From the News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton
Source National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine

Many people, particularly older individuals, worry about forgetfulness and whether it is the first sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

In fact, forgetfulness has many causes. It can also be a normal part of aging, or related to various treatable health issues or to emotional problems, such as stress, anxiety, or depression. The National Institute on Aging has a lot of information on the aging brain as well as cognitive function, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Although no treatment is proven to stop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, some conventional drugs may limit worsening of symptoms for a period of time in the early stages of the disease.

Many dietary supplements are marketed with claims that they enhance memory or improve brain function and health. To date, research has yielded no convincing evidence that any dietary supplement can reverse or slow the progression of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Additional research on dietary supplements, as well as several mind and body practices such as music therapy and mental imagery, which have shown promise in basic research or preliminary clinical studies, is underway.

Here are 5 things to know about current research on complementary health approaches for cognitive function, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

1. To date there is no convincing evidence from a large body of research that any dietary supplement can prevent worsening of cognitive impairment associated with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This includes studies of ginkgo, omega-3 fatty acids/fish oil, vitamins B and E, Asian ginseng, grape seed extract, and curcumin. Additional research on some of these supplements is underway.

2. Preliminary studies of some mind and body practices such as music therapy suggest they may be helpful for some of the symptoms related to dementia, such as agitation and depression. Several studies on music therapy in people with Alzheimer’s disease have shown improvement in agitation, depression, and quality of life.

3. Mindfulness-based stress reduction programs may be helpful in reducing stress among caregivers of patients with dementia. To reduce caregiver stress, studies suggest that a mindfulness-based stress reduction program is more helpful for improving mental health than attending an education and support program or just taking time off from providing care.

4. Do not use complementary health approaches as a reason to postpone seeing a health care provider about memory loss. Treatable conditions, such as depression, bad reactions to medications, or thyroid, liver, or kidney problems, can impair memory.

5. Some complementary health approaches interact with medications and can have serious side effects. If you are considering replacing conventional medications with other approaches, talk to your health care provider.

Have I written this before?

As I was lying around, pondering the problems of the world,   
I realized that at my age I do not really give a jot anymore. 
.. If walking is good for your health, the postman would be immortal. 
.. A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water, but is still fat. 
.. A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years, while 
.. A tortoise does not run and does mostly nothing, yet it lives for 150 years. 
And folks tell me to exercise?? I do not think so. 
Just grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked, the good fortune to remember the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference. 
Now that I am older here is what I have discovered: 
1. I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it. 
2. My wild oats are mostly enjoyed with prunes and all-bran. 
3. I finally got my head together, and now my body is falling apart. 
4. Funny, I do not remember being absent-minded. 
5. If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees. 

6. If all is not lost, then where the heck is it? 
7. It was a whole lot easier to get older, than to get wiser. 
8. Some days, you are the top dog; some days you are the lamp post. 
9. I wish the buck really did stop here; I sure could use a few of them. 
10. Kids in the back seat cause accidents. 
11. Accidents in the back seat cause kids. 
12. It is hard to make a comeback when you have not been anywhere. 
13. The world only beats a path to your door when you are in the bathroom. 
14. Funny, I do npt remember being absent-minded.
15. When I am finally holding all the right cards, everyone wants  to play chess. 
16.  It is not hard to meet expenses . . . they are everywhere. 
17. The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth. 
18. These days, I  spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter . . . I go somewhere to get something, and then wonder what I am “here after”. 
19. Funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded. 

Back soon, if I remember. Jeanne

About jeanne hambleton

Journalist-wordsmith, former reporter, columnist, film critic, editor, Town Clerk and then fibromite and eventer with 5 conferences done and dusted. Interested in all health and well being issues, passionate about research to find a cure and cause for fibromyalgia. Member LinkedIn. Worked for 4 years with FMA UK as Regional Coordinator for SW and SE,and Chair for FMS SAS the Sussex and Surrey FM umbrella charity and Chair Folly Pogs Fibromyalgia Research UK - finding funding for our "cause for a cure" and President and co ordinator of National FM Conferences. Just finished last national annual Fibromyalgia Conference Weekend. This was another success with speakers from the States . Next year's conference in Chichester Park Hotel, West Sussex, will be April 24/27 2015 and bookings are coming in from those who raved about the event every year. I am very busy but happy to produce articles for publication. News Editor of FMS Global News on line but a bit behind due to conference. A workaholic beyond redemption! The future - who knows? Open to offers with payment. Versatile and looking for a regular paid column - you call the tune and I will play the pipes.
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