Researchers have discovered multiple factors that influence our ability to think and remember as we age. These include well-known culprits such as alcohol abuse, and also newly discovered causes of mental decline, including chronic inflammation, vascular diseases, and even stress.
Physical changes that occur in the aging brain are also implicated in mild cognitive impairment. For example, the number of nerve impulses and nerve cells decreases with age (Beers MH et al 1999).
The theory linking inflammation to cognitive decline is relatively new, but it appears to be consistent with our increasing understanding of the damage of chronic inflammation (as measured by C-reactive protein or interleukin-6 levels). Various studies have examined the association between inflammation and mild cognitive impairment and found compelling evidence. For example, one study of 2632 participants (mean age: 74 years) found that people who had both metabolic syndrome and high inflammation levels were more likely to experience cognitive impairment than were patients who suffered from neither.
Numerous studies have shown that fruit extracts, which are rich in polyphenols, have the ability to reverse and slow age-related brain deterioration. Among these, blueberry extract seems especially effective. One study of rats with beta-amyloid plaques showed that blueberry extract helped improve their performance in a maze, leading the authors to state, “Our data indicate for the first time that it may be possible to overcome genetic predispositions to Alzheimer disease through diet” (Joseph JA et al 2003). An earlier study by the same research team looked at blueberry extract’s ability to suppress oxidative stress in the brain, which is linked to numerous age-related cognitive problems. The study found that blueberry extracts in particular were powerful neural antioxidants (Joseph JA et al 2000). These findings have been supported in more recent studies examining blueberries’ role as antioxidants (Lau FC et al 2005; Andres-Laceuva C et al 2005).
MDs, NDs, DOs, PAs, RNs, PharmDs, PDs, holistic hypnotherapists, chiropractors, oriental medicine practitioners and anyone else interested in optimal health through integrative medicine are invited to attend our 3rd annual symposium on science-based medicine!
- Presenters are preeminent in their fields.
- Protocols were never covered in traditional medical schools.
- Topics are provocative, insightful, filled with practical applications.
- And continuing education credits are part of the package!
Come learn from other skilled health professionals. Explore nontraditional, science-based methods and treatments. Learn about the political and legal ramifications of an integrative/alternative medical practice. Find out how to integrate nutraceuticals and natural products into your practice.
$799 Full tuition (with or without CMEs) up to 16 credits
$599 Early discount (with or without CMEs): Pay by September 27, 2010 and save $200
$199 Consumer (only) discounted rate (non-CME)