4 Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease

At Team Health Care Clinic, we work with people who have dementia or who are concerned and want to prevent it.  I was quite interested when I found an article from a study showing decreased brain size, and therefore risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s, is related to four controllable lifestyle factors.

The study, from the Radiological Society of North America, involved over 1,600 people during the course of seven years. It measured brain size and its relationship to risk factors.  Their conclusion was that decreased brain size and, therefore, dementia is related to these controllable factors.

Alzheimer’s Risk Factors

  1. Alcohol consumptionAlzheimer's is related to decreased brain size
  2. Smoking
  3. Diabetes
  4. Obesity

It turns out that alcohol consumption and diabetes were associated with smaller volume of the whole brain.  Smoking and obesity were linked with decreased volume of the part of the brain associated with memory retrieval as well as emotional and social behavior.

Dementia, of which Alzheimer’s Disease makes up between 50%-70% of the cases, is a growing concern.  As our population ages the incidence of dementia is continuing to grow.  Deaths from dementia have doubled in the last 25 years and care costs are in the hundreds of billions.  Also, there is no treatment for dementia.  Prevention is the key.

The above list is not exhaustive and there are other causes for dementia.  However, these are the biggest offenders and they are preventable!  Dementia is a slow developing, chronic condition closely tied to lifestyle choices.  This means that we have the time and the ability to make changes.  The prescription never changes.  Eat a low starch and low sugar diet, exercise, don’t smoke and drink only in moderation.

Our clinic does provide nutritional and brain health support for all of this.  However, it’s up to you to do the work and help yourself.

Tim Bertsch, DC, DABCI

Tim Bertsch, DC, DABCI

 

rTMS for Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Insomnia and Dementia

At Team Health Care Clinic, we are pleased to introduce an innovative, drug free, noninvasive treatment best known for depression: Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS).  rTMS is an FDA cleared device for treatment of depression but has also been shown to be beneficial for ADHD, anxiety, insomnia, some forms of dementia, and other brain related disorders.

rTMS treatments are not painful and patients can read or watch TV during their treatments.  Patients can resume their normal activities following their treatment as the worst side effect may be a mild headache.  These are even rare.

Depression

This is in sharp contrast to electroconvulsive therapy and medication management where symptoms are potentially significant such as weight gain, sexual dysfunction, cognitive impairment and many others.

How does it work?

rTMS is a medical grade magnet that is used to balance the speed of abnormal operating nerves in the brain.  The magnet sends a signal that can be varied to stimulate or slow down the nerves in specific regions.  For example:

rTMS FOR DEPRESSION

Scientists expect brains to fire at is 15-20 pulses per second (pps) in the left frontal lobe.  Patients with mild depression will fire at 10-12pps and below 10pps in more severe cases.  In these cases, we will stimulate the brain with rTMS to fire at a normal frequency.

rTMS FOR ANXIETY

Normally, the left side of the brain fires at a higher frequency than the right side.  When this pattern reverses and the right brain works at a higher frequency, the individual often exhibits symptoms of anxiety.  In this case, the brain would be balanced by stimulating the speed of the left side of the brain or slowing the speed of the right side.

rTMS FOR OTHER CONDITIONS

rTMS can be used to improve abnormal frequencies in the brain, either stimulating or quieting it, to treat a wide variety of conditions.

In order to get the most precisely directed and successful treatment, you should consider the following:

  1. Request only EEG guided rTMS

Patients should request their provider measure the frequency of firing of the entire brain with a 19-lead electroencephalogram, or EEG.  An EEG measures the function of the brain like and EKG measures the function of the heart.  Without this information, a provider is making recommendations based on a patient’s history alone.  With the information discovered from the EEG, a provider can give precise rTMS treatment to the specific unbalanced region of the brain. No guesswork!

  1. Not all rTMS units are equal

Some rTMS units can only treat at 10pps frequency and are consequently limited in the conditions it can successfully treat.  Find providers that are using a state of the art unit that can vary its frequency of stimulation from 1 to 20pps.  This allows the provider to treat a wide variety of conditions beside depression.

  1. Evaluate Brain Chemistry

Find providers that evaluate brain chemistry including blood glucose, neurotransmitter deficiency, brain-gut connections, gluten sensitivity and many other factors.

 

If you suffer with depression, anxiety, insomnia, ADHD and other brain related disorders, I would encourage you to explore rTMS as a highly successful, low risk solution for qualified candidates.  In our clinic, we determine your candidacy by starting with an examination, including an EEG.

Tiffany Watson, CNP

Tiffany Watson, CNP