Alzheimer’s Disease and Chiropractic
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) was named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906. AD is an irreversible and progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys the brain cells. Over 5 million Americans age 65 or older may have dementia caused by AD. Alterations in memory, thinking skills and the ability to carry out tasks are consequences of AD.
Changes in the brain may begin a decade or more before memory and other cognitive problems appear. During this preclinical stage of AD, people seem to be symptom-free, but underlying changes are taking place in the brain such as abnormal deposits of proteins; amyloid plaques, and tau tangles deposit in the brain. Once-healthy neurons stop functioning, lose connections with other neurons, and die.
As more neurons die, additional parts of the brain are affected and begin to shrink. By the final stage of AD, damage is widespread, and brain tissue has shrunk significantly.
Benefits of Chiropractic for Alzheimer’s disease
Chiropractic care focuses on wellness and prevention. Chiropractic treatment focuses specifically on the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain and spinal cord. Because Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease of the brain, chiropractic’s impact on the central nervous system may have some benefit to the nervous system of anyone with age related neurodegeneration.
According to some authorities, there is no evidence that vitamins or herbs will help with AD or dementia, but this is also true with drug therapy. There are few studies that show promise with both natural supplements and drugs; however, there needs to be more of these studies.
Chiropractic’s role is natural early intervention, (40’s-50’s). This is the best time to handle issues naturally if there is a strong family correlation to age related memory issues, dementia or AD.
Start early with diet first. Mediterranean eating very healthy for the brain as it contains lots of good fats and is nutrient dense.
Keep up with an exercise program, as this will get more oxygen and nutrients to the brain and keep the brain cells stimulated.
Get adjusted on a regular basis to keep the spine and nervous system healthy.
Top 5 Supplements for Alzheimer’s disease
- Omega-3 fatty acids – Recent studies highlighted the beneficial effect of Omega-3 fatty acids in AD, which may be attributed to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The effect was obtained by the consumption of either individual or combination of Omega -3 fatty acids.
- Vitamin E occurs naturally in the diet. It has several biological activities, including functioning as an antioxidant to scavenge toxic free radicals. Evidence that free radicals may contribute to the pathological processes behind cognitive impairment has led to interest in the use of vitamin E supplements to treat mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). There is moderate quality evidence from a single study that it may slow functional decline in AD.
- Coenzyme Q10 acts as an antioxidant. It is also used for preventing neurodegeneration against mitochondrial deficiency and oxidative stress. Therefore, CoQ10 has received increasing attention as therapeutic and preventive intervention for neurodegenerative diseases.
- Phosphatidylserine is a kind of lipid, or fat, that is the primary component of the membranes that surround nerve cells. In Alzheimer’s disease and similar disorders, nerve cells degenerate. Phosphatidylserine may possibly protect cells from degenerating.
- Curcumin has the potential to be more efficacious than current drug based treatments. Currently, drug treatments target the symptoms of the disease and do not modify or halt the disease progress. Curcumin inhibits the formation and promotes the disaggregation of amyloid-β plaques, attenuates tau tangles and enhances its clearance, mediates the insulin response and is a powerful antioxidant.
If you need help with how to take supplements or would like one-on-one health coaching on starting a Mediterranean diet click here to be transported to our nutrition site.
- Ajith TA. A Recent Update on the Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Alzheimer’s Disease. Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2018;13(4):252–260. doi:10.2174/1574884713666180807145648
- Farina N, Llewellyn D, Isaac MGEKN, Tabet N. Vitamin E for Alzheimer’s dementia and mild cognitive impairment. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;4(4):CD002854. Published 2017 Apr 18. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002854.pub5
- Yang X, Zhang Y, Xu H, et al. Neuroprotection of Coenzyme Q10 in Neurodegenerative Diseases. Curr Top Med Chem. 2016;16(8):858–866. doi:10.2174/1568026615666150827095252
- Zhang YY, Yang LQ, Guo LM. Effect of phosphatidylserine on memory in patients and rats with Alzheimer’s disease. Genet Mol Res. 2015;14(3):9325–9333. Published 2015 Aug 10. doi:10.4238/2015.August.10.13
- Tang M, Taghibiglou C. The Mechanisms of Action of Curcumin in Alzheimer’s Disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;58(4):1003–1016. doi:10.3233/JAD-170188