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

The book “100 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s and Age-Related Memory Loss” was written in 2010.

You can find all of the advice on the Internet, and in more succinct terms.

The author Jean Carper lists “100 actions” you can take to prevent Alzheimer’s. Each action is written as a chapter. My biggest pet peeve was the repetition of the list. It’s like she thought the reader had memory loss and so repeats the same thing for 3 or 4 times.

For example, one recommendation is to ‘use your brain’. OK, got it. She repeats this theme at least 3 times as part of her list of 100; chapters “Build Cognitive Reserve”, “Get a Higher Education”, “Google Something” are all the same.

Another example: exercise to improve memory. This message to exercise is repeated in chapters “Be a Busy Body”, “Prevent and Control Diabetes”, “Enjoy Exercise”, “Avoid inactivity”, and “Watch your Waist.”

The irony is that this book is targeted for an ‘intelligent’ reader — it mentions a lot of scientific studies. I appreciate that, but if your reader can understand words like insulin and inflammation, then don’t you think the reader would notice filler pages?

There are not 100 things — maybe 20 things at best. It’s like the editor told the author — we can only sell a booklet of tips for 30 things for $5. But if you can make it a list of 100, then we can sell the book for $20. Boo! Hiss!

Jean Carper did mention some scientific studies that I’d like to follow up on, especially those specific to ApoE4.

Specific for ApoE4

  1. Alcohol is bad for Alzheimer’s

    8-14 beverages / week : 37% lower risk of dementia, but this does not apply to E4
    > 14 beverages / week : Doubles the odds for Alzheimer’s
    Adults who usually drink lightly or moderately, but go on occasional binges are 3x more likely to develop dementia
    Drinking with ApoE4 pushes Alzheimer’s 4-6 years earlier

  2. High homocysteine levels and ApoE4 is bad. Taking vitamin B can lower homocysteine levels
  3. Mice genetically destined to get Alzheimer’s (check if ApoE4) fed with nicotinamide (over-the-counter form of niacin) zipped through mazes and did not get Alzheimer’s. There are studies in progress to see if niacin-packed foods delay Alzheimer’s. Eat niacin-rich foods like tuna, salmon, turkey breast, sardines, peanuts, halibut, and chicken
  4. Don’t eat fast food (tested this in ApoE4 mice)
  5. ApoE4 carriers are especially susceptible to tiny blows to head
  6. Wear a nicotine patch for ApoE4 – cognitive boost greater in carriers of 2 copies hmm, don’t know how I feel about this

Treatments/Foods for Alzheimer’s in general

Ways to Measure

  1. Ankle-brachial index (ABI) test: leow ABI readings likely to get vascular dementia / Alzheimer’s
  2. Measure C-reactive protein. Keep it low (if you have too much inflammation, C-reactive protein levels become high
  3. Balance (how long can you stand on one foot)
  4. Systolic blood pressure > 140 mm in midlife, stronger predictor of demenita. Ideally,
    < 120 systolic, > 80 diastolic
  5. Keep homocysteine levels low or take vitamin B
  6. PET scans show deposits before any signs of mental impairment