Recent research has unveiled a shocking statistic about Alzheimer’s disease: About half those diagnosed with the disease turned out not to have Alzheimer’s when they were autopsied after death. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of the best-selling book “Real Cause, Real Cure,” tells Newsmax Health what else can be going on if you have Alzheimer’s symptoms and explains ways you can maintain strong cognitive function.
Doctors who spend too little time carefully assessing patients and who are quick to write a prescription for Alzheimer’s medications likely account for diagnosis errors, he says.
“I see people in their 70s and 80s routinely coming in on 10 or 15 different medications, most of which they don’t even need anymore,” he says. “It’s really easy to add a medication — it takes 30 seconds; you write a prescription. But to stop a medication actually takes time for the doctor to evaluate.”
“So you need to find a doctor who will take the time, go through each of the medications, see if you really still need them, and start to wean them off,” he adds. “So often when you do this, there is no Alzheimer’s; the person’s mind is fine.”
Even if a person has Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive function can vary day to day, not because the disease comes and goes, but “because a small percent change in mental functioning has a dramatic outcome in how your mind is working. So you want to give your mind a tune-up.”
Dr. Teitelbaum is referring to supplements and other things that may help boost mental function whether you have Alzheimer’s disease or not. He recommends:
SPECIAL: Improving Memory Can Reduce Alzheimer's Risk
- Taking a curcumin supplement. Curcumin is found in the Indian spice turmeric. “It has been shown to be dramatically helpful in decreasing Alzheimer’s plaques,” he says. “If you look at India; they have one-third the frequency of Alzheimer’s as we have in the United States.”
- Optimizing sleep. “Things like sleep apnea have been shown to aggravate Alzheimer’s,” he says.
- Addressing low thyroid and low testosterone levels. "Low levels of both have been associated with Alzheimer's. Giving them natural hormones can lead to a dramatic improvement."
- Knocking out infections. “In the elderly it’s not uncommon to see bladder infections that have no symptoms except for [the patient] feeling confused.”
- Taking a good multivitamin, exercising, and getting enough sun exposure to increase vitamin D levels. “These things will all improve mental functioning, but you want to find a doctor who is going to take a good two hours looking for things to tune up. This often means you may have to see somebody who’s holistic.”
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