In this section you will find everything pertaining to the subject of brain health and preventing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Whether you are wondering how to prevent Alzheimer’s or improve general brain function, this Alzheimer’s disease and dementia section explores the connection between proper lifestyle choices and brain preservation and development.
Category: Alzheimer’s and Dementia
An important part of my lectures over the past several years has been to emphasize how our lifestyle choices, around things like sleep, diet, and exercise, will ultimately impact the destiny of our brains. For example, we have long been discussing how exercising today relates to a healthy brain in the future, especially its association with reduced risk for dementia.
Now, new data is revealing that exercise not only has long-term benefits for brain health, but even more acute changes are being discovered that are clearly positive. Continue reading
So much has been written over the years extolling the health benefits of green tea. Green tea has been reported to be effective for weight loss, antioxidant effects, reducing risk of cancer, protecting the brain from Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s, reducing risk of heart attack, and even for helping a person live longer. As it turns out, there is a fair amount of validation supporting many of these health claims. In fact, as it relates to living longer, one very extensive Japanese study involving 40,000+ adults over 11 years, shows that those individuals who drank 5 cups of green tea or more each day saw their risk of death reduced by 23%, for women, and 12%, for men.
As you might expect, I am especially interested in research related to brain health and functionality. As such, I was extremely interested in a recent publication that evaluated one component in green tea that shows high biological activity. The chemical, epigallocatechin-3-galate, better known as EGCG, has been long known as being one of green tea’s components most responsible for its reported health benefits Continue reading
Today’s video takes a look at a subject that’s at the forefront of our discussion on this blog: how lifestyle choices can impact the fate of your brain. Specifically, we’re looking at how the lifestyle choices that can lead to the development of diabetes may also play a role in raising your risk for Alzheimer’s disease (remember, a disease for which there is no cure).
A new study, published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, explores changes we see in brain energetics, or the brain’s ability to utilize fuel. Traditionally this is looked at considering glucose, or sugar, as a fuel source. Continue reading
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
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
Without a doubt, we spend a lot of time in this forum discussing the influence of bacteria on the health of the gut, and how that translates into risk for disease elsewhere in the body. As it turns out, there are a multitude of other entities residing within the gut that are absolutely worthy of our attention.
Bacteriophages are a type of virus that can infect bacteria and alter their function. First identified in 1917, bacteriophages have been long overlooked in terms of their potential contribution to human disease.
Our interview today is with Dr. George Tetz, one of the world leaders in bacteriophage research. He has identified pathways whereby bacteriophages can alter gut bacteria in such a way so as to modify their function in the human body. His work relates bacteriophage activity with autoimmune conditions, like Type 1 diabetes. He has also found strong connections between bacteriophages and Parkinson’s disease, a subject into which he’ll dive deeper in our discussion. He believes that these bacteria-infecting viruses may also play a prominent role in other neurodegenerative conditions, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and even Alzheimer’s disease.
The implications of the science shared in this interview are many! I will state at the outset that some of the discussion is at a level that might be challenging for the non-researcher to understand, but there are some terrific takeaways and I would urge all of you to celebrate with me the accomplishments of this incredible scientist.
Finally, I mention a YouTube video that graphically illustrates the function of these bacteriophages. It’s very well-done, and worth a look.
Five years ago today, we embarked on an incredible journey. Together, we sought to understand the roots of brain health, and how we can help fend off ailments like dementia and Alzheimer’s, diseases for which there are no known cures. This journey began with the release of Grain Brain.
In the five years since, science has continued to investigate the roles carbs and gluten play in our health, and our message has moved to the mainstream. As a result, the information in Grain Brain is now accompanied by ongoing changes and revelations in the world of medicine. Today, I want to share with you the five most interesting things I’ve learned/seen since Grain Brain hit shelves. Continue reading
For a long time, there’s been an ongoing dialogue around the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in individuals who have had exposure to heavy metals, like mercury, lead, and aluminum.
Fortunately, researchers in China and the United States recently published a study that would give us some data with which to conduct a more informed analysis. What did they find? Let’s take a look. Continue reading
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.
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.