This post is a little personal, but it is something that needs to be discussed. Dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases are increasing, and I am writing this article because of friends that are near and dear to my family and me. Dementia also took over my grandmother. She lived many years with Dementia, but she never forgot her family. She just mixed each of us up with one another. We didn’t mind, because at least she was remembering that we were family. This is not always the case with Dementia or Alzheimer’s, especially. But know that there are options for you to explore.
Are You Afraid or Worried?
So did you know, that if you are afraid or worried about getting Alzheimer’s or Dementia (or anything else for that matter) you are increasing your risk, by up to 60%, of getting one of these devastating diseases? (1)
Did you know that what we believe or don’t believe about Alzheimer’s or Dementia can effect our biology and even our brains? So as we work through this article, it is important to check in with our emotions concerning this important topic. It is a difficult subject to approach, but if we stay objective and calm, we can keep our minds and bodies in balance. Cognitive decline in not inevitable, despite the media headlines and fear tactics.
What is Happening in the Brain?
Where Alzheimer’s is concerned the professionals explain the action of neurofibrillary
tangles (Abnormal structures, composed of twisted masses of protein fibers within nerve cells, found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease) (2) and amyloid beta plaques. These proteins are found in excess in Alzheimer’s disease, which destroy the synapses and conduction of nerve impulses. This also causes short term memory loss and over time will lead to cognitive decline.
Possible Causes to this Dilemma
There are many reasons as to why these diseases take hold of us or our loved ones. More and more evidence is revealing that Alzheimer’s and Dementia is a lifestyle disease that is preventable. Not so much a genetic or biological disposition. Some factors that scientists are looking at:
- How is toxic stress or trauma managed?
- What does our thought life sound like? What are we saying to ourselves on a daily basis? Is it encouraging or is it degrading?
- What are we eating? Are we cooking healthy organic home-cooked meals (from fresh foods), or are we stopping at the local fast food joint (been there, done that for many years)?
- What is our movement like? Are we getting enough physical activity?
- What about our exposure to toxic chemicals and certain medications?
- Lastly, how many head injuries have we incurred through out our lives (I can think of at least three from my childhood)?
These things have led me to look into brain boosting supplements. Check out Body-Brain Energy to boost your brain power and energy.
I found some promising studies at Buck Institute Research for Aging where they implemented a comprehensive diet, lifestyle, exercise, supplementation, sleep optimization and learning program, and patients who had to quit working, were able to return to work. That’s exciting news! I highly recommend you check out these studies because I can’t do them justice. They are related but share different aspects of the studies conducted.
Another interesting study was done on Nun’s, called the Nun Study, and it revealed “approximately one third of the sisters whose brains were found to be riddled with Alzheimer’s plagues and tangles at autopsy had shown no symptoms and scored normal results in all mental and physical tests while alive!” Now we have to ask ourselves, how is this possible? My two cents, for what it’s worth, is our thought life, diet, exercise and being life-long learners. Find something you love and learn every single thing you can about it, and when you are done with that, find something else you would enjoy to learn. Never stop!
Lifestyle Tips You Can Use
As I said above, learning is an extremely important way to keep our cognition sharp. Be a forever learner! Deep thinking is also a big helper in keeping more functional synapses and dendrites (Dendrites bring information to the cell body) in the brain, which will create a buffering effect against developing Alzheimer’s or dementia. This is the case for long and short term memories.
- You can build neural buffering by being mindful of when you have forgotten something. Start a journal and record things that are forgotten; once they come back into remembrance. This will take some effort but will pay dividends. Being intentional and deliberate in your thought processes can aid in decreasing further damage and help heal the brain. We have been working through Dr. Leaf’s, 21 Day Brain Detox program for several months, and it has been amazing at helping us detox toxic thoughts and release all the unnecessary baggage of the past. It’s a lifestyle, not just 21 days to detox our brains. The 21 days is for one toxic thought at a time. I highly recommend you get the book, Switch On Your Brain, to go with the program. Also at Dr. Leaf’s website, but you can find it cheaper elsewhere (like Abebooks).
- How many of us have turned over our memory to a computer device? Probably all of us to one degree or another. Something I refuse to release to a computer anymore is phone numbers. I used to bank tons of phone numbers and accounting numbers in my mind, no problem, but one day I noticed that I couldn’t remember my husbands phone number. That’s when I decided to start remembering phone numbers again. And I do!
- What have you learned? Did you know, sharing with others what you have learned will build a stronger memory?
- Get social! And I do not mean Social Media. Face to face conversations and interaction is a great way to maintain healthy cognition. We are social beings and need that contact.
- Get a good nights rest. While we sleep our brains are also cleansing out metabolic waste and much more.
- Diet has to be looked at closely. High processed, sugary and fat-laden foods will rob our brains of the nutrition that it needs. Wholesome fresh foods are fuel for a healthy brain.
- People who exercise will help increase blood flow to the hippocampus, the main region of the brain that converts short-term memory to long-term memory.
- Diffusing Rosemary essential oil in your home and workplace is a great way to give your brain a boost. Rosemary essential oil is one of the top brain boosting essential oils.
- Talk to your healthcare professional about high doses of Omega 3’s oil. Omega 3’s oil is highly beneficial to brain health. I recommend Nordic Naturals.
CBD and Dementia or Alheimer’s
I know here I go again with the CBD, but I was asked by my dear friend to research it. So I did. 😀 CBD is such an amazing supplement, and it works on so many levels of our bodies and minds. If you haven’t watched the documentary, The Scientist, I highly recommend you do.
According to Dementia Care Central, a study done in 2017 by California Salk Institute, found that cannabinoid’s (CBD) could help remove dementia from brain cells (3). Dementia Care Central also noted that CBD can help in three ways to improve health outcomes:
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce oxygen buildup
- Work as a brain stimulant and neuroprotectant
As an added benefit CBD can calm the anxiety, stress and frustration that can accompany dementia. As a personal note, I also use CBD for stress, anxiety and help sleeping. I have a busy mind and CBD calms it.
If you want to help a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia or protect yourself, you will have to do a serious inventory of your lifestyle, and be fully dedicated to make the necessary changes.
I’ve shared with you lifestyle tips, and the two supplements, Body-Brain, Energy and CBD, that we use to help us support our brains. I encourage you to go forth and use this knowledge to better your health and the health of your loved ones.
What are your thoughts? Please leave your comments or critiques (tactfully done) below and I will be glad to get back with you. Thank you for reading and please come back soon.
(1) Way more in depth article on the matter Dr. Caroline Leaf
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