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The Latest in Alzheimer’s Research

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Anyone who has witnessed the devastating impact of Alzheimer’s has experienced the nagging fear that one day it may happen to you.  Fortunately, we now have a genetic test that can tell us our level of risk.  What is even more exciting is that this test can provide us with a genetic type that can ultimately help us lower our risk with customized diet and exercise.   The type of APO E gene we carry has an impact on how we process fats.  Further, it determines how well we carry cholesterol to our brains.  A high risk APO E gene means that you are 20X as likely to develop Alzheimer’s.  Our brains need a huge amount of cholesterol to function.  Alzheimer’s patients have 1/6 the concentration of free fatty acids in their brains.  For these people, contrary to popular belief, a high fat diet and actually reduce their symptoms.  Some researchers theorize that increased blood cholesterol is your body trying to get more fat to the brain.  If this is the case, we may need to re-think our excessive use of cholesterol lowering medications.  It may even explain a common side effect of statin use:  memory loss.  If you are concerned about your Alzheimer’s risk, I highly recommend considering this simple genetic test.  Prevention starts now.  Neurological changes are difficult to reverse once they have occurred.  Keeping your brain healthy starts with feeding it good fats in the right amounts.  Because your ability to process fats influences your whole system, the changes you make will also impact your cardiovascular system, metabolism, and more.  Insurance does not cover this test yet, and it is actually significantly cheaper to use a specialty lab rather than trying to order it through an insurance contracted diagnostic center through your primary care office.

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