Reviewer Andrea Coventry: Andrea is a Montessori child - turned educator. An avid reader and writer, she is published on several websites. Click Here to find a listing of Andrea's sites where you can find many of her writing contributions.
Author: Vincent Fortanasce,
Publisher: Gotham Books
Dr. Vincent Fortanasce has intimate
knowledge of the horrors of Alzheimer's disease, as he watched his
father plummet down the black hole. Through much research, he has
developed a diet and exercise program to help himself, and others
like him, to reduce their risk of this debilitating
Alzheimer's tends to be inherited, so those with a close family member suffering from the disease are automatically more at risk. Other lifestyle factors, such as obesity, diabetes, poor diet, and lack of exercise, can also come into play.
Dr. Fortanasce first devotes time explaining the signs, symptoms, and stages of Alzheimer's disease, to help readers fully understand it. He also wants readers to look at themselves with a microscope, to determine their personal level of risk. With each risk factor explained, he provides steps to be taken to reduce the risk.
The first step in the Anti-Alzheimer's Prescription is to eat an Anti-Alzheimer's diet. This diet is Mediterranean in style, focusing on a low glycemic index and high in "good fats", such as omega-3s. Dr. Fortanasce provides extensive lists of the types of food he recommends, to allow for a healthy brain-boosting balance in the diet. He explains how to clean out the kitchen and go shopping for specific brands. In the appendices, he includes a 28-day menu and a mini-cookbook. The included recipes are palatable, even to us picky eaters.
The second step is to exercise the body to benefit the brain. Diagrams and detailed explanations of exercise to tone the body, reduce stress, and subsequently boost brainpower, make it easy to see how the moves can be implemented into daily routines.
The third step is to perform daily neurobics, or exercises for the mind. Simple tasks such as playing Solitaire, balancing the checkbook, and memorizing sequences of numbers can keep current brain dendrites strong and stop deterioration.
The fourth step in the Anti-Alzheimer's Prescription is to get plenty of rest and relaxation. Stress has long been known to be a killer; now it can also destroy your brain.
Concluding chapters focus on testing, diagnosis, and medications used for Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Fortanansce's book appears to be well-researched and consistent with other theories about beneficial diets and practices for other medical issues. As a neurologist, he has had plenty of opportunities to test out his theories with his patients. It will be interesting to see how the theories hold up against the test of time, as medical studies have a tendency to disprove each other on a regular basis. However, having a strong family history of Alzheimer's disease, I hope and pray that he is right, as I work to implement more of his techniques in my own life.