Alternative Approaches to Alzheimer’s

It is probably fair to say that no disease inspires more fear than Alzheimer’s. While there are other fatal diseases, Alzheimer’s is worse than fatal; it robs its victim of his or her mind and memories long before the body succumbs. Alzheimer’s strikes an estimated one in nine Americans 65 and older, with 6.2 million diagnosed as of 2021. Despite this, Alzheimer’s is the only one of the ten most common causes of death for which there is no effective treatment. Of 244 experimental drugs tested from 2000 to 2010 only one was approved in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, and its effects are modest at best.

Why is science failing so miserably when it comes to the treatment of cognitive decline? Seemingly rock-solid evidence in lab rats shows Alzheimer’s is caused by accumulation in the brain of a protein called amyloid-beta. All research has therefore focused on medications that destroy the production of this sticky plaque. While these medications often do a great job of removing the plaques, patients either don’t get better, or get worse. Maybe it is time we shifted the tunnel vision from amyloid beta onto other factors instead?

The truth is, there are alternative medical approaches that are successfully preventing and even reversing Alzheimer’s! Rather than waiting for full-blown disease, these approaches are actively adopted in mild to moderate early stages of cognitive decline. Three main “classes” have been identified: a “hot” type with increased inflammatory biomarkers on labs; a “cold” type with declining hormone levels, including thyroid, sex hormones, and vitamin D; and a “toxic” type involving heavy metal and chemical toxicity.

A whopping thirty-six factors have been identified that contribute to cognitive decline! These include genetics; about 75 million Americans carry the ApoE4 gene variant. A single gene from one parent carries a thirty percent increased risk, and a double gene from both parents a fifty to ninety percent increased risk!  Gene testing is a simple and effective way to identify those at high risk, so they can start early monitoring and preventive care.

Other important contributing factors include sleep, gut health, and insulin resistance. Sleep apnea is extremely common and contributes substantially to cognitive decline. If suspected, a sleep study should be conducted as soon as possible. Simple stool and/or breath tests uncover the state of a person’s intestinal environment, identifying bacterial overgrowth, pathogens and intestinal permeability driving inflammatory processes in the body. And the risk for developing Alzheimer’s is sixty-five percent higher in those with diabetes than those without!

At Vital Health we dig deep to uncover and correct the complex underlying causes of cognitive decline. We then utilize targeted nutrition, dietary supplements, herbal therapy, and acupuncture to create necessary change. Numerous studies report improved memory and cognitive impairment with acupuncture, which decreases inflammation and promotes circulation to the brain. If you or someone you know is experiencing loss of mental function, let us help you turn this path around. Don’t wait until it is too late!

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Darcy Greenwald

Darcy Greenwald

Darcy Greenwald holds a Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine, is a Licensed Acupuncturist, is certified in Western Herbalism and has extensive training in nutritional therapy. She has over 20 years of experience in natural medicine. Darcy is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Darcy is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene.

Medical/Health Disclaimer:

The information provided in this article should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this article. Readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the author, but readers who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

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