The REAL epidemic -we’re all “at risk”!

The REAL epidemic -we’re all “at risk”!

There’s been a lot of hand-wringing in the past few years about the rapid increase in the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. The “experts” have gone so far as to call it “an imminent worldwide epidemic.”

They’re grasping at all sorts of straws in their “quest for a cure.” One study of Swedish twins, where one twin had Alzheimer’s and the other was healthy, “suggests” that a love of reading, as a child and adult, might be protective. The study also reports that people with more education “seem” to have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. All of this is purely conjecture and has no real scientific basis.

I hate to be the one to tell them, but they’re not going to find a cure when they’re studying the wrong group of patients.

Time to face it-you’re going to get older, and so’s your brain

Dr. Kathleen Welsh-Bohmer of Duke University said, “Memory loss from early-stage Alzheimer’s is severe, affecting people’s ability to work and causing problems with language or judgment.” Now that is Alzheimer’s disease, and the key here is the word “early.”

Alzheimer’s is a relatively rare disease that starts in middle age-not old age-and is not increasing in incidence, as far as I know. So if it starts in middle age, why are scientists always so concerned with Alzheimer’s in the elderly? At that point, there’s nothing you can do.

The problem here is that they keep mislabeling senile brain degeneration as Alzheimer’s. Senile brain degeneration is caused by old age and is NOT the same as Alzheimer’s. The only way to prevent your brain from degenerating is to prevent pathological aging. By “pathological aging,” I mean the way your body-including your brain-reacts to the slowdown of cell division. And all your organs react to this process in the same way: They get weaker and weaker until, eventually, they die.

Why do they continue to confuse the two? (I have a sneaking suspicion it has something to do with commerce.) The doctors know better. Alzheimer’s is rare; senile brain disease is common and increasing because of the aging population. So the REAL epidemic we’re facing is a drastically increasing number of elderly people.

Cures and prevention: Know what you can-and can’t-do

You cannot-and never will be able to-cure a degenerated brain. Perhaps, and I emphasize perhaps, if the all-knowing government and its committees of politicians and politically oriented scientists had not misdirected the American people on diet over the last 40 years (trying to cram their commercially inspired, nutrition-free food and drugs down our esophagi), brain degeneration might not be the inevitable result of getting old for most people.

And if all those billions of dollars spent by the food and drug industry (and supported by medical associations like the American Medical Association) on soft (sometimes fraudulent) research and marketing had been spent on studying nutrients (like folic acid) that might prevent Alzheimer’s from striking middle-aged people, maybe we wouldn’t be facing an “epidemic” of any sort.

Action to take:

Education and reading are certainly good things, but I doubt either will stop the progression of brain degeneration secondary to 70 years of malnutrition–no matter what the Swedish researchers are saying.

If you have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, or are still worried about the “epidemic,” start taking folic acid (if you’re not already). Various studies have concluded that folic acid levels in Alzheimer’s patients are extremely low, and while this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a sure-fire way to stop it from happening to you, it certainly won’t hurt you to incorporate it into your diet.

Vegetables and fruits do contain folic acid, but cooking washes most of it out from the vegetables. So your most reliable food sources are egg yolks, liver, and fish. The U.S. recommended daily allowance of folic acid for adults is 400 micrograms a day, but since larger amounts are quite safe, I recommend a supplement of 1,000 micrograms daily. RH


“”Scientists hunt earliest symptoms in race against feared epidemic,” Associated Press (Lauren Neergaard), 7/7/00

“Alzheimer’s epidemic feared,” Associated Press, 7/11/00