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Alzheimer’s Link to Herpes Virus in Brain, Say Scientists

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Could a virus be the cause of a brain disease that’s feared as much — or maybe even more so — than cancer? Researchers are excited about a discovery linking the common herpes virus to Alzheimer’s disease and, according to The Guardian, the scientists are still busy trying to figure out whether the virus actually helps trigger the disease, or if the disease makes you more vulnerable to being infected with the virus.

What’s interesting is that the researchers weren’t looking for a viral cause to begin with. They also cautioned that their findings “in no way” suggests Alzheimer’s is contagious or that cold sores cause it.

As the mystery of Alzheimer’s continues to deepen, the good news is that we do know several things about it that can help us possibly deter it. For example, there is a strong link between lifestyle choices and brain function, and it goes without saying that whether you’re trying to ward off Alzheimer’s or not, diet, exercise and sleep are critical issues to maintaining good physical and mental well-being.

Point-in-fact: Alzheimer’s disease is intricately connected to insulin resistance, with even mild elevations of blood sugar associated with an elevated risk for dementia. To that end, one of the most striking studies on carbohydrates and brain health revealed that high-carb diets increase your risk of dementia by a whopping 89 percent, while high-fat diets lower it by 44 percent.

Diabetes and heart disease are also known to increase your increase your risk — and both are rooted in insulin resistance. In other news, recent developments include a study showing curcumin supplementation may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by improving memory and focus.

Curcumin has also been shown to increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and reduced levels of BDNF have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Yet another way curcumin may benefit your brain and lower your risk of dementia is by affecting pathways that help reverse insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia and other symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity.

But, no matter the cause, considering the fact that there is a lack of effective treatments, prevention really cannot be stressed strongly enough. If you’re looking to dementia prevention, research shows that you can help yourself by leveraging 36 healthy lifestyle parameters.

This includes the use of exercise, ketogenic diet, optimizing vitamin D and other hormones, increasing sleep, meditation, detoxification and eliminating gluten and processed food.

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