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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