levels, which aren’t measured in standard thyroid tests. At least 10 to 15 percent of residents in all nursing home residents are misdiagnosed due to low T3 levels.
Determining a cure for dementia
Experts from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging are collaborating on a new program that can help individuals with dementia, which may prevent misdiagnosis in patients with other conditions.
The research team reported that this is the first study of its kind and that it can prove that natural therapies may help slow the progress of dementia and even reverse it. Data from the paper, titled “Reversal of Cognitive Decline: A novel therapeutic program” and published in the journal AGING, revealed that out of the 10 participants diagnosed with dementia, nine “got their minds back.”
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As people grow older, their fear of developing cognitive decline increases. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the several types of dementia. An individual with the disease may have problems with their behavior, memory, and thinking. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s tend to develop and worsen gradually until they interfere with simple daily tasks.
At least 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s while 30 million people worldwide are diagnosed with the condition. Experts posit that by 2050, 160 million individuals around the world, including 13 million Americans, will have the disease. To date, Alzheimer’s, the third leading cause of death in the U.S., can’t be treated.
Dr. Dale Bredesen, the study’s lead author and a professor of neurology at The Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA, supposes that different factors affect the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s. For the study, Dr. Bredesen and his colleagues developed personalized and comprehensive protocols to address memory loss in 10 patients.
The study results were positive, and nine of the 10 participants showed improvement in their memories after being on the program for only three to six months. Out of the 10 patients, six patients have discontinued working or were struggling with their jobs when they joined the study. Once they joined the program, the six participants were able to work again or continue working with improved performance.
Five of the participants had memory loss linked to Alzheimer’s while the rest had amnestic mild cognitive impairment and subjective cognitive impairment. Only one patient with late-stage Alzheimer’s didn’t improve.
Doctors used a “systems approach” to treat the patients who joined the program. This “complex, 36-point therapeutic program” included:
- Brain stimulation
- Comprehensive changes in diet
- Sleep optimization
- Specific pharmaceuticals and vitamins
The program also involved other steps concerning brain chemistry. Dr. Bredesen concluded that even if the program is complex and involves many lifestyle changes, the protocol is worth implementing since its only side effect was “improved health and an optimal body mass index, a stark contrast to the side effects of many drugs.”
You can read more articles about natural cures for the different conditions mistaken as dementia at Health.news.