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Posts Tagged ‘Dharma Singh Khalsa’

Brain Longevity Therapy Training

The Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation

Announces a New Dementia Program:

Brain Longevity Therapy Training

Purchase Training

Dates: Thursday, October 19 – Sunday, October 22, 2017

Arrival: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 in the evening

Departure: Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 12 noon

Where: DeNeve Plaza, 351 Charles E. Young Drive West, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Click Here for More Details

Livestreaming Attendance Now Available!

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 The Impact of Humor and Laughter

when Living with Dementia

We discussed the impact of humor and laughter as perceptions of both change as the disease progresses. I think you might be surprised at some points made by those living with dementia during this conversation.

Facilitated By
Eilon Caspi, Ph.D., Gerontologist and Dementia Behavior Specialist
http://dementiabehaviorconsulting.com
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Join Us – We Still Have Room on the

Dementia Cruise of Compassion & Camaraderie

We are honored by your response to our offering of the Dementia Friendly Symposium and Cruise and we are encouraging people to book their cabins before we are sold out!

For more details on the symposium and cruise go to https://alzheimersspeaks.com/cruise-with-us

Click here for the Symposium Program

Kathy Shoaf the travel agent handling the symposium and cruise can be reached at: 219-608-2002 or email her at Kathy.Shoaf@CruisePlanners.com

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Push Research Forward. Join the A-List

An Important message from our friend Meryl Comer:

We want what you want when it comes to figuring out solutions to the challenges we all face on our personal Alzheimer’s journeys. Take the critical issue of recruitment for clinical trials. How do you figure out whether you or a loved one is eligible, or if there is even a trial or study close to home? These simple online tools from two trusted A-List partners will help you get started, so just click below to get started.


Roobrik: click here to take a free, 4-minute assessment to learn more about clinical research and decide whether participating in a research study is right for you. You will be asked a series of questions to help you understand how factors such as age and health can affect which studies you might be eligible for, and what exactly is involved in clinical studies.

Antidote: click here when you are ready to look for a clinical trial. You will be asked a series of questions to determine which trials may be right for you.

Please give us feedback on your experience and look out for the next round of decision tree tools on issues like “Is It Still Smart To Drive” and “Is Homecare Right For You.”

Meryl Comer, A-List Team Member & 20-year Alzheimer’s care partner

 

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Dementia – Benefits of Meditation and Spiritual Fitness

ARPf_graphic_on_new_researchAlzheimer’s Disease Prevention:

New Journal Article Highlights Benefits of

Meditation and Spiritual Fitness

July 15, 2015 (Tucson, AZ) – Meditation and spiritual fitness are key components in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease according to a new article, “Stress, Meditation, and Alzheimer’s Prevention: Where the Evidence Stands”, published in an early online version of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 48(1). The print edition is scheduled to be published in August.

Dr DharmaWhile preliminary studies have suggested a link between meditation, a sense of spirituality or faith and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, the article’s author, Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., states that a cultivation of higher levels of psycho-social well-being, such as independence, resilience and life purpose represents “an important new frontier that deserves further research as it is freely available to anyone, anytime, anywhere.”

The article reviews decades of research into the impact that various meditation techniques have had on the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, focusing on one evidence-based practice that Khalsa says can be a powerful part of any Alzheimer’s prevention and spiritual fitness program, Kirtan Kriya (KK), a meditation technique which has been successfully used to improve memory in studies of people with subjective cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment.

Khalsa’s article highlights the principles and practices of this 12-minute meditation, with corresponding SPECT scans showing how it successfully activates the posterior cingulate gyrus, an important region of the brain that helps regulate memory and emotional function. The article also summarizes KK’s associated benefits, including a diminished loss of brain volume with age, significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms, and greater improvement of mental health, well-being and memory.

“We’ve been studying the impact of meditation on memory for more than 20 years, and are as encouraged as we’ve ever been on its powerful role in maximizing brain health,” said Khalsa, president and medical director of the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation and a clinical associate professor of integrative medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.  “Science is showing that meditation and spiritual fitness can be an important dimension in battling Alzheimer’s, and Kirtan Kriya is a safe, affordable, fast, and effective way to keep the brain spiritually fit.”

