New study out of California has shocking indications.
New study out of California has shocking indications.
Ways you could be causing or worsening anxiety, and solutions.
While researchers cannot yet agree on a single “cause” of Alzheimer’s, there are several known factors that play into the risks of having this devastating disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, you are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s if any of the following applies…
As you might suspect from the name, neurotransmitters are the brain’s “chemical messengers” — transmitting important messages between nerve cells (called neurons).
Neurotransmitters come packaged in tiny bubbles called vesicles. And every millisecond, billions of your brain cells use vesicles to send signals to each other..[i]
Typically, each vesicle holds only a single type of neurotransmitter with specific functions.
For example, the neurotransmitter dopamine is associated with memory and cognitive skills.
The neurotransmitter serotonin helps regulate mood and sleep.
And the neurotransmitter, GABA, can boost mood or have a calming, relaxing effect on the nervous system.
Remember cod liver oil? Your grandma or even mother may have made you take that as a kid.
Of course, back in those days it was a ‘spoon and you choke it down’; no fancy gummies or flavors of questionable ingredients back then!
As unpleasant as that may have been, turns out granny was right…
Fish oil, which is chock full of omega-3, is absolutely necessary for optimal health and wellness.
Omega-3 is known as an “essential” fatty acid. The long list of potential health benefits your body receives from omega-3 includes your eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels; sperm cells, immune system, hormone balance, and brain health.
And, research indicates that consuming more omega-3s from fish may lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, dementia, and cognitive decline. We’ll look more closely at that in a moment. But first…
Recently, I was able to sit down for a fascinating talk with author, speaker, and “food revolutionary” Ocean Robbins along with leading medical experts.
On our plate (so to speak) was a great discussion of the anti-inflammatory spice turmeric.
An excerpt from interviews with several experts:
Dr. Michael Merzenich
Alzheimer’s is not a disease. It’s the end stage of a decade’s long negative progression that ultimately results in a catastrophe. You should be thinking about how to stop the decade’s long progression from ever happening, or at least delay it for probably indefinitely in most people. When you do that, the changes that you drive in the brain will lead to substantial increases in longevity.
Dr. Dale Bredesen
Doctors have been quite good about telling people that standard therapies are not terribly effective; that you’ll get a small improvement, and they will not affect the decline. But that tells people things are hopeless. Unfortunately then, people think there’s not a lot to be done, so they will wait as long
as possible instead of coming in as early as possible for prevention or reversal.
Dr. Daniel Amen
If you’re blessed to live until you’re 85 or older, you have a one in two chance of having lost your mind. We need to be serious about brain health, whether we’re young, in the middle, or old because it affects everyone.
Dr. Larry Mamaya
Brain scans help because how do you know how to treat an issue unless you look? The type of study we look at is called SPECT. It’s a functional brain imaging tool that’s based on brain blood flow. On a healthy scan, we should see a smooth top surface, smooth underside, smooth, symmetrical on the side views. No holes or dents anywhere, which actually indicates compromised blood flow and brain shrinkage. Those areas have certain functions, and those functions get compromised, depending on where you see the location of those compromised areas. The scan can also show areas of increased activity, and based on how the brain is functioning, that allows you to go in the right direction of treatment.
You can change your brain. You can do a very thorough, proper evaluation doing careful assessments of what might be the best treatment for someone, and people can get better.
Dr. Daniel Amen
Brain health is super simple. You have to care about it, avoid things that hurt it, and do things that help it. To keep your brain healthy or rescue it, you have to prevent or treat the 11 major risk factors, which we call Bright Minds.
The B stands for blood flow. Low blood flow is the number one brain predictor. Anything that damages your blood vessels damages your brain. If you have blood flow problems anywhere in the body, it means it’s everywhere.
R stands for Retirement and aging. When you stop learning, your brain starts dying, and the older you get, the more serious you need to be because age is stealing your reserves. New learning needs to be part of every day of your life.
I stands for Inflammation. When you have chronic inflammation in your body, it’s like you have a low level fire that’s destroying your organs. Inflammation is associated with both depression and dementia.
G is Genetics. People think there’s nothing they can do about it, but that’s the wrong way to think. If you have Alzheimer’s in your family, you need to be serious about brain health as soon as possible.
H is Head Trauma. Helmets don’t protect you against brain damage. They protect you against skull fractures, but your brain floats in water. So if you get a big hit, it vibrates, which tears blood vessels, damages neurons, and bruises the brain. So protect your brain, or you’ll be rehabilitating it.
T is Toxins. They are everywhere. When I first started imaging people, I could clearly see alcohol is not a health food. It decreases overall blood flow in your brain. The scans taught us about all sorts of other toxins like heavy metal exposure. Lead and mercury are clearly neurotoxins. Mold is so damaging to brain function. You have to prevent, limit, or decrease exposure.
M is Mental health issues. Depression doubles the risk of Alzheimer’s in women, quadruples the risk in men. Post-traumatic stress disorder, being under chronic stress shrinks a part of your brain called the hippocampus. You don’t have to take medicine. Kill the ANTs—the automatic negative thoughts that steal your happiness—and exercise. Exercise is one of the best things that you can do for mental health.
