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As our society ages, more and more Americans face dreaded memory problems. Second guessing any forgetful behavior, we sometimes kid that we have Alzheimer’s disease. Named for the German doctor who first diagnosed it. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that destroys brain cells. As a result, the person suffers memory loss and severe thinking and behavior problems. Over 5 million Americans live with this fatal disease.
As the body ages, so does the brain. We all typically experience a little slowed thinking or occasional memory or retrieval trouble, but serious loss, confusion and other major changes in the way our minds work are not normal. They may be a sign that brain cells are failing.
Abnormal structures called plaques and tangles are likely responsible for damaging and killing brain cells (neurons). Similar to plaque on teeth, plaque in the brain is a build-up of protein structures between nerve cells. Tangles (twisted fibers of another type of protein structure) form inside dying brain cells. Though most people develop some plaque and tangles as they age, those with Alzheimer’s and some other degenerative brain challenges tend to develop far more. These plaques and tangles start in a predictable pattern, often starting in areas important in learning and memory, then spreading to other regions. Some experts believe plaques and tangles interfere or block communication among nerve cells and disrupt activities that cells require to survive.
Studies show that people with Alzheimer’s also commonly have altered phospholipid levels, including choline and lecithin. It stands to reason that supplementing with phospholipids may help to counter this deficit. Additionally, the nutrient huperzine A has demonstrated value for low levels of acetylcholine, often associated with Alzheimer’s disease. These nutrients are only a small number of supports that may help stave off the onset of concentration and memory challenges, as well as dementia and more degenerative and progressive brain deterioration.
Another modality that has shown considerable promise regarding brain health is hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy. Just one of the many supports available at Herbs & More.