100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss

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Most people think there is little or nothing you can do to avoid Alzheimer's. But scientists know this is no longer true. In fact, prominent researchers now say that our best and perhaps only hope of defeating Alzheimer's is to prevent it.

After best-selling author Jean Carper discovered that she had the major susceptibility gene for Alzheimer's, she was determined to find all the latest scientific evidence on how to escape it. She discovered 100 surprisingly simple ...

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100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss

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Overview

Most people think there is little or nothing you can do to avoid Alzheimer's. But scientists know this is no longer true. In fact, prominent researchers now say that our best and perhaps only hope of defeating Alzheimer's is to prevent it.

After best-selling author Jean Carper discovered that she had the major susceptibility gene for Alzheimer's, she was determined to find all the latest scientific evidence on how to escape it. She discovered 100 surprisingly simple scientifically tested ways to radically cut the odds of Alzheimer's, memory decline, and other forms of dementia. Did you know that vitamin B 12 helps keep your brain from shrinking? Apple juice mimics a common Alzheimer's drug? Surfing the internet strengthens aging brain cells? Exercise is like Miracle-Gro for your brain? Even a few preventive actions could dramatically change your future. 100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's will change the way you look at Alzheimer's and provide exciting new answers from the frontiers of brain research to help keep you and your family free of this heartbreaking disease.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
If trying something new can delay or offset the effects of Alzheimer's, as former CNN medical correspondent and syndicated "EatSmart" columnist Carper (The Food Pharmacy) contends, then readers would do well to try many of the ideas she offers in this empowering compendium. Genetically disposed to Alzheimer's, Carper, now in her 70s, has compressed the latest research on this and other types of dementia into short sections, each with a bottom-line action plan. While some are basic to all-around good health (e.g., taking a multivitamin, not smoking, limiting alcohol), others might surprise: consuming apple juice and vinegar, meditating, and surfing the Internet. Although Carper admits she has not tried all of them, she recommends that readers experiment with those best suited to their situations. Even a few nutritional (a Mediterranean diet) and lifestyle (exercise, stress relief, sleep) changes, she states, can gain as much as a decade disease-free, and by supplementing with anti-Alzheimer's powerhouses like niacin, choline, folic acid, and alpha lipoic acid, readers can push mental decline even further into the future. Whether in their 20s or well into retirement, readers will likely feel motivated to do the impossible: beat the approaching epidemic of a disease commonly viewed as hopeless. (Sept.)
Carol Bradley Bursack
"Exceptionally good...Buy this book and keep it handy. Even if you only follow a few tips, your body will thank you."
Mark Liponis
"It's about time someone has compiled such an important manual of steps we can and should all take to avoid Alzheimer's. Jean has done a skillful job at delivering accessible tips that are backed in science and still very actionable for those of us interested in preserving our intellect and memory."
Gary W. Arendash
"In this marvelous book, Jean Carper has done all the leg-work for the reader by basing it on the very recent scientific literature and direct contacts with many Alzheimer's disease researchers. She has a unique and refreshing writing style. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to maintain their cognitive abilities during aging and reduce their risk of Alzheimer's-which should be all of us!"
Norman E. Rosenthal
"With style and wit Jean Carper has assembled all the simple things that people can do to delay the onset of age-related memory loss, an idea that may sound revolutionary to some, but is all research-based. My advice is simple: Read this book!"
William Sears
"In her usual science-made-simple approach, Jean Carper gives readers of all ages 100 doable strategies for keeping brains sharp and bodies healthy. I highly recommend reading it--and doing it."
Brian J. Balin
"A wonderful book that appeals to the lay person, physician and scientist alike, with its beautifully outlined 'what to do' approaches to dealing with the threat of such a frightening disease. It is a must read for all of us."
Gary L. Wenk
"There is a gem of knowledge and insight on every page. Jean Carper brings a rare talent to these pages-she helps the reader see the difference between scientific breakthroughs and passing fads. Most important, this book offers hope-something the reader can do right now to change their future. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to protect their minds as they grow old."
Suzanne Tyas
"A refreshingly positive view of Alzheimer's disease and what you can do to reduce your risk."
From the Publisher
"Exceptionally good...Buy this book and keep it handy. Even if you only follow a few tips, your body will thank you."—Carol Bradley Bursack, Inforum

