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Alzheimer’s and the Blue Zone Connection

By Linda Culotta, Mortgage Loan Officer
New Construction/Renovation Loan Specialist

Alzheimer’s and the Blue Zone Connection  More than five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, and some experts predict that number will triple by 2050.

Do the math, and that’s 15 million Americans in just over 30 years.

Despite spending billions on research, drug companies have been largely unsuccessful in finding a cure. However, a small group of medical pioneers, including Doctors Ayesha Sherzai, MD and Dean Sherzai, MD, PhD, are making significant strides with comprehensive lifestyle interventions like diet, nutrition, and stress management.

The husband and wife team are neurologists and neuroscientists with extensive clinical and research backgrounds in brain health, memory, and neurodegenerative diseases. Former directors of the Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, they began seriously researching how lifestyle affects the brain in 2006.

Shortly thereafter, they attended a lecture by National Geographic Fellow and New York Times-
bestselling author, Dan Buettner. He described five areas throughout the world, known as the Blue Zone Regions, where people live much healthier and longer lives than average.

One of these regions is Loma Linda, California.

Since 2008, Doctors Ayesha and Dean Sherzai have been the joint directors of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda Medical Center, where less than five percent of elderly patients have Dementia. Compare that number to the surrounding communities, and it’s not even close.

According to Ayesha and Dean, it’s no coincidence that residents of Loma Linda live very different lifestyles from the average American. They’re Seventh-Day Adventists, eat mostly vegetarian meals, exercise regularly, and have strong family and community ties.

The biggest misconception of Alzheimer’s is that it’s genetic. If someone in your family has it, you’re destined to get it. And once you get it, that’s it. But Doctors Ayesha and Dean Sherzai believe otherwise—noting that research shows when one spouse has Alzheimer’s, the other spouse is 600% more likely to develop the disease. In fact, they claim 90% of Alzheimer’s cases are avoidable with the proper diet, exercise routine, stress-management, and healthy sleeping patterns.

While Alzheimer’s starts to show between the ages of 60 and 70, the key to beating it may begin decades earlier. That’s why it’s never too early to change your lifestyle.

Want to learn more? Pick-up Doctors Ayesha and Dean Sherzai’s book, The Alzheimer’s Solution.

About the author:

Linda Culotta is a mortgage loan originator with Lake Michigan Credit Union of Florida’s Collier branch, and is committed to improving the financial wellbeing of her clients. For more information about LMCU-Florida’s involvement with the Blue Zones Project®, or for questions concerning mortgage financing and lending products, contact Linda at (239) 908-5860. Or send her an email – linda.culotta@lmcu.org.

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