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Alternative Treatment for Alzheimer's

Alternative Treatment for Alzheimer's Alternative Treatment for Alzheimer's

For the nearly 4.5 million Americans and their families struggling with Alzheimer's disease, alternative treatments may present the only promise for impeding the progress of their illness. More and more alternative--and home--remedies are being cited for the positive effects they have on enhancing an individual's memory. Vitamin and herbal supplements, mental stimulation and nutritional therapy are just some of the options that are showing positive results.

Vitamin and Herbal Supplements

Vitamin E is sometimes used to treat Alzheimer's sufferers. Research conducted by the federal government shows that Vitamin E--to some extent--postpones a patient's difficulty executing daily activities. The supplement's antioxidants show signs of being able to halt the chemical "wear and tear" on the nerve cells in the brain. Consult with a doctor before using Vitamin E as an alternative treatment for Alzheimer's, however, since it may yield an adverse reaction to other medications, such as those for preventing blood clots. The Chinese medicinal herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba has been known to improve memory due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory attributes. Ginkgo biloba also may enhance cognitive functions, like thinking, recalling and learning and socialization; lessen feelings of depression or melancholy; and improve the performance of every day tasks.

Exercise the Brain

Keeping the brain active is one of the most effective ways to delay or stave off the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Mental stimulation--or exercise--aids in producing healthy brain cells and the links these cells form with one another. Existing brain cells also become stronger. Individuals are encouraged to devote 20 to 30 minutes several times a week to "brain aerobics," which can be any activity that requires their complete attention, encourages several senses, and disrupts a familiar activity. Consider learning a musical instrument, a second language or a new type of dance; pursuing a new hobby; joining a book club; doing puzzles (crossword, jigsaw or word); engaging in group discussions, forums or debates; visiting museums; or playing card or board games.

Nutritional Therapy

A healthy diet is essential for a healthy brain. It is equally important for those living with Alzheimer's disease. Foods rich in beta-carotene, Vitamins C and E, Omega-3 fatty acids and selenium are recommended for Alzheimer's patients. These molecules can counterbalance the free radicals that are responsible for damaging tissue and stimulating aging. Beta-carotene is found in dark orange, red and green vegetables, like butternut or acorn squash, broccoli, spinach and lettuce. Look for Vitamin C in grapefruit, oranges and strawberries and Vitamin E in grapes, apples, nuts and whole grains. Most fish contain Omega-3 fatty acids while cabbage, liver and whole grain breakfast cereals are sources of selenium.

Facts About Alternative Treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not oversee or regulate alternative treatments and medications. It does not mandate that supplement producers report the safety and efficacy of their products. This lack of information may result in serious interactions between vitamin and herbal supplements and prescription medicines. Always check with a health care professional before using alternate methods of treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

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