Why the ancient Greeks didn’t get dementia, but Romans did

A close friend recently had to move her father into a long-term care facility. His dementia was progressing quickly, and her family felt it was the best option for his safety.

My family had to make a similar decision about a great-aunt several years back. 

While situations like these are sad, they’re also troubling — especially when you consider that most of us know at least one person who suffers from cognitive decline, dementia or Alzheimer’s.

But was it always like this?

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Did the ancients see our modern-day plague coming?

Thanks to an analysis of ancient texts, we know what Hippocrates, the Greek physician considered “the Father of Medicine,” was observing in his patients — and it wasn’t cognitive problems…

When researchers combed through his writings, there were no mentions of people of that time suffering from memory loss.

Ancient Greeks also apparently didn’t suffer from issues with speech and reasoning which now go hand in hand with symptoms of cognitive decline.

But when researchers searched ancient Roman texts, examples began to crop up. One notable mention by Pliny the Elder was that the senator and famous orator Valerius Messalla Corvinus forgot his own name.

What might have been different for the Romans?

As Roman cities became more populated, pollution increased — and cognitive decline began to creep up. But that’s not the only reason…

It’s well-known that the Romans used lead cooking vessels and lead water pipes. They even added lead acetate to their wine to sweeten the taste.

All the while they were poisoning themselves with what we now know is a powerful neurotoxin.

Lead — again!

The researchers who took a step back in time point out that Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are diseases of modern environments and sedentary lifestyles.

I hate to say I’m not surprised. I’m sure you remember reading how lead is worse on the heart than smoking or cholesterol. It’s one reason air pollution has been tied to heart disease and dementia.

And while lead-laden wine cups got left behind in ancient Rome, some decorative plates and glassware (like the ones used during the holidays) are sources of potential lead exposure today — but that’s just the tip of the iceberg…

In the U.S., experts have shown, we’re at risk of heightened lead exposure from:

There is a solution to the lead threat. EDTA (ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid), a lead chelating agent, was introduced decades ago to treat lead poisoning in employees in battery factories and WWII sailors who painted ships with lead-based paint.

Chelation is simply the process of chemically binding heavy metals so they can be pulled from the bloodstream and excreted through the urine. 

But unfortunately, most doctors don’t know enough about chelation therapy to talk about it, unless they are affiliated with the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM).

In cases of acute lead poisoning, EDTA chelation can be administered through IV. But since it’s a simple amino acid, it’s popularly taken in supplement form and supported by detox enthusiasts and integrative healthcare.

If you’re interested in learning more, we’re providing a link below to an e-book considered the quintessential guide to chelation.

In the meantime, do what you can to cut down on sources of lead exposure in your daily life.

Editor’s note: Have you heard of EDTA chelation therapy? It was developed originally to remove lead and other contaminants, including heavy metals, from the body. Its uses now run the gamut from varicose veins to circulation. Click here to discover Chelation: Natural Miracle for Protecting Your Heart and Enhancing Your Health!


Did dementia exist in ancient Greek and Rome? – ScienceDaily

Virginia Tims-Lawson

By Virginia Tims-Lawson

Virginia Tims-Lawson has dedicated her life to researching and studying natural health after her mother had a stroke that left her blind in one eye at the age of 47, and her grandmother and two great uncles died from heart attacks. Spurred by her family history, Virginia’s passion to improve her and her family’s health through alternative practices, nutrients and supplements has become a mission she shares through her writing. She is founder of the nutritional supplement company Peak Pure & Natural®.