Neurodegeneration in the naturopathic clinic: addressing an urgent need for early intervention

As the single greatest cause of disability in people aged 65 and over, dementia poses an enormous individual, healthcare and economic burden. Equally concerning are the devastating effects dementia can have on caregivers and family members. Evidence suggests that the pathophysiological process of dementia commences many years, if not decades, before a clinical diagnosis is reached. Despite the extended preclinical phase, current medical treatments only act to control or modify the symptoms rather than alter the course of the disease. Therefore, there is an urgent and unmet need for early intervention in at-risk patients, and natural medicine practitioners are uniquely placed to provide holistic and evidence-based care.

Dementia affects 1 in 10 individuals over the age of 65 and 4 in 10 over the age of 85. As many countries continue to face the economic and health challenges of an ageing population, natural health practitioners are well placed to play a critical supportive role.

In this session, delegates will gain a practical blueprint for assessing and managing neurodegenerative conditions, drawing on both naturopathic principles and contemporary scientific evidence. Delegates will be able to Identify opportunities for intervention in at-risk individuals and provide support for patients at the various stages of disease presentation.

Learning Outcomes:

• An overview of the underlying drivers of age-related neurodegeneration
• Understand the role of plasmalogens as a critical structural and functional nutrient in brain architecture and its therapeutic value in neurodegenerative conditions
• A detailed understanding of evidence-based complementary medicines which can be used to prevent and manage patients presenting with neurodegenerative diseases
• An appreciation of modifiable diet, lifestyle, and social interventions in prevention and management
• Best-practice clinical guidelines for management at various stages of disease presentation