As the life expectancy in seniors has increased, more are becoming sufferers of Alzheimer’s and dementia that affects their memories. When one lives beyond the age of 60 their chances of developing Alzheimer’s increases- for a woman over the age of 60, she has a one in six chance at developing Alzheimer’s, and for men over 60, there is a one in eleven chance. Alzheimer’s is a complex disease that previously offered no effective treatment. The brain is what is effected by the disease sometimes shrinking to about the third of its original size and the researches at UCLA proposed that it is affected by sleep, diet and even exercise. The researchers chose to test whether this is true by conducting a study following ten memory-loss patients guiding them in dramatic lifestyle changes to serve as treatment to Alzheimer’s.

The changes they made were avoiding simple carbs, gluten, and processed foods as well as increasing their fish intake, taking yoga, and meditating. They were instructed to take melatonin, get adequate sleep, and incorporate vitamin B-12, vitamin D-3, and fish oil.

The results were fascinating! Within six months, nine patients saw noticeable improvement in memory. The one patient who didn’t experience a change or show improvement began in the study in late stages of dementia, suggesting that this method is best served when implemented in the early stages of the disease.

The UCLA researchers say that if caught and treated early on by changing a person’s metabolic process can bring back memory and cognitive function. Six of the patients in the study who had to discontinue work prior to the study due to their memory loss were able to return to work. Some patients were followed up to two and a half years and their memory improvements remained.

In order to catch the disease early enough to provide appropriate care, Teepa Snow, expert and spokesperson on Alzheimer’s, and Senior Helpers offer a chart to understand the stages of Alzheimer’s.

For families dealing with a senior with dementia it is important to understand you don’t have to face the care giving on your own. For aid in keeping your senior safe and healthy, Senior Helpers in Moraga offers companion and personal care, peace of mind and many other services in the East Bay spanning from Alameda county to Danville and many places in between. To find out if we service your area, call (925) 376-8000 or visit our website to find out more about our caregivers.

Original article in ABC News

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