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Hunting the Monster that Killed Robin Williams

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Dr. Russell Lebovitz discusses the early warning signs of

Lewy Body Dementia, the mysterious brain disease that

destroyed one of Hollywood’s most creative minds

Often misdiagnosed, Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is the second most common dementia after Alzheimer’s and afflicts about 1.4 million Americans. Officially named in 1976, Lewy Body Dementia is triggered when protein deposits called Lewy Bodies develop in nerve cells in regions of the brain involved in thinking, memory, and movement.

According to brain disease research scientist Dr. Russell Lebovitz, LBD has been a challenge to diagnose due to the fact that LBD patients can display Alzheimer’s-like symptoms, such as:

·        Loss of reasoning or logic

·        Loss of executive function

·        Loss of memory

·        Hallucinations (visual and smell)

LBD Patients can also display Parkinson’s-like symptoms

·        Rigid muscles

·        Difficulty initiating voluntary movements

·        A shuffling walk

·        Leaning towards one side

·        Sleep disorders

·        Autonomic changes affecting heart rate, blood pressure, and incontinence

“Because of overlapping symptoms, 40-50% of the time LBD patients are wrongly diagnosed as having either Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s,” says Dr. Lebovitz.

“Robin Williams was misdiagnosed with Parkinson’s before he died.  The telltale signs of Lewy Body Dementia in Robin’s brain were not discovered until an autopsy was performed.  Had Robin been correctly diagnosed at the very onset of his symptoms, the outcome could have been different.  Unfortunately, he was driven to end his life because the monster called LBD had utterly ravaged his mind for decades, silently stealing his creative genius and joy for living,” says Dr. Lebovitz.

Early, Accurate LBD Detection Now Possible with New Test

An early diagnosis of LBD and other neurodegenerative brain diseases is crucial because it allows doctors to steer their patients to suitable treatment options early, when the brain is healthier and more likely to respond to intervention.

A new diagnostic tool called the “SYNTap” test developed by Dr. Lebovitz’s Amprion research team enables doctors to detect the presence of LBD and other brain diseases in their patient’s decades before symptoms appear, potentially giving the diagnosed patient who pivots to healthy lifestyle choices many years – and perhaps a lifetime — of symptom-free living. 

“This early detection technology removes the ‘maybes’ and prevents misdiagnosis. It can provide tremendous relief for patients and their families when tremors and balance issues ascribed to Parkinson’s are shown to be merely signs of normal brain aging.”

Dr. Lebovitz recommends that those who believe they are experiencing early-stage LBD symptoms or other neurological issues consult with their physician for examination and to discuss available testing options, including SYNTap testing.

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Alzheimer’s: America’s other killer pandemic Dr. Cass Ingram, author of How to Eat Right and Live Longer, recommends key dietary changes we can make to combat dementia

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Alzheimer’s: America’s other killer pandemic

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Dr. Cass Ingram, author of How to Eat Right and Live Longer, recommends key dietary changes we can make to combat dementia

and keep our brains healthy and functioning

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 6.2 million Americans aged 65 and older are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease – and that number is projected to climb to 12.7 million by 2050.

Alzheimer’s disease tends to develop slowly and gradually worsen over several years. Eventually, the disease affects most areas of the brain: memory, thinking, judgment, language, problem-solving, personality and movement can all be affected.

“But Alzheimer’s is not just about cognitive impairment: Alzheimer’s kills,” says Dr. Cass Ingram, author of the book How to Eat Right and Live Longer. “This disease kills more Americans annually than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined, and over the last two decades deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased by 145%.”

“Like most degenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s is related to deficient diet. The brain is an organ, and like any other organ it requires good nutrition. If the required nutrients are not supplied, dysfunction and, ultimately, degeneration are likely to occur.”

Here are some key lifestyle and nutritional advices that Dr. Ingram recommends for keeping the brain in good health and for combating age-related mental decline.

  1. Do notconsume refined sugar or allergenic foods

Refined sugar has many negative effects and no positive ones.  Its consumption is associated with an increased incidence of Alzheimer’s and a myriad of other health problems. Sugar and allergenic foods deplete the brain’s supply of antioxidants.

  1. 2.Avoid hydrogenated fats (trans fats)

Fried foods, cookies, snack foods, and foods prepared with margarines and shortenings contain trans fatty acids which give the packaged product a long shelf life, but because they are not found in nature, these “fake fats” eat up the body’s supply of antioxidants, triggering a wide range of degenerative illnesses.  Instead of using vegetable oils, use olive oils, flax seed oils, fish oils, and almond oils.

  1. Eat whole, fresh, organic foods

Lean meats, cold water fish, leafy green and cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, omega-3 rich seed oils, blueberries, cherries and other antioxidant-rich fruits.

  1. Use natural nutritional supplements

Dr. Ingram’s book, How to Eat Right and Live Longer (p.151) contains a comprehensive list of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, and spice oils helpful in addressing disorders of the nervous system:

  • Amino Acids: GABA, glutamine, taurine, tryptophan, tyrosine, 5-HTP
  • Vitamins: B-Complex, vitamin-C, vitamin-E
  • Minerals: Calcium, chromium, magnesium, molybdenum, potassium, zinc chloride, iodine, manganese, sodium
  • Herbals: Wild rosemary oil improves cognitive performance, increases alertness, and enhances memory.
  • Wild sage oil, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon may fight brain inflammation. The spices also appear to break up brain plaque, which can lead to memory issues.

“Alzheimer’s and dementia deaths have increased 16% during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Dr. Ingram.

“During this highly stressful period it’s critical that we ensure family members with cognitive impairment receive proper nourishment, as nutrition is their first line of defense against more serious stages of the disease.”

 

About Dr. Cass Ingram – author of Foods that Cure

Dr. Cass Ingram is one of North America’s leading experts on the health benefits and disease fighting properties of wild medicinal herbs and spice extracts. A popular media personality, he has been an invited guest on hundreds of radio and TV shows and has authored 30 books on natural health and wellness, including Foods that Cure and his seminal work, The Cure is in The Cupboard.

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Keys To Building Wealth

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MORE ABOUT ALEX J. GONZALEZ:

Alex Gonzalez is a Regional Market Executive for Regions Private Wealth in Orlando, Florida. Gonzalez and his team work closely with high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients to provide customized solutions across a variety of investment and financial objectives. Gonzalez joined Regions in 2010. Previously, he served as Private Banking Director for Wachovia, now Wells Fargo, where he served clients in Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and other Florida cities for nearly 28 years.

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aging

Mary L Flett, PhD.

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Featured speaker on aging across the US., engaging author with over 150 blogs on creating purpose and meaning over the lifespan, Mary L. Flett, PhD has been an transformative agent of change for clients and audiences alike. She brings warmth and humor to embracing the shift that ageing brings.

 

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