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
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.
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.
Alzheimer’s disease, now affecting about 5 ½ million Americans, is a disease for which we have no meaningful treatment whatsoever. That said, it certainly makes sense to look at various factors that contribute to the risk for this disease. Continue reading
Despite countless hundreds of millions of dollars dedicated to seeking out a meaningful treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, as of the time of this writing the pharmaceutical promise of dealing with this epidemic remains unfulfilled.
So, if there is no meaningful treatment, it would seem sensible to focus on how Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia could be prevented in the first place.
We fear Alzheimer’s as we fear no other disease for two reasons. It is the only all one of the nation’s ten most common causes of death for which there has been no effective treatment. And it is not only fatal: it robs its victims of their lives long before they are gone. But Dale E. Bredesen, MD, has turned the tables, showing that Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline can not only be prevented but, in many cases, reversed. Now, in this paradigm-shifting book, he brings hope, and the first good news, to Alzheimer’s patients, with a new understanding of the disease and a new program they can put into effect themselves. Dr. Bredesen reveals that Alzheimer’s is not one condition, as it is currently treated, but several. They are driven by different mechanisms and typically manifest in different ways and at different ages. But all are dramatically influenced by imbalances in thirty-six metabolic factors that can trigger “downsizing” in the brain. He then explains his research-based protocol, which addresses ways to rebalance these mechanisms by adjusting lifestyle factors; including micronutrients, hormone levels. stress, and sleep quality. He explores the critical role of diet in cognitive decline as well as the importance of autophagy, which involves a strict overnight fast. The results have been impressive. Of the first ten patients on the protocol, nine displayed significant improvement within three to six months; since then the protocol has yielded similar results with hundreds more. With wide-ranging patient stories that allow us to understand what it’s like to recover when recovery is deemed impossible, and specific information that will help patients, caregivers, physicians, and treatment centers put the protocol into action, this book will fundamentally change how we treat, prevent, and even think about Alzheimer’s disease.
The above quote is found on the inside cover of Dr. Dale Bredesen’s new book, The End of Alzheimer’s – The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline.
It’s my great honor and privilege to interview Dr. Bredesen for today’s segment of The Empowering Neurologist. I have known Dr. Bredesen for many years and have followed his work closely. He is clearly a pioneer and trailblazer, but more importantly, he is not afraid to challenge the mainstream medical world’s fixation with developing magic bullets, especially as it relates to dealing with a disease like Alzheimer’s. Rather, he has developed a far more comprehensive program that is proving successful – finally! Continue reading