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What to Make of Touted Dementia Therapy Treatments

Posted by Administrator on 6/21/2013
An excellent article on unproven remedies by the President of the NYC Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association
 ~ Wellness Wisdom by Guest Contributor: Lou-Ellen Barken, President, NYC Chapter
 
"Until we find a more meaningful medical treatment, let's not forget the power of the non-pharma approaches. It seems every time we open a newspaper or watch the evening news, someone, somewhere claims to have found a new preventative treatment, cure or cause for Alzheimer's.
 
'Eat tumeric. Don't drink out of aluminum cans. Take lots of vitamin B. Don't drink diet beverages with aspartame. Use coconut oil as a food supplement.' As we used to say in my Latin class, "caveat emptor." In other words, buyer beware.
 
Many "cures" and "causes" touted in popular media, like those above, may not be harmful, but neither are they scientifically tested nor proven. And some suggestions- like "avoid flu shots"-can be dangerous. Yet they've all somehow become part of the conversation about Alzheimer's. How do you know what's good for you, and what's just junk science?
 
As we grapple with this challenge, one thing is clear: the best non-pharmacological Alzheimer's therapy is good old common sense accompanied by a heavy dose of knowledge. If a friend tells you about a new hormonal cure for Alzheimer's disease (AD)developed overseas that she heard about at a cocktail party, be discriminating. Process that information with skepticism. Do some research.....
 
As hard as it is to resist temptation, eat a sensible healthy diet. Keep your mind active-put it through mental gymnastics as often as you can. See your doctor regularly. If you think something is wrong, even if you just saw the doctor a month ago, have the problem checked out ASAP. Also, never undervalue your role as a caregiver and the impact you can have on someone with dementia.
 
Scientific research by Dr. Mary Mittelman at the NYU Center of Excellence on Brain Aging has shown that counseling and support for caregivers and their families can have a major impact on the time a person with AD can remain at home. While I caution you to be careful about jumping into a course of treatment that has not been fully tested, I also don't want to discourage you from pursuing an approach that might be beneficial. Just be smart about it. Be informed. Ask for help."
 
If you need some to talk to about remedies you hear about, consult the physician or call the Alzheimer's Association 24 hour hotline at 1.800.272.3900.

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