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The 'Rhinestone Cowboy' Glen Campbell Succumbs to Alzheimer's Disease

Glen Campbell, a prolific country star who released over 70 albums during his five decade career, has passed away at age 81. He is survived by Kim Campbell, his wife of 35 years, and eight children.
 
Son of an Arkansas sharecropper, Glen Campbell broke into the music business at age 18 and is best known for his 1975 hit “Rhinestone Cowboy.” He won 4 Grammys in both the pop music and country music categories in 1967 and hosted a variety show from 1969-1972. 

Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in early 2011 and according to The Oklahoman symptoms had been present for years.  His struggle with Alzheimer’s disease was captured in the 2014 documentary “I’ll Be Me.”   He performed “Rhinestone Cowboy” during his final televised performance February 12, 2012 and the openness with which he faced his Alzheimer’s diagnosis and cognitive decline lives on as an inspiration. His storied career ended on a high note when his song, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” won the Grammy for Best Country Song in 2014.  

A legendary performer by any measure, he dealt candidly with personal struggles that included addiction, failed marriages and his tragic battle with Alzheimer’s disease. This candor endeared him to audiences and his public battle with Alzheimer’s helped to raise awareness. 

Alzheimer’s disease has grown to be one of the most pressing and tragic public health issues facing the U.S. With no known cure and the number of people affected expected to triple by 2050, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that by mid-century someone in the U.S will develop Alzheimer’s disease every 33 seconds.

It’s often said that Alzheimer’s disease cannot be prevented, but there has been intriguing research that suggests there are factors you can control to help reduce your risk. For instance, seniors with severe vitamin D deficiency may raise their risk for dementia by 125 percent, and vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Sufficient vitamin D (50 to 70 nanograms/milliliter) is imperative for overall health, and likely, for brain health as well.

Exercise can also reduce your risk of the disease as well as help with its treatment. In one study, patients diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s who participated in a four-month-long supervised exercise program had significantly fewer neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with the disease than the control group that did not exercise.

Until a medical breakthrough can develop a cure for this disease, prevention remains the best strategy to fight it. Diet is essential, and a combination of very little sugar and low net carbs, along with higher amounts of healthy fat is essential to address not only Alzheimer's, but diabetes and heart disease as well. My optimized nutrition plan is an excellent starting point and is full of cutting edge nutritional information. It’s designed for beginners and experts alike. 
 
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