The full text of “Stress, Meditation, and Alzheimer’s Prevention: Where the Evidence Stands” can be accessed here

The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease by conducting clinical research and providing educational outreach about the lifestyle changes that can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.  For more information, please visit:

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The Seven Steps of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Diet

The Seven Steps of the

Alzheimer’s Prevention Diet

Everyone wants to boost their brain power, retard brain age, avoid dementia and prevent Alzheimer’s disease, as well as all the chronic diseases of our modern times.  These days we have instant news, instant money, instant communication, instant information, and instant gratification, and we’re stressed out like never before. Stress, no longer an abstract concept, is a physiological condition that can affect all of our bodily systems and contribute to heart disease, many forms of cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and other prevalent diseases of our time.

What you eat can either help prevent disease or help cause it. The standard American diet, with its emphasis on refined grains, big portions, and unhealthy fats, exacerbates the effects of stress and pushes the body’s nutritional limits. Using food as peaceful medicine can help to bring balance back to your body and fend off illness. The steps described below are not part of an extreme diet or rigid food pyramid, which, based on my 25 years of experience as a physician, are neither effective nor necessary for most people. They are a set of basic, flexible principles which will put you on a continuum, moving toward a plant-based diet that’s low in calories and high in nutrient-dense, organic foods.  This program is a foundation for you to build on as you strive for the best possible health and the prevention of Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss.

1) Detoxify Your Body

The human gastrointestinal system is like an elastic pipe; this pipe can trap waste, and toxins may be absorbed as a result, creating a foundation for illness. Periodic fasting – two or three times a year – is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. It cleanses your digestive tract, detoxifies and revitalizes your body, and lifts your spirit – and it’s a great way to start the transition into the complete program.

2) Beware of “Alarm Foods”

Certain foods and substances – such as sugar, pasta, red meat, deep-fried snacks, caffeine, and alcohol – tend to cause an “alarm reaction,” a signal of artificial stimulation and inflammation, in your body. Eating alarm foods regularly, particularly when you’re stressed, can put your body in a state of perpetual arousal. Chronic stress creates free radicals, which can cause gene mutations that may lead to cancer, as well as the cellular inflammation that can contribute to illnesses such as heart disease, memory loss, arthritis, anemia, fibromyalgia, asthma, and allergies.

 3) Seek Out Omega 3s and Increase Your Intake of Fruits and Vegetables

Clearly, the type of fats you consume has a powerful effect on your health. While many alarm foods contain saturated fat, which causes inflammation, food containing omega-3 fatty acids or good fats has been shown to inhibit inflammation. So start incorporating omega-3-rich flaxseed oil, olive oil, salmon, and tuna into your diet, and keep snacks such as almonds and pumpkin seeds on hand. Vegetables and fruits are the antithesis of alarm foods: They are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and they distribute antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds to all your cells. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only a third of US adults consume two or more fruits per day, and only a quarter eat three or more veggies per day. As you can tell, as a population we are still a long way away from using food as medicine.

4) Go Organic and Steer Clear of GMOs

Pesticides may be  contributing factors in a long list of diseases-including Parkinson’s, leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and several forms of cancer-and they may be hazardous to the developing immune and nervous systems of small children. Some research shows that from a nutritional standpoint, organically grown food is higher in many minerals than conventional food. Less is known about the health effects of GMOs – no long-term studies of genetically engineered (GE) foods have been conducted on humans.  The new organic-food laws should make buying organic less of a guessing game. And while it’s difficult to completely avoid GMOs – nearly 70 percent of produce, on U.S. grocery-store shelves contain some GMO ingredients – it’s critical to look for “GMO free” labels in health-food stores and on package labeling.

5) Discover Juicing

Many fruits and vegetables, when juiced using a juice extractor, become a concentrated form of nutritional energy.  Unlike processed, packaged juices, fresh juices are alive, with enzymes, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and all the phytonutrients you need to send a positive healing message to your body and brain. Juicing should not be used instead of eating your fruits and veggies, though. It can be a very nice complement to a healthy diet, but your body still needs the fiber from the produce, because it aids digestion and regulates blood sugar levels.

