PEMF Therapy for Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States of America. A person diagnosed with the disease lives around 4-8 years on average but proper care and attention can extend the life span to further 20 years. Unfotunately, medical sceience has not yet found any cure for this disease yet but that doesn’t mean that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, as there are multiple ways for managing the Alzheimer’s. In this article, we are going to take a look at PEMF Therapy for Alzheimer’s disease, but before we start, let’s first understand the in and outs of the disease.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
There are over 400 types of dementia and Alzheimer’s is the most common one and like other types of dementia, it affects behavior, thinking, and memory. Over time, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s get so severe that it becomes hard for the person affected by it to even perform daily tasks. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of all dementia cases. Alzheimer’s isn’t a normal element of aging; however, increasing age is one of the risk factors of the disease as most people with Alzheimer’s are 65 or older than that. Alzheimer’s can occur at any age; according to an estimate, around 200,000 people under the age of 65 have early-onset Alzheimer’s in the US.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease and its symptoms slowly get worse over the course of several years. Memory loss is a little mild during the early stages of the disease, but in the late-stage Alzheimer’s the patients lose the ability to converse and can’t respond to their environment.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
There are ten known warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s and if you notice any of them, immediately call your doctor and schedule an appointment for proper diagnosis. The signs of Alzheimer’s include;
- Life disrupting memory loss
- Problems with words in speaking or writing
- Difficulty performing familiar everyday jobs
- Confusion with place or time
- Trouble planning or solving problems
- Losing the ability to retrace steps and misplacing things
- Poor or decreased judgment
- Withdrawal from social activities and work
- Changes in personality and mood
- Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
Risk Factors of Alzheimer’s disease
Researchers believe that a single cause doesn’t lead to a person developing Alzheimer’s disease. Instead, there are multiple factors that contribute to the disease, including environment, genetics, and lifestyle. The risk factors of Alzheimer’s that the scientists have identified include age, family history and genetics, and although we can’t change those factors, evidence suggests that there are other risk factors of Alzheimer’s that we can influence.
Risk Factors that You Can’t Influence
Increasing age is the greatest known risk factor of Alzheimer’s and several other types of dementias. As mentioned earlier, Alzheimer’s and similar disorders are not a normal part of increasing age; the age isn’t the direct cause of Alzheimer’s. The majority of Alzheimer’s patients are over the age of 65, and every five years after that, the risk of Alzheimer’s doubles, and once the person reaches 85, the risk becomes one-third.
Family history is another strong risk factor of Alzheimer’s, meaning that a person is more likely to develop the disease if their parent, brother, or sister has Alzheimer’s. The risk of the disease increases if more than one immediate family member has Alzheimer’s. This type of disease that runs in families may occur due to genetics (heredity), environmental factors, or both.
Genes can play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s and scientists have established the genes that influence the development of the disease. The two types of genes that influence Alzheimer’s are risk genes and deterministic genes; Alzheimer’s genes are prevalent in both these types of genes. According to an estimate, deterministic genes account for less than 1% of all cases of Alzheimer’s. Deterministic genes cause a disease; they do not increase the risk of a person developing a disease.
Risk Factors You May Be Able To Influence
We can’t influence the three risk factors mentioned above, but according to research, there are other risk factors that we may be able to influence by changing our lifestyle, making healthy choices, and effectively managing other health conditions. These risk factors include;
Head injury increases the chances of a person developing Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia in the future. Taking preventative measures to protect your head and brain may reduce the chances of the development of Alzheimer’s. These preventative measures can include fall-proofing your house, fastening seat belts while traveling in a car or an airplane, wearing a helmet when chances of a head injury are high, such as during sports or when riding a bike, etc.
Heart – Head Connection
There is strong evidence that suggests brain health is linked with heart health and it shouldn’t be a surprise as our brain is nourished by one of the richest blood vessel networks. All the blood vessels in our body are dependent on the heart for pumping the blood. Many conditions that damage the blood vessels and the heart increases the risk of a person developing vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s; both of which are the most common types of dementia. These conditions include high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart diseases, stroke, and diabetes. If you do have any of these diseases, then contact your doctor and closely monitor your heart health to deal with any problems that may arise.
Donated brain tissue studies also provide evidence for this heart-head connection and suggest that tangles and plaques increase the likelihood of a person to experience the symptoms of Alzheimer’s if damage or stroke to the blood vessel network in the brain is also present.
According to promising research, the risk of a person developing Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia may reduce if they follow strategies that support healthy aging. These healthy aging methods can include but aren’t limited to, maintaining a healthy – nutrition-rich diet, exercising both the mind and the body, avoiding excess alcohol and tobacco, and staying socially active.
