STOP the decline from taking hold… in as little as TWO days!?
Are you losing your precious memories, decision-making skills, relationships, and independence? Is the life you once knew (or envisioned) slowly slipping away?
If so, it could be more extreme than age-related cognitive decline—which consists of slow and subtle changes in thinking or attention…
It could be dementia.
Dementia is among the most dreaded and feared diagnoses—which is why I hope to help as many people as possible, myself included, keep it at bay.
Of course, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia, is a problem of epidemic proportions. It affects roughly 6.7 million Americans 65 and older—and by 2050, experts think cases will MORE THAN DOUBLE.
Worse yet, this neurodegenerative disease is downright deadly—killing more people annually than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.1
Now, when most folks think about their RISK of developing AD, they probably think about their age, family history, or even a time when they suffered a head injury, like a concussion. And while these factors DO fit into the equation, new research shows that they’re really just the tip of the iceberg.
That’s because there are three HIDDEN risk factors that can increase your likelihood of developing AD and suffering irreversible cognitive decline…
But if you start addressing them, you can begin to REVERSE them—sometimes in as little as TWO DAYS!
Let me explain…
Hidden risk factor No. 1
It’s common for your sleep habits to change as you age. For example, you may find you have more trouble falling and staying asleep for a full seven to nine hours.
But I urge you NOT to shrug off these changes. Here’s why…
A recent study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) adds to a growing body of evidence that shows poor sleep habits can SKYROCKET your risk of developing dementia and AD.2
Researchers examined data on nearly 8,000 men and women starting at age 50. First, they assessed the participants’ health using a wide variety of measures.
Next, on six occasions between 1985 and 2016, participants recorded how many hours they slept the night before. (Some wore accelerometers to objectively record sleep time.)
Over the following several decades, 521 participants developed dementia. The average age of onset was 77. And it turns out, people who got SIX hours or less of sleep decades earlier, in their 50s and 60s, ran a much higher risk of developing dementia later on.
In fact, these “short sleepers” had a staggering 30 percent HIGHER RISK of developing dementia compared to those who got at least seven hours of shuteye each night.
This increased risk held up even after the researchers controlled and eliminated other risk factors that may have influenced the outcomes—including smoking, a higher body mass index, and lack of physical activity.
But here’s some good news…
Another big study suggests you can REVERSE this disturbing trend and start PROTECTING your brain against Alzheimer’s and dementia in just TWO NIGHTS…
Two nights of DEEP sleep is all it takes?
For the study, neuroscientists from the University of California (UC) Berkley monitored the sleep habits of 62 cognitively healthy adults.3
To start, the researchers took brain scans of all participants to check for a harmful protein with strong links to dementia. About half the men and women had high levels of this protein in their brains, even though they showed NO outward signs of cognitive decline. (The other half did not have high levels of the protein.)
Next, the researchers evaluated the participants’ nighttime sleep habits.
It turns out, when the patients with high levels of the harmful protein achieved deep levels of sleep (called “non-REM slow-wave sleep”) for just two nights in a row, their performance on standardized memory testing SOARED.
And that’s not all…
In their report, the researchers said they’re hopeful that improving sleep over longer periods of time in at-risk patients will eventually decrease levels of this harmful protein and even “bend down the arrow of Alzheimer’s risk.”
In fact, the link between sleep and long-term dementia risk appears to be so strong, one of the UC Berkely neuroscientists called it a “crystal ball” for forecasting risk.4
They also said there are probably two big reasons WHY getting even just two good nights of deep sleep seems to exert such a positive influence on cognitive functioning…
For one, during deep sleep, your brain replays memories, resulting in “a neural reorganization” that helps stabilize and cement them. Second, deep sleep seems to help the brain clear toxins and form new neural connections (and repair old ones).
Over time, this critical nightly repair process helps ward off the pathological brain changes that lead to dementia and AD.
If you’re struggling to catch those nighttime ZZZs, I have four suggestions…
1.)Get some daily exercise. I particularly recomend weight-bearing exercises, which seem to improve sleep efficiency (the ratio of total sleep time to total time spent in bed).5
2.)Consider giving cannabidiol (CBD) oil a try. It’s one of the first things I recommend instead of prescription sleep aids for people struggling with insomnia. I like CBD oil because the dosing can be individualized. Start with a small amount and slowly work your way up until you find you can fall—and STAY—asleep easily for a full seven to nine hours. (CBD is safe and non-addictive, meaning you can’t overdose on it.)
3.)Pop a melatonin supplement. If CBD isn’t your thing, try melatonin. I recommend a starting dose of 3 mg at bedtime. Similar to CBD oil, you can slowly increase the dosage in increments if needed, just never exceed 20 mg. A little experimentation over time will help you find the dosage the works best for you. (If you feel groggy the next morning, you’ve taken too much.)
4.)Beware of artificial light. According to a recent study by Northwestern University, even a small amount of ambient light in your bedroom at night can disrupt your sleep cycle.6 Consider investing in some room-darkening shades or curtains—or wear an eye mask. And be sure to power down your electronic devices (including your smartphone, tablet, and television), as the blue light they emit can also interfere with your sleep-wake cycle.
Let’s move on to the SECOND hidden risk factor for developing AD and dementia…
Hidden risk factor No. 2
Your blood pressure is another key number that commonly creeps up as you get older. In fact, nearly HALF of all American adults have high blood pressure.7
Here again, it’s nothing to shrug off… as a new study found it doesn’t just damage your heart and blood vessels, it can also affect YOUR BRAIN!
