Reduce Your Risk

NeurodegenerationAlzheimer’s is the most feared disease in the United States and it is rising in the number of deaths it causes per year. People are more afraid of forgetting their loved ones more than dying of a heart attack all of a sudden, and rightfully so. It fits into a category of neurological disorders called neurodegenerative disorders with others like Parkinson’s and ALS. These diseases are classified in this way because once they are there, the tissues of the nervous system slowly begin to degrade. And once we’re on this track it is nearly impossible for it to be stopped.

Intervention comes down to slowing it down as much as possible or preventing it in the first place. What most people do not know, is that neurodegenerative diseases can have associated factors that put them at increased risk years in advance of having the disease. One of the biggest risk factors is family history. A gene called ApoE4 can be a huge predictor of risk of Alzheimer’s for instance. A person with one of the two parts of the gene can have up to a 45% increase risk and a person with both has a risk that is nearly 90%. These individuals will also get the disease earlier than people without that gene on average. This and many other factors can be recognized early so that preventative measures can be pursued. Some things can even slow the rate of a neurodegenerative disease. For example, one research study showed that CoQ10 could reduce the decline in Parkinson’s by up to 47%. Another study showed that giving tyrosine, an amino acid that is used by the body to make dopamine can increase the length of time that someone has before they require Levodopa. Levodopa is the preferred medication for Parkinson’s disease but it can have bad side effects so not needing it for as long as possible is ideal. There are many other nutritional and lifestyle factors that have been researched for reducing decline as well. Really it comes down to doing as many as you can if the disease is already there. This is not to cure the disease. This is only to ease the rate of decline.

If you have a family member with one of these diseases be sure to work with someone who knows how to see the warning signs, look for further warning signs, and then educate you on how to pursue aggressive, preventative care. If the disease is already there, then that practitioner needs to know every single thing that research has shown to reduce the rate of decline.