Dementia

Original question: ‘…are there is any natural therapies that may help a person
with dementia, ideally by improving the condition or if that’s not possible at
least by slowing the deterioration?’

This is an often asked and extremely difficult to answer question. It is also very close to home for many people. I often feel that dementia is a disease that is better prevented than having to try and treat it once progressed to the point that a person is badly affected.

There are a number of ‘treatments’ that may well help prevent brain deterioration.

– For instance a deficiency in Zinc is common and is one possible cause of neuronal deterioration.

Vitamin B12 and Folate deficiency is a known cause of dementia and psychiatric
disorders.

Iodine deficiency also makes people sluggish and affects thinking and co-ordination.
All these deficiencies are easily remedied by making sure that you supplement daily with a good oral Vitamin B12 plus a Vitamin B complex and Colloidal minerals.

Hormonal deficiencies have similar effects (more noticeable in women than in
men, but very important to note).

Free radical damage can also cause neuronal deterioration. Supplementing with good quality, high dosage anti-oxidants can make noticeable difference to brain function. Simply drinking Green tea is not sufficient (although admittedly better than
nothing!).

Detoxification to eliminate gut derived toxins and inflammation is important. Probiotics and prebiotics help here.

Herbs such as Bacopa, Ginseng, Withania (Ashwagandha in Ayuvedic medicine), Gotu Kola and Turmeric all have adaptogen/tonifying effects and been observed to improve brain function.

Ginkgo Biloba helps improve circulation to the brain which may also help improve brain functioning and reduce the progression of cognitive decline.

The herb Rosemary has long been reputed to improve brain function but it is only more recently that the constituents of this herb has been studied. It has been found to contain carnosic acid which in a study has been found to promote ‘nerve growth factor’ which in turn can help improve brain function.

Phosphatidyserine has also been shown to improve memory and cognitive
function
and often works well when combined with Ginkgo Biloba.

– Sage also is a comon garden herb associated with improved brain function.

– Plus all the usual good dietary advice: Make sure your intake of fresh vegetables, fruits, and fresh fish (Omega 3) is adequate.
If relying on dietary fish intake then you need to get 2-3 servings of fish per week.
Alternatively at least 180 – 200mg daily of DHA.

– Make sure that your brain gets sufficient exercise. This may involve learning for much of a person’s life but as you age it is important to continue this brain exercise by involving yourself in mental activity of some kind. It may be cards, word puzzles, sukodu, or physical activities such as Tai Chi where the left/right exercise stimulates the brain.
The more the better as it makes a huge difference to the cognitive ability of the brain.

Other risk factors are:
– Diabetes this increases the risk of Dementia (or Alzheimers’s Disease).
– Exposure to neurotoxins especialy solvents.