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2. Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by progressive mental deterioration, loss of memory and cognitive function as well as an inability to carry out activities of daily life. The frequency of Alzheimer’s disease rises with increasing age. Genetic factors do play a major role in the  disease. Lifestyle factors include diets full of excess saturated or trans fatty acids which may predispose neurons to aluminum-induced toxicity; poor sleep; hygiene; traumatic head injuries; as well as increased homocysteine levels which have shown to be an independent risk factor for dementia and AD. Prevention can be targeted in 2 ways: address pathophysiology and diet. Focus on a Mediterranean die, shole foods, fish oils, antioxidants (Vits A,C,E) B vitamins (B1, B12), Zinc and Phosphaticylserine which is a major lipid of the brain. Ginkgo biloba has shown in the early stages of AD to help delay mental deterioration. It would be best to see your practitioner for proper prescription of herbal medication.

This illness also takes it toll on the family and loved ones of the sufferer. If your spouse or close family member suffers from AD, joining a support group and gaining understanding of the disease and how best to care for your loved one will be invaluable. Support for the person doing the caring is crucial.

Contact details for support groups: Western Cape 0860 102 681. Email :


Dr Melissa Brown, Naturopath


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