Senior Health :

Alzheimer's Prevention

Barry Carpenter, KDAF-TV, Dallas

Frances Young feared she would someday have Alzheimer'sdiseasebecause it killed her mom.

Frances was diagnosed six years ago and now her daughter Kerri is worried.

"My grandmother had it, now my mom has it so it's absolutely always kind of in the back of your mind," Kerri said.

Her mom started showing signs in her mid 50's--Kerri is just 39 but is doing everything--including changing her diet to reduce her chances of getting Alzheimer's.

"I've started eating more fish and fruits and vegetables and supplements such as fish oil and things like that" Kerri said.

Dr. Mary Quiceno is the assistant professor of Neurology and Neurotheraputics and the director of Memory Disorders at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.

Dr. Quiceno said that while patients hope for a cure or a medical breakthrough--they do what they can on their own.

"I have a lot of patients who they bring me a bag, you know they have their medications and they have a bag full of their supplements and they are spending a lot of money on supplements and there's a lot there is not a lot of scientific proof behind," Dr. Quiceno said.

The latest hope that is getting a lot of publicity is coconut oil which Dr. Quiceno said has not been studied but there is coconut based medical food called Axona that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Both are thought to help clear amylyoid beta which gets deposited in the brains of Alzheimer'spatients.

"Coconut oil is natural and it has a number of different components and this is just a couple of the components from coconut oil in it so it a little bit cleaner and the couple of components in it go directly to the brain," Dr. Quiceno said.

Omega 3 fatty acids and a compound found in the spice turmeric are also promising.

A clinical trial on resveratrol started this month.

Kerri said she wants to take part in any study she can--while her mom still remembers her name.

"That's the day I dread is when she doesn't know who I am," Kerri said. "You just take it day by day."

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