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  Alzheimer's Disease  

Those who had seen Mr.’s Wagle in early eighties had picturised her as a lady of Magnetic personality, proud and totally confident - an epitome of a devoted wife and an excellent homemaker. She was a pillar of strength for the functioning of the rest of the household and a wife who would stay night after night with her husband in ill health and praying him back to health with rock bound faith. Today Mrs. Wagle after almost 20Years is unperturbed, unconcerned and undisturbed even on death of her husband. She has sunk into profound memory loss and failed to recognize even her husband --- a disease medically termed as Alzheimer’s (dementia) a brain disorder which is irreversible.

Mrs. Wagle underwent Hysterectomy in mid eighties. Shortly after this she started having problems of short-term memory loss. Forgetfulness is a natural part of menopause and ageing and none of them considered getting an expert evaluation done for her. In two years they noticed that there was a decline in her ability of managing finances or making calculations. She started developing an escapist behavior and would simply shrug from undertaking new activities and complex tasks. These are initial signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

The disease slowly progressed to long-term memory loss. She developed loss of reasoning; difficulty in communicating with others, decreased judgment abilities and found it difficult even in performing daily activities. Initially, precaution had to be taken to ensure safety and comfort because she was prone to wandering and getting lost.

In mid eighties, she sank into moderate degree of dementia. She had profound memory loss that interfered with her daily activities and she needed help from others to complete them. She was in a state of confusion and her judgment power also was severely impaired. Her sleep pattern suffered and there was hostility and verbal outburst in her behavior pattern. Most of the time she had a vacant look in her eyes.

In late nineties Mrs. Wagle was graded as having severe dementia. She developed severe impairment of mind and body. She no longer recognized her spouse and children. She had no sense of time or current location. Verbal communication was decreased to a point of phrases or mere syllables. This was when her husband passed away in the year 2000. Recently her communication degenerated to complete inability to speak. She was in the bed needed help for dressing, bathing, grooming, eating and toileting. Though her heart was ticking she was unaware of her surroundings.

What happens in Alzheimer's?

People with Alzheimer’s experience difficulties in communicating, learning, thinking, and reasoning. These problems are so severe that they could affect the individual’s work, social activities and family life.

Inside the brain are hundreds of billions of nerve cells connected by trillions of fibers called axons and dendrites .The activity between them controls your thoughts, feelings, drives, aspirations, and personality. This control center of all that you do think and feel is very vulnerable to its environment as it floats in a bath of cerebrospinal fluid just like a fish in a tank absorbs whatever is put in the tank. In Alzheimer’s disease many conditions like the reaction to foods drugs, herbs, body activities, lifestyles and sometimes genetic mapping etc create a confused interlacing of these fibers followed by neurotic plaques, granular vascular degeneration, Brain sink age and decreased amount of brain chemicals involved in communication called neuro transmitters. All of these changes impair the function of the brain cells and eventually lead to cellular death. The sad part is unlike other cells the brain is unable to regenerate new neurons.

Ayurveda terms this as smruthi nasha, caused by the depletion of dhatus or tissue elements and upward movement of the excessively accumulated bio energies. Intellect is pure, transparent, sharp, accurate, and subtle. The abode of intellect, which is the carrier of the three types of gunas- satvik, rajasik, tamasik, gets disturbed and their balance is lost. Satvik guna, which represents purity and consciousness, gets visually impaired by rajas, (the attribute of mind which usually represents energy and dynamism) and. Tamaa ,(the attribute of mind representing passivity and ignorance). manovaha srotas channels carrying cyclic impulses principally responsible for memory is kindled by the satva or the intellect.When this is completely evolved in tamaha or darkness the person is effected and there is malfunctioning of the mental activities. It is easier to prevent alzhimer’s then looking for treatment for correcting it.