In a study published earlier this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers analyzed data on almost 40,000 people diagnosed with AD and compared it to more than 400,000 cognitively healthy controls.8
They found that for every 10 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) increase in systolic blood pressure (the top number), the risk of developing AD increases by 22 percent!
Now, you know how I feel about current blood pressure (BP) guidelines. And guidelines should be just that… guidelines. Because when it comes to a healthy BP, it’s much more complicated than a one-size-fits-all target. After all, patients are people… not numbers.
That’s why I encourage you to work with your doctor to determine a healthy range that’s right for your needs and health history. Then, understand that NOT prioritizing a healthy BP can increase your risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke… as well as AD and dementia.
In fact, having high BP can damage the small blood vessels in the brain and impair function in parts of the brain that control thinking and memory.
Of course, there are dozens of ways to naturally lower your BP. Those include getting regular exercise and following a Mediterranean-style diet filled with nutrient-dense, whole foods—like grass-fed and -finished meat, organic poultry, wild-caught fish and seafood, fresh produce, and healthy fats from nuts, avocados, eggs, and more.
But you can learn additional, step-by-step advice in my online learning tool, my Ultimate Heart-Protection Protocol. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here or call 1-866-747-9421 and ask for order code EOV3Z901.
And that brings me to the third hidden risk factor…
Hidden risk factor No. 3
This may come as a bit of surprise to you, but older adults have a higher risk of developing depression. And it’s been especially hard for seniors following a tough few years of social isolation due to COVID-19.
But depression among seniors is vastly underrecognized… and undertreated.
That’s BAD news—because when left untreated, depression can lead to a cascade of other harmful problems, including insomnia, overeating (or lack of appetite), and loss of interest in healthy activities and hobbies.
Plus, a brand-new, massive study suggests a strong link between depression and AD…
For this analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers followed over 1.4 million adults for more than four decades between 1977 and 2018.
It turns out, those diagnosed with depression at any point during the study had MORE THAN DOUBLE the risk of developing some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, later in life.
I’m also sorry to report that you don’t even have to have full-blown clinical depression to harm your cognition. Even just feeling lonely can threaten your brain…
In fact, according to data from the famed Framingham Heart Study, people who feel persistently lonely during midlife (ages 45–64) are more likely to develop dementia and AD. On the upside, people who only sometimes felt lonely had a lower risk after 18 years.
So, here’s the takeaway message…
If you feel sad or lonely at any point in your life, take it seriously and seek help. While I don’t recommend prescription drugs for depression, behavioral talk therapy, meditation, and mind-body exercises like yoga can all help you improve your mood and quality of life.
In addition, seek out ways to stay connected with family and friends. You should aim to get at least one social activity on the books each month.
If you find you’ve got some serious holes in your social calendar, try taking up a new hobby or joining a club. This should bring you into regular contact with like-minded people. Or—consider adopting a pet, as it can facilitate human-to-human friendships in addition to keeping you company around the house! (Type “depression” into the search box on my website, www.DrPescatore.com, to find dozens more articles on natural solutions for depression.)
Look forward to the journey ahead
In the end, these findings show you can prevent cognitive decline in your golden years—even if you have a family history of dementia—by addressing, rather than ignoring, THREE hidden risk factors.
Best of all, the healthy habits I outlined here will help you maintain your independence, pursue new hobbies, solve financial challenges, build healthy friendships, and enjoy the richness of life.
For more tips on how to stave off dementia and AD, take a look back at the July 2023 issue of Logical Health Alternatives. To access this issue, simply go to my website, www.DrPescatore.com, and log in using the “Subscriber” button at the far right of the blue navigation bar.
I also encourage you to check out my Alzheimer’s Prevention and Treatment Plan. To learn more about this comprehensive, online learning tool, click here or call 1-866-747-9421 and ask for order code EOV3Z900.
NEWS BRIEF: Does air pollution cause eczema?
Eczema is an inflammatory common skin condition, like psoriasis (see page 3), and it affects more than 31 million Americans. Plus, its incidence has increased dramatically since the 1970s, growing by 200 to 300 percent in industrialized countries.
We know the condition almost always starts in childhood. And common allergens, such as pets, perfumes, dyes, and foods, can exacerbate the condition. But the exact cause has long puzzled scientists…
Until now, that is.
A group of scientists with the National Institutes of Health recently looked at eczema “hot spots” around the country and studied toxins in the environment.1 It turns out, in places where lots of people suffer from eczema, there are high environmental levels of chemicals called diisocyanates and isocyanates.
Manufacturers use diisocyanates to make polyurethane products, including adhesives, flexible foams, carpeting, and fabrics. And isocyanates come from a completely different place… car and vehicle emissions.
But, together, they pollute the environment and may trigger eczema. In fact, according to the study’s lead researcher, “We have solid data establishing that pollutants are very likely behind increasing rates of [eczema].” And that’s about as close to a smoking gun we will ever get in the scientific world.
Of course, there’s not much you can do to completely avoid car exhaust. (Especially if you’re a New Yorker, like me.)
But avoiding the use of polyurethane products is within your control. Opt for organic or natural fibers and materials in your home and office. Stay away from plastics and other manufactured products. Keep your windows open as much as possible. And use an air filter in your living environments—preferably one that’s HEPA-based. (You can even pack a travel-sized air filter when you’re on the go, which is what I do.)
To a healthier you,
Fred Pescatore, M.D.