PEMF Therapy as a Treatment for Alzheimer’s disease
Currently, there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms of the disease. These treatments can’t cure the disease or prevent it from progressing; instead, they only slow down the rate at which the disease progression and improve the quality of life of the patient and their caregiver. PEMF therapy for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is gaining popularity among those who want to try a holistic approach for managing the symptoms along with the traditional treatment.
Using different types of PEMF devices, several studies have reviewed the role of PEMF therapy for treating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. These studies used devices capable of producing both high intensity and frequency and low intensity and frequency. All types of PEMF therapy provided some benefits, as there isn’t a single factor that causes the disease. Like most diseases, inflammation is the common factor in Alzheimer’s, and by addressing chronic inflammation, we may be able to slow the progression of the disease.
According to an animal study published in 2010 by the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease, PEMF therapy may be a potential treatment for AD as it may be a memory-enhancing approach. It was one of the first studies to look at PEMF therapy for Alzheimer’s disease.
A study conducted in 2017 by Italian scientists looking at the effects of low-frequency PEMF therapy on an experimental cell model of Alzheimer’s disease suggests that PEMF therapy can stimulate both brain signaling and tissue regeneration.
If you are interested in researching the impact and benefits of PEMF therapy on Alzheimer’s and other diseases, then you can check PubMed, which is a service of the US National Institutes of Health and the US National Library of Medicine.
How PEMF Therapy for Alzheimer’s disease Works?
There are three simple ways in which PEMF Therapy for Alzheimer’s disease works.
PEMF therapy improves the levels of oxygen in both tissue and blood and in Alzheimer’s, the oxygenation of the tissue (brain) plays an important role. If the brain is properly receiving oxygen, then diseases like Alzheimer’s may not be able to thrive and cause additional damage. It is important to note that oxygenation via PEMF therapy may not be able to help those that are in advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, but it can help those with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
The process of the blood flowing throughout the body is circulation and with proper circulation to the brain, the cognitive function improves. Poor blood circulation can manifest in the elderly, especially those who have heart diseases and diabetes. Studies about peripheral neuropathy in patients with both diabetes and Alzheimer’s have shown promise, so it’s safe to consider that PEMF therapy helps improves brain function by increasing circulation.
Lack of proper sleep can seriously damage anyone’s health, even if they are doing everything right. During sleep, the proteins that were active during the day become waste and if the waste continues to build up, it can damage your brain function and the thought pattern. So by improving sleep, you may be able to moderate the progression of Alzheimer’s. According to a study, PEMF therapy may improve sleep, cognitive function, and reduce agitation, thereby helping manage Alzheimer’s.
PEMF Frequency for Alzheimer’s disease
According to a study, PEMF frequency ranging from 5-8Hz may improve both visual memory and visuoperceptual function in Alzheimer’s patients. The study also suggests that this PEMF frequency for Alzheimer’s disease may also improve other cognitive functions, including reasoning, short-term memory, mood, spatial orientation, social interaction, and judgment, all of which are affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
Additional Considerations When Using PEMF Therapy for Alzheimer’s disease
As PEMF therapy for Alzheimer’s disease is a holistic approach of treatment, patients also have to consider a few other things including;
When using PEMF therapy for Alzheimer’s disease, it is important that you consume a heart-healthy nutritional diet because, as we mentioned earlier, heart health can impact brain heart. A heart-healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting the intake of saturated fats and sugar. The two diets that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s include;
- Mediterranean Diet: Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fish, healthy fats, and a relatively low amount of red meat.
- DASH diet: Short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, the DASH diet focuses on low-fat or fat-free dairy products, vegetables, fruits, vegetable oils, whole grain, beans, nuts, poultry and fish. In the DASH diet, you limit the number of sweets, red meats, sodium, and sugary beverages.
When using PEMF therapy for Alzheimer’s disease, regular exercise plays an important role. There’s no doubt about the fact that exercise directly benefits the brain by increasing the flow of oxygen and blood in the brain cells. This is why, due to the cardiovascular and brain health benefits, we recommend that you follow a medically approved workout plan along with PEMF therapy for Alzheimer’s disease.
Intellectual Activity and Social Connections
Several studies suggest that staying mentally active and maintaining a strong social connection may safeguard from cognitive decline and prevent the development of Alzheimer’s. It is believed that mental and social stimulation strengthens the connection between the brain’s nerve cells.
Research shows that PEMF therapy is safe, effective and has no side effects, which means that using PEMF therapy for Alzheimer’s may be beneficial for those suffering from the disease. Talk to your doctor about the possibility of adding PEMF therapy to your Alzheimer’s treatment. If they give you the green light, then consider buying a portable PEMF device, so you don’t have to go back and forth to the doctor’s office twice a day to receive the therapy.
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