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Posts tagged ‘Aging’

Alzheimer’s Disease and Prevention

Is there a connection with Sleep, Diet or Medication?


Currently affecting 11% of the population 65 years and older Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is up 71% and is the third cause of death.

Research from both Mary S Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research Department of Neurology, UCLA & Buck Institute for research on Aging, Novata Calif. concur with Dale Bredesen, MD who was quoted at the Scripps Functional Medicine Seminar in San Diego saying “9 out of 10 display subjective or objective improvement in cognition beginning in 3-6 month.  With sustained improvement, 2.5 years after commencement of treatment.

What has been shown is that a Monotherapeutic approach is unsuccessful (including Alzheimer’s drugs or herbs).  What is needed is a multipronged approach.  Most successful are multitherapeutics including diet, organ system functions, multiple herbs and food based therapies.

There are several primary causes and initiating factors regarding AD.

Trauma such as automobile accidents, concussions from blunt trauma, as well as jarring forces such whiplash type trauma can result in an autoimmune response which leads to antibodies to brain tissue.  The immune response in the brain results in Amyloid Plaques.  These protect the brain from bacteria, biofilms and oxidative stress or free radicals.  However, when this system is overactive the defense becomes the attacker and compromises brain tissue.

Inflammation which can come about by gut dysfunction, bad teeth, obesity, toxicity, or infection.

Insulin resistance due to the inflammatory nature of insulin.

Bioaccumulation of toxicity.  In other words and accumulation of toxins in the body.  Which is also a driving force to inflammation.

Vascular Insufficiency as well as Atrophic changes from various imbalances as mentioned above.

Common symptoms used as early warning signs are:

Memory loss that disrupts daily life.

Difficulty completing familiar tasks

Time / Place confusion

Visual image interpretation decline

Inability to retrace steps with misplaced items or when traveling.

Sever Alzheimer’s is NOT reversible that we know of so it is very important to use the early warning signs and intervene quickly.

There are many medications such as Klonopin which along with being addictive are known to cause permanent memory loss and increase AD.

Sleep has shown to play an important role in brain health.  A good night’s sleep conveys many benefits to a person, including boosts to memory, concentration and learning, creativity and ability to solve problems.  Studies are now revealing that lack of sleep can cause the premature onset of Alzheimer’s’ Disease.

Most importantly is the early detection.  If you know of someone who may be exhibiting these symptoms or you suspect a decrease in memory and problem solving ability the sooner you act the more likely it would be able to be turned around.  If you or someone you know would like more information such as a private consultation please feel free to contact my office.  Mention this article and you can arrange for a free consultation by phone.

Yours for Better Health, Dr. Shapero


Non-Prescription Medications Linked to Dementia


Walk into any drugstore and you’ll see shelves and shelves lined with medications. Among those medications are non-prescription sleep medications such as Benadryl.


Researchers have found a significant link between the high use of these medications and an increased risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s.   The class of drugs called anticholinergic medications work by blocking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the body and brain. Some of the side effects of this are constipation, drowsiness, inability to urinate, dry mouth and eyes, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.

“Older adults should be made aware that many medications- including some available without a prescription, such as over-the-counter sleep aids- have strong anticholinergic effects.” Says Shelly Gray, lead researcher of the study.

While the link between anticholinergic drugs and an increase in dementia has been observed before in other studies, this study was more rigorous and followed up with patients through seven years after the study to establish the strength of the findings. Researchers also accessed pharmacy records to correlate the use of non-prescription drugs in their data.

This is also the first study to demonstrate the dose-response effect. This means that more often the drug is taken and the more cumulative amount, the higher the risk is of developing dementia. Not only that, but the negative effects of taking the drugs can persist long after the person stops taking the medication.  The most commonly used medications for those patients that developed dementia were antidepressants, antihistamines, and antimuscarinics (for bladder control).

Researchers stress the importance of speaking with your primary care physician to find out how to reduce the dosages of any current medications. It’s important to do this as soon as possible since the negative effects from taking those drugs may already have set in.  Dr. Shapero has helped hundreds of people find natural and effective alternatives for better sleep and other problems.

SOURCE: Paddock, Catharine. “Over-the-counter sleep aids linked to dementia.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 27 Jan. 2015. Web. 14 Nov. 2015. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288546.php

Yours for Better Health, Dr. Shapero


Too Old to Exercise???

I like many of my friends have always loved exercising, working out, doing yoga, practicing martial arts as well as many other forms of exercise. But, some have told me there are times they’d much rather roll over and stay in bed, sit in front of the computer, or do just about anything but move my body. While some come up with incredibly inventive excuses, “I don’t have time” and “it’s not a priority right now” are two of my favorites. And, in the last few years, I’ve even heard another good one that truly puzzles me: “I’m getting too old to exercise like I used to.”

Most people over 50 (or even over 40!) use the “I’m too old to exercise” excuse and it’s the worst thing they can do for their health.  Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the guru of aerobics, put it this way: “We do not stop exercising because we grow old, we grow old because we stop exercising.”

It’s not just an astute observation; it’s a proven fact. A recent study at Ohio State University focused on yoga, but we’d probably see the same results from any similar type of exercise. The researchers found the regular practice of yoga exercises may lower a number of compounds in the blood and reduce the level of inflammation that normally rises because of both normal aging and stress.

The study, reported in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, showed that women who routinely practiced yoga had lower amounts of the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) in their blood. They also showed smaller increases in IL-6 after stressful experiences than did women who were the same age and weight but who were not yoga practitioners.

IL-6 is a normal and important part of the body’s innate inflammatory response — but too much stress (and/or too little exercise) causes it to elevate to a level where it can contribute to heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, arthritis, and a host of other age-related debilitating diseases. Reducing inflammation may provide substantial short- and long-term health benefits, the researchers suggested.

“We know that inflammation plays a major role in many diseases. Yoga appears to be a simple and enjoyable way to add an intervention that might reduce risks for developing heart disease, diabetes and other age-related diseases,” wrote co-author Ron Glaser, a professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics.

“In addition to having lower levels of inflammation before they were stressed, we also saw lower inflammatory responses to stress among the expert yoga practitioners in the study,” explained Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology and lead author of the study. “Hopefully, this means that people can eventually learn to respond less strongly to stressors in their everyday lives by using yoga and other stress-reducing modalities.”

Bill Malarkey, a professor of internal medicine and another of the project’s researchers, pointed to the inflexibility that routinely comes with aging. “Muscles shorten and tighten over time, mainly because of inactivity,” he said. “The stretching and exercise that comes with yoga actually increases a person’s flexibility and that, in turn, allows relaxation which can lower stress.”

Prof. Malarkey sees the people’s adoption of yoga or other regular exercise as one of the key solutions to our current health care crisis. “People need to be educated about this. They need to be taking responsibility for their health and how they live. Doing yoga and similar activities can make a difference.”

Since I can’t use the “too old” excuse, I guess I’ll have to either rely on the “too busy” one or, better yet, stop making excuses and drag out the yoga mat!

Yours for Better Health, Dr. Shapero


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