6) Clean Up Your (Protein) Act

This approach allows for plenty of protein while limiting your intake of fat. I have seen countless patients on low protein diets complain of low energy, fatigue, depression, and poor memory; these symptoms improve or disappear when their protein intake is increased. For people who exercise frequently, I recommend a diet containing about 40 percent protein (which is essential for building and maintaining muscle strength), 15-20 percent good fats, and 35-40 percent complex carbohydrates (whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables).

7) Shop Consciously and Eat Mindfully

Healing with food should begin even before the food arrives at the table. It’s important to be mindful when selecting food; if you are frenetic when shopping, you will tend to make the wrong choices. Take a moment to clear your mind with a few deep breaths before entering the supermarket. This will help you buy healthy food and avoid responding to subliminal advertising messages. Mealtimes themselves can be an oasis of comfort and healing – or quite the opposite. With a little conscious effort, you can create a divine space in which to enjoy your food.

Follow all 7 of these guidelines and you will give a huge boost to your brain power!  To find out more and stay in touch, click here.

Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

President and Medical Director

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Healthy Food and Smaller Portions: The Key to Longevity

Healthy Food and

Smaller Portions:

The Key to Longevity

If you are like most people, you believe that your genes have predetermined just about everything about you. As you look in the mirror each morning, perhaps you see your mother’s eyes or your father’s smile. You may also be convinced that your genes have already predetermined the illnesses you are destined to suffer.

In her book, Living Downstream, Dr. Sandra Steingraber describes her health challenges in living with bladder cancer. Because her mother, uncle, and grandfather had all died of various forms of cancer, many people who knew Sandra assumed that she had inherited cancer genes. They were not aware that Sandra had been adopted. Her cancer, she believed, was caused by exposure to environmental pollution as a child.

Dr. Steingraber’s story reminds us of an important fact.   Rather than supposed genetic predispositions, it is external conditions ― the circumstances to which your genes are exposed ― that contribute either to maximum wellness or to disease, accelerated aging and premature death.

According to leading researchers, only about 10 to 15 percent of cancers are genetic in origin; the rest are caused by a combination of environmental and lifestyle factors.

Here’s something else that perhaps you didn’t know.

Because you eat so often, food is the single most important way to maintain your genetic integrity or to destroy it. Many excellent scientific studies underscore this vitally important truth. Richard Weindruch, Ph.D., has conducted research into how genes are affected by dietary change. The results were published in Scientific American, back in 1996.

His paper, “Nutrient Modulation of Gene Expressions,” illustrates that simply by reducing the number of total calories eaten, the lifespan of a lab mouse could be prolonged by 30 percent. In human terms, that would translate into extending the predicted life span from an average of 76 years to a ripe old 93.

You would be very satisfied with that life expectancy, wouldn’t you? I’d gladly settle in advance for 90-some good years.

There are 6,347 genes in the typical lab rat. Dr. Weindruch discovered that during normal aging, when the animal was permitted to eat as much as it desired, five percent of the rat’s genes underwent an increase in activity and five percent decreased.

Ninety percent of the rat’s genes showed no change in activity levels. Are you surprised to learn that the five percent that rose in activity were stress genes and the five percent that fell were energy genes? For the sake of longevity, these percentages should be reversed.

This is similar to what I see in patients who are aging prematurely. They are fatigued, depressed and stressed. They describe having chronic pain, arthritis, memory loss and weak immune systems. Unfortunately, until I ask, they have rarely thought about how diet may have caused many of their symptoms.

Perhaps you are not interested in being able to run a maze at age 60, but I know you would like to have as much energy as possible and you want to be active at every age and stage of life.

Here’s how you can do it. Merely by cutting down on your total calories and eating healthy foods, you can send positive signals to your genes, thereby increasing your chances for a long, robust life.

All the research on caloric restriction points out that you are constantly speaking to your genes and the words are the foods you eat. This means smaller portions of nutrient-rich foods like lean protein, Omega-3 fish, good fats like avocado and extra virgin olive oil, and fresh fruits and vegetables are sending your genes an important message ― you want to live a long and healthy life by providing every cell in your body with the right amount of nourishment it needs to enable you to enjoy a ripe old age.