The second I is Immunity and Infections. You want to boost your immunity, and your gut has a lot of your immune tissue so having a healthy gut is really important, along with vitamin D.
N stands for Neuro hormone deficiencies. Low thyroid and low testosterone go with low function of your brain. When testosterone is low, your libido’s low, and strength, motivation, mood, and memory are low. To optimize testosterone, kill the sugar and start lifting weights.
D is diabesity, which is a combination of having high blood sugar and/or you’re overweight or obese. As your weight goes up, the actual physical size and function of your brain goes down. Diet is so important.
S is sleep. Sleep apnea triples the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, so if you have sleep apnea, get it treated.
Dr. Ben Johnson
Alzheimer’s is preventable, and it is even reversible up through stage four, maybe stage five. We can hold the line probably at stage six. If you’re stage seven, there’s not much we can do.
Dr. Dale Bredesen
We want to do everything possible to make people better. It’s like a concert. What’s the one instrument that makes the orchestra? There isn’t just one instrument. You’ve got to put the whole thing together to make it work, and the results we’ve seen have been unprecedented. People improve in their MoCA scores, go back to work, increase their hippocampal volume, and spouses say, “I have my spouse back.” It’s absolutely striking.
It typically takes three to six months before you see really striking differences, but keep at it, and include
the diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, and the rest of the program, and don’t stop. If you’re not improving, then you’re missing something in your evaluation and/or treatment.
“Mental health has two dimensions—absence of mental illness and presence of a well-adjusted personality that contributes effectively to the life of the community.” – Abraham Verghese
Every year about a quarter of the US adult population deals with diagnosable mental health problems.
Too often we are told that mental illness is simply a hormonal imbalance, and we are just genetically predisposed toward a particular mental health problem. However, science is discovering that, while genetics plays a role in all this, we are not doomed by our genetics. The environment we live in and the choices we make can alter our genetic expression.
Continually ruminating on past events is often a sign of depression. By living in the past, we often feel that we don’t connect with those in the present. We feel different or distant from all those around us.
Anxiety, however, is when we are focusing on the future and trying to determine the outcome. Because our minds have limited information, we tend to fill in the gaps. If we’ve had failures or bad experiences, like trauma or abuse in the past, our mind will fill in those gaps with ideas of failure or bad experiences, creating an overwhelming fight or flight reflex.
Both depression and anxiety lead to prolonged cortisol exposure, which can lead to chronic illness. A recent wave of research has unveiled that stress is also a player in the genesis of neurodegenerative disease. Research has also linked neuroinflammation as a major contributing factor.
Depression, anxiety, and neurodegeneration are common comorbid conditions. They are more than just what’s in your mind. It’s a whole body effect, and all of these are curable. They take lifestyle modifications and thinking modifications, but they are all reversible.
Many factors cause and contribute to these diseases, including environmental stressors, leaky gut or intestinal permeability, mental/mind/emotional stressors, and genetics.
While there are some factors that we cannot/could not control, the sooner we begin a lifestyle that reduces the factors that cause disease and increase the factors that cause health, the less likely we will develop neurodegenerative diseases.
Indeed, a world authority on brain health, Dr. Michael Merzenich, states that Alzheimer’s is not a disease – it’s the end stage of a decades-long negative progression (1).
Dr. Merzenich believes that Alzheimer’s can be prevented or at least delayed for probably indefinitely, and that when you do that, the changes that you drive in the brain will lead to substantial increases in longevity.
In the nun study (2), the nuns who were on plant-based, whole foods nutrition throughout their entire life had perfect brain function and never developed Alzheimer’s or dementia. But in the group of nuns who were eating meat, cheese, eggs and dairy products, the incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia was statistically similar to the rest of the population. Both groups were away from stress, didn’t have to worry about a job, and lived under the same conditions. The only difference was their diet.
Even Dr. Alois Alzheimer (after whom the disease is named), stated that the Alzheimer’s condition was found in people who ate a lot of animal products. They had high LDL cholesterol that clogged up the arteries to the brain. That reduces circulation to the brain through the small capillaries and then you can’t think clearly.
According to Dr. Ben Johnson, diet is the number one factor for good health. He believes that sugar and sugar spikes are huge causal factors for Alzheimer’s, as well as diabetes and cancer.
A diet rich with fresh vegetables (particularly dark leafy greens), fruit, whole grains, lentils and beans, nuts, herbs and spices, healthy fats, and low in red meat and processed foods is good for brain health.
We not only want to be eating the right things, but fasting is also an extremely healthy practice. A study (3) shows that cycles of prolonged fasting not only protect against immune system damage but also induce immune system regeneration, shifting stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.
Brain inflammation is a serious problem that is impacting a large percentage of our society. Some of the best foods to help reduce inflammation include fermented foods and liquids, broccoli, hemp oil, foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, tart cherries, soaked walnuts, pineapple, spinach, and spices, such as ginger and turmeric (4). The closer you can stay to a whole-foods diet and avoid GMOs, the less inflammation you