For many patients, one of the most disturbing prospects of aging is the possibility of a decreasing ability to recall desired memories and comprehend new information and stimuli. This is understandably a very real concern considering the reports that in 2007, there are now more than 5 million people in the United States living with Alzheimer's disease, and it is estimated that the prevalence could reach 7.7 million people with this disease by 2030. Alzheimer's disease is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death for individuals over the age of 65. Additionally, the direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias amount to more than $148 billion annually.1 It is safe to estimate that less-severe mental deterioration is substantially more prevalent. This chapter explores some of the simplest interventions, such as modest dietary changes and botanical and supplemental interventions. Essential to maintaining cognitive ability is adhering to a long-term health maintenance plan that can be sustained over the course of a lifetime; thus, a simple and high-compliance preventive approach is of paramount importance.
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