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Lifestyle Choices Affect ALS Risk (1)

How Lifestyle Choices May Affect ALS Risk

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is almost uniformly fatal and is only increasing in incidence. While no one has as yet been able to pinpoint what may cause this disease, a new report published in the journal, JAMA Neurology offers up some important clues.

The study evaluated blood samples from 156 individuals with confirmed ALS and compared them to blood samples from 128 similarly aged controls. Blood concentrations of 122 environmental pollutants were studied, including organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), using highly sophisticated techniques including gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. To be sure, these chemicals are directly toxic to the nervous system and are highly persistent in the environment, as well as in the human body Continue reading

5 Alzheimers Facts

Five Incredible Alzheimer’s Facts You Probably Don’t Know

Today, take a moment to consider these five amazing facts about Alzheimer’s Disease. How many did you know before reading?

  • Alzheimer’s is treatable and reversible. We are constantly presented with the notion that “while there is no treatment of cure for Alzheimer’s, medical science may one day find a solution.” The truth is that researchers have now reversed the condition! Dale Bredesen, and his colleagues at the Buck Institute, have used a novel approach to actually reverse Alzheimer’s in a small sample of patients. Rather that attempt to develop a single drug, the magic bullet approach to disease, Bredesen’s team leveraged 36 different interventions including reducing blood sugar, increasing physical exercise, lowering homocysteine, optimizing vitamin D and regulating hormones, all of which helped to pave the way for Alzheimer’s patients to regain cognitive function.

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Marijuana Alzheimers

Marijuana as an Alzheimer’s Treatment?

There has been a lot of “buzz” lately about the potential of using marijuana as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. In a recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, scientists at the University of South Florida demonstrated how low levels of  delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the chemical found in marijuana that is thought to be responsible for the high, is able to reduce the formation of the sticky protein beta-amyloid, which accumulates in the Alzheimer’s brain. Indeed, as one of the study’s authors commented:

While we are still far from a consensus, this study indicates that THC and THC-related compounds may be of therapeutic value in Alzheimer’s disease.

But I need to point out that there is one major flaw in this potential breakthrough. Countless efforts have been directed at developing protocols and specific medications to help either rid the brain of beta-amyloid or reduce its production. Virtually all of these studies have produced complete failure, often making the test subjects decline more quickly, and with good reason. Continue reading

The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. Emeran Mayer

The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. Emeran Mayer

These days we are hearing so much about the so-called, “gut brain connection.” As many of you will note, this was the central thesis of Brain Maker.

On today’s program we will explore a new book, The Mind-Gut Connection, by my friend Dr. Emeran Mayer. Dr. Mayer is a Gastroenterologist, Neuroscientist and Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Physiology and Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.  He is the Executive Director of the Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology of Stress at UCLA. As one of the pioneers and leading researchers in the role of mind-brain-body interactions in health and chronic disease, his scientific contributions to the broad area of basic and translational enteric neurobiology with wide-ranging applications in clinical GI diseases and disorders is unparalleled. He has published more than 300 scientific papers, and co-edited 3 books. He is the recipient of the 2016 David McLean award from the American Psychosomatic Society. His most recent work has focused on the role of the gut microbiota in influencing the brain, the role of food addiction in obesity, and the role of the brain in chronic inflammatory diseases of the gut.

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A Note to Readers Digest

Worrisome Diabetes Advice from Reader’s Digest

Dear Reader’s Digest:

I recently reviewed some content on your website that identified The Best and Worst Drinks for Diabetics, and your recommendations were such that I feel compelled to author this response.

In this discussion, which is actually supportive of artificially sweetened beverages your page indicates:

… the American Diabetes Association still suggests that diet soda is a better alternative to a sugar-packed version for people watching their blood sugar. How much: If you already have a soda habit, it’s probably OK to sip one a day instead of a sugary version.

This unfortunate recommendation will likely endanger many diabetics and countless non-diabetics. Continue reading

Gratitude

On Gratitude

I recently found this wonderful quotation from author, Melody Beattie describing gratitude:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

I encourage you to reflect on this sentiment as you enjoy this holiday weekend with family and friends.

Probiotics Ear Infections

Probiotics for Childhood Ear Infections

Kids get a lot of ear infections. In fact, it has been estimated that as many as 80% of children will experience at least one event of an acute ear infection, technically called acute otitis media (AOM).

Often, as a consequence of AOM, kids will continue to have ear problems called secretary otitis media (SOM), characterized by persistent fluid in the middle ear cavity. This may occur on both sides, and is the reason some children ultimately have ear tubes inserted, to drain the fluid.

In a recent study, medical researchers in Italy explored the effectiveness of oral administration of a probiotic in a group of 22 children between the ages of 3 and 9 years, with a history of recurrent ear infections. The treatment group received a daily dose of a single strain probiotic, Streptococcus salivarius K12. Continue reading

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