With life expectancy on the rise, so is the terrible illness that leaves its victims without mental awareness and personality: Alzheimer’s Disease. The oldest Baby Boomers are approaching retirement with visions of vibrant living for two or three more decades. Sadly, Alzheimer’s will rob millions of them of their quality of life and will add a great burden to their families.
Unlike other forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s is ultimately fatal. Once diagnosed, younger patients may live ten years or more. Newly diagnosed patients older than 80, however, are likely to die within three or four years.
Scientists estimate that 22 million people around the world will suffer from Alzheimer’s by 2025. While some drug therapies appear to reduce symptoms in many patients, the cure to the disease has eluded Western Medicine.
Studies indicate acupuncture treatments may relieve stress and anxiety in some Alzheimer’s patients and improve motor and verbal skills in others. An experienced acupuncturist may help increase blood flow to a patient’s brain. The sample sizes in these studies are small and the results, while encouraging, are not conclusive. But the research offers hope to patients and their families that acupuncture can be a tool in treating the disease