ElderLaw News — The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. — MD, VA, DC
ElderLaw News

ElderLaw News is a weekly e-newsletter that brings you reports of legal developments and other trends of vital interest to seniors and their advocates. This newsletter is brought to you by The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., William S. Fralin, Esq., President., William S. Fralin, Esq., President.

Hope for Alzheimer’s Through Nutrition

Alzheimer’s research may finally be seeing a breakthrough.

An article in UVA Today reports that joint research done by the University of Virginia and Northwestern University has found that an over the counter nutritional supplement, chiro-inositol, which can be obtained wherever nutritional supplements are sold and which is a naturally occurring compound found in many foods, may be effective in protecting the brain from the beta amyloid toxins which contribute to Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Michael Thorner, Medical Teaching Professor of Internal Medicine at UVA, says that researchers are beginning to understand the importance of insulin, as well, in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Previously its role was not well understood, but it is now believed that a specific type of insulin is manufactured in the brain and is important to its metabolism.

It has been known for years, in the field of Alzheimer’s research, that glucose is not processed properly and utilized well in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s: another contributing factor to the disease. It is almost as if the patient has diabetes. In fact, it is referred to by scientists as Type 3 diabetes. Researchers now suspect that chiro-inositol aids the brain in the production of insulin, and aids that insulin’s ability to prevent damage to the neurons from toxic peptides known as ADDLs, which are the result of improper glucose processing, by warding off the ADDLs. More study needs to be done, but there is now enough information to begin some clinical trials.

Chiro-inositol may not be used alone, but it points the way to research into other compounds already known to be safe for humans.

(Information from Josh Barney, “Nutritional Supplement May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s, UVA Research Suggests, https://news.virginia.edu, January 9, 2013).

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