Creatine and Dementia – Is There a Link?

creatine and dementia

In the quest to uncover products that can help people with dementia, we investigated increased interest in the link between creatine and dementia.

Creatine seems like it is playing a MAJOR ROLE in maintaining your cellular energy balance.

Does creatine help dementia?

A huge percentage (85%) of creatine is found in the muscles and the rest is found in other tissues like the retina and the brain.

does creatine help dementia

Thus, creatine supplementation can improve your memory and cognitive abilities.

Creatine’s main responsibility is to supply energy to your cells in the body.

Creatine and Neurological Research

Research published in the Journal of Neuromolecular Medicine creatine suggests that the organic acid is effective in the treatment of Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease some of the common types of dementia.

creatine and neurological research

This is mostly because creatine enhances cellular energy deficits in the brain tissue.

Consequently, this HELPS reduce a majority of the symptoms of these neurodegenerative conditions.

There is strong evidence suggesting that creatine supplementation may have great potential in treating Huntington’s disease (HD).

Creatine can improve (even extend) the quality of life

Creatine may improve or even extend the quality of life for persons who are living with HD.

Clinical trials on the link between creatine and dementia revealed that creatine supplementation may slow down the progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD).

The supplements appear to have long-term benefits for individuals who have PD.

Creatine SUPPLEMENTATION also shows improvement in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Study on creatine supplementation

A study was done on the long-term effects of creatine supplementation looking into the potential side effects. Researchers observed 60 aged patients monitoring them for 2 years.

Some participants were given 4g/d of creatine while others received a placebo.

The main aim of the study touching base on the connection between creatine and dementia was to ensure proper renal function while using creatine supplements for neurological illness.

The study reported that elderly people with Parkinson’s disease tolerated creatine well. Renal or kidney function remained within normal limits.

An OCCASIONAL stomach upset was the only serious side effect that affected the participants.

Is creatine good for memory?

Some studies also indicate that creatine supplements may IMPROVE memory and concentration in healthy individuals. Even those who are suffering from early stage Alzheimer’s disease another common cause of dementia.

In 2003, researchers published evidence that taking creatine can boost mental performance.

This is after researchers conducted a study involving 45 participants.

After taking 5-g of creatine supplement daily for 6 weeks, the participants recorded better scores on intelligence and memory tests. Especially for tasks that they took under time pressure than the participants who were taking a placebo.

Another study published back in 2007 indicated that creatine supplementation helps cognition in the elderly. Participants of this study took 5-g supplement 4 times a week before taking spatial and number tests.

People taking creatine supplementation perform better

The people who were on the supplement performed better than the ones taking the placebo.

The June 15th issue of the Journal of Neuroscience indicated that creatine may offer protection to people who have Alzheimer’s. This is after a study was conducted on mice.

The animals were fed on creatine and after some time, they experienced protective effects on their brain.

A team of scientists from leading US research institutes including Cornell University and Harvard Medical.

School tested creatine on mice that had been given the gene for Huntington’s disease.

The professionals concluded that creatine supplementation in mice greatly improved survival, decreased bodyweight loss, slowed down brain atrophy development, and enhanced motor performance.

8 Creatine Products Reviewed

 ProductFeaturesProsConsCheck Price
Life Extension Creatine Capsules Dietary Supplement Life Extension Creatine Capsules Dietary Supplement4.5 STARS
120 capsules
Take 2 capsules/2X day
Unflavored
Packaging ideal for travel
Certified GMO free
Gluten free
Finest raw ingredients
USA made
Easily absorbed
Accept returns
Vegetarian
Specific for cognitive
Capsules more expensive than powder
Suggested dosage small
Amazon Buy Cat Food
Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine CapsulesOptimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Capsules4.7 STARS
300 capsules
2 capsules twice daily
2.5grams creatine/serving
Keto frindly
Easy to swallow
GMP certified
Quality assured
Creapure creatine
Micronized monohydrate- studies support