Treatment Modalities for Alzheimer's disease in stages:
Stage 1:
No impairment.
Normal functions. Candidates do not exhibit any memory problems to the Doctor.
What Happens in the brain? No remarkable changes.
Healthy brain, cerebral cortex and Hippocampus.
Treatment modalities aimed at preventing Alzheimer's:
  • Wholesome diet to the mind and body.
  • Regulated life style
  • Being a good judge in differentiating between good and bad. And acting accordingly.
  • Not getting too much engrossed in sensory pleasures.
  • Learn sharing, when you give your possessions you give very little when you surrender your self it is true giving. When you give with joy that is the reward. When you withhold it you perish.
  • Treat every one equally, looking at both pleasure and pain with an equal eye. Look upon well wishers and neutrals as well as mediators, friends and foes, relatives and objects of hatred, the virtuous and the sinful with the same eye.
  • Be truthful, to yourself and to your dealings in life. People who lie are under a constant fear and stress. Try to know the truth of this life. The mind, body the senses and the gross or the physical body are all perishable, and hence do not grieve on this body. The soul residing in this body is eternal and imperishable therefore do not grieve over it.
  • Be free from malice, friendly and compassionate towards all beings and always be forgiving by nature.
  • Look after elders and keep yourself engaged in their service. When you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, to one another and with god.
These Diet modalities and life style habits have been formulated for each and every individual. Though these may look a little impracticable and a little heavy if you abide by them even in the slightest way the mind is less disturbed and more tranquil on the contrary if you do not abide them conflict occurs in the subconscious realms and these cause mental disturbances and diseases.
Stage 2:
Very mild cognitive decline
The candidates feel as if they have memory lapses. When they are talking and may forget familiar words, names or every day objects but may not exhibit during a checkup.
What happens in the brain?
Mild disease; moderately enlarged ventricles, shrinking cortical. And Hippocampus.
  • Wholesome diet and lifestyle.
  • Pranayama: Breathing techniques to rejuvenate your brain cells. The main effects of Pranayama manifest in the nervous system and in the subtle psychic energy body .The breath is known as thread of life and depending on it’s action the entire life process is refined, balanced or else thrown out of proper order.
  • Panchakarma therapy. A special part of treatment in Ayurveda aiming at removal of toxins from the body and servicing it for a better efficacy.
  • Shiro Dhara: Medicated liquids are poured on the head with an appliance called as Dhara patra which is suspended from the ceiling or from the bracket of the dhara table. Promising treatment in maintaining the restoration of necessary oxygen, blood supply and glucose to the brain cells.
  • Nasya. All medications and therapies administered through the nasal passage are called as Nasya. This therapy is considered the best and the most specific treatment for the diseases of the head because when the medicines are administered through the nose they spread throughout the head and it’s constituent parts and influence all the beaneries and the diseases situated in these parts.
  • Shiro Basti: A therapy where medicated oil is kept on the head for a specific period with the help of a cap. This is recommended for diseases like Parkinson’s, Hemiplegia, mind and generalized cerebral atrophy.
  • Shiro lepa: Application of medicated pastes on the scalp is called as Shirolepa and is recommended for all psychic disorders.
  • Rejuvinating medicines like Brahmi, to keep the brain cells well nourished. Ayurvedic mineral supplements given to normalize the depleted tissue elements. Chyavanprash
  • Educating on the benefit of developing hobbies such as drawing, sculpturing dancing etc and playing indoor games like scrabble, computer games, chess etc.
Stage 3:
Mild cognitive decline. Friend’s family and coworkers begin to notice changes in memory, concentration and behavioral pattern.
Clinically recognizable by the physicians.
What happens in the brain? Severe disease severely enlarged ventricles, severe shrinkage of Hippocampus and severe cortical shrinkage.
  • Continue Stage 2 treatment.
  • Good nursing care
What is the Wholesome diet to the mind and body?

Mothers there is very strong evidence that substance in your milk spur mental development say Ayurvedic Acharyas. A recent study by Alan Lucas Head of Infant and Child nutrition at the medical Research Councils Dunn Nutrition unit in England found that babies fed breast milk showed higher intelligence as youngsters than those fed on infant formulas.