"Whether in their 20s or well into retirement, readers will likely feel motivated to do the impossible: beat the approaching epidemic of a disease commonly viewed as hopeless."—Publishers Weekly

"It's about time someone has compiled such an important manual of steps we can and should all take to avoid Alzheimer's. Jean has done a skillful job at delivering accessible tips that are backed in science and still very actionable for those of us interested in preserving our intellect and memory."—Mark Liponis, MD, coauthor of Ultraprevention and author of Ultralongevity

"In her usual science-made-simple approach, Jean Carper gives readers of all ages 100 doable strategies for keeping brains sharp and bodies healthy. I highly recommend reading it--and doing it."—William Sears, MD, author of Prime-Time Health

"A wonderful book that appeals to the lay person, physician and scientist alike, with its beautifully outlined 'what to do' approaches to dealing with the threat of such a frightening disease. It is a must read for all of us."—Brian J. Balin, Ph.D., Professor, Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

"In this marvelous book, Jean Carper has done all the leg-work for the reader by basing it on the very recent scientific literature and direct contacts with many Alzheimer's disease researchers. She has a unique and refreshing writing style. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to maintain their cognitive abilities during aging and reduce their risk of Alzheimer's-which should be all of us!"—Gary W. Arendash, Ph.D., Research Professor of the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center

"With style and wit Jean Carper has assembled all the simple things that people can do to delay the onset of age-related memory loss, an idea that may sound revolutionary to some, but is all research-based. My advice is simple: Read this book!"—Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown Medical School

"There is a gem of knowledge and insight on every page. Jean Carper brings a rare talent to these pages-she helps the reader see the difference between scientific breakthroughs and passing fads. Most important, this book offers hope-something the reader can do right now to change their future. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to protect their minds as they grow old."—Gary L. Wenk, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Ohio State University, author of Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings

"A refreshingly positive view of Alzheimer's disease and what you can do to reduce your risk."—Suzanne Tyas, PhD, Associate Professor of Health Studies and Gerontology and of Psychology, University of Waterloo

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316086851
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 9/20/2010
  • Pages: 322
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jean Carper is an award-winning medical journalist and the author of 23 books, including the New York Times bestsellers Food-Your Miracle Medicine, Stop Aging Now!, and Miracle Cures. She is a contributing editor to USA Weekend Magazine, and wrote the magazine's "Eat Smart" column for 14 years. She lives in Washington, D.C., and Florida.
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Read an Excerpt

100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss


By Carper, Jean

Little, Brown and Company

Copyright © 2010 Carper, Jean
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316086851

1

GET SMART ABOUT ALCOHOL

It can boost brain cells or destroy them

Your brain may like a little alcohol, but not a lot. Study after study shows that moderate drinkers are less apt to develop Alzheimer’s. Recent research at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center found that older people who drank eight to fourteen alcoholic beverages per week—one or two a day—had a 37 percent lower risk of dementia than nondrinkers. The bad news: stepping into the “heavy drinker” category—more than fourteen drinks a week—doubled the odds of developing dementia compared to not drinking.

UCLA researchers find that heavy drinking pushes you two to three years closer to Alzheimer’s. And heavy drinkers who also carry the ApoE4 Alzheimer’s gene can expect the onset of dementia four to six years earlier. Further, in the large Framingham Heart Study, a community health study spanning several decades, heavy drinking (more than fourteen drinks a week) predicted shrinkage in the memory regions of the brain.

British doctors writing in the British Journal of Psychiatry recently warned that heavy and binge drinking among older people is creating “a silent epidemic” of alcohol-related dementia that causes as much as 10 percent of all cases of dementia.

Even adults who usually drink lightly or moderately but go on occasional binges face a higher risk of dementia. A Finnish study showed that adults who binged in midlife at least once a month—drinking, for example, more than five bottles of beer or a bottle of wine at one sitting—were three times more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s, twenty-five years later. Passing out from alcohol at least twice in one year hiked the chances of developing dementia by ten times.

