Diet and Lifestyle

The best preventive approaches should be simple, cheap and non-toxic, so a discussion of diet and lifestyle heads this list. When parallel dietary intake studies were conducted among patients with AD versus patients with vascular dementia (VaD) the results demonstrated very similar dietary patterns. The only statistical differences between the two groups was that AD patients had higher intake of animal fat over the vascular dementia patients. When AD and Vascular Dementia (VaD) patient group diets were compared to matched normals there was an excess of energy (calories) and Omega six fatty acids (ω-6 fatty acids promote inflammation) and a deficiency of anti-oxidants (Vitamins A, C, E, selenium, etc.) and omega three fatty acids (ω-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation). Thus, a diet that has reduced calories, animal fat and ω-6 fatty acids (reduced calorie/sugar /carbohydrate/animal fat/trans-fats/warm weather oils [corn, safflower, etc.] and provides increased anti-oxidants and ω-3 fatty acids (increased fruits (low carbohydrate-low glycemic index)/vegetables/fish/fish oil/flax seed/flax oil/olive oil) should be considered. In addition, regular physical exercise and regular mental exercise (cross-word puzzles, games, reading technical literature, etc.) have been shown to delay the onset of and improve the symptoms of memory loss-cognitive dysfunction syndromes and cardio-vascular diseases.

Nutritional Supplements: Certain over-the-counter (OTC) supplements may assist in preventing and/or treating memory loss-cognitive dysfunction syndromes. There is some statistically-based scientific evidence that vitamin D3, Niacinamide (vitamin B3) and the sleep-inducing natural brain hormone Melatonin may aid in delaying or assist in treating memory loss-cognitive dysfunction. There is also a significant data base regarding the beneficial effects of Vitamins B12 and Folic Acid on memory loss-cognitive dysfunction syndromes, especially in the elderly. In addition, there is clinical evidence that the use of a multiple B vitamin formula is beneficial for maintaining and/or improving cognitive function. There is also some laboratory and clinical evidence that Phosphatidyl-Choline supplementation improves memory and cognitive function. Adequate dietary or supplemental Omega 3 oil (fish oil), Acetyl L-Carnitine, L-Carnitine, Coenzyme Q 10 and Lipoic Acid have also been demonstrated to exert a nutritional protective and therapeutic effect. In addition, the use of specific types and forms of B vitamins (B1 or Thiamine and B6, especially as the amine salt of B6 or pyridoxamine) may actually reverse the process of protein glycation , which is evolving as a fundamental cause of Micro-Vascular disease. Finally, the herb Ginko biloba has shown some clinical benefit in memory loss-cognitive dysfunction syndromes.