GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Americans fear being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease almost as much as they fear being diagnosed with cancer, but a local doctor said people have less to fear in regard to Alzheimer’s.
Dr. Majid Fotuhi, a neuroscientist who received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D in neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is the chief medical officer at Neurocore Brain Performance Center in Grand Rapids. He said four out of the five causes behind Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other cognitive impairments can be treated, and symptoms can be reversed.
Fotuhi said it’s important for people to realize only 11 to 14 percent of the elderly have pure Alzheimer’s disease.
“Everybody else has a mixture of reversible and treatable conditions,” he said.
Fotuhi said brain shrinkage occurs in patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
“There are five main things that shrink the brain substantially,” he said. “One, vascular problems such as obesity, hypertension or diabetes have been shown to shrink the brain. The second thing is a sleep issue, such as insomnia or sleep apnea, which can cause significant shrinkage in the brain. In fact, the degree of shrinkage in this part of the hippocampus correlates with the severity and duration of insomnia. The third thing is anxiety and depression issues. The fourth is concussion and brain damage, and the fifth is Alzheimer’s pathology.
“The good news is that four of those five categories are reversible or modifiable and treatable. More and more research shows when you do interventions to target those things that can be treated, like treatment of sleep apnea or insomnia, reducing stress or meditating, the brain grows.”
To find out how Neurocore is working to help patients through its Memory Boot Camp, follow this link or pick up this week's edition of the Grand Rapids Business Journal.
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