Alzheimer's Disease by Valerie Worwood
Alszheimer's disease causes a person to inexorably drift away to a place where they can't remember their family, or ever who they are. Communicating with someone who as become a stranger, even to themselves, may seem an entirely hopeless task, but on thing that can encouage closeness between people is touch. It's an opportunity to covey love and care with a gentle body or shoulder massage, or even a simple foot or hand massage. Using essential oils may be pleasing to both you and your loved one, and if you use aromas the person has experienced in their past, memories may be rekindled. (Condensed information from The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy.)
Alzheimer's Massage Blend
10 drops Lavender
5 drops Rose
5 drops Geranium
2 drops Basil ct linalool
2 drops Rosemary
Blend together, then dilute 3-5 drops per 1 tsp (5mL) carrier oil.
The following anecdotal testimonies have not been reviewed by the FDA.
The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure disease.
Information shared on the HEO website is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice given by your trusted health care provider.
We believe that essential oils are provided by the Lord to support our health and well-being.
The Lord is our wisdom, protector and healer.
(Genesis 1:29-30, Ezekiel 47:12)
1. My mother will soon be 85 years old and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last year. Our family brought her home to live with us, during which time we were introduced to using essential oil. Peaceful helped her sleep at night and Raindrop Massages every week freed her of her chronic back pain for which she wore a narcotic pain patch. Her doctor documented 'better communication skills' after we had been using essential oils for only three months. Her Mini-mental exam remained stable for 2 years without any 'Alzheimer' medications.
2. I used Peaceful on my father who is very agitated a lot of the time, and it really turned the agitation around. He's much easier to be with and is doing very well with this blend. - Christy
3. I have heard that when people with this challenge come off of dairy – especially milk - there is a marked improvement very quickly. I know that you would think you need to keep the elderly on milk for the calcium, but we get much more usable calcium from broccoli and other vegetables, anyway.
4. I think it is helpful to diffuse Potential in the room, and I apply it on the sides of the neck, back of the head and in the brain stem area.
5. I used the Rosemary ct. verbenone for the 2nd day in a diffuser in my Mom's room, and what a change. My Mom has dementia and didn't know her room or my name. Praise God! I asked her today who I was, and she said of course you're Rita my daughter. You have no idea how happy that made me feel. She is more alert but seems anxious, so I am adding Peaceful to my order. Thank you so much :) - Rita
6. I am attaching clinical trials which indicate that essential oils are an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease and a partial explanation for why this is the case. My sisters and I have been giving my mother Rosemary to smell every day for the past three years. We recently started giving her Cinnamon Leaf and Sage to smell as well. Three years ago, she did not recognize her home, she thought her brother was an impostor, she was lethargic, apathetic, depressed and slept very poorly. Now, she not only recognizes her home, but knows when she is close to it, she is comfortable around her brother, she usually sleeps through the night and she is much more alert and aware than before. The aromatherapy did not cure her, but it has given her a reasonable quality of life. - Lane Simonian
Healthy Living: Aromatherapy in the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease
by Lane Simonian
Western Nevada College
In the eighteenth century, John Hill wrote in the Family Herbal: "Sage will retard the rapid progress of decay that treads upon our heels so fast in latter years of life, will preserve faculty and memory more valuable to the rational mind than life itself."
Hill's comment reveals two somewhat remarkable facts: though Alzheimer's disease wasn't "discovered" until the early twentieth century, knowledge of dementia has existed for a very long time and secondly through centuries of observations Europeans (and others) knew that aromatic plants were useful in treating dementia.
Now scientific knowledge and historical observations have begun to merge, as we come to understand the chemical processes by which the essential oils used in aromatherapy help combat dementia. Specifically, essential oils prevent and partially reverse the damage done to memory by oxidants, most notably by peroxynitrites.
Peroxynitrites are the chief cause of memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease, as they prevent the formation of acetycholine, the main compound involved in memory retrieval. The chemicals in essential oils convert peroxynitrites into nitrogen dioxide and water. They also add hydrogen back to choline transport systems, muscarinic receptors (involved in the uptake of choline), and choline acetytransferases (the enzyme that puts acetylcholine together), thus increasing the production of acetylcholine and thereby partially reversing memory deficits.
Case studies of improvement in language skills, awareness, alertness, and short-term memory in Alzheimer's patients using aromatherapy are now being bolstered by a series of small-scale clinical trials. To quote from one of these trials: "In conclusion, we found aromatherapy an efficacious non-pharmacological therapy for dementia. Aromatherapy may have some potential for improving cognitive function, especially in AD patients" (Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer's disease). In this trial, the essential oils used were Rosemary, Lavender, Orange and Lemon.
