The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America defines Alzheimer’s as:
- Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes.
- These neurons, which produce the brain chemical, or neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, break connections with other nerve cells and ultimately die. For example, short-term memory fails when Alzheimer’s disease first destroys nerve cells in the hippocampus, and language skills and judgment decline when neurons die in the cerebral cortex.
- Two types of abnormal lesions clog the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease: Beta-amyloid plaques—sticky clumps of protein fragments and cellular material that form outside and around neurons; and neurofibrillary tangles—insoluble twisted fibers composed largely of the protein tau that build up inside nerve cells. Although these structures are hallmarks of the disease, scientists are unclear whether they cause it or a byproduct of it.
- Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, or loss of intellectual function, among people aged 65 and older.
- Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging.
- Origin of the term Alzheimer’s disease dates back to 1906 when Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German physician, presented a case history before a medical meeting of a 51-year-old woman who suffered from a rare brain disorder. A brain autopsy identified the plaques and tangles that today characterize Alzheimer’s disease.
Note the point that I have highlighted in red above. All of our authorities agree that Alzheimer’s was never a normal part of aging. It is something that has only developed in the last 20-30 years as anything but a very rare and unknown disease. Even now most authorities don’t know how it comes about.
And many of our authorities do not agree that Alzheimer’s is reversible. And that is the key belief that has been adopted by those who are practicing physicians in the field of Functional Medicine.
“Functional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century” – Institute of Functional Medicine.
Perhaps it is because our traditional healthcare systems are mainly focused on treatment of symptoms that we have not really developed effective Alzheimer’s disease treatment.
As well, early onset Alzheimer symptoms are more subtle and last over a number of years. Treatment for Alzheimer’s could certainly be more effective if applied during the period where progressive damage could be halted.
Can Alzheimer’s be reversed? The doctors practicing Functional Medicine have amassed thousands of case studies of real patients who have regained full functionality through early intervention.
Many of these practitioners have learned to reverse Alzheimer’s naturally through nutritional changes.
Once a patient has reached a certain stage of Alzheimer’s, reversing dementia can be a much more challenging task as much of the damage has already been done. But in those severe cases, some level of functionality has been reported by practitioners who are on the front line of this effort to reverse Alzheimer’s.
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While I was reading this article, I thought about how my grandfather, who is almost seventy, is in excellent mental and physical health. Of all the things he does to keep himself in good health, I believe that the most effective thing he does is take high grade fish oil. I’ve read so many studies on fish oil and its role in preventing mental disease and disease of the aging person. I’ll have to go and dig to see if it plays a part in preventing Alzheimers. Excellent article!
Thank you so much for your comments and sharing your grandfather’s story with us.
High grade fish oil is rich in Omega-3 fats – a medium chain fatty acid that does all kinds of good for the body. And it so happens that our brains made of the stuff as well.
Now in our normal state, we’re mostly feeding the brain glucose – it’s the result of eating carbohydrates and sugar. But the brain actually wasn’t designed for that. Kind of like the way we feed cattle corn and soy – but don’t get me started on that. So as we feed the brain something it wasn’t built to use but will accept in the absence of good fats like Omega-3, the brain begins to deteriorate – over time of course and subject to a lot of other factors, it might take years before it starts to show up. At first, you simply walk into a room and you forgot why you’re there. It comes back to you and you just chalk it off to “absent minded” or you start making lists when you go to the store because you’re always forgetting one obvious thing that you know you needed.
So it’s progressing so slowly you don’t really notice and besides you can always blame it on aging.
But meanwhile if you take some extra virgin coconut oil or even better some XCT Oil made from coconut oil and just put it into your coffee, or tea, or salad, or such, then your liver notices all of that great medium and short chain fatty acids and turns it into ketones and the brain says, “Hey, what is that stuff? I kinda like it but I’m so clogged up with all this glucose I’m not sure what to do with this gourmet meat.”
So you eat a little less carbs and give up sugar, and keep doing the oil, and pretty soon your brain starts to get used to using what it was made to use.
