Alzheimer's disease is a form of brain damage strongly associated with increasing age and is aggravated by several underlying factors such as chronic inflammation, oxidative stress (free radical damage), toxic metal accumulation and poor blood circulation to the brain. These underlying factors increase the expression of pro-inflammatory RAGE receptors in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's disease thereby initiating the deposition of destructive beta-amyloid and tau proteins in and around neuronal tissue.
RAGE CELL RECEPTORS are associated with damaging low-grade inflammation of the brain that results in the formation of abnormal beta-amyloid plaques and other pathological processes.
BETA-AMYLOID PLAQUES aggravate inflammation of brain tissue. They also accumulate in the walls of small blood vessels where they accelerate the degeneration of neuronal tissue by impeding blood flow to the brain.
TAU TANGLES slow the movement of nutrients and chemical messengers within the nerve cells. Neurons are the longest cells in the body and are particularly vulnerable to this type of interference.
These disease processes lead to wasting and malfunction of neurons and the loss of synapses (nerve connections) and their associated neurotransmitter chemicals from key areas of the brain. The impeded communications between different areas of the brain results in memory loss, reduced cognitive function, mood changes and other symptoms.
HOW TO COUNTER ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE:
1. EXERCISE YOUR BRAIN
Research has shown that those individuals who challenge themselves with relatively complex activities can improve communications between different areas of the brain by stimulating the growth of NEW brain cells and synaptic connections. It is well known that stroke victims and those who have suffered brain trauma can regain lost function by learning to use undamaged parts of the brain. This is also true of Alzheimer's disease.
By engaging in activities that stimulate the brain, we can activate neural pathways that have not been damaged by beta-amyloid plaques, tau tangles or hyperactive RAGE receptors. Regularly doing puzzles, taking dancing and music lessons or learning a new language all help to maintain active neurons and synapses.
2. IMPROVE CIRCULATION TO THE BRAIN
As we age the circulation to our brain diminishes. Circulation can be improved in a number of ways:
Although regular physical exercise of any type will help to improve cerebral circulation aim for at least a 30 minute brisk walk every day. It is even more beneficial to take part in a regular exercise program that includes cardiovascular and resistance workouts.
Increased mental activity uses more energy which demands an increased blood supply. Therefore brain exercises not only improve brain tissue function but also enhance circulation to the brain.
Some micronutrients such as CARNOSIC ACID found in culinary herbs such as rosemary and sage have been shown to enhance cerebral circulation by dilating the main arteries feeding the brain.
3. MEDICATE YOUR BRAIN WITH SPICES
An adequate supply of a variety of effective micronutrients in the diet are essential to counter inflammation, oxidative stress, toxic metals, the deposition of damaging beta-amyloid and tau proteins and the expression of RAGE receptors.
Spices such as turmeric, rosemary and sage contain the most valuable Alzheimer's fighting phytonutrients and should be taken with other spices on a daily basis. Spices work best when a variety are eaten together as they then work synergistically to enhance one another's anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties.
Curcumin, from turmeric, inhibits the deposition of beta-amyloid and tau tangles and is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrient. Moreover, it is also a chelating agent and therefore helps to rid the body of damaging metals and other toxins.
The amazing phytonutrient, carnosic acid, as well as being an outstanding antioxidant with unique properties, enhances the blood supply to the brain. It also stimulates the production of glutathione, one of the brain's most important antioxidants,
If we fail to implement all of the above lifestyle changes we are much more likely to notice an age-related decline in cognitive function or develop Alzheimer's disease. However, if we exercise our minds and bodies and provide them with restorative and protective phytonutrients we have a far greater chance of retaining sharp, active brains well into our senior years and avoid falling victim to Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Keith Scott is a medical doctor with a special interest in the healing properties of spices and phytonutrients. He has written several books including the groundbreaking, "Medicinal Seasonings, The Healing Power of Spices". Download a free pdf copy
of his book, "Medicinal Seasonings" and read more about the preventive properties of spices go to: => http://www.medspice.com