The Fundamentals

Named after the German neurologist, Alois Alzheimer, this is a chronic, progressive disorder that accounts for more than 50% of all dementias. Most commonly affecting people older than 65, symptoms can occur as early as 40. Alzheimer's begins with mild memory loss which soon progresses to deterioration of intellectual functions, personality changes, and problems with speech and language. In the terminal stage, patients may suffer from seizures, delusions, depression, hallucinations, and paranoia. Death results from complications caused by immobility. The disease may take 10-15 years. There is no exact cause known.

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Alzheimer's Association
Alzheimer's Disease

ome 3-4 million persons suffer from senile dementia. As many as 10 percent of people over age 65 can expect to suffer from mental deterioration associated with Alzheimer's disease. After age 85, changes are one in two that you will be diagnosed with this disease. There are only two definite factors that increase the risk for Alzheimer's disease: a family history of dementia and Down syndrome.
The classic sign of early Alzheimer's disease is gradual loss of short-term memory. Other signs include inability to recognize objects or concentrate, problems finding or speaking the right word, forgetting how to do ordinary things like write a check, and forgetting to do things like lock doors. With this memory dysfunction, agitation often occurs, and poor judgment may cause unusual behavior. Although there is no known cure for Alzheimer's disease at this time, it may be possible to relieve some of the symptoms, such as wandering and incontinence.
Ginkgo has great potential for lessening the effects of this disease because of its antioxidant properties. Clinical studies have shown it to improve the attention and memory of patients with Alzheimer's. German Commission E approves Ginkgo for the treatment of dementia. Another helpful herb is Dandelion, which is a great source of lecithin. Lecithin increases concentrations of acetylcholine in the brain, helping to improve memory. Stinging Nettle contains a high content of the mineral boron, which can double the level of estrogen circulating in the body. In studies, estrogen was shown to improve short-term memory, as well as elevating the moods of some people with Alzheimer's. Willow Bark and Gotu Kola are other supplements that can assist in alleviating some of the symptoms of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
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Note: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the use of a qualified health care professional. We strongly recommend the use of a physician for the diagnostic phase of any treatment. With an accurate diagnosis in hand, we believe the consumer, at that point, has a basic, unalienable right to seek out factual information on all therapeutic approaches, both orthodox and alternative, and choose those approach(es) that are right for them. Nonetheless, a "good doctor" should be considered a requisite starting point.

To U.S. Users: None of the products mentioned on this page have been evaluated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration; therefore, they are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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