I have been researching this disease for seven years, due to family members that have had the disease. We actually know a great deal about the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and how to treat it, although the latter is not well-publicized because U.S. researchers want a drug “solution” to Alzheimer’s disease. Since 1997, researchers have known that peroxynitrite-mediated damage is widespread in Alzheimer’s disease (peroxynitrites are also implicated in a series of other diseases including many forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes, some types of heart disease and strokes, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS). Factors that can contribute to the formation of peroxynitrites and thus an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease are high glucose levels, high blood pressure, Down syndrome, the APOE4 gene, presenilin gene mutations, bisphosphonate osteoporosis drugs (such as Fosamax and Boniva), late estrogen replacement therapy, mercury, aluminum fluoride, and stress. Given the wide variety of dietary, genetic, environmental, and drug factors that contribute to the disease, it is no wonder that the disease is so widespread.
Peroxynitrites oxidize (take hydrogen away) from glucose transport systems, choline transport systems, the enzyme choline acetyltransferases, g proteins coupled to receptors involved in short-term memory (acetylcholine muscarinic), mood (serotonin), sleep (melatonin), alertness (dopamine), and smell (olfactory), nitrate tau proteins (thus inhibiting neurotransmission), and cause an influx of calcium killing neurons. Peroxynitrite scavengers (which convert peroxynitrites into less harmful compounds–namely water and a nitrogen dioxide anion) and which partially reverse oxidation by adding hydrogen back to receptors, enzymes, and transport systems have been effective time and again in improving cognitive function in animals and/or human beings (see for instance the clinical trial by Jimbo and colleagues using essential oils via aromatherapy and the clinical trials by Akhondzadeh and colleagues using tinctures of essential oils). The list of peroxynitrite scavengers is quite long, but it includes ketones from coconut oil, minocycline and other tetracycline antibiotics, rosmarinic acid, grape seed extract, cinnamon extract, true cinnamon essential oil, rosemary essential oil, lemon balm essential oil, and sage essential oil. Aromatherapy is particularly effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (as I have seen in the case of my own mother) because the compounds which scavenge peroxynitrites can be inhaled directly into the part of the brain where the peroxynitrites are doing the most damage–hippocampus.
It is an indictment against the medical community, Alzheimer’s organizations, and the pharmaceutical industry that the main cause of Alzheimer’s disease has been known for almost 15 years and that they have ignored study after study (mostly conducted outside of the United States) that strongly indicate that peroxynitrite scavengers can be used to effectively treat the disease.