Naturopathic Approaches to Treating People with Alzheimer’s Disease
As a naturopath with over 11 years of experience, I have found that despite the progressive deterioration common in Alzheimer’s, there are beneficial supports to helping patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. Some of what I have found is summarized below.
Growing research shows curcumin (found in the spice turmeric), and vitamin D may help in the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease. This is great news, since about 50% of people over 85 years old have Alzheimer’s.
Californian researchers have found out that a portion of what’s in the spice turmeric, part of the ‘curcumin’ portion, actually helps the brain’s immune cells to break down the building ‘amyloid plaque’ so that it doesn’t keep building up in Alzheimer’s patients. The same researchers found that, a form of vitamin D (that is activated in your liver and kidneys) has additional amyloid plaque degrading effects via the immune cells.
Dr. Francesca Mangialasche led a study following elderly patients, that showed that the balance of all 8 forms of naturally-occurring vitamin E are important for protecting the brain against developing Alzheimer’s disease. The most common vitamin E in supplements is the “alpha” form, however, there are 7 other forms of naturally-occurring vitamin E that Dr. Mangialasche’s research shows is important to keep in balance, and not just the “alpha” form. In fact, the prominent presence in the blood of the other forms of vitamin E, showed a preventive-effect for the elderly subjects who did not develop Alzheimer’s dementia, compared to the subjects who did develop Alzheimer’s.
Leading theories in the Causes of Alzheimer’s
-Imbalanced immune system, local to the brain
-Excess Insulin, and Excess Cortisol
-Imbalanced fat metabolism in the brain
-Excess free-radical brain damage
-Imbalanced metals affecting plaque formation (eg: aluminum, cadmium,copper, iron, mercury, zinc)
Treatments I Use for Those with or to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
-Concentrated Herbal Extracts
-Activated vitamin D
-Balanced-form vitamin E
-Detoxification (eg: chelation, colon hydrotherapy, far-infrared sauna, etc.)
-Exercise and Activity – physical and mental
-Test for genetic risks (eg: ApoE4)
Journal of Alzheimers Disease. 2010;20(4):1029-37.
High plasma levels of vitamin E forms and reduced Alzheimer’s disease risk in advanced age. Mangialasche F, et al.
Novel Drug Targets Based on Metallobiology of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Bandyopadhyay S, Huang X, Lahiri DK, Rogers JT.
Journal of Alzheimers Disease. 2009 Jul;17(3):703-17.
1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 interacts with curcuminoids to stimulate amyloid-beta clearance by macrophages of Alzheimer’s disease patients.
J Neurosci. 2009 Jul 15;29(28):9078-89.
Beta-amyloid oligomers induce phosphorylation of tau and inactivation of insulin receptor substrate via c-Jun N-terminal kinase signaling: suppression by omega-3 fatty acids and curcumin.