A review of clinical trials involving sage and lemon balm similarly concluded: "These herbal treatments may well provide effective and well-tolerated treatments for dementia, either alone, in combination, or as an adjunct to conventional treatments" (The psychopharmacology of European herbs with cognition- enhancing properties).
Historical observations, case studies, and clinical trials indicate that the chemicals contained in essential oils are surprisingly effective in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Perhaps, modern medicine despite its emphasis on expensive synthetic drugs with harmful side effects will one day come to the same conclusion that John Hill did more than two hundred years ago.
AlZconnected discussion with Lane
Rosemary Boosts Brain Power by Robert Tisserand
Lane Simonian commented on this article: I was hoping to see this type of commentary following Moss’s and Oliver’s study. Various chemicals in essential oils help prove cognitive function in healthy individuals in three ways: by increasing the binding of acetylcholine to its receptors, by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase activity (as already noted), and by lowering acetylcholinesterase levels (by inhibiting phospholipase C gamma activity). Phospholipase C gamma (and beta) activity lead to the formation of amyloid plaques and peroxynitrites -the toxin held responsible for short-term memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease. Chemicals in various essential oils (including rosemary and sage) such as methoxyphenols (eugenol, thymol, and carvacrol) and if present rosmarinic acid and ursolic acid scavenge peroxynitrites (convert them into a less dangerous form). These compounds also reverse much of the damage that peroxynitrites do to transport systems, enzymes, tau proteins, and receptors involved in short-term memory (muscarinic acetylcholine), sleep (melatonin), mood (serotonin and opioid), social recognition (oxytocin), alertness (dopamine), and smell (olfactory). They also inhibit the influx of calcium thus limiting the death of neurons and the release of glutamate thus limiting the death of surrounding cells (see the following articles: Alkam, et al. “A natural scavenger of peroxynitrites, rosmarinic acid, protects against impairment of memory induced AB 25-35” and Irie, “Effects of eugenol on the Central Nervous System: Its possible application to treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and Parkinson’s disease.”
Sniffing Rosemary Can Increase Memory By 75% by Robert Tisserand
Aromatherapy as a Safe and Effective Treatment for the Management of Agitation in Severe Dementia: The Results of a Double Blind, Placebo Controlled Trial
This is the first placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the treatment of agitation in people with severe dementia, indicates that aromatherapy with essential balm oil is safe, well-tolerated and efficacious, with additional benefits on key quality of life parameters. Ten percent Melissa essential oil in a base lotion was applied topically to the face and both arms twice daily.
Study: Cinnamon Inhibits Alzheimer’s Disease by Gil Ronen
USCL Study: Non-Drug Treatment May Reverse Alzheimer's
Ashwagandha Proven to be a Potential Cure for Alzheimers
Effects of Turmeric on Alzheimer's Disease with Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia
Exciting Alzheimer's Treatment Out of India - Neem
How to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease—A Neurologist Speaks Out
Commonly Use Anesthetic Causes Alzheimer's-related Changes in Brain
Memory Loss Associated with Alzheimer's Reversed: Small trial succeeds using systems approach to memory disorders by Science Daily
Nourishing the Aging Brain by The Scientist Magazine
Effect of Aromatherapy on Patients with Alzheimer's Disease
[In brief, it is thought that neuropoesis, reinforced by stimulation from smell projected to the cerebral limbic system, plays an important role in improving cognitive function. However, aromatherapy has positive effects on care givers in addition to the possibility of improving a patient's actual function.]
Article first published online: 8 MAR 2010
Objective: Recently, the importance of non-pharmacological therapies for dementia has come to the fore. In the present study, we examined the curative effects of aromatherpay in dementia in 28 elderly people, 17 of whom had Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Methods: After a control period of 28 days, aromatherapy was performed over the following 28 days, with a wash out period of another 28 days. Aromatherapy consisted of the use of rosemary and lemon essential oils in the morning, and lavender and orange in the evening. To determine the effects of aromatherpay, patients were evaluated using the Japanese version of the Gottfries, Brane, Steen scale (GBSS-J), Functional Assessment Staging of Alzheimer's disease (FAST), a revised version of Hasegawa's Dementia Scale (HDS-R), and the Touch Panel-type Dementia Assessment Scale (TDAS) four times: before the control period, after the control period, after aromatherpay, and after the washout period.
Results: All patients showed significant improvement in personal orientation related to cognitive function on both the GBSS-J and TDAS after therapy. In particular, patients with AD showed significant improvement in total TDAS scores. Result of routine laboratory tests showed no significant changes, suggesting that there were no side-effects associated with the use of aromatherapy. Results from Zarit's score showed no significant changes, suggesting that caregivers had no effect on the improved patient scores seen in the other tests.
Conclusions: In conclusion, we found aromatherapy an efficacious non-pharmacological therapy for dementia. Aromatherapy may have some potential for improving cognitive function, especially in AD patients.
