By Dr Chris M Reading (Orthomolecular Psychiatrist)
With permission from: SOMA Newsletter January 2008.
(Editor’s note: It is suggested that readers copy this article and present it to their doctor in case of suspected memory loss and/or Alzheimer’s disease. “? = check for”)
The Sun Herald 13 January 2008 (byline Louise Hall) states “dementia affects 220,000 Australians and 56,000 new cases of dementia – progressive and degenerative brain disease that attacks a person’s memory , cognitive skills and emotional capacity – are diagnosed nationally every year”.
Orthomolecular medicine and psychiatry’ looks at what MISSED MEDICAL CONDITIONS are seen in the elderly patients worried by memory loss which, if not treated, cause a DEMENTIA and ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE picture.
Very few of the conditions below are looked at by orthodox medical practitioners and psychiatrists, causing the disaster we are now have on our hands and which is getting worse. Instead of 220,000, this ‘figure is expected to rise by 326 per cent by the year 2050 as the population ages.’
The following medical conditions should be excluded in any patient over 40 years worried about their memory:-
1. COELIAC DISEASE:?(Check) Gluten and gliadin; IgA and IgG antibodies.
2. SLE/LUPUS:? ANF(ANA) and if positive then look for raised ds DNA – confirming SLE.
3. HYPOTHYROIDISM OR UNDER-ACTIVE THYROID? Low T4 and raised TSH etc. and positive thyroid antibodies.
4. BERRI-BERRI, LOW B1/Thiamine: ? 3 serum enzyme tests.
5. PERNICIOUS ANAEMIA/LOW VITAMIN B12: ? Serum B12. However if not anaemic , it is called ‘latent pernicious anaemia’.
6. PELLAGRA/LOW NIACIN/B3: Serum B3.
7. LOW FOLIC ACID: serum folic acid and red cell folate.
8. LOW SERUM B6/PYRIDOXAL ? 3 enzyme tests. Note: if B12 or folic acid or B6 are low it should be mandatory to do the next test to exclude
9. HIGH HOMOCYSTEINE: ? Serum homocysteine. Raised homocysteine can cause coronary artery disease, heart attacks, stroke, thrombosis, as well as dementia.
10. LOW B5/PANTOTHENIC ACID: ? Serum B5
11. LOW CHOLINE: ? Serum choline. B5 and choline help form acetylcholine and cholinergic pathways and are the first to break down in Alzheimer’s disease.
12. LOW VITAMIN C/ ASCORBIC ACID OR SCURVY: ? Scurvy or low vit. C can cause cerebral haemorrhages and strokes.
13. LOW IRON: ? Serum iron and iron studies (low iron without anaemia, or low haemoglobin is called sideropaenia and is not rare.)
14. LOW POTASSIUM: ? serum level
15. LOW ZINC: ? serum level and red cell zinc.
16. LOW CALCIUM/HYPOCALCAEMIA: ? Serum level can be associated with
17. HYPOTHYROIDISM/LOW PTH: (parathyroid hormone)
18. LOW COBALT IN HAIR ANALYSIS: necessary for B12
19. HIGH LEVELS OF ALUMINIUM: serum levels and hair analysis level
20. HIGH LEVELS OF HEAVY METALS/POISONS, called TOXIC HEAVY METALS: ? serum lead, mercury, copper, arsenic, cadmium and hair analysis will show levels of these and other toxic metals.
21. APO E GENOTYPE: ? E4:E4 (normal E3:E3) which correlates with high cholesterol and high triglycerides and hence high risk for arteriosclerosis and hardening of arteries and ‘vascular’ dementia etc.
22. LOW SERUM AMINO ACIDS such as GLUTAMINE and L-TRYPTOPHAN to form B3 etc ? Serum amino acids, especially the eight essential amino acids.
23. LOW DHEAS HORMONES: ? Serum levels. Low DHEA increase risk of coronary artery disease, heart attacks, strokes, dementia and CNS/cerebral atrophy.
24, HIGH OR LOW CORTISOL, i.e., CUSHING’S SYNDROME (WHEN HIGH) AND ADDISON’S DISEASE (WHEN LOW), ? Serum cortisol.
25. RAISED GLUCOSE/DIABETES: ? Fasting blood sugar level and , if raised, GTT (glucose Tolerance test). If low, it is called HYPOGLYCAEMIA and hat needs to be corrected.
26. BASIC TESTS FOR: ?
Anaemia which can mean low B6 and iron, if red cells are smaller than usual and low B1, B3, B12, vitamin C, folic acid, manganese, hypothyroidism if red cells are bigger than usual.
Liver failure ? Liver function tests
Renal failure ? Renal function tests.
Low electrolytes: ? Sodium, chloride, potassium, etc.
27. AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE SCREEN looking for antibodies to 5 neurological tissues (e.g., anti-nerve, myelin, GMI ganglioside, meninges, anterior horn cells confirming autoimmune neuritis/cerebral inflammation , irritation.
Also looking at 8 components of vessels such as endothelial lining, smooth muscles, actin, actinomyosin, tropomyosin, elastin, collagen, fibrin, i.e., vasculitis or blood vessel disorders causing dementia. Special diets can help reverse the autoimmune disease.
NOTE: Coeliac disease can be associated with over 100 illnesses/medical conditions.
28. MISSED FOOD/CHEMICAL SENSITIVITIES or INTOLERANCE: ? BCFT Test/cytotoxic test. The sensitivity/intolerance to gluten-containing grains, cow’s milk, legumes or beans etc. Is the main cause of malabsorption for vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc. and thus low hormones such as cortisol.
Cortisol needs B1, B3, B5, vit.C, vit.A, magnesium, zinc, manganese and NaC1 (sea salt) for synthesis from cholesterol. In coeliac disease, cholesterol is often low, meaning low cortisol, low DHEAS, low testosterone, low oestrogen and low vit.D, increasing risk for cancer, etc.
The above can also cause depression or mood disorders due to medical conditions often wrongly called ‘major depressive illness’ and are just treated with antidepressants due to these many missed medical conditions not being looked for, detected and corrected.
Special centres should be set up to do these tests to prevent the 56,000 new cases called Alzheimers’s disease instead of the missed medical conditions 1 to 28, and to prevent depressive illnesses and suicides costing millions of dollars.