- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Natural Alzheimer's Treatment Options
There are a lot of changes you can make in your health and lifestyle when it comes to Alzheimer treatment. There is not a lot of evidence available to prove just how much of a difference dietary supplements make in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, but some studies look promising. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no control over supplement production, so always get the approval of a medical professional before starting a new dietary supplement as it could interact with prescription medications.
Ginkgo biloba is a plant extract that may have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on cells in the brain and body. A study published in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" on November 19, 2008, indicated that ginkgo biloba was no better than a placebo in delaying changes in memory, thinking and personality as well as having no impact on the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s. On the other hand, HealthyPlace indicates that there have been many promising clinical studies that indicate that ginkgo biloba may improve thinking, learning and memory in people suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
Coenzyme Q10—also known as uriquinone—is an antioxidant that the body naturally produces for normal cell reactions. Coenzyme Q10 has not been studied for its effectiveness in treating Alzheimer's, but a synthetic version known as idebenone has shown mixed results in studies. Doctor's have not deemed what a safe dosage of coenzyme Q10 is yet.
Coral calcium is a derivative of calcium carbonate that is claimed to be made from the shells of once-living organisms that made up coral reefs. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, coral calcium contains traces of some minerals that were incorporated into the shells by the metabolic processes of the animals that formed them, making them different from ordinary calcium supplements.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a form of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Multiple studies are being done on omega-3 fatty acids and their connection to mental health. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be helpful to neurons, stimulating the branch growth that connects them together.
Huperzine A is a moss extract that has similar properties of cholinesterase inhibitors, which are an FDA-approved class of medication for Alheimer’s disease. A study done by the National Institute on Aging in Spring 2004 indicated that Huperzine A may be comparable to other approved drugs.
SAM-e, or S-adenosylmethionine, is a naturally occurring compound that increases serotonin, melatonin and dopamine in the body. HealthyPlace indicates studies have shown patients who suffer from both Alzheimer’s disease and depression have depleted levels of SAM-e in brain tissue, and some patients have even shown improved cognitive function from taking SAM-e.
Vitamin B9 and B12
Vitamin B9, or folate, is important to nervous system health. Some patients have been found to have low levels of both vitamin B9 and B12, with increased levels of another chemical that affects chronic illness, known as homocysteine.
Acetyl-L-carnitine is similar to another brain chemical known as acetycholine, which is involved in brain cell growth. HealthyPlace indicates studies are conflicting as to whether or not acetyl-L-carnitine may help prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease or may worsen symptoms in later stages.
Phosphatidylserine is a type of fat that is naturally occurring in the body and primarily comprises the membranes surrounding nerve cells. Nerve cells degenerate in diseases such as Alzheimer’s. It is possible that phosphatidylserine may help protect degeneration in cells.