At the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation, we know that the food you eat not only determines your longevity; it is a primary factor in the health of your brain and Alzheimer’s prevention.  That’s why we have made it #1 in our 4 Pillars of Alzheimer’s Prevention.  It’s your most important tool for a healthy mind and body at any age.

You can obtain some great recipes when you sign up for ARPF Newsletter and stay in touch, simply follow this link.

Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

President and Medical Director

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Alzheimer’s and Nutrition – What You Deserve to Know

Alzheimer’s and Nutrition –

What You Deserve to Know

There have been many studies recently linking Alzheimer’s disease and nutrition. More and more, the evidence overwhelmingly indicates that proper nutrition is essential to maintaining a healthy brain: it plays a major role in cognition, memory, and various neurological disorders — including Alzheimer’s disease.

I am a strong proponent of the link between Alzheimer’s and nutrition. I have found that a proper diet is one of the main keys to Alzheimer’s prevention and that a proper diet should consist of the following:

1. 20% “good” fat, such as extra virgin olive oil, avocado, and flax seed oil

2. 40% lean protein, such as fish, chicken, turkey, and soy

3. 40% complex carbohydrates, such as fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fresh fruits

4. “Super foods” for the brain, such as blueberries, spinach, and seaweed

Furthermore, it is important to avoid a diet high in trans-fat and saturated fat, since these fats produce free radicals in your body. High quantities of free radicals have been known to damage and even kill brain cells.

Omega-3 fatty acids, found primarily in fish, have been shown to drastically decrease your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, simply eating one fish meal per week can result in a 60% reduction in your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

I also recommend that everyone should take a high potency multiple vitamin containing vitamin C and folic acid.

Get Your Antioxidants

A diet rich in antioxidants is also important. It has been found to drastically lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Antioxidants eliminate free radicals from your body. Your body naturally produces free radicals as a by-product of normal cell functioning. However, when produced in large quantities, free radicals can cause such debilitating diseases as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s.

Vitamins C and E are both an excellent source of antioxidants. Vitamin E is fat soluble, and can be found in vegetable and nut oils, spinach, and whole grain products. Vitamin C is water soluble, and can be found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, spinach, and red peppers

These vitamins more effectively help prevent Alzheimer’s when obtained from actual foods instead of from supplements. Research shows that when taken together, vitamins C and E can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 20%.

Diets that are low in fat and cholesterol and high in fiber will also help prevent Alzheimer’s by reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can cause an increase in the production of free radicals in your body.

High fat and cholesterol diets impair learning and memory performance. Plus, diets high in fat and cholesterol have been shown to triple your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

A diet rich in niacin will help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s. However, research indicates that it is more beneficial to receive niacin from foods than from supplements. Niacin-rich foods include lean meat, fish, poultry, peanuts, omega-E-enriched eggs, whole grain products, beans and peas, avocados, dates, figs, and prunes.

Supplements to Know About

Ginkgo biloba extract is an excellent antioxidant and works well to improve cognitive performance.

The following supplements have also proven very effective in improving cognitive functioning and memory: alpha GFC (alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine), N-acetyl-L-carnitine, lipoic acid, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and phosphatidylserine.

Medical researchers are still hard at work trying to determine the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease. But one thing has already been determined with certainty: there is a strong link between Alzheimer’s and nutrition.

The mission of the non-profit Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation is to help you prevent the development of Alzheimer’s. Paying careful attention to your diet is one important way you can drastically reduce your risk for this debilitating disease.

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Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

President and Medical Director

Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation

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Why Exercise is The Key to Improving Motor Skills in People with Dementia

Exercise is The Key to Improving Motor Skills in People with Dementia

Dementia isn’t just a disease that affects the mind. As it slowly steals away cherished memories, dementia can also cause an increasing loss of basic physical skills, such as getting up from a chair to stretch or even going for a walk.
But there is hope from a 2013 study conducted by the University of Arizona in Tucson.(1)

This study found that in dementia patients, increasing the intensity of the exercises used in a physical therapy program improved balance, leg strength and the ability to change positions. These physical improvements can help reduce falls, preserve independence and improve the overall quality of life for the patient with dementia, as well as their families and caregivers.

