dementia, alzheimers & poor-memory

In 2010 it was estimated that 35.5 million people had dementia worldwide, and of those approximately 70% had a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.  In the US alone an estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease.  

Due to the aging population it is estimated that by 2025, 7.1 million people will have the disease, which is a 40% increase from our current 2013 numbers.

The most common symptoms of dementia are memory loss and cognitive impairment enough to interfere with a person’s daily activities.   The human brain contains 100 billion neurons and damage to these can lead to dementia.  

While it is still not clear the cause and exact mechanism of neuron damage seen in Alzheimer’s, we do know that microscopic changes called neurofibriilary tangles and plaques occur in those who have the disease.   

Intravenous therapy of molecules known to increase circulation and detoxification have been used successfully to improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s.  These treatments have allowed cognition to improve, memory to return and mini mental status scores to increase.  

Having personally seen patients with Alzheimer’s improve with these treatments I am ecstatic that there is finally something that can be done for this terrible disease.

  • Aging is a slow process, not a degenerative decline…it is not normal to have poor memory just because you are aging
  • Dementia is a term used to describe many forms of memory loss.  Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, but the term dementia also includes other forms such as Vascular, Lewy body, dementia from Parkinson’s or other neurodegenerative disorders, Pick’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, etc.
  • About ¾ of dementia is Alzheimer’s (AD), affecting 1 in 8 over the age of 65.  
  • Alzheimer’s is the third leading cause of death after cardiovascular disease and cancer
  • 65% of patients with Alzheimer’s are women and it is more common than breast cancer
  • The annual costs treating Alzheimer’s is more than cancer and CVD combined 
  • The brain: weighs about 3 lbs or about 2% of our body weight but uses almost 1/3 of the oxygen and calories
  • 60% of the weight of the brain is fat; hourly blood flow to the brain is 13 gallons.
  • Brain contains: 100 billion neurons with 1,000 synaptic connections. Transmission speed along an axon is 200mph.
  • The brain almost entirely depends on glucose as its energy source but it can also use ketones fairly efficiently
  • Contributing factors to neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s and dementia are: 

> chemicals and toxins
> imbalanced microbiome (also termed dysbiosis)
> high levels of stress
> obesity
> high sugar consumption (insulin resistance)
> poor oral hygiene
> chronic inflammation
> poor sleep
> smoking
> physical inactivity
> Increase in Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs)

  • Compounds produced in a reaction between sugar and amino acids or oxidation of food particles and lead to inflammation and oxidative stress which promotes and progresses disease 
  • Most common sources of AGE’s are foods that are high in sugar and any animal product cooked at high heat for a prolonged period of time (especially grilling, frying, broiling and microwaving)
  • Social isolation/lack of support

A reversal of dementia

The morning I met Sam he was hunched over with a scowl on his face, barely speaking a word to me.  His wife Lenore had brought him in for treatment for his end stage dementia.  Sam had been declining for 5 years now and conventional medicine had nothing more to offer besides admittance to a nursing home for care, which his wife just wasn’t ready for.  

Lenore explained Sam could no longer speak nouns, including her name and his children’s names, and was no longer able to perform general daily tasks such as cooking, showering, or taking out the garbage on his own.  

I performed a Mini Mental State exam on Sam, on which he scored a 2/30 (normal is 24 or more), confirming his dementia was end stage.  

He could not tell me where we were, the name of simple objects like a pencil, or a watch, the season of the year, or tactile tasks such as copying a drawing or writing a sentence.  In my oncology rotations I had trained with several doctors who use orthomolecular medicine in advanced cases such as this one.  

Orthomolecular medicine involves using high dose vitamins, minerals and sometimes plant extracts directly into the vein.  The advantage to intravenous administration is that it allows the substances to be guaranteed to reach the blood stream (many people have trouble absorbing nutrients, especially in the aging population) and allows us to inject doses of a medicine several times higher that we can get in via oral administration.  

I decided to start an intricate protocol of natural IV medicines for Sam to see if we could stabilize or preferably reverse his condition.  

Alzheimer’s is a condition which affects approximately 1/2 million Canadians.  There is currently no cure and minimal pharmaceutical medications to help slow this debilitating disease.  

I started Sam on weekly IV therapy for the first 6 weeks and monitored his progress through Mini Mental State exams every 3-4 visits and weekly reports of his activities at home through his wife Lenore.

Sam showed no change until the 4th week of treatment, and then things started to change dramatically. 

Lenore reported he was now able to add up the numbers on a dice game by himself, and he had repeatedly turned on the computer, logged on to the internet, and checked his e-mails on his own – activities he was unable to do prior to the treatment.  

At the 6th week follow up, Sam was able to copy a geometric structure I asked him to draw almost completely correctly.  Sam was also showing continued improvement at home and was now able to shower alone and understand commands much easier. By week 6, Sam’s Mini Mental State exam was now a 4/30 and his personality was returning; he no longer scowled at me, and even smiled on all his visits.  I then reduced the treatment frequency to every other week, but still continued to witness improvement.  

At 3.5 months after initiating treatment Sam was now able to learn a new card game with his family, able to say his wife and granddaughter’s names occasionally and had a very positive effect including making jokes in the office.  

His Mini Mental State Exam was now an 8/30. 

Only 3.5 months after starting treatment for a disease that had taken his memory and personality over the past 5 years….his dementia was resolving!  

As a doctor, I call this a miracle, and it was a joy to see this man regain his life.  I have given the protocol to a colleague of mine who has also confirmed regression of dementia in one case in California.  

So I believe there is hope for reversing dementia, no doubt an omnipotent disease, but we may have a fighting chance at it yet!

-Dr. Nina Lewis-Larsson

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