Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Alzheimer's disease

What is Alzheimer's disease?

Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease

Risk factors for Alzheimer's disease

Root causes of Alzheimer's disease

Prevention / remedies / treatment / recovery from Alzheimer's disease


What is Alzheimer's disease?

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. It is a virus infection, bacteria infection, modern lifestyle and diet-caused disease, and it is mostly preventable if treated early.

About 34 million people around the world suffer from Alzheimer's disease. It is one of the fastest-growing degenerative diseases, and its prevalence is expected to triple over the next 40 years. Conventional medicine says that dementia is just a normal part of aging or a condition for which nothing can be done other than treating the symptoms. Conventional doctors maintain the disease worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death. However, with awareness of the real causes and use of appropriate treatments, you can substantially lower your risk of developing this dreadful disease.

In Australia, dementia is the second leading cause of death and Alzheimer's is the most frequent cause of dementia. 1.8% of the entire population suffer from some form of dementia, and it is growing at a rate of more than 3% each year. Similar statistics apply in other developed countries. (19)

Alzheimer's disease is most commonly diagnosed in people over the age of 65, but it can occur much earlier. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is seven years. Less than three percent of individuals live for more than fourteen years after diagnosis.

Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease

Early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are often mistakenly thought to be manifestations of stress or aging. Early symptoms to look out for, in order of progression, are:

  1. Impaired olfaction (reduced sense of smell). Later taste may deteriorate, followed by the other senses of touch, sight and sound.
  2. Loss of sense of balance).
  3. Difficulty with eloquent language, not remembering a full range of words. Communication not as clear as it used to be. Lags and pauses in conversation compared to previously.
  4. Navigation impaired. Poor navigation both in the home, and around the town or city which used to be easy and familiar.
  5. Constipation.
  6. Personality changes.
  7. Mood changes, mostly being frustration with lost function and abilities.
  8. Poor memory. Not remembering recent events. Memories over weeks, months and even recent years are slipping.
  9. Thinking and problem solving ability deteriorates.
  10. Awareness, attention and focus are decreased.
  11. Repeating things when speaking.
  12. Sleep disorders are a symptom of Alzheimer's disease as well as a cause. Agitation during the night may affect as many as a quarter of AD patients during some stage of their illness. (42, 43, 44, 66) A study (45) over a period of twelve years found that men who napped for more than an hour a day at the beginning of the study were two to three times more likely to develop Parkinson's disease within 11 years. A subsequent study (46) published by the same authors on 18 June 2019 extended those results to suggest that napping may also precede the risk of dementia and cognitive decline more broadly.

Longer term symptoms vary with each individual, and sometimes may not be diagnosed for years. Dementia normally occurs between 5 to 20 years after the manifestation of the first early symptoms. As the disease advances, symptoms may include:

Risk factors for Alzheimer's disease

Risk factor 1 below is of overwhelming importance. In addition, a study showed that as many as half of Alzheimer's disease cases worldwide and in the USA are associated with risk factors 2-8, which are all modifiable. (1)

  1. Infection by a variety of microorganisms such as herpes simplex virus (30, 47), Chlamydia pneumoniae,Chlamydophila pneumoniae, several types of spirochaete bacteria (such as Borrelia of Lyme disease), Desulfovibrio bacteria, (68) fungal infections and some protozoa infections. Tooth loss, tooth decay, periodontitis and gum disease are leading causes of infection. (14, 17, 38) A study in 2015 found over a ten-fold increased occurrence of Alzheimer's disease when there is detectable evidence of spirochetal bacteria infection. (18) Another study (38) published in 2019 found the gum disease bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis to be closely associated with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

    Some bacteria such as Coprococcus protect against Alzheimer's, and people who lack these protective bacteria are at significantly higher risk. (68)
  2. Cognitive inactivity or low educational attainment. Basically, mental laziness. In particular, social isolation is the major risk factor. (6) Not learning new things, or not subjecting yourself to novel situations is also bad.
  3. Lack of sleep. (24, 25, 33, 34, 35, 37, 55, 66) Sleep is a detoxification process. In particular, the brain requires a sufficient and deep period of sleep every 24 hours.

    Beta amyloid is a protein peptide found in the brain every day, this is a normal process. At night, beta amyloids are flushed out of the brain during a phase known as slow wave sleep, a deep sleep phase which occurs early in the night. It is highly efficient at flushing out beta amyloids compared to other phases of sleep.

    Beta amyloid levels in the brain accumulate if there is insufficient slow wave sleep. A study published in 2017 (21) showed that chronically disrupted sleep promotes amyloid plaque accumulation and inflammation in the brain. This effect was specific for lack of slow wave activity, and not for sleep duration or efficiency. There is a build-up of B-amyloid after just one night of sleep deprivation. (37)

    Beta amyloid accumulation is strongly associated with Alzheimer's disease. High levels of beta amyloid accumulation are found in an autopsy of the brains of people who have died from Alzheimer's. However, it is likely that Alzheimer's causes the accumulation, rather than the beta amyloids causing Alzheimer's. (53, 54)
  4. Physical inactivity. (16, 28, 40, 41)
  5. Pollution. A 2020 study of over 18,000 American seniors found a 10% variation in the incidence of Alzheimer's depending on the level of air pollution where they lived, when all other factors were statistically accounted for. (48)
  6. Hypertension (high blood pressure).
  7. Obesity. (41)
  8. Depression.
  9. Iron excess. Iron tends to accumulate in the body as it is not excreted and very difficult to remove except through blood loss. Women lose iron in their blood during their monthly period, but men have no such outlet. Most adult men and post-menopausal women suffer from a toxic excess of iron. High levels of iron can cause mental problems including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, decreased insulin sensitivity, diabetes, heart disease and a wide range of degenerative diseases.
  10. Under-methylation, also known as histadelia.
  11. Smoking.

