SAN DIEGO, August 12, 2014 — The United States ranks third among 192 countries assessed for the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease, according to World Health Rankings. Only Finland and Iceland have higher incidents of the disease.
Alzheimer’s is also the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. preceded in order by heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lung disease and accidents.
Alzheimer’s is the fifth leading cause of death for Americans age 65 and older.
It is estimated that one American develops Alzheimer’s every 67 seconds, and by 2050 it is anticipated that it will increase to every 33 seconds with one million new cases each year according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Nearly 13.8 million Americans will be stricken with this horrific disease by 2050.
With no cure currently available, it is clear that Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative and progressive neurological disease, threatens the fabric of America’s society, health and economy.
It is an ever-growing epidemic which must be immediately addressed by lawmakers and the scientific community.
Discovering how to slow the progression of the disease while ultimately identifying preventive measures requires serious national attention and expediency.
The current understanding of what causes Alzheimer’s is more theoretical than certain, but there are some common beliefs which might be agreed upon by the scientific and medical communities.
Primarily a disease caused by aging, imaging of brain tissues of living individuals are being studied and evaluated for evidence of beta-amyloids and plaque–two indicators of Alzheimer’s which will help to better-understand its significance.
It is also widely speculated that a genetic variable known as apolipoprotein, or APO E 4 allele, could help predict the early onset of Alzheimer’s.
There are a variety of gene variables which could offset the effect of the APO E 4 gene which includes the simultaneous presence of an APO E 3 gene and a variety of many possible other genetic variations.
Considerably more research will be required to better predict how gene variants interact and how it will influence an individual’s proclivity for falling victim to Alzheimer’s.
The National Institute of Health lists some basic health risk factors and guidelines which are helpful both in predicting and preventing this disease:
-High blood pressure
Overall cardiovascular health is critical for preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Environmental factors might also be a detrimental influence.
Published in “What really causes Alzheimer’s disease,” by Harold D Foster, Foster proposes a variety of environmental connections which lead to lack of health, a variety of disease processes and the development of Alzheimer’s.
Foster hypothesizes that drinking tap water or ingesting certain foods creates exposure to harmful toxins such as aluminum.
Due to processing and treatment, it could create a variety of diseases and ill health which includes the onset of Alzheimer’s–since there are insufficient levels of key minerals which would naturally offset the negative effects of toxic chemicals.
For example, Foster asserts that aluminum is a neurotoxin found not only in drinking water, but certain soft drinks and beverages, deodorants, cosmetics, personal products and more.
Aluminum inhibits natural enzyme activities in the body and therefore creates a toxic reaction which ultimately creates a disease process–especially detrimental to those who have the APO E 4 gene.
By increasing the intake of calcium, magnesium and other vital minerals in treated water and beverages, and foods which are processed and consumed, it could help create more positive health and prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s from ever occurring.
The following are a list of food groups Foster suggests which can contain levels of calcium and/or magnesium helpful to the human body:
-Vegetables and legumes
-Grains and bakery
-Fruits and dairy
If there is a family history of Alzheimer’s, consult your medical professional and discuss the possibility of undergoing genetic testing, a simple blood test, to assess any risk factors.
Discovering a possible proclivity for Alzheimer’s disease could spawn positive lifestyle changes leading to a path of improved health and disease prevention.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.
In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
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