Ketogenic diet and Alzheimer

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Introduction:

Ketogenic diet has gained lot of attention in the recent times and lot has been written about it already.

There has also been some research and nutrition quotes around understanding the link between brain disease such as Alzheimer and ketogenic diet. This article further elaborates the research and highlights the key findings of ketogenic diet on Alzheimer patients and its side effects.

Alzheimer disease overview:

 Alzheimer disease (AD) is termed as a neurodegenerative disease that can causes problems with our thinking abilities, memory and our behavior. The disease builds up slowly and gradually worsens over time.  Also known to be the most common type of dementia in which there is progressive brain cell death that happens over time and accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases worldwide.

Common symptoms include forgetting things, misplacing luggage, getting confused with names and places etc.

The exact causes are still unknown but possible hypotheses to explain the phenomena are:

  1. Ageing: Scientists believe that Increased age is one of the biggest threats for Alzheimer’s. It’s the sixth largest cause of deaths in United States and one-third of people age 85 or older are living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
  2. Genes: Like any other deadly diseases, genetics play a big part and someone with a family history of Alzheimer’s can possibly pass it on to the next generation. Based on the broad classification, two types of Alzheimer’se. early-onset and late-onset can have a genetic component.
  3. Protein build up in the brain: One of the biggest reasons for the disease onset can be attributed to the abnormal protein build up in the brain.

             Two infamous proteins, amyloid and tau are known to deposit around and within the brain cells. As a result of this process, the usual brain activities are hampered and it decreases the neurotransmitters involved in sending messages, or signals, between brain cells. Over a period, the brain area starts shrinking and memory is affected.

Symptoms:

In the early stages, patients might have memory loss instances.

Examples include forgetting about recent conversations, misplacing items, not able to remembers names and faces etc.

Middle stage symptoms include the situation getting worse and the patients might start facing obsessive, repetitive or impulsive behavior.

Other symptoms include increasing confusion, mood changes, social withdrawal, difficulty thinking of common words while speaking and hesitations.

Prevention:

As of now, there is no credible cure for Alzheimer disease as it related to death of brain cells which cannot be reserved. However, there are some medications and precautions which can help in reducing the symptoms of the disease.

One of the recommended solutions is making out some dietary changes and adopting a healthier diet, like ketogenic diet.

A group of physicians recommend avoiding saturated fats and rather eating a diet rich with healthy fats, anti-oxidants like legumes, whole grains and a varied range of colored fruits which is similar to what people following the veganism movement eat. They believe that although a ketogenic diet might provide the body with alternate energy source but at the same time, it might also deprive it of some essential nutrients.