Marketed for muscle building
Capsules are large to swallow
Higher cost than powdered
Amazon Buy Cat Food
Nuticost Creatine MonohydrateNutricost Creatine Monohydrate Powder4.3 STARS
5gms/serving 2X day
Unflavored
Value for money
Option of capsules
GMO & gluten free
Vegetarian
Soy/dairy free
No artificials
No fillers

Marketed for muscle building
Scoop provided is larger than 5gms
Amazon Buy Cat Food
My Protein Creatine MonohydrateMy Protein Creatine Monohydrate Powder4.6 STARS
1 tsp (5gms) a day
Unflavored
2.2 pounds
Monohydrate- supported by research
Vegetarian/vegan
Dairy free
Gluten free
Tested for safety
USA made


Ziplock bag, some problems with seal
Marketed for muscle build/strength
Amazon Buy Cat Food
Ax German CreatineAx German Creatine Powder4.6 STARS
54 servings (270gms)
1 scoop (5 gms)/day
Can buy in bulk (600gms/1000gms)
Creapure- high quality
Monohydrate- research supported
Strict quality controls
No fillers
100% creatine
Value for money


Amazon Buy Cat Food
Dymatize Creatine MicronizedDymatize Creatine Micronized Powder4.6 STARS
10.6oz (300gms)
1 tsp (5gms)/daily
Unflavored
Extra fine microns- proper dispersion
Gluten free
No scoop given
Limited information about product
Amazon Buy Cat Food
Allmax Essentials Creatine Pharmaceutical Grade Allmax Essentials Creatine Pharmaceutical Grade Powder4.5 STARS
400gm tub
1 scoop (5gms)/daily
3 sizes (1000gms, 400gms, 100gms
Micronized monohydrate- research supported
Gluten free
Vegan
Quality guarantee tested
Fast absorbing
Keto friendly
Amazon Buy Cat Food
Universal Creatine Wafer Chews Universal Creatine Wafer Chews4.2 STARS
Orange or grape flavor
144 wafer chews
4 wafers (5 gms)/day
1.25gms of creatine per wafer

Tasty
Easy to chew (no swallowing capsules)
Creapure- quality
Artificial flavors
Sweetened with sucrose and dextrose
Marketed for muscle build/strength
Some say not easy to chew
Some don't like chalky texture
Amazon Buy Cat Food

Creatine and Dementia Closing Thoughts

When it comes to the connection between creatine and dementia, there MAY BE HOPE for persons who have neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease.

Further research, however, needs to be done to present more conclusive results on whether creatine supplementation can help persons who have various types of dementia.

Bonus: What is Creatine

We can describe creatine (more popular in the athletic world than in neuroscience) as a nitrogenous organic acid made in the human body from three amino acids L-methionine, glycine, and L-arginine.

Amino acids are referred to as protein building blocks that are derived from dietary protein.

The body makes about one or TWO GRAMS of creatine daily. Organic acid makes up about 1% of the total volume of blood in the human body.

Creatine is produced in the pancreas, liver, and kidneys.

Humans CAN GET creatine from foods like meat and fish. People can also get organic acid from supplements.

The supplements are widely available and a person does not need a prescription to take them.

There are several uses of this organic acid some of which are supported by research and they include:

Enhancing Athletic Performance

Athletes use creatine supplements to help improve performance, especially when taking part in high-intensity training.

It is one of the most popular supplements amongst men who participate in sports like baseball, football, wrestling, and lacrosse.

Furthermore, it is one of the common supplements used in the manufacture of sports nutrition supplements and drinks.

Increases Body Mass

Older people mostly use creatine supplements to increase body mass. There are claims that when there is an increase in creatine content in the muscles, a person will get greater body mass.

Repairing Damage after Injury

Evidence suggests that creatine supplements may be useful when it comes to preventing muscle damage as well as enhancing the recovery process after a person experiences an injury.

creatine and dementia

Additionally, it may also have an antioxidant effect after a session of resistance training. Individuals may also experience less cramping after taking the supplements.

Some studies suggest that the supplements may also play a role in the rehabilitation of the brain as well as other injuries.

