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The Safe and Effective Applications of Essential Oils in Alzheimer’s Dementia

March 25, 2017

The Safe and Effective Applications of Essential Oils in Alzheimer’s Dementia.

James L. Geiger MD            Abstract

The diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s dementia (AD) has gained much attention due to the current and predicted prevalence of the disease. The bio-markers of neural inflammation, oxidative stress, genetics and the multiple medical etiologies of AD coupled with the poly-pharmacy of co-morbid conditions and diseases associated with AD are complex. The medical diagnosis and treatments of AD need more reliability and integrative health regimens, such as supplementation with generally regarded as safe (GRAS) essential oils that could be implemented clinically to lessen the global economic impact to societies, and disruptions to families.

Treatment has focused on the management of AD based on the cholinergic theory attempting to prevent cognitive decline while preserving short-term memory with prescription medications. Certain essential oils exhibiting acetylcholinesterase inhibition (ACHEI) activity derived from natural phyto-preparations might also be utilized in the setting of the decreasing memory of AD. Prescription psychotropic medications might be therapeutically interchanged to certain essential oils to manage behavioral and psychiatric issues associated with AD. Advancing age and anesthesia increase the risk of post-operative cognitive decline (POCD) associated with common procedures and surgeries that AD patients commonly undergo. Globally, plant material preparations such as extracts and essential oils are analyzed for anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious and anti-anxiety, anti-depressive, analgesic and ACHEI activity.

The potential for use of GRAS essential oils as supplements in the prevention and treatment of the cognitive decline and behavioral disruptions of aging should be studied to determine the safe and effective methods of inhalational, topical and ingestion aromatherapy techniques. The landmark literature reviewed here explores the mechanisms and synergy of the aromatic sciences that can provide the basis for designing and implementing protocols for the integration of GRAS essential oils into the wide variety of clinical situations encountered in the aging population, with and without AD.

Keywords Alzheimer’s Dementia Memory Anxiety Aromatherapy Acetylcholinesterase Anesthesia Essential oils Lavender Ginger

Copyright James L. Geiger MD All rights reserved 2017

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