To Your Health: Dementia

To Your Health: Dementia

Dr. Alan Safdi was one of the most popular speakers at the Telluride First Foundation’s inaugural Integrative Wellness Summit . He is scheduled to speak again at the 2nd annual conference, which takes place September 9 – 11 and also features Deepak Chopra (streaming live); Dr. David Agus; Chris Crowley and Bill Fabrocini, collaborators on the “Younger/Thinner Next…” series; and more. Jewel is the Friday night keynote speaking on personal growth and wellness. The singer-songwriter also plans to perform songs that highlight life lessons learned. For more about the speakers, go here. To purchase tickets, go here.

A regular contributor to Telluride Inside… and Out, Dr. Safdi’s column is entitled “To Your Health.” (Search under the column name or Safdi’s name on our home page to find all his eye-opening posts)

In March, Dr. Safdi (and his colleague Dr. William Renner) spoke at a 3-day wellness symposium on a variety of hot topics in the field of health and wellness. Safdi and Renner continue that series this summer and fall at a continuation of the Telluride Wellness Summit. Talks are planned for August 2 – 4; at the IntegrativeWellness Summit on September 11; and again, September 28-30. Go here to register.

In the run-up to both events, to whet the appetite for what’s to come, Telluride Inside.. and Out is hosting a weekly series of podcasts on subjects in medical headlines today, including exercise, supplements, longevity, diet and nutrition, break-throughs in cancer research. 

This week, Dr. Safid takes a long hard look at dementia. 

Scroll down to the bottom of the story to listen to his podcast on the subject.




How do we prepare for death? How will my family care for me? What is a complete life?

Those are some of the questions posed in the movie “Still Alice,” in which an accomplished, successful linguistics professor (award-winning actress Julianne Moore) and her family find their bonds tested when she is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

But as it turns out, Alice’s condition is relatively rare.

Familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD), a form of Alzheimer’s that is entirely passed down through family and inherited through a parent, accounts for between 2-3% of all Alzheimer’s cases and usually has a much earlier onset than other types of Alzheimer’s, with symptoms developing in a person’s ‘30s or ‘40s.

What’s more, of all the people with Alzheimer’s disease, only about 5 percent develop symptoms before age 65.

Even more surprising to many, Alzheimer and dementia are not synonymous. Fact is Alzheimer’s is just one form of dementia; other include vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease dementia, dementia caused by a head injury, etc.

According to Dr. Safdi, “dementia” is the general term for a group of brain disorders that cause memory problems and make it hard to think clearly. Symptoms of dementia often start off very mild but get worse slowly. Early warning signs can include:

• Forgetting all sorts of things

• Confusion

• Trouble with language (for example, not being able to find the right words for things)

• Trouble concentrating and reasoning

• Problems with tasks such as paying bills or balancing a checkbook

• Getting lost in familiar places

If you think you or someone close to you is showing signs of dementia, you should see a doctor or nurse. Sometimes memory loss and confusion are caused by medical problems other than dementia and can be treated. For example, people with diabetes sometimes show signs of confusion when their blood sugar is not well controlled.

Check out my podcast with Dr. Alan Safdi to find out more about the dreaded subject of dementia (which again, is not synonymous with Alzheimer’s.)


Editor’s Note: 

Our relationship with Dr. Alan Safdi started several years ago when we attended a Wellness Conference at The Peaks Resort & Spa. Dr. Safdi, is a gastroenterologist with a talent for offering evidence-based medical findings for healthy living in easily digestible sound bytes. We next heard him speak at Telluride First Foundation’s inaugural Integrative Wellness Conference, where the audience got just a taste of his encyclopedic knowledge on mind-body wellness.

More about Dr. Alan Safdi:

Dr. Alan Safdi
Dr. Alan Safdi

Dr. Alan Safdi is a speaker, contributor, and serves on the advisory board of the Telluride First Foundation.

He is board certified in Internal Medicine and in Gastroenterology and a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology. A proven leader in the healthcare arena, Safdi has been featured on the national program “Medical Crossfire” and authored or co-authored numerous medical articles and abstracts. He has been an investigator in over 581 studies and is President of both the Consultants For Clinical Research and the Ohio Gastroenterology and Liver Institute.

Dr. Safdi has been involved in grant-based and clinical research for about 35 years and is passionate about disease prevention and wellness, not just fixing what has gone wrong. He is an international lecturer on the subjects of wellness, nutrition, and gastroenterology.

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