Human life consists of continuous coordinated working of the body, sense organs; motor organs mind intellect ego and the individual soul. Consuming a diet, which promotes life health. Physical and mental strength happiness and love are all the essentials

The sense organs are healthy when they get a diet of good quality in adequate amount the level of alertness or fatigue has a lot to do with the way the brain is fed and cared for. Ayurveda speaks of feeding each and every sense organ.

The recommended diet for ears sense organ is listening to spiritual discourses, devotional songs lectures of experts in subjects of one’s choice. You have recommended ragas like Kamachu for improving memory, Kedara, dhanyasi , vasanta ,Mukari and husaeni is indicated for mental disorders, Jamjuti is heightening happiness of mind,Bilahari for cleansing of mind Shahana healthy thoughts sourashtra and saama keeps your mind calm, Nayaki for brain disorders. The diet, which has proved harmful to the ears, is listening to loud noises of fire crackers shrill noises harsh music or listening to criticism.

The recommended diet for skin organ is gentle and loving touch and applications, which are soothing to the skin, avoid contact with sharp rough and irritable objects. Wearing orange clothes induces relaxation and, the rate of blood flow slows down. A sense of calmness and security develops when orange is combined with blue. Yellow surroundings cause allergies to flare more frequently. Blue brings calmness to the whole body. It slows the pulse rate, deepens breathing, reduces perspiration and lowers body temperature. Green color favors favorable metabolic responses. Allergic reactions are reduced. Brown color is considered environmentally sound. It dispels mental depression. Reduces irritability, eliminates chronic fatigue. Red color elevates blood pressure, pulse rate, breathing rate, blood flow and reactions become automatic.

The recommended diet for the tongue Juicy fruits and liquids, lubricating and nourishing diet like milk butter and ghee prepared out of cow’s milk Food items like dried fruits such as almonds, walnuts, pastas which can be stored and do not putrefy or ferment tasty and pleasurable diet. Eating excessively pungent and bitter food items prove harmful for the tongue. Food s which serve as natural antidote for mental and physical ailments are called as Arogya vivardana.Deficiencies of certain nutrients over a certain time can have a profound and immediate effect on your mood and mental energy and can throw your brain waves and functioning out of whack. Do not skip cereals because they supply heat and energy to the human body and form the major portion of the food. Godhuma- wheat germ and bran help as nerve vitamins. As a memory booster Ayurvedic Acharyas speak about nut Meg a pinch mixed with a tablespoon of Amla juice thrice daily. This remedy will also take care of insomnia (loss of sleep), Hypertension mental irritability depression etc.

The recommended diet for the nose is fragrant odor while foul or strong odor like that of ammonia or some insect repellent is harmful for the nose. Some smells have a tranquilizing effect on our system on the whole. You will find an interesting list below. In an anxiety condition to soothe your nerves use the smell of jasmine, in weakness use cardamom and basil leaf to smell.
To fight absentmindedness Basil, lemon, orange scents help and in sleeplessness use lavender, orange rose, basil etc
To soothe Anger cardamom, champak. Orange rose smell calm you down The Scent of peppermint and lavender help healing of stubbornness
And to calm down violent and hurtful tendencies musk works wonders .In subjects of frustration Brahmi helps. If depressed use lemon grass, grapefruit and orange.

Food for the motor organs: The hands legs larynx anus and the genitals are the five sense organs. Their appropriate use is recommended while their excessive use, inadequate use or inappropriate use is harmful for health. The destruction of brain cells from stress doesn’t happen suddenly or dramatically. It happens gradually overtime and it can be stopped .If you are worried about memory loss take a big step for rejuvenating your brain cells by learning how to deal with stress and by adjusting your diet to ease up on the stress.

Remember it is easier to prevent Alzheimer’s than looking for a treatment for correcting it.

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