Some evidence suggests that it can help treat various medical conditions including but not limited to muscle diseases, MS (multiple sclerosis), congestive heart failure, diabetes, depression, Parkinson’s disease, and many others.

Creatine may also prevent skin from aging and enhance cognitive ability.

After getting to know what creatine is and how it can help people let’s look into the link between creatine and dementia.

 

Viewing Nature Improves Dementia [Proven]

viewing nature improves dementia

Now, to be clear, viewing nature will not cure dementia. There are still no cures for most causes of dementia. But is there evidence that viewing nature improves dementia?

But what improves dementia’s symptoms improves dementia.

Science has proven time and again that viewing images of nature improves many factors that worsen dementia’s distressing symptoms.

Factors like pain, anxiety, depression and stress all impact dementia profoundly.

The Importance of Getting Outside, Nature & Dementia

These types of excess disabilities make it harder for people with dementia to function at their best. They can increase confusion, agitation, restlessness and impact sleep.

Unfortunately, when any one of these things falls out of balance it will often disrupt the others as well.

if someone feels anxious it can impact their sleep

For example, if someone feels anxious it can impact their sleep.

  • When sleep is disturbed, fatigue increases.
  • As fatigue increases, the ability to think, function and process information decreases.
  • This can easily lead to an increase in anxiety, agitated behavior and/or restlessness.
  • Restlessness can contribute to falls, injuries and pain.
  • Pain can lead to more restlessness, sleep disturbance, medication, anxiety and greater fall risk.
  • Medication can lead to constipation which can lead to increased restlessness, sleep disturbance, agitation, anxiety and appetite loss.
  • Appetite loss can lead to weight loss, weakness, decreased functioning and falls.

Symptoms can quickly spiral out of control and it can be hard to untangle the causes from the effects.

To the extent possible, a key goal in dementia care is to reduce “causes” and minimize effects.

So, when science shows us that viewing plants and scenes of nature can alleviate pain, anxiety, depression and stress we can see how this will effectively improve the symptoms of dementia – although more accurately we’re reducing excess disabilities that worsen dementia’s symptoms thereby allowing the person to function closer to their true baseline capability.

Hospitals are great places to study pain, stress and anxiety

hospitals are great places to study pain stress and anxiety
Hospital patients, with their detailed records and controlled experience, are great fodder for study.

Hospital stays and procedures are known to be stressful, and contribute to anxiety. This makes them a great way to study the effects of plants on health outcomes, and there is no shortage of such studies.

View Through a Window May Influence Recovery from Surgery

One of the most cited studies occurred in1984 when Roger Ulrich examined whether the view through the window made a difference to the recovery of post-surgical patients.

Some rooms in the hospital overlooked a grove of trees, while others overlooked a brick wall. The rooms were nearly identical other than the view.

Patients went through the same gallbladder surgery and were matched on multiple factors, including age, gender, and health status.

The findings showed a statistically significant difference in:

1. The frequency and strength of pain medication required

The tree-view group required significantly less, and less potent, pain medication than the control group.

2. Length of hospital stay

The tree-view group was able to leave the hospital an average of a full day earlier than the brick wall-view group.

3. Fewer “negative” experiences

Nurse notes were reviewed for all patients. The group with the brick wall-view had over 3 times as many negative notes (such as “upset and crying” or “needs much encouragement” than the tree-view group who had more positive notes (like “In good spirits” and “moving well”).

Since 1984, thousands of studies have built on and expanded Dr. Ulrich’s research into an enormous body of research.

Although it wouldn’t be possible to cover them all here, we can take a closer look at a sampling of key studies.

Measuring the Benefits of Indoor Plants and Flowers

measuring the benefits of indoor plants and flowers

Live plants enhance health outcomes of patients recovering from surgery

In 2009, this study showed that post-surgical patients in hospital rooms with plants and flowers had a significantly improved physiological recovery response and felt better about their rooms and the hospital staff caring for them.

90 patients recovering from the same hemorrhoid surgery were randomly assigned to similar rooms either with or without live plants.

