The Alzheimers Diet

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 9:11am

Doctor say diet and exercise can help prevent or delay the disease.

Some doctors are taking a different approach to the treatment of the Alzheimer's disease.

They're hoping to prevent it in ways similar to the prevention of heart disease.

Plaques that deposit in the brain are one of the biomarkers for Alzheimer's.

So is subtle shrinking of the brain's memory center which can happen ten to 20 years before symptoms develop.

Daily exercise is one of the lifestyle changes recommended for prevention or delay of Alzheimer's.

A neurologist at the University of Miami puts all of his Alzheimer's patients on a diet, which he also recommends for family members at higher risk.

"It's a nine week plan that patient's follow. We'll slowly decrease the amount of carbs that they eat over a nine week period," Dr. Richard Isaacson explains.

Margaret Alfonso is following Dr. Isaacson's orders for her 93-year-old mother, who has Alzheimer's.

"My mother has very strong cravings for sugars, for patelitos and so we've really really worked at cutting that back as much as possible," she says.

"Carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index, meaning your pancreas is going to secrete that insulin. Insulin may cause inflammation in the tissues and especially in the brain," Dr. Isaacson explains.

Margaret buys her mother whole grains, stays away from corn syrup, and gives her certain supplements, including tumeric.

She's also applying those lessons to herself with the hope of keeping her brain healthy as long as possible.

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