Root causes of Alzheimer's disease

  1. Insulin resistance. Alzheimer's disease is a form of diabetes manifested in the brain. Insulin resistance leads to the formation of insoluble amyloid-beta protein fragments, which eventually form amyloid plaques in the brain. One of the consequences of these amyloid plaques is further insulin resistance. Thus, insulin resistance and amyloid plaque formation form a vicious cycle in which initial insulin resistance leads to plaque amyloid development, which leads to further insulin resistance. (58) Metabolic syndrome is a strong risk factor for Alzheimer's. Therefore high levels of sugar in the diet and frequent eating are a cause of Alzheimer's. (22, 23, 41, 49, 56, 57, 60, 64)
  2. Toxins. Accumulation of a variety of toxins to which the brain and nervous system are exposed.

    Lack of slow wave sleep, a deep sleep phase which occurs early in the night, is strongly associated with the accumulation of beta amyloids, a pathological protein which accumulates in the brains of all those with Alzheimer's disease. (21, 66)

    Pharmaceutical drugs. A 2018 study examined the risk of new-onset dementia among nearly 350,000 older adults in the UK. It found that those who used certain types of anticholinergics (used to treat diseases like depression, Parkinson's disease and urinary incontinence) for a year or more, had a 30% increase in the risk of later developing dementia. (29, 32)

    Lysosomal dysfunction. Lysosomes are the garbage system of the cell. Lysosomes degrade and digest material taken up from outside the cell and digest obsolete parts of the cell itself. If lysosomes are not working properly then autophagy is impaired or impossible. (53, 54)

    Foods are a common and major source of toxins, usually accompanied by a variety of digestive problems. Sugar and artificial sweeteners are a direct cause of Alzheimer's (20), and also feed the above spirochaete bacteria. (50, 51, 52)

    Air pollution. (48)

    A range of estrogen-like hormones and chemicals (xenoestrogens) in the environment.

    A range of other toxic pollutants in our homes, everyday environment, personal care products and water are so diverse and so unique to each person, that it is difficult to connect the dots between the toxin and the ailment.
  3. Intra-cellular infection with pathogenic microbes. Amyloid plaque may be an anti-microbial agent, (59, 61, 62) and the accumulation of plaque may occur when there is a disruption of the brain microbiome. (62, 63) In other words, Alzheimer's is a reaction to an infection that disrupts the brain biome. Usually a small bacteria such as small spirochaete bacteria, and most commonly a Borrelia species that causes Lyme disease. Over time they will co-infect with other bacteria, viruses, fungi or protozoa. Borrelia and other small bacteria live inside cells, and some shed their own cellular walls to better hide from the immune system. Thousands of these microorganisms can live inside a single cell; eventually the cell walls burst and they spread to a new cellular host. Outside of cells, they also build biofilm for protection. B. garinii mostly affect the brain and central nervous system, although B. burgdorferi which are associated with Lyme disease also have a near universal association. (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18)

    There is little agreement that Lyme disease occurs in Australia, but Alzheimer's is as prevalent as it is in America. In Australia, ticks often carry Rickettsia bacteria. So it seems that a variety of other bacteria, particularly those with a spirochaete structure, affect the brain, nerves and immune system. For example, Toxoplasma gondii infection is associated with schizophrenia, epilepsy, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancer, mood disorders and cognitive impairment. (3, 39) Chlamydia pneumoniae has been found in the brains of nearly all multiple sclerosis patients and the majority of Alzheimer's patients. (4, 5, 14, 17, 18)

    A 2016 study (8) found a strong relationship between periodontitis (gum disease) and Alzheimer's. This was reinforced by a study (38) published in 2019 which found the gum disease bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis to be closely associated with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Gum infection is more common in the elderly, and the problem is self-reinforcing causing a reduced ability to take care of oral hygiene as the disease progresses. (17)

    A 2018 study (30) found a significant connection between Alzheimer's and the herpes virus. This was confirmed by another study published in 2020. (47)

    A study published in 2023 found that Coprococcus bacteria are protective against Alzheimer's, and that Desulfovibrio are a cause of Alzheimer's. In this study, healthy young rats showed cognitive decline and other Alzheimer's symptoms less than ten days after receiving Desulfovibrio bacteria from human Alzheimer's patients. (68)
  4. Brain / mental inactivity and lack of stimulation.

Prevention / remedies / treatment / recovery from Alzheimer's disease

Here are some changes that you can make to your diet and lifestyle that will substantially reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer's. As I explain in Grow Youthful, this type of lifestyle will also make you look younger, feel younger and more energised, will slow your aging, and prevent many other degenerative diseases.


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