BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – With his mother’s health in rapid decline from severe dementia, nutritional microbiologist Rick Panson paused his professional career to be at her side. However, after Panson altered his mother’s diet, she began to regain her cognition, and within a year she began to cook again.
Gramatan Village hosted a seminar for senior citizens that featured Sharp Again Naturally , a nonprofit organization that educates the public about using natural strategies to address Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and related neurological conditions.
The organization’s goal is to transform the conversation about dementia from being hopeless to being something a person can turn around, said Jacqui Bishop, a board member of Sharp Again Naturally and a former Bronxville resident.
Bishop's inspiration for the organization came out of a Holistic Practitioners of Westchester meeting in November 2011, where she overheard a filmmaker speak about Alzheimer’s cases being turned around though dietary adjustments.
"This news came about a year after my mother passed away from Alzheimer’s after 15 years of decline," Bishop said. "I didn't know how to respond or how to accept it, but I was just riveted. I've seen the footage and was, like, wow. I had never spoken to a medical professional who had ever heard anything like it."
The two filmmakers told Bishop how they had used up all their savings traveling the country. Determined to raise awareness, Bishop called a meeting at her house two days later and decided to form a nonprofit.
“The organization was started for two reasons: to get the word out about Alzheimer’s treatment, and to fund the documentary, which will need about $250,000 to be completed," Bishop said.
Millions of people around the world suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and while not everyone can be cured, not everyone is destined for that fate, said Panson, who also is a board member of Sharp Again Naturally.
"One of the main things that we're seeing about Alzheimer’s disease is that the brain needs more fats and oils," Panson said. "We were told that saturated fats were bad for you, but coconut oil, which is a natural saturated fat, is good for you and actually removes the bad saturated fats."
Bishop said she was experiencing symptoms of dementia, but noticed a dramatic improvement in her memory after she changed her diet.
"There are answers, and those answers have saved lives," Bishop said. "No matter what they tell you about it being hopeless, check it out first, rather than just swallowing the news. There's absolutely hope. I'm convinced if I had known what I know now, my mother and I would've been in Paris in the spring."
For more information about Sharp Again Naturally, or to make a donation, call Bishop at 914-997-9611 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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