Has anyone tried herbal remedies that supposedly help restore memory for dementia patients?

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Have you every watched a documentary about the brain and Alzheimer's disease? Seen the tangles and the plaques and heard what they are made of an how they develop? Or a documentary about Lewy Bodies in the brain, how they were discovered and what science knows about them so far?

Have you attended lectures or seminars or read some books about the actual physical condition of the brain, and what is seen during autopsies?

Do you know about the different kinds of protein molecules involved in the different kinds of dementia? Tau, beta-amyloid, alpha-synuclein hexamer, progranulin ... and on and on. And that recent research is identifying some links in the DNA chain that might be implicated in certain types of dementia?

And that dementia typically starts developing in the brain some 20 years before symptoms appear?

The causes and triggers for dementia are extremely complex. Although that has been the target of huge, huge amounts of research worldwide, for decades, science is still not certain of the exact causes and sequences in the development of dementia.

Given that complexity, what are the chances that taking extract of dandelion (or whatever) is going to solve this baffling problem?

Sure, if your loved one has a vitamin B deficiency, give her supplements as suggested by her doctor. If, like nearly everyone in the Northern hemisphere, he has a vitamin D deficiency, address that.

But true dementia? Sorry folks, we just don't know enough to say what might help.
Again, there is NOTHING you can do or take that will stop the progression of dementia. Do not waste your money! The good news is that there is a drug in clinical trials right now that really shows promise, but it will be years before it comes to market. Read the article on Alzheimer's with the lead story on the front cover about two months ago. Dr. Longo at Stanford Univ. has a different solution.
Snowcat60, I'm sympathetic to your view that profit-driven pharmaceutical research is looking for profit first, and relief of human suffering as a byproduct.


The supplement industry, the folks who sell supplements and write books and sell videos, are profit-driven, too. And they do not have to prove to the FDA that their products work -- only that they are not harmful. They don't have to go through years of peer-reviewed trials. They are allowed to advertise on the internet and elsewhere based on testimonials only, with no scientific backing.

I agree that the profit-motive is a disturbing way to approach healthcare, but I think that is true for the little (and not so little) supplement industry as it is for Big Pharma.
Did God make the dementia, too, Simonofcyrene? I have a hard time figuring out God's role in this, but you seem to know, so many you can explain it.

Also, since God presumably gave us intelligence, are the pharmaceuticals we create with that intelligence also a gift from God?
In my opinion I believe a combination of nutrition, and exercise can help. I would first look at records of electrolytes and blood work thats where I would start. I think many elderly need a nutritionist. As we age many things slow down or don't absorb as when we were younger.
Exercise will help with depression and mental stimulation. Being around people, having a purpose really is helpful.
I have tried coconut oil, b-complex more specifically b12, fish oil, turmeric and vitamin D. Dementia is unique to each person so make sure your remedies don't conflict with medications, very important to check with physician.

My wife's very attentive neurologist responded to a similar question like this: "Before you take anything "natural" or "homeopathic", check with us so that we can be sure it will not do damage or have a negative reaction to anything she is currently taking. But if you want to try something that is collecting anecdotal affirmation, we can be open to anything that does not harm." With that perspective we have pursued aggressive and carefully monitored medical treatment while some friends have pursued alternative routes. Nothing in the comparisons over the past seven years would lead us to change course. The wonderful testimonies that are usually spread through the internet have never been duplicated in the "real people" that we know.
Simonofcyrene (btw a most creative username to identify servanthood)--I appreciate your effort at trying to theologically assess this very difficult issue. In regard to Jesus' miracles, the constant in all of them is Jesus. Spittle and mud have not become standard treatments for blindness. I suspect that all religious people dealing with Alzheimer's have sought God's intervention. We would readily accept such a miracle. However, when the miracle does not occur, we assume that God is with us as he is with cancer patients, diabetics, heart patients: He is supportive of our using the best tools and wisdom available to us. We each have to make our own choices on that. My choice is to make use the best clinically affirmed medications, and to anticipate that God will walk with us as we continue down a darkening pathway. I pray that you will have affirmation as you bear your cross in the way you choose.
VERY important to check with your Dr about possible interactions with meds. My SIL (a Dr.) says he sees FAR too many patients who take "supplements" or "natural" oils that conflict tremendously with the prescribed meds. Due not in small part that although "natural", these things do have side effects. Also they are not okayed by the FDA and so they are not studied in conjunction with typical western meds. Just be very careful, and very suspicious of ANYTHING that claims it will do something miraculous......
I agree with Simonofcyrene's comment, it is very important to check with your doctor to make sure there is not a conflict with medications. With the guidance of a highly regarded Naturopathic doctor, mom is taking excellent brands of supplements: Ashwagandha, Vit B (Homocysteine spray), Vit D3, K2, COQ10, PQQ, Turmeric, Probiotics, Green Vibrance powder for smoothies, and exercise to manage her dementia. At age 85, Mom is still able to live alone, but with the help of a daily visiting caregiver to assists with her medications, and food preparation.
Llamalover47, I know two ladies that lived to 100 and one who lived to 96 who never had a supplement in lives.

Individual cases don't really prove anything.

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