What is Alzheimer's/Dementia?

Alzheimer's/Dementia is a loss of brain function, it is considered a normal part of aging, and it is different to forgetfulness. With some it develops slowly, others it develops quite rapidly. However it usually gets worse over time. It is common after 65 years of age. Listed below are patterns that will develop, these begin to effect peoples abilities.

The early signs are:
problems with memory and thinking repeating themselves, loosing the thread of their conversation difficulty making decisions unwilling to try new things, unable to adapt to change. personality and mood changes Moderate Dementia difficult to recognise friends, often confusing one person for another beginning to wander, and easily becoming lost in their surroundings behave in ways that may embarrass others become restless angry and distressed Advanced Dementia these patients need extensive support in their day-to-day living. Some will be able to get support in their home, others will need hostel or nursing home care.

What is the Chiropractic Approach – Alzheimer's?

There is a definite association between head injuries, being knocked unconscious and Alzheimer's. This was a finding of a study of WW11 veterans who had experienced head injuries in battle. This has also been noted many times in medical literature. Symptoms often appear 50 years after the injury. Head injuries are not the only cause for Alzheimer's but they can be an important factor. So if there is a history of injury to the scull (motor vehicle accidents, bike accidents, domestic violence etc) make sure to get it treated to minimise and reduce future effects. It is definitely a stitch-in-time principle.

Research Studies – if you wish to read more

Documented head injury in early adulthood and risk of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Plassman BL, Havlik RJ, Steffens DC et al Neurology 2000;55:1158-1166

Researchers from the US National Institute on Aging and Duke University reviewed the records of Navy and Marine World War 11 veterans who were hospitalized for a non-penetrating head injury or other unrelated condition. In 1996 and 1997 the men were evaluated for dementia and Alzheimer's disease. (AD)

Both moderate and severe head injury was associated with increased risk of AD. Results were also similar for dementia. The results for mild head injury were inconclusive. There is apparently a strong correlation between head injuries as a young adult and the development of AD and other dementias later in life.

The authors of the study have no idea how the injury leads to the neurological deficit later in life, but draw a direct correlation to the severity of the injury and likelihood that the patient eventually will be diagnosed with the illness. Those that had experienced a loss of consciousness or amnesia for less than 24 hours after the injury were twice as likely as the general population to suffer from Alzheimer's disease. For those that lasted 24 or more hours, the risk quadrupled. The study involved over 1,700 veterans; the time between the injury and the development of Alzheimer's disease was about 50 years.

Chiropractic can help

All the nerves of the body travel in and out of the head. In fact there are two separate nerve systems leaving the scull

1. the spinal nerves travelling down through the skeleton to all parts of the body.

2. the cranial nerves,- there are 12 of these. They control regions like the face, eyes, ears etc. The 10th Cranial nerve is called the "Vagus nerve" it is the longest of the cranial nerves, and it to travels to every part of the body.

It becomes obvious these two separate nerve systems and the head bones (cranium) are important when considering Alzheimer's disease. All head injuries should be taken seriously especially those from the past. They may return at a cost. The Chiropractic approach is to provide good spinal care and also maintain effective cranial 10 (Vagus nerve) supply to the whole body. When or if the joints in the head (or anywhere else) become jammed or displaced this condition is known as a subluxation. Subluxations (joint restrictions) are what Chiropractors treat.

Call our office if you would like to talk with us. There is help with drugless methods.

DISCLAIMER This information is provided for Educational Purposes Only and has NOT been designed to diagnose, treat or cure any health conditions. Please consult a qualified Health Care Professional to diagnose your health conditions and avoid self-diagnosis.