You see, our diet wasn’t always filled with carbohydrates. In fact, in the early days of civilization we really didn’t grow much and grains were not around and fruits and berries were very seasonal so you just had to eat mostly game, fish, or fowl and by doing so you go a lot of fats in your diet – mostly it was very good fat. In fact, early cavemen were noted to eat the fat from meat first and leave the muscle meat for scavengers. Our diet naturally had a lot of natural Omega-3s because we didn’t have carbs or sugar to eat.
Later when those things became available, we gradually switched over because they tasted better and you didn’t have to run as far to catch them. Even today, indigenous tribes who have not integrated into civilization but begin trading with other cultures and start eating baked goods and sugar undergo some very dramatic transformations. They progress from very lean cultures to extreme obesity and then to diabetes and Alzheimers/Dementia.
Let me suggest therefore that there may be more to your grandfather’s good fortune than simply eating fish oils. Take a closer look at his diet and tell us what he does with carbohydrates, grains, sugar, and dairy. I’ll bet he has other habits that help him as well.
Thanks again for sharing and giving me the opportunity to expound on the subject very close to my heart.
Thank you so much for creating this site. I currently know someone who is suffering from this disease, and it just got progressively worse. Now the persons speech is affected and because of the nature if the disease, unfortunately it only gets worse. But being from a christian background, with faith, there is no disease that God can not heal. Again thank you for the infographics on the disease.
Thank you for your comments. I know that God has placed everything we need to heal this person and wants us to use what he has provided.
Unfortunately for people suffering from Alzheimers, we are first a victim of poorly defined illnesses as well as a lack of faith. Most doctors believe as you stated that this is a progressive disease and you can do nothing about it. It just keeps getting progressively worse. As long as we believe our doctors, we’re going to believe what they believe and there’s nothing left to do.
But right now, and for the past 20 years, patients have been recovering under the care of competent doctors, and reversing the early symptoms of Alzheimers. It’s not until the symptoms and the damage to the brain becomes so severe that little hope can be found.
Scientists agree that the damage to the brain is primarily a result of poor body chemistry along with the activation of genes that we all have that are predisposed to the type of brain damage consistent with Alzheimers and dementia. The “poor body chemistry” I refer to is also called “inflammation” and most inflammation comes from either what we eat or don’t eat, or from our environment.
Inflammation creates conditions in the body that can be reversed. It is not a condition that is beyond our control. Everything we need was placed on this earth when man first set his foot here. But it takes faith as you say, “there is no disease that God can not heal” and for those doctors in functional medicine who believe this, they look for the causes of inflammation and once found, they simply eliminate the foods that are causing the problem, eliminate the toxins from the environment that are causing the problem. or add things back into he diet that are missing.
Thousands of patients just like your friend have been miraculously healed through simple changes in diet. There are more case studies from real people who recovered than you would have time to read in a lifetime.
I would encourage anyone in the same situation with a friend who is deteriorating, don’t give up, and if you’re praying, open you eyes and realize that God has already answered every question. The solution is already here and has been for thousands of years. Early cavemen in the Paleolithic era didn’t have Alzheimers or dementia. Some argue they didn’t live long enough before getting eaten by wild animals, but scientists know that we didn’t suffer from these illnesses until much later in our evolution. Everyone we needed to be healthy was already given to us.
Elsewhere on this website is a book review for Grain Brain – the author is a noted MD and scientist who has cured thousands of people. Read the book and share the knowledge with your friends or their caretakers. Creating hope is always a fearful process. You take a big risk. Easier to sit back and let things take their course. Why be the one creating hope only to risk relationships with people who would rather wait for the death of a friend? Once you know the truth you’ll have to decide. I hope you’ll make the right decision for you.
Thanks again for your comments.
Alzheimer’s is a scary and terrible thing for anyone to live through, my grandmother lived over ten years not knowing where she was or who her family was until the disease finally too her life.
It is very difficult to watch someone in your family go down hill with Alzheimer’s disease, doing all you can to prevent it when you are young is something everyone should focus on doing the best they can………….medications can’t fix everything