In this month's Bulletin, we bring you practical information about brain health and how to avoid cognitive decline.
We'll look at the negative impacts of medication, and how a side-effect called medication fog can mimic or worsen dementia in the elderly. Then we'll examine a study that found an unexpected correlation between a person's level of optimism and their partner's level of cognitive function.
We'll end this Bulletin with a study that linked the consumption of certain spicy foods to an increased risk of dementia.
Dementia Or Medication Fog?
Savers are well aware that all drugs are acidifying, stressful to the body's natural toxin filtration system, and ultimately bad for bone health. That’s why, unless it’s a life or death situation, we should try to avoid taking them as much as possible. And now, a new report published in the Associated Press interviewed Dr. Pei Chen of the University of California, San Fransisco about an additional danger that may be less well known.
Medication fog is a condition that occurs as a side effect of certain drugs, and also of certain combinations of drugs. It can mimic the symptoms of dementia including confusion, reduced memory, and cognitive decline.
Roughly 91% of people over the age of 65 take at least one prescription drug, and 41% take five or more different drugs.1 With each additional drug, the risk of side effects and interactions increases. Making matters worse, oftentimes doctors fail to consider what drugs a patient is already taking before prescribing a new one, or whether that newly prescribed drug could cause dementia-like symptoms.
There are a wide variety of drugs that can cause medication fog, as you’ll read next.
“The list includes certain types of muscle relaxants, antihistamines, allergy medicines, stomach acid remedies, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medicines, pain relievers, sleep aids and other common treatments.
Many of these drugs have anticholinergic effects — that is, they reduce or interfere with a chemical messenger that’s key to healthy nerve function. That can cause drowsiness, confusion, blurred vision, dizziness and other symptoms that impair thinking skills.
Sometimes side effects appear right away but in other cases they only develop or show up with longer use. Patients may not make the connection between a drug they’ve used for many months and new symptoms. Age itself can be a culprit and make a long-used drug suddenly intolerable.”1
Tragically, some patients who experience medication fog are mistakenly diagnosed with dementia. When correctly diagnosed and solved by eliminating the drugs causing the medication fog, the symptoms go away, and patients recover their cognitive capacity and independence.
This is yet another example of how drugs often cause problems that are worse than the issues they're supposed to fix. Besides side effects like the brain fog described above, all drugs are acidifying toxins that tax the body's filtration system and acidify the pH.
Medication fog is a condition that occurs as a side effect of certain drugs or drug combinations, usually in older patients. The condition resembles dementia, which is often misdiagnosed. However, medication fog can be solved by identifying and stopping the prescription drugs that cause the problem.
An Optimistic Partner Reduces The Risk of Cognitive Decline
People with a more optimistic outlook are less likely to experience early cognitive decline. That's one of the reasons why the Save Institute recommends cultivating positivity and inner peace as a way to stay youthful and healthy.
A new study has found that optimism is so powerful that not only does it confer those benefits to the person with the cheery outlook, it also benefits the same household partner.
“The findings, published in the Journal of Personality, showed a small but positive association between the participants' own optimism and their cognitive functioning. Moreover, there was also a link between their partner's optimism and their own cognitive functioning, with the team finding that a couple with an optimistic partner appeared to help prevent the onset of cognitive decline.
The researchers found that optimistic people could help boost their partner's health by encouraging healthy habits that may reduce the risk factors leading to Alzheimer's disease, dementia and cognitive decline as they grow old together, such as encouraging them to start exercising or quit smoking.”2
This finding underscores the importance of building a practice of optimism and positivity. It's not just for your health, it's also for the health of the people around you. Studies have linked optimism and positivity to a variety of positive health outcomes that have a direct impact on bone quality and fracture risk. That makes it a priority for Savers.
A new study has found that not only does an optimistic outlook make you more likely to maintain high cognitive function, it also confers that benefit to your partner. Living with an optimist can prevent the onset of cognitive decline, which has positive implications for bone health.
Could Spicy Foods Cause Dementia?
An unusual new study from Australia examined the relationship between eating spicy chilies and cognitive decline. While chili consumption has been found to have benefits for body weight and blood pressure in prior studies by the same research team, this study found that excessive consumption can negatively affect brain health.
The researchers analyzed the chili intake of 4,582 Chinese adults for 15 years, tracking fresh and dried chili pepper consumption. They then compared that data with the results of cognition and memory tests. Below are more details about the study.
“In general, study subjects who ate more spicy food had a lower income, less body mass, and exercised more frequently than those who preferred more mild flavors. This has led researchers to theorize that skinnier people are more susceptible to chili intake than overweight people, which would explain why skinnier adults displayed more prominent memory loss.
“Chili is one of the most commonly used spices in the world and particularly popular in Asia compared to European countries,” co-researcher Dr. Ming Li says. “In certain regions of China, such as Sichuan and Hunan, almost one in three adults consume spicy food every day.”
Capsaicin has already been shown to speed up the metabolism, promote fat loss, and hinder vascular disorders, but this is the first time its impact on cognitive functioning has been investigated.
The study’s authors say that more research is necessary on the connection between chili pepper and dementia, and admit that other variables, such as education levels, may also play a role in cognitive decline.”2
This new data offers a warning that should ring true for every Saver– balance is key. If you're eating the same thing every day, you might be getting too much of the compounds that food contains. Variety is an important part of a nutritious and balanced diet.
A study that followed more than 4,500 Chinese adults compared their chili pepper intake with their cognitive function and found that the participants who ate the most chili peppers had poorer cognition and memory. The researchers also cautioned that there may be other factors that could explain that outcome.
What This Means To You
The focal points of the three studies you learned about today form a powerful triumvirate of ways to support your cognitive health. Avoid using prescription and over-the-counter drugs, cultivate optimism in your life, and be sure to consume a wide variety of bone-healthy foods.
When you take good care of your brain, you're able to take better care of your body and your bones. Brain health is closely linked to your ability to avoid falls, and thus to avoid fractures. The Osteoporosis Reversal Program uncovers more lifestyle changes you can make to support cognitive health while reducing your risk of fracture.
Stop Worrying About Your Bone Loss
Join thousands of Savers from around the world who have reversed or prevented their bone loss naturally and scientifically with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.
Taking good care of your brain and your bones can dramatically improve your quality of life for years to come.