DMSO and MSM Reports
There are some interesting discussions and reports about the use of DMSO and MSM as oxygen transport pair to help with Alzheimer's disease. Here are a few links to consider:
Prevention Magazine Article
by Sara Altshul
Aromatherapy, which uses fragrant botanical essential oils to heal physical and emotional ills, may help calm agitation and improve the quality of life for people stricken with Alzheimer's disease or other dementia.
So concludes a review of three small studies published recently in the British Medical Journal. The review noted aromatherapy's safety and effectiveness, and it suggested that the therapy could help ease the behavioral problems that are so common in people with dementia.
But here's what really got my attention: The fragrances of the two oils most often used to treat dementia, Lavender and Melissa, have nothing to do with this therapy's potential success. That's important because age and illness can impair a person's sense of smell. Instead, aromatherapy's calming effects are probably caused by terpenes, components of many essential oils. These are rapidly absorbed through the lungs and could directly affect the nervous system.
Doctor Says Coconut Oil Lessened Alzheimer's Effects on Her Husband
By Eve Hosley-Moore, Times Correspondent
In print: Wednesday, October 29, 2008
After two weeks of taking coconut oil, Steve Newport's results in an early onset Alzheimer's test gradually improved says his wife, Dr. Mary Newport. Before treatment, Steve could barely remember how to draw a clock. Two weeks after adding coconut oil to his diet, his drawing improved. After 37 days, Steve's drawing gained even more clarity. The oil seemed to "lift the fog," his wife says.
The only thing that kept Dr. Mary Newport positive in the face of her husband's early onset Alzheimer's disease was that he didn't seem aware of how much ground he was losing.
"He didn't know the full ramifications of his decline — I hate to say it but that was the only blessing. I was watching my husband of 36 years simply fade away," said Dr. Newport, 56, a neonatologist and medical director of the newborn intensive care unit at Spring Hill Regional Hospital.
An accountant, Steve Newport left his corporate job the day his first daughter was born, allowing his wife to finish her medical training. As time went on, he worked from home, keeping the books for her neonatology practice and taking care of their two daughters, now age 22 and 26.
About six years ago, Newport began struggling with daily tasks. He took longer to complete the business' payroll and was making more mistakes.
"I didn't know what was happening to me. I was confused," Newport said of his prediagnosis days.
"There were big clues, and I knew that something was going on here," Dr. Newport said.
They saw his primary care physician, who referred him to a specialist. The diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's was a devastating blow. According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 4.5-million Americans have Alzheimer's. Early onset Alzheimer's strikes people age 30 to 60 and is rare, affecting only about 5 percent to 10 percent of those with Alzheimer's.
While there is no way to confirm an Alzheimer's diagnosis, Newport tested positive for the genetic marker that puts a person at higher risk for early onset Alzheimer's.
He was put on several FDA-approved medicines to help slow the progression of the disease, but he continued to decline. In August of last year, Dr. Newport said, her husband underwent a "drastic change," losing more than 10 pounds.
"He had completely lost interest in eating, and that was not a good sign," she said. He also abandoned the kayaking and gardening he loved so much.
Dr. Newport searched the Internet for clinical drug trials that would accept her husband. In May, he was set to apply for studies in St. Petersburg and in Tampa.
A fuel that nourishes the brain from birth
The evening before the first screening, Dr. Newport stayed up late researching both drugs. During that research she discovered a third that had shown unbelievable results — actual memory improvement.
"Most drugs talk about slowing the progression of the disease … but you never hear the word 'improvement.' Right then I knew I had to find out more," she said.
She began vigorously researching online and uncovered the new medication's patent application. She found an in-depth discussion of its primary ingredient, an oil composed of medium chain triglycerides known as MCT oil.
In Alzheimer's disease, certain brain cells may have difficulty metabolizing glucose, the brain's principal source of energy. Without fuel, these precious neurons may begin to die. But researchers have identified an alternative energy source for brain cells — fats known as ketone bodies, explained Dr. Theodore VanItallie, a medical doctor and professor emeritus at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City. He has been researching ketones for more than 35 years.
"Ketones are a high-energy fuel that nourish the brain," VanItallie said, explaining that when you are starving, the body produces ketones naturally. When digested, the liver converts MCT oil into ketones. In the first few weeks of life, ketones provide about 25 percent of the energy newborn babies need to survive.
As Dr. Newport continued to read about MCT oil and the new medication, she discovered something surprising: Non-hydrogenated coconut oil is more than 60 percent MCT oil, and this medication derived its MCT oil from this readily available tropical tree.
Newport was not accepted for the first clinical trial. He was unable to remember the season, month or day of the week, and he scored a 14 out of 30 on the mini-mental state examination, a test used to screen for dementia and assess the level of impairment. He tested too low and, according to the results, had "severe" Alzheimer's.