Researchers measured patients’ vital signs, length of hospital stay, pain medication used, ratings of pain intensity, distress, anxiety and fatigue.

They found that patients in rooms with live plants showed significantly lower systolic blood pressure, and less pain, stress, anxiety and fatigue than the control group.

They also rated their room satisfaction higher and reported more positive impressions of the hospital care staff.

Live plants enhance recovery and mood; reduce pain, anxiety and fatigue

This study in 2016 shows multiple benefits of live plants to post-surgical patients’ mood and recovery.

Patients in rooms with plants reported less pain, anxiety and fatigue than those in the control group.

They also were noted to have increased mood, social activity, friendly behavior towards others, and positive feelings in general.

They described their rooms to be more calming, soothing and satisfying than the control group.

There are hundreds of more studies showing similar effects of plants and flowers on health, stress, anxiety, pain and mood.

A number of studies examine the effect of simply viewing fresh-cut flowers or live plants in a room.

Viewing fresh flowers invokes relaxation and improves mood

Researchers in 2014 confirmed physiological and psychological relaxing effects of cut fresh roses in a room.

This study from 2016 also confirmed that the presence of flowers can positively influence mood as well as perceptions of places and other people.

In another study in 2017 researchers measured a significant relaxation response after participants viewed fresh roses for three minutes. The control group viewed no stimulus.

The physiological and psychological relaxation response was determined by measuring participants’ oxyhemoglobin levels, heart rate and heart rate variability.

A mood profile and semantic differential were also used, which showed a significant elevation in mood and an increase in feeling ‘natural’, ‘comfortable’ and ‘relaxed ’.

And, in case you had any doubt: receiving flowers is actually scientifically proven to enhance mood! It also enhances both social behavior and memory.

Receiving flowers improves mood, social behavior and memory

A series of studies in 2005, showed that people benefit in multiple ways from receiving flowers. People were presented with either flowers or a non-flower gift such as pens, candles or fruit.

The control gifts all had the same economic value, a pleasant odor, similar color variation and were wrapped similarly for presentation.

The results showed that that both women and men, young and old, showed improved mood, positive social behaviors and episodic memory after receiving flowers.

The social behaviors that were measured included initiation of conversations, eye contact, and standing at a more familiar social proximity. Non-flower gifts elicited less or no improvement in these areas.

These improvements were measured both immediately and weeks later, demonstrating a lasting effect on mood, social behavior and memory.

Live plants induce relaxation

In 2016, researchers studied men performing the same task – transferring pots for three minutes – with and without plants present. When live plants were present, the participants relaxed.

This was determined by significant differences in key physiological and psychological measurements, such as prefrontal cortex activity, heart rate variability and mood profile.

Images of Nature on Screens are also Effective

images of nature on screens are also effective

Viewing nature imagery on a screens induces relaxation and positive emotional response

In 2007, researchers found that individuals felt significantly less stressed, more friendly, playful and elated, and less fearful after viewing slide images of nature rather than urban scenes.

In 2018, researchers found significant evidence that viewing forest imagery induces physiological and psychological relaxation. Participants viewed images of either a forest landscape or a cityscape on a high definition television set.

After viewing forest imagery, participants’ oxyhemoglobin levels were decreased and they reported feeling much more “comfortable”, “relaxed” and “natural”.

Awe-inspiring images of nature can be especially potent

In 2014, researchers investigated whether there was any effect, or difference in effect, on people viewing mundane pictures of nature versus awe-inspiring scenes.

Images were shown on a computer screen and were grouped into three categories: awesome nature (such as grand mountain scenes or powerful storms), mundane nature (like grass, foliage or trees) and a control group (featuring objects like buckets, ladders or chairs).

Both types of nature images invoked significantly more feelings of being connected to others, feeling more caring and more spiritual than the control condition.

Both groups of nature images invoked an improved mood, more marked in the awesome images. The awesome images also lead to participants making more prosocial choices.

