September 21. How many of you are aware of relevance of this date? Very few. Right? This is observed as World Alzheimer’s day. So, have you ever thought, how it feels when you start forgetting the things and the people who were once a part of your day to day routine?
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia (forgetfulness) affecting most of the elderly population. It is a dreadful disease affecting around 5% of men and 6% of women worldwide. It is a progressive and irreversible neurodegenerative disorder. These people show a slow decline in the memory and behavioural skills and eventually they find it difficult to perform even the routine activities. They have a shorter life expectancy and are more prone to physical disabilities, isolation, and a poor quality of life.
Several factors pose a major risk in the development of the disease. Age being the strongest one, others are changes at the genetic level, Nutritional and dietary insufficiencies like vitamin, anti-oxidant and micro minerals, uncontrolled hypertension and blood sugar levels in midlife and several other oxidative stress-inducing factors like exposure to pollutants, smokes or drugs.
Symptoms observed in Alzheimer’s disease
The most common symptom observed in Alzheimer’s is difficulty in recollecting the recently learned things. Some changes occur in our brain naturally but if some serious symptoms like a complete loss of memory, confusion, disorientation occur, it is to be taken into consideration. It begins as a milder disease but as it progresses more severe symptoms like disorientation, cognitive and behavioural changes, depression, mood swings, confusion, difficulty identifying people and surroundings, memory loss are observed.
Changes at the cellular level
Microscopic changes in the brain begin way before any visible symptoms are observed. Experts believe that it is caused due to irreversible damage to the nerve cells. Plaques and entangles are highlights of this disease. Plaques are the deposits of Beta-amyloid protein fragments in between the nerve cells in the brain. There are tangles of another protein called TAUPROTEINS in the nerve cells. These plaques and tangles disrupt the normal functioning of the nerve cells and results in cell death.
Thus, Alzheimer’s is a result of multiple events like oxidative stress, free radical damage, nerve cell degradation, Beta-amyloid plaque formation, Tauprotein entangle formation, and abnormal inflammatory reactions in the brain.
So, is there any way out of this condition? Being an irreversible disease how one can cope up with the situation. When there is no successful treatment for the complete cure of patients, herbal supplements like curcumin had played a distinguishable role in relieving the symptoms associated with it. Curcumin is the principal ingredient in Turmeric, the most commonly used spice in the Indian kitchen. The anti-all properties of curcumin have shown promising benefits in most of the diseases like Diabetes, Arthritis, High cholesterol, Heart disease, Neuro-degenerative disease, and several types of cancers.
Ageing is a natural process but it’s your choice, that how you manage your mental and physical health by adopting the right way of living. So here comes good news for people with Alzheimer’s that their memory can be restored, and behavioural and mood changes can be managed to a great extent with Curcumin.
How does curcumin work in Alzheimer’s disease?
- This wonderful component has been found to enhance memory and relaxes the mind and helps to cope up with the mental stress in these patients.
- The unique property of curcumin helps it to reach the brain and clear the plaques which are the main culprits that lead to the development of the disease. It inhibits the formation of these plaques in the brain and resulting toxicity from the same.
- Curcumin also delays the process of nerve cell degradation and hence promotes a better quality of life in these people.
- Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant properties in curcumin help to reduce the inflammation in the nerve cells and promote growth and strengthening of nerve cells.
Few research studies with curcumin extract have proved highly beneficial in preventing the progression of the disease and prevents the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain.
Some other studies have confirmed that Curcumin has a potential to improve the memory and attention abilities.
Memory issues are very common with age and they are unavoidable. But some serious changes with your brain require timely intervention. No one can recognize the problems in the early stage, it may seem like a natural part of ageing. So, we need to be alert and take care of brain health irrespective of the age. Alzheimer’s not only affect the individual but impacts the life of your near and dear ones equally.
• Examining the potential clinical value of curcumin in the prevention and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease; British Journal of Nutrition (2016 ), 115, 449–465.; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26652155/
• The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease: An overview; Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2008 Jan-Mar; 11(1): 13–19.; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781139/
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