This coming Sunday, September 21 is World Alzheimer’s Day. Alzheimer’s disease organizations around the world will concentrate their efforts on drawing attention to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia to affect seniors, impairing victims’ mental functioning.
With an aging population, Alzheimer’s disease is becoming especially prevalent. In fact, a new case is diagnosed every 68 seconds in America alone! If the current rates continue, it is believed that the number of seniors with Alzheimer’s will quadruple to 16 million by 2050!
Presently, there are 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. It is often called the “family disease” since families are forced to watch as their loved one declines mentally. It’s one of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S. and is one of the few diseases afflicting the elderly that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed.
Fortunately, there are many resources for patients and loved ones alike for support and information. There are also steps that you can take to slow the progression of the disease, with programs in place that engage patients’ minds. The Cognitive Therapeutics Method is one such program that can be customized to a patient’s needs and has been successful in staving off the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by keeping the patient’s mind stimulated.
There are also natural ways to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. For example, a recent study from the University of Huddersfield has revealed that a drug derived from pomegranates may just slow the effects of Alzheimer’s. The two-year study found that punicalagin, a derivative of pomegranates, has anti-inflammatory properties that have been found to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and even curb some of the symptoms. The derivative inhibits the inflammation of brain cells called micrologia. The destruction of these brain cells makes the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease worse.
The team hopes to soon develop drugs that will slow the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, the researchers are hopeful that with drugs containing punicalagin, anyone with a family history of Alzheimer’s may be able to prevent its onset.
In the meantime, regularly consuming pomegranate juice or the fruit itself is a delicious way to stay healthy. Pomegranates contain antioxidants that are useful in treating other ailments too, such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease. Pomegranate juice that contains only that—100% pomegranate juice—is usually about 3.4% punicalagin, so try adding pomegranate juice to your diet as a preventative method.
September 21 may be World Alzheimer’s Day, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps to raise awareness and prevent it year-round!
Sources for Today’s Article:
“Creating pomegranate drug to stem Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s,” ScienceDaily web site, August 22, 2014; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140822094106.htm.
“World Alzheimer’s Day: September 21,” Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation web site; http://www.alzinfo.org/08/alzheimers/world-alzheimers-day, last accessed September 16, 2014.