On the other hand, a daily cocktail or glass of wine may help delay dementia. Research finds that alcohol is an anti-inflammatory (inflammation promotes Alzheimer’s) and raises good HDL cholesterol, which helps ward off dementia. High antioxidants in red wine give it additional anti-dementia clout. Such antioxidants, including resveratrol, act as anticoagulants and artery relaxants, dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow, which encourages cognitive functioning. That makes many researchers favor red wine over white wine, which has comparatively few antioxidants. (See “Make It Wine, Preferably Red,” page 282.)

What to do? Understand that alcohol in low doses over an adult’s lifetime appears brain protective, but large doses at one time kill or cripple brain cells, leaving you more vulnerable to cognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer’s decades later. The toxic impact is long lasting. If you do drink, stick to low or moderate amounts, sipped slowly, preferably with food. That means no more than one drink a day for women, two for men. One drink usually means a twelve-ounce beer, a shot of liquor, or five ounces of wine.



Continues...

Excerpted from 100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer's and Age-Related Memory Loss by Carper, Jean Copyright © 2010 by Carper, Jean. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: What to Do While We Wait for a Cure 15

1 Get Smart About Alcohol 31

2 Consider Alpha Lipoic Acid and ALCAR 34

3 Ask Questions About Anesthesia 38

4 Check Out Your Ankle 41

5 Don't Shy Away from Antibiotics 44

6 Eat Antioxidant-Rich Foods 47

7 Know About the ApoE4 Gene 52

8 Drink Apple Juice 56

9 Beware of Bad Fats 59

10 Keep Your Balance 62

11 Eat Berries Every Day 66

12 Grow a Bigger Brain 69

13 Control Blood Pressure 73

14 Get a Quick Blood-Sugar Test 77

15 Be a Busy Body 80

16 Don't Be Afraid of Caffeine 83

17 Count Calories 86

18 Watch Out for Celiac Disease 89

19 Treat Yourself to Chocolate 92

20 Control Bad Cholesterol 96

21 Eat Choline-Rich Foods 99

22 Go Crazy for Cinnamon 102

23 Say Yes to Coffee 105

24 Build "Cognitive Reserve" 108

25 Be Conscientious 112

26 Keep Copper and Iron Out of Your Brain 114

27 Eat Curry 117

28 Try the DASH Diet 121

29 Overcome Depression 124

30 Prevent and Control Diabetes 127

31 Get the Right Diagnosis 131

32 Know the Early Signs of Alzheimer's 134

33 Be Easygoing and Upbeat 137

34 Get a Higher Education 140

35 Avoid Environmental Toxins 143

36 Know the Estrogen Evidence 147

37 Enjoy Exercise 151

38 Be an Extrovert 155

39 Have Your Eyes Checked 158

40 Know the Dangers of Fast Foods 162

41 Yes, Yes, Yes - Eat Fatty Fish 164

42 Take Folic Acid 168

43 Eat a Low-Glycemic Diet 171

44 Google Something 174

45 Raise Your Good HDL Cholesterol 178

46 Guard Against Head Injury 181

47 Be Good to Your Heart 184

48 Keep Homocysteine Normal 187

49 Avoid Inactivity 190

50 Try to Keep Infections Away 194

51 Fight Inflammation 198

52 Find Good Information 201

53 Keep Insulin Normal 204

54 Have an Interesting Job 207

55 Drink Juices of All Kinds 210

56 Learn to Love Language 214

57 Avoid a Leptin Deficiency 217

58 Don't Be Lonely 220

59 Embrace Marriage 223

60 Know the Dangers of Meat 225

61 Consider Medical Marijuana 228

62 Practice Meditation 231

63 Follow the Mediterranean Diet 235

64 Recognize Memory Problems 238

65 Keep Mentally Active 242

66 Take Multivitamins 245

67 Build Strong Muscles 249

68 Take a Nature Hike 252

69 Do Something New 254

70 Get Enough Niacin 257

71 Think about a Nicotine Patch 260

72 Be Cautious About NSAIDs 263

73 Go Nuts over Nuts 266

74 Worry about Middle-Age Obesity 269

75 Get Help for Obstructive Sleep Apnea 272

76 Go for Olive Oil 275

77 Beware of Omega-6 Fat 278

78 Know Your Plaques and Tangles 281

79 Have a Purpose in Life 284

80 Get a Good Night's Sleep 287

81 Forget About Smoking 290

82 Have a Big Social Circle 293

83 Don't Forget Your Spinach 296

84 Investigate Statins 299

85 Surround Yourself with Stimulation 302

86 Deal with Stress 306

87 Avoid Strokes 309

88 Cut Down on Sugar 312

89 Drink Tea 316

90 Take Care of Your Teeth 319

91 Have Your Thyroid Checked 321

92 Beware of Being Underweight 324

93 Prevent Vascular Dementia 327

94 Play Video Games 330

95 Put Vinegar in Everything 333

96 Get Enough Vitamin B12 336

97 Don't Neglect Vitamin D 338

98 Watch Your Waist 342

99 Walk, Walk, Walk 346

100 Make It Wine, Preferably Red 350

Putting It All Together: Your Anti-Alzheimer's Plan 353

