Alzheimers Disease

Posted by on Feb 2, 2017 in Blog

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE (AD). Alzheimer’s disease begins approximately 30 years before the first symptoms are recognized. Beta amyloid plaques, the major mechanism thought to cause AD, have been seen in young adult brains. About 50% of U.S. families have a member with Alzheimer’s disease. Approximately five million people in America have AD, and the chance of developing Alzheimer’s doubles every five years after the age of 65. There is reportedly a 50% chance of developing AD by age 85. In the U.S., the annual health care costs associated with AD are estimated to be $100 billion. Years ago it was thought that the number of brain cells did not increase after birth. We now know that the brain continues to make new neurons (brain cells) through out the lifespan. Degenerative diseases damage certain brain areas by destroying neurons or their supporting cells. Our brain functions well in such circumstances until approximately 1/3 of our neurons have been lost. It takes between 10-50 years before the damage to the entorhinal cortex (the first brain area affected by AD) appears. In general, the first symptom is memory loss for recent events. The first real symptoms of AD occur 10-50 years after the “ AD process” begins asymptomatically By the time recent memory loss begins, between 30-60% of the neurons in the entorhinal cortex have been lost. In the beginning of symptomatic AD, the memory lapses may be only “occasional”, however, as the disease continues to damage and destroy brain cell, the symptoms and behavior patterns appear more consistently. Early symptoms of AD include forgetting appointments, names, significant family events, holidays, forgetting to take meds, difficulty following simple directions, and getting lost when going someplace you have often visited in the past. Elevated Risk Risk factors are: 3.5x One family member with AD or related disorder or + genetic test for the ApoE4 gene(this test can be ordered by you health care
professional). EARLY SCREENING ESSENTIAL
7.5x > 1 family member with dementia or AD. EARLY SCREENING
ESSENTIAL
2.0x Head trauma resulting in loss of consciousness for > a few 
minutes. WEAR A HELMUT, AVOID ACTIVITIES THAT ARE
ASSOCIATED WITH A SIGNIFICANT RISK FOR FURTHER HEAD
TRAUMA. E.G. MOTORCYCLES, HORSEBACK RIDING, SOCCER,
 SCATE BOARDS, AND BICYCLE ACCIDENTS. Prevention of AD: 1) Consumption of cold-water seafood (e.g. Wild Alaskan salmon, Tuna, Halibut, Sardines, Mackerel, Trout (wild or farmed)
All of the above are high in omega-3 fish oils (e.g.
EPA, DHA, DPA and others). Four servings of these seafood choices,
each week, and taking omega-3 supplements, should definitely be
part of EVERYONE’S AD prevention program.
2) No Cigarettes 3) 7-8 hours of sleep each night with 20 minute power naps during the day. 4) Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables along with olive oil. 5) Drink at least 3 oz of dark cherry or pomegranate juice. Drinking with meals helps increase absorption. 6) Enjoy a cup of green tea daily. 7) Love those nuts and...

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Alcohol and your health

Posted by on Feb 2, 2017 in Blog

ALCOHOL AND YOUR HEALTH:   Standard drink definitions. Beer or wine cooler (about 5% alcohol) 12 oz. = 1 standard drink 16 oz. = 1.3 standard drinks 22 oz. = 2 standard drinks 40 oz. = 3.3 standard drinks Table wine (about 7% alcohol) 5 oz. = 1 standard drink 25 oz. bottle = 5 standard drinks 80-proof spirits (about 40% alcohol) 1.5 oz. = 1 standard drink 1 mixed drink = 1 or more standard drinks (depends on recipe and amounts) 1 fifth = 17 standard drinks *Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism For those who choose to drink, here is MY recommendation as to “amount”.  Males up to age 65: one drink six times weekly (e.g. one drink 6 of 7 days).  Females up to age 65:  one drink 3 times weekly (1 drink 3 days weekly).  Age 65 and above, decrease the above recommendations by 50%, as your ability to metabolize alcohol decreases and your blood level of alcohol/drink increases.   Who should never drink: + family history of (h/o) alcohol or drug abuse (includes biological parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents), personal history of alcohol or drug abuse, history of atrial fibrillation (AFib)-unknown if having a + family history of AFib should also be considered in this decision, personal history of cancer (especially cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, stomach, liver, colon, rectum, basal cell- squamous cell-melanoma cancer of the skin), h/o high blood pressure- stroke-liver disease (e.g. fatty liver or hepatitis)-gastro-esophageal reflux, stomach ulcers, heart failure-peripheral neuropathy-pancreatitis-depression-sleep disorders (including insomnia, sleep apnea)-balance problems-osteoporosis-erectile dysfunction, and diagnosis of “cognitive decline”. Excess alcohol DECREASES absorption and utilization and or blood level of Carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene), selenium, vitamins C, E, K, folic acid, thiamin), glutathione (the primary intracellular antioxidant), magnesium, zinc, and choline. Alcohol consumption appears to have NO benefit in preventing Myocardial Infarctions (heart attacks) in people who EXERCISE, EAT FRUIT AND VEGETABLES, AND DO NOT SMOKE.  J Epidemiology Community Health 2008; 62: 905. Beware of alcohol consumption when you are taking a medication in the following categories: Antihistamines and cold remedies, Statin drugs, Enlarged prostate, Sleeping aids, Heartburn drugs, Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Anticoagulants, Anti-anxiety drugs, and NSAID pain relievers. You are pregnant and (for fertility issues, I recommend all those “trying to become pregnant”- BOTH partners, male and female, stop alcohol consumption at least one month prior to starting the “get pregnant quest”), 2. Driving 3. Operating heavy machinery 4. Using medications that interact with alcohol-ask your pharmacist. I want to discuss atrial fibrillation (AF) in more depth than listed in PART II.  AF is the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia, especially in those over age 65.  A recent article in the American College of Cardiology reported that compared to alcohol abstinence, one or more drinks daily increased the risk of AF by 8 to 17%.  Drinking 3,4 or 5 drinks...

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