Our Prevention Program
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia and is marked by brain changes including amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The disease is thought to begin 20 years or more before symptoms arise. Unfortunately, none of the currently available pharmacologic treatments (medications) for Alzheimer’s dementia slow or stop the damage and destruction of neurons that cause Alzheimer’s symptoms and make the disease fatal. Worse still, some of the recent pharmaceuticals under investigation have been shown to have profound negative side-effects, and have still not shown to resolve the underlying condition.
Findings presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) have highlighted the need for interventions that lower the risk for dementia. For example, research presented at the 2021 AAIC indicated:
- About 50 million people worldwide have dementia and that number is expected to triple in the next 30 years
- Improving air quality can reduce risk for dementia
- SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, can affect the nervous system in lasting ways that contribute to the development — or worsening — of Alzheimer’s disease
According to Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D. Alzheimer’s Association Chief Science Officer “In addition to therapeutics, it’s critical to uncover culturally-tailored interventions that reduce dementia risk through lifestyle factors like education, diet and exercise.”
While Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, it is not the only cause of cognitive decline. There are many other causes of cognitive decline, including:
- Sleep disorders;
- Blood sugar disorders, including low blood sugar, insulin resistance and diabetes;
- Brain inflammation from head injuries, infections and toxins;
- Anemia and poor blood circulation;
- Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
So how do we go about preventing the cognitive decline associated with an incurable disease like Alzheimer’s? Studies have shown that there are many modifiable lifestyle factors that can become tools to use in our “cognitive decline prevention” toolbox, for example:
- We have the ability to affect the expression genes that increase the risk for Alzheimer’s through a process called epigenetics;
- We can grow new neurons in our brains through a process called neurogenesis that can occur throughout our lifetimes;
- We can rewire our brains to support connections between nerve cells (neurons) through a process called neuroplasticity;
- We can prevent insulin resistance and diabetes by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels;
- We can eat a diet that lowers inflammation and optimizes nutrients to support our brains;
- We can support our gut microbiomes, the collection of bacteria and other microbes that live in our gut and play a pivotal role in our health and in our brain health;
- We can reduce the biochemical effects of unmanaged stress, and thereby reduce inflammation in the brain;
- We can exercise to create healthier brains by increasing blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain, and supporting Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), a growth substance for the brain that plays a critical role in creating new neurons, protecting existing neurons and encouraging new connections between neurons;
- We can optimize sleep quality and quantity, which supports consolidation of memory and the clearance of toxins from the brain;
- We can avoid or mitigate environmental exposures such as toxins and infections that increase inflammation; and
- We can support our brains and bodies through appropriately-targeted dietary supplementation.
At A Wiser Mind our focus is on the restoration and maintenance of brain health and prevention of cognitive decline through an evidence-informed, lifestyle-based Functional Health approach that includes:
- Identifying contributors to cognitive decline – metabolic, immune, infectious, toxic, vascular, traumatic, genetic;
- Removing the contributors – reduced brain oxygenation, insulin resistance, inflammation source(s), toxins, etc.;
- Creating resilience – optimizing brain fuel and energy, nutrients, hormones, neurotrophic (nerve growth) factors, neurotransmitters, etc.; and
- Rebuilding lost synapses and other structural and functional losses.
For more information about our program and to explore whether our lifestyle-based approach for supporting brain health is right for you please click the link below to schedule a free discovery consultation with Dr. Ward.
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