. Risk factors and preventive interventions for Alzheimer disease: state of the science. Arch Neurol. 2011 Sep;68(9):1185-90. PubMed.

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  1. Given the importance of magnesium (Mg) to brain function (Slutsky et al., 2010), it would seem to make sense to make sure older people are getting enough of this critical mineral. Mg plays an important role in protein kinases. Tyrosine-specific protein kinase and protein kinase M ζ are crucial to memory function. Protein kinase M ζ is also involved in insulin-stimulated glucose transport. Mg and insulin tightly regulate each other. (This is where Suzanne Craft's work on insulin and AD comes in.) Mildred Seelig found an interesting relationship among Mg, Ca, and estrogen (Seelig, 1990). It would be worth investigating if the current clinical recommendations for the treatment of osteoporosis are contributing to Mg deficiency and therefore aggravating the problem of dementia in the elderly. It would also be interesting to see if there is a correlation between AD and osteoporosis. Part of prevention should be making sure the elderly are getting enough Mg.

    References:

    . Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium. Neuron. 2010 Jan 28;65(2):165-77. PubMed.

    . Increased need for magnesium with the use of combined oestrogen and calcium for osteoporosis treatment. Magnes Res. 1990 Sep;3(3):197-215. PubMed.

  2. I am a patient with early Alzheimer's disease who thinks of myself as a "survivor," now six years since diagnosis, having cobbled together a lifestyle regimen of risk reduction strategies with the hope that it will slow the progression of my disease. After all, besides the existing medications, and until we do have an effective disease-modifying treatment some five or 10 years from now, lifestyle risk reduction is my treatment of choice. It certainly improves the quality of my life, and might even give me more time.

    Dr. Kosik's book The Alzheimer's Solution has provided lots of support for my approach. I'm so pleased with the clarity of his comment above on the recent NIH article calling for research of Alzheimer's prevention. His message is so important that the Alzheimer's awareness and advocacy community should ensure that it gets to the public and to policymakers to undo the damage the NIH panel's report may have done.

    View all comments by Wantand Smith

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  1. Research Brief: Last Word From NIH Panel on AD Prevention