One important test for Alzheimer's progression is to draw the face of a clock from memory. That afternoon, Newport could barely remember how the clock looked, said Dr. Newport.
"We were devastated," she said.
She tried to reassure herself and her husband by looking forward to the next day's second screening, but she was beginning to feel hopeless.
"And then it hit me," she said. "Why don't we just try coconut oil as a dietary supplement? What have we got to lose? If the MCT oil in it worked for them, why couldn't it work for us?"
Trying out coconut oil and testing result
On the drive home, she stopped at a health food store and bought a jar of nonhydrogenated, extra-virgin coconut oil. The experimental medication's patent application was complete with dosage information, and she did some quick math, converting the measurements.
The next morning she stirred two tablespoons of coconut oil into her husband's oatmeal, and she tried it in hers, too.
On the way down to the second screening in Tampa, Dr. Newport quizzed her husband, asking him the day, month and year.
"I prayed harder than I'd ever prayed in my life," she said.
Her prayers were answered. Steve scored an 18 on the exam, the highest he'd scored for more than a year and four points higher than the previous day.
"It was like the oil kicked in and he could think clearly again," Dr. Newport said. "We were ecstatic."
Newport was accepted into the trial but more importantly, the coconut oil he'd ingested seemed to "lift the fog." He began taking coconut oil every day, and by the fifth day, there was a tremendous improvement.
"He would face the day bubbly, more like his old self," his wife said.
More than five months later, his tremors have subsided, the visual disturbances that prevented him from reading have disappeared, and he has become more social and interested in those around him.
Nothing can repair the brain damage he has sustained as a consequence of Alzheimer's disease, and there is no cure. But it appears the oil is helping, Dr. Newport said.
Studying effect of diet on other diseases
The Newports are not the only ones who have found positive results with ketones. In 2005, Dr. VanItallie studied the ketogenic diet's effect on Parkinson's disease. In his study, five patients stuck to the diet for one month, and all of the participants' tremors, stiffness and ability to walk improved, on average, by as much as 43 percent.
"Our study was very successful for our patients," Dr. VanItallie said, explaining that the one drawback is that the ketogenic diet mimics starvation. It is low carb, low protein and nearly 90 percent fat, he explained. "People can't really stay on this diet for long, it's too restrictive."
His study was preliminary, but he said he hopes it will "pave the way for future research."
Parkinson's is similar to Alzheimer's in that it is neuro-degenerative, and glucose metabolism may be affected, Dr. VanItallie said.
"We know that if we give patients ketones, we can bypass this glucose block," he said. However, researchers don't know if the effect is short term or long term. He is pushing for larger and more disciplined studies.
Since starting the coconut oil regimen with her husband, Dr. Newport has become somewhat of an expert on the subject. Though not a neurologist, her background as a medical doctor and her biochemistry classes in medical school have helped her understand the way MCT oil is converted into ketones, and how beneficial this dietary supplement can be for those unable to process glucose.
Additionally, ketones may be beneficial to those with Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, and Type I and II diabetes.
"I think (Dr. Newport) is quite courageous. Most people give up when they are facing severe Alzheimer's, but she feels she's got significant improvement," said Dr. Richard Veech, chief of the lab of metabolic control at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.
Dr. Veech has been working with ketones for more than 40 years and has become a valuable resource to the Newport family. Currently, he is working for the military, looking into ketones as a way to improve the performance of troops in severe conditions.
He has written several articles about the subject and is convinced that ketones can provide more cellular energy than glucose and that they may be the key to aiding those with neuro-degenerative diseases.
He has helped guide Dr. Newport in her personal study and answers many of her questions. Though her experience with ketones is not the peer-reviewed, double-blind clinical work researchers like to see, Dr. Veech said her results are promising.
"(Dr. Newport) is getting the best she can with what she has," he said.
Dr. Veech stresses the importance of consulting a physician before trying coconut oil at home. He said ingesting too much of one type of fat can be dangerous and can also cause diarrhea and vomiting.
Dr. Newport realizes more research is needed, but she is pleased with what she's seen so far.
"I've got living proof that this will help people," she said. "I want to just tell everybody about this. It may help them improve, too.
"All I'm asking is to investigate this further. After living through Alzheimer's, anything that can stabilize or help improve (your loved one) will be worth every drop."
Coconut Oil Research with Alzheimer's
The testimonies of success in using coconut oil to treat Alzheimer’s have been nothing less than remarkable, especially considering the widespread failure of the drug companies to find drugs that can effectively deal with this disease. Research On Alzheimer's
Aloe Vera Extract Supplement
New Study Gives Hope Alzheimer's Can Be Reversed by Charlotte Libov and John Bachman
Worwood, Valerie Ann, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, New World Library, 2016, page279-281.