An Interview with Dr Marilyn Glenville on UK Health Radio

Dementia, including Alzheimer’s, is one of the world’s most feared conditions, especially amongst over 45’s and it’s not hard to see why. Globally some 30 million people are losing their memories to this devastating disease of the brain and every four minutes someone new learns that they have it. Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD is the UK’s leading nutritionist specialising in women’s health and female hormones and she has recently released her latest book ‘Natural solutions for Dementia and Alzheimer’s: the ultimate guide to prevent short term memory loss’. Research has shown that Alzheimer’s can take between 20-30 years to develop before revealing itself so prevention should start with individuals in their 30’s.

Memory is often described as a filing cabinet full of individual folders but it’s far more complex and stored in lots of different pieces that link up together like a jigsaw. This is why a certain song can stir up a memory or even a smell as these memories come from different areas of the brain and even when one part is damaged some fragments remain. It’s certainly not unusual to experience lapses in memory such as walking into a room and forgetting why you’re there but it’s important to understand that there are some signs that may not be a normal part of the ageing process especially if they happen frequently. Signs include repeating the same question, forgetting common words, getting words mixed up e.g. bed instead of table, putting things in inappropriate places e.g. wallet in fridge, getting lost in own neighbourhood and mood/behaviour changes. If an individual is concerned they should visit their GP for a process of physical, blood and agility tests, which also helps to rule out other diseases.

Risk factors for Alzheimer’s are associated with age, gender, ethnicity and genes and epigenetics. Years ago we assumed that the effects of genes was inevitable but now we understand that genes are influenced by our environment and our gene profile can switched on/off depending on the environment in which we live (diet, lifestyle, stress, toxin exposure). This is significant as we have much more control than we once thought. So self-help is vital in protecting our brain and memory and Dr Glenville highlights seven steps, which are diet, nutritional supplements, exercise, stress and sleep, environment, brain training and testing.

Lifestyle factors that can increase risk include smoking, too much salt, sugar, saturated fats, alcohol and stress. Protective factors include the Mediterranean diet, regular exercise, reducing exposure to environmental toxins and sleep. There has been no new approved drugs for 14 years and though the current drug slows down progression of Alzheimer’s there isn’t a cure and medication comes with side effects. Changes to nutrition and lifestyle can slow down the effects and to find out more listen to this interview in full by visiting The Food Teacher on UK Health Radio.

To listen to this interview in full visit The Food Teacher on UK Health Radio.

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