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Night Time Light Exposure – Not a Bright Idea

We live in a very light polluted world in comparison to that of our very recent ancestors. Estimates now indicate that close to 99% of both Americans and Europeans are exposed to “light pollution.” Not only are we excessively exposed to light in modern times, but the type of light accounting for this exposure is changing rapidly. As we move away from incandescent lights in favor of light emitting diode (LED) technology, we are seeing an ever-increasing exposure to a particular part of the light spectrum – blue light, that has been associated with some worrisome effects in terms of human health.

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Energy Medicine – Fundamental in Alzheimer’s

Energy medicine is now front-and-center as a major consideration in trying to unravel the mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease. It’s now clear that a disruption of cellular energetics is fundamentally involved in the disease.

Multiple research studies have demonstrated that a decline in brain metabolism, specifically the brain’s utilization of glucose, is seen long before there are any clinical manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease. In other words, the first observable event in Alzheimer’s is the finding of reduced brain glucose utilization on a special type of brain scan. This observation presages the clinical manifestations like declining memory, judgment, and executive function by as much as several decades.

Why the brain suffers from this decline in its ability to use glucose as a fuel remains undefined, but new research is making the case that the hormone insulin is playing an important role in this event.

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Heavy Metals – A Risk for Alzheimer’s?

For years we’ve been seeing scientific literature describe the various health risks associated with having elevated levels of (potentially) toxic heavy metals. The reason this information is so important is because it opens the door to a discussion about both prevention and treatment for the associated diseases.

Certainly, one disease that draws interest from both perspectives is Alzheimer’s disease. Indeed, while the actual cause, or more appropriately causes, of this dreaded disease remains hidden, there’s been discussion over the years that having higher levels of various heavy metals may be playing a role.

To explore this relationship, a team of Chinese and American researchers reviewed a vast amount of scientific research to determine if there exists any valid relationship between higher blood levels of various heavy metals and the risk for developing Alzheimer’s. Their comprehensive meta-analysis focused on aluminum, mercury, cadmium, and lead.

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Probiotics for Mental Health

Probiotics for Mental Health

Recently, I was interviewed by the magazine Men’s Health to discuss the positive benefits of probiotics and their potential applications for improving mental health and conditions like depression. I wanted to dive a bit deeper into the thoughts I shared in the article, and go over some key takeaways. Read the article and let me know what you think!

The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD, and Melissa Schilling

The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD, and Melissa Schilling

Last year I had the opportunity to interview professor Melissa Schilling on the topic of diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, in reference to her publication in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

I find it very fascinating that her research and publication are really quite unrelated, seemingly, to her profession as Professor of Management at New York University Stern School of Business.

That said, as yet another manifestation that Prof. Schilling is truly a renaissance person, her new book, Quirky, explores the characteristics of some of the most incredible innovators who have changed the destiny of the world.

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Should We be Treating Hair Loss with Fecal Material?

Alopecia areata is a form of baldness that affects approximately 2% of people in the United States. In this condition, hair is lost from various parts of the body, typically the scalp. The actual cause of this condition is unknown, but new research clearly supports the idea that this disease is an autoimmune condition, meaning it is a manifestation of a disruption of the regulation of the immune system. There is certainly thought to be a genetic component as well.

Treatment for this condition is often unsuccessful, but includes medications designed to treat immune imbalance. This may include the use of steroids. Continue reading

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Is There a Link Between Medication Use During Infancy and Allergies in Early Childhood?

As we all know, allergic diseases, particularly in childhood, are becoming more and more common. It’s not just that we are becoming more aware of allergic diseases, think of the frequent announcements on airplanes about peanut allergies, or food allergy questions by the waiter at dinner. No, the reality of the situation is that, by and large, allergies are simply far more common than they used to be.

So, why is this happening? Let’s take a step back and recognize that the intestines, oddly enough, actually play an important role in determining our immune responsiveness. Specifically, we now understand that the gut lining itself actually plays an important role in regulating immune function. Permeability, or leakiness, of the gut lining is associated with alteration in immune function as well as changes to the set point of inflammation. Continue reading

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