Acknowledgments 365

Alzheimer's Disease Centers 369

A Note on Scientific References 375

Index 377

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2010

    Untrue

    If you want the truth about Alzheimer's read Sandra Day O'connor's New York Times Op-Ed (10/27/2010). "It attacks rich and poor, white-collar and blue, and women and men, without regard to party" "Experience has taught us that we cannot avoid Alzheimer's disease by having regular medical checkups, by being involved in nourishing relationships or by going to the gym or filling in crossword puzzles. Ronald Reagan suffered the ravages of this disease for a decade despite the support of his loving family, the extraordinary stimulation of his work, his access to the best medical care and his high level of physical fitness." Anyone who buys this book is proving the old adage that a fool and his money are soon parted. Nobody knows what causes Alzheimer's and until we do we cannot prevent it. It is common sense to eat right, exercise, etc. But none of this will prevent Alzheimer's! There must be a very special place reserved for anyone trying to profit off of people's fears by peddling such lies.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 13, 2011

    A great reference text!

    The book is well organized, introduced, and written.
    The multiple chapters are an advantage for reading, stopping, and reviewing.

    There are several good references to other publications.

    The wise reader has the opportunity to evaluate, skip, and question the many viewpoints.
    I will use it as a reference for a long time.

    gene39

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2012

    Useful Information

    While I have not found a book or article that has 100 unique solutions or ideas to a problem, I did find a lot of helpful information in this book.

    It was easy and quick to read. Explained where the research came from and how nothing for alzheimer's is an absolute cure.

    Worth reading if you have someone who has or if you have a family history of Alzheimer's.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 9, 2011

    Very easy to read

    For anyone in middle-age or older, Alzheimer's Disease is a major concern. This book shows easy ways to delay its onset, perhaps for years.

    If the recommendations in this book can be reduced to one sentence, it might be: Eat Right and Exercise Regularly. Eat lots of deep color berries, like black raspberries, cranberries, plums and strawberries; they are full of antioxidants. Apple juice can boost the brain's production of acetylcholine, just like the popular Alzheimer's drug Aricept. Large doses of caffeine, like several hundred mg per day, may help clean up your brain if you are showing signs of mental problems (people react differently to high doses of caffeine, so be aware of the side effects). If you have cholesterol problems, get it under control, now. Cinnamon gives a boost to malfunctioning insulin, allowing it to process sugar normally. Weak insulin can lead to diabetes, and can damage your brain cells. Did you know that coffee helps block cholesterol's bad effects on the brain, is anti-inflammatory and reduces the risk of depression, stroke and diabetes, which all promote dementia?

    Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. Fill up your brain with lots of interesting stuff, like education, marriage, language skills, etc. You can actually grow your brain with lots of physical, mental and social activities. If you can join a health club and work out regularly, do it. If going for a walk after dinner is more your speed, do it. Conscientious people are better able to cope with setbacks in life, and can better dodge chronic psychological distress, which boosts risks of dementia. If you are clinically depressed, get it treated, or you are more likely to develop Alzheimer's. Symptoms that look like Alzheimer's can easily be something else (and something easily treatable). Go to a geriatric neurologist and get the right diagnosis, now.

    The best way to prevent Alzheimer's is to reduce your personal risk factors, sooner rather than later. No one is expected to do everything in this book. Pick a dozen or so things that you can do every day, and stick with them. Anything that reduces the possibility of getting Alzheimer's, even by a little bit, is automatically a good thing. This book is very easy to read, and it is excellent.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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