Photographs and Paintings of Nature can Reduce Stress and Improve Attention

photographs and paintings of nature can reduce stress and improve attention

Exposure to natural landscape art reduces anger and stress in males

A study in 2008 showed a significant reduction in anger and stress in males (but not females) when nature landscape art posters were displayed versus abstract art posters.

Participants were asked to perform frustrating tasks on a computer and then report their anger and stress levels.

In the natural landscape settings, the males in the experiment reported less stress and anger – the more natural landscapes were present, the less stress and anger was reported.

Viewing plants, or pictures of plants, reduces stress

In 2012, researchers found that people who viewed real plants and those who viewed images of plants experienced a reduction in stress as compared to the control group, which viewed none.

Viewing pictures of nature improves attention

In 2013, this study showed that viewing pictures of nature significantly improved executive attention in both older and younger adults, as opposed to pictures of urban scenes.

Viewing photos of natural scenery reduces impulsivity

In 2014, researchers concluded that exposure to photographs depicting natural scenery decreased impulsive decision making as compared to viewing photos of a cityscape.

Other Interesting Studies

Virtual reality nature experiences offer relaxation and stress relief

In 2019, researchers studied the effects of seven different simulated forest environments on stress relief and relaxation.

All the virtual reality environments proved to offer relaxing and stress-relieving effects.

The environment which included a prominent water feature was noted to be an especially powerful stress reliever.

Ceilings with sky images may support healthier dreaming and circadian rhythm

This 2014 study examined which differences in brain activity as measured by magnetic resonance imaging would be noted in hospital rooms with traditional ceilings and identical rooms which had sky images painted on the ceilings.

The rooms with sky compositions activated regions of the brain associated with spatial cognition, circadian rhythm, perceived motion and dreaming.

The plain-ceiling rooms activated regions related to facial processing and potential visual hallucinations.

Nature and Daylight Improves Mood and Reduces Stress

This 2018 study established positive effects of exposure to nature and daylight throughout everyday life on one’s mood and level of stress.

Viewing natural scenery promotes relaxation and enhances mood

In 2015, this study added to the body of evidence that seeing a natural forest landscape in person produced physiological and psychological relaxation and enhanced mood as compared to viewing an urban landscape.

Looking at a garden relieves stress and improves verbalization and memory in dementia

In 2018, researchers found that simply seeing a garden relieved physiological stress and improved verbalization and memory in people with advanced dementia.

The Conclusions are Clear: Viewing Images of Nature Improves Dementia

viewing images of nature improves dementia
Study after study has added to the body of evidence: seeing plants or images of nature offers substantial benefits to people with dementia.

Whether it’s a photograph, a television program, a view through a window or seeing it live and in person, viewing nature is an effective way to enhance the quality of life for people with dementia.

It can reduce pain, anxiety and stress, promote relaxation, improve mood and enhance mental functioning in many ways.

Adding live plants or images of nature into the environment for someone with dementia is an effective, and low-cost way to help them function at their best.

Walnuts and Dementia – Beneficial Effects

walnuts and dementia

For years, researchers have been investigating the link between the benefits of consuming walnuts and dementia lowered risk or treatment.

This is in a bid to identify foods or snacks that can either help prevent the development or progression of the illness. Professionals have been collecting data indicating that eating walnuts reduces inflammation and oxidative stress that builds up in the human brain as individuals grow older.

Many believe that oxidative stress and inflammation that occurs throughout an individual’s lifetime causes aging.

As time goes by, human bodies lose the ability to clean up the mess that occurs on a cellular level.

The build-up that occurs in the brain is partially responsible for the cognitive decline that elderly persons experience.

The concept of walnuts and dementia was borrowed from Greeks who believed in the “Doctrine of Signatures.”

This implies that a specific food item affects the body part that it resembles. For instance, walnuts resemble the brain; hence, walnuts improve brain health according to the “Doctrine of Signatures.”

Benefits of consuming walnuts

benefits of consuming walnuts
There are several reasons researchers consider the consumption of walnuts beneficial to persons who have dementia or are at the risk of developing the illness.

1. Walnuts have several components that are rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This helps to protect cells and fight off inflammation.