Other studies have shown that patients with dementia don’t do well in rehabilitation programs. But this could possibly be due to the fact that the rehabilitation program itself did not take into account certain limitations dementia patients have such as memory loss, difficulty speaking, difficulty understanding speech or simply a lack of motivation.
Based on the results of the University of Arizona study, a rehabilitation program for dementia patients must be specific to their needs and include the appropriate exercise intensity and for a long enough period of time.

This is crucial to remember if most elderly patients are going to be helped. In the United States, up to eighty percent of elderly patients that are part of a physical therapy program have some type of mental impairment, including dementia.
These factors are further reinforced by a 2011 study conducted in Germany. Elderly geriatric patients were divided into two groups of 74 patients each. The first group received a specially designed physical therapy program that took into account the challenges of people with dementia which included additional intensive exercises. The second group received the usual physical therapy program that the hospital provided.

The results showed that compared to patients receiving typical physical therapy, those in the specially designed program with increased exercise intensity had significant improvements in their physical abilities and on follow-up. What’s remarkable is that these improvements lasted nine months, even without continued training!
The takeaway message is this: People with dementia can benefit greatly from an intensive physical therapy program focused on maintaining strength, balance and the ability to walk. This will go far to help the dementia patient with overall health, well-being and independence.
The ARPF has been working with this group of researchers and funded a pilot study called Promoting Virtual Balance Exercise to Prevent Falls and Improve Cognition in Older Adults, which is in its final stages. The results are expected in the Fall of 2014. For more details about our Alzheimer’s prevention research studies, click here.

 

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Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.
President and Medical Director
Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation

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Build a Better Brain: How to keep your Brain Active and Prevent Memory Loss

Build a Better Brain:

How to keep your Brain Active and Prevent Memory Loss

You can start anew with your brain power. In fact, you can start right now to take advantage of the proven fact that your brain can grow new cells, that you change your brain for the better, and that you can create strong nerve cell connections between your brain cells.

 
The fact that you can change your brain for the better is called plasticity and it means that your brain can adapt and the connections between brain cells can be strengthened as well. Another revolutionary and proven concept is neurogenesis, which means that you can grow new brain cells to make up for the loss of cells that occurs with age.

 
These are very powerful scientific facts that are very important as we all want to continue to lead the highest quality of life, for as long as possible.
Actually, the importance of having strong connections between brain cells is another gift that came to us courtesy of Albert Einstein, perhaps the most intelligent man in history. When Einstein died, his brain was examined under a microscope and what was seen was very impressive.

 
Einstein’s brain cells, or neurons, were normal. They were very similar to yours and mine. But what was so astonishing about his brain was that the connections between his brain cells, called astrocytes, were extra ordinary. The pathologist who did the work was astonished. She said she had never seen anything like that before.

 
The good news is that you can develop extra ordinary connections as well. How is that done? By using your brain in novel ways such as learning an art form, learning a new language, or even reading this newsletter and sharing with someone else. By building a better brain, you can lead the highest quality life as possible.

 
It is now a fact that you can prevent or delay memory loss. There are a number of activities, tools, and techniques that you can use to build a brain that can get younger. These include exercise, nutrition, and stress relaxation techniques. Stress relieving techniques, such as mind/body exercise, are also being proven to encourage brain plasticity or resilience.

 
One man who took advantage of these facts of using your brain and keeping it young, is an elderly man from England. Mr. Harry Bernstein was married for 67 years to his wife Ruby. But when she died in 2002 he almost lost his mind. He considered killing himself or, as he put it, “I wished I could join Ruby” and gave serious thought to “ways and means of doing it.”

 
So what saved his life? He started using his brain by writing and taking refuge from his pain by putting his memories down on paper, writing a book called The Invisible Wall: A Love Story that Broke Barriers. Harry used his brain and it saved his life.

 
You too can learn how to use your brain by following the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation 4 Pillars of Alzheimer’s Prevention™ Program, which will help you live long and well with a young mind. Find out more at www.alzheimersprevention.org.

 
Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.
President and Medical Director

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