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The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD, and Dr. Matthew Phillips

The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD, and Dr. Matthew Phillips

While there certainly are various medications that prove somewhat helpful in the treatment of symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease, it’s important to recognize that these medications are not actually treating the underlying disease itself.

We now understand that one of the pivotal mechanisms in Parkinson’s disease is the compromise of energy production at the mitochondrial level. This ultimately manifests as various problems, not just in the brain but throughout the entire body. With this understanding, specifically targeting mitochondrial function makes sense as a way of addressing this fundamental and underlying abnormality in Parkinson’s. Continue reading

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Alzheimer’s Drugs Worsen Cognitive Function

It’s becoming quite common these days to see news releases documenting the failure of yet another experimental drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, one major pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, indicated in February of this year that they were no longer going to pursue efforts to develop a drug to treat this disease, which is now reaching epidemic proportions.

That said, millions of Americans are already taking medication that is FDA approved, to “treat” their Alzheimer’s disease. Since these medications are FDA approved, one would expect that they’ve been extensively tested and proven not only safe, but effective as well. Continue reading

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Yes – Alzheimer’s Can be Reversed!

I’ve often been quoted as stating that there is no pharmaceutical approach that has meaningful effectiveness on the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, I have to continue to make this claim. As was recently reported in the journal Neurology:

Despite great scientific efforts to find treatments for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), only 5 medications are marketed, with limited beneficial effects on symptoms, on a limited proportion of patients, without modification of disease course. The prevalence of AD doubles every 5 years reaching an alarming rate of 50% in those aged 85 years and older. In the context of the demographic trends of modern society, where the elderly are the fastest growing segment of the population, identification of new therapeutic targets that may prevent, delay, or cure AD is critically needed. (italics added).

The authors reemphasize what we know: that there is no silver bullet available now, or in the foreseeable future, that will help with this devastating and fatal condition. Continue reading

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9+ Foods to Improve Brain Health and Memory

By: The Dr. Perlmutter Team

As I’ve stated before, one of the most fascinating things about the human brain is that neuroplasticity, the process by which the brain undergoes changes in response to internal and external stimuli, affords us a great deal of control in determining the overall health of our brain. While there are many lifestyle changes one can make to improve overall brain health, studies have shown that dietary factors can have a significant impact. Choosing which foods you use to fuel your body goes far beyond counting calories; the macronutrients—fats, proteins, and carbohydrates—you emphasize in shaping your diet can have major repercussions for brain health. There is evidence to suggest that individuals who consume a diet high in carbohydrates have an 89% increased risk of developing dementia, while people who consume a diet high in healthy fats actually reduce their risk by 44%. Ensuring that the foods you consume are high in antioxidants, rich in healthy fats, low in carbohydrates, and powerfully anti-inflammatory can go a long way towards optimizing brain health and boosting memory and cognition.

Foods to Improve Brain Health and Memory

Generally speaking, I recommend a diet that is higher in fat and fiber, low in carbs, and rich in gut-healthy probiotics. To that end, please read on for some suggestions on specific foods around which to build a brain-boosting diet!

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The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. James DiNicolantonio

The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. James DiNicolantonio

Without question one of the most common recommendations made when adults visit a medical practitioner is to reduce their sodium consumption. We’ve all been led to believe that salt is about the worst food additive out there and that it will make everybody hypertensive and affect heart and kidney functioning as well.

But much like the castigation of saturated fat, there is another side of this story we’re just now learning. Dietary sodium may have some very important positive attributes. Sodium, it turns out, it is important for the function of the hormone insulin and as such, deficiencies of sodium may relate to diabetes. Other problems that may be associated with not consuming enough salt include sleep dysfunction, poor energy, loss of mental focus, declining athletic performance, and even poor sexual performance.

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Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Your Brain and Body

With all of the hype around fasting, you may believe it to be just another modern dietary fad, but the truth is that fasting is as old as our species. Until very recently, humans have always had periods of going without food. Fasting is baked into our evolution and our physiology and it can yield benefits to our brains and bodies, at a biochemical level, that we’re only just beginning to understand.

Many of us are blessed to live in a world with abundant food, but that wasn’t always the case. Throughout our evolutionary history, sometimes days, weeks, and months would pass during which food resources were scarce. These periods without food provided small hormetic stresses on our genome — meaning stresses that turn out to be beneficial to our bodies. In the absence of calories, life-sustaining, protective genes responsible for cellular repair and protection are activated, inflammation is reduced, and anti-oxidative defenses are increased.

This means that simply going without food for a while may have anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor benefits that are available to anyone, at any time.

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