2. The nuts are a great source of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. These are no strangers to helping boost brain health according numerous studies.

3. Walnuts contain healthy fats that do a great job at nurturing the body’s cardiovascular and nervous system. Studies show that omega 3 fatty acids present in the nuts can improve things like blood pressure, abnormal heartbeats, and triglyceride levels.

4. English walnuts contain phytochemicals that include numerous polyunsaturated fatty acids that are beneficial for brain health.

5. Walnuts are rich in polyphenolic compounds that improve interneuronal signaling, reduce inflammatory and oxidant load on brain cells, and boost neurogenesis.

6. Walnuts contain huge amounts of PUFAs like LA and ALA that are known to boost brain function and health even when a person is aging.

7. The nuts have polyphenols that promote neuronal calcium homeostasis on the hippocampus and striatum regions of the brain. These are regions that are essential for secondary and primary memory functions.

8. Walnuts also contain melatonin a bioactive compound that is responsible for regulating circadian rhythms. A melatonin deficiency has been known to result in cognitive impairment and dementia.

Supplementation with walnuts can improve cognition

Both human and animal studies from various researchers propose that supplementation with walnuts in a person’s diet can improve cognition.

A diet that includes walnuts is said to have beneficial effects on learning, memory, anxiety, motor coordination, and locomotor activity. Human clinical trials also suggest that the consumption of walnuts is associated with improvement in memory and better cognitive performance.

Some experts through observational studies have confirmed that older people who eat walnuts tend to experience better brain function which can include better mental flexibility, faster processing speed, and improved memory.

Research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease indicated that walnuts may be beneficial in reducing risk, delaying the onset and slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is one of the most common causes of dementia. Below, you can find some of the studies that investigated the link between walnuts and dementia.

Studies on walnuts and dementia connection

studies on walnuts and dementia connection

A Study Citing Walnut Enriched Diet May Improve Memory

A study conducted by the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities confirmed what many experts say about walnut consumption and dementia. The researchers gave mice an equivalent of 1/4 cup of walnuts daily.

The professionals then tested their subjects to mazes and experiments that tested their psychomotor skills, coordination, and learning ability. The researchers found that the group of mice that were eating walnuts performed way better than the mice that were not on the diet.

Abha Chauhan the lead researcher was on record saying that there was a follow-up study suggesting that walnut extract could protect the brain from a protein known as beta-amyloid. This is the protein that often appears in the brain of individuals who have Alzheimer’s.

This is one of the discoveries that might help professionals with the development of novel treatments that can help people who have Alzheimer’s.

A Study Explaining Walnuts May Slow Cognitive Decline in At-Risk Seniors

A study conducted by researchers in Spain and California concluded that eating walnuts may help slow cognitive decline in elderly persons who are at risk. The study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explained that healthy seniors who consumed walnuts affected their cognitive function.

The study observed almost 640 free-living elders in California, Loma Linda, Spain, USA, Catalonia, and Barcelona. The test group ate walnuts every day for 2 years while the control group did not have any walnuts.

The principal investigator Joan Sabate MD, DrPH, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Loma Lina University stated that this was one of the most-controlled and largest trials that have been conducted in regards to the effects of nuts on cognition.

He further explained that even though the study produced a minor result, there may be better outcomes if the study was conducted for longer periods. Based on the findings, Sabate said that the need for more research to find out the perks of including walnuts in a person’s diet is still necessary.

Worth noting is that the research team was one of the pioneers to uncover the lowering effects of cholesterol when eating walnuts. These findings were published in 1993 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Additionally, researchers from Loma Linda University found that nut consumption relates to the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Closing Thoughts

Although numerous studies investigated walnuts and dementia, more research is still necessary.

The data collected through future research will ascertain whether or not the consumption of walnuts has a significant impact on brain function and health as people grow older.

Keep in mind that most studies confirm that the brain prefers the whole nut rather than the supplement.

You may be interested in reading more about the benefits of people with cognitive decline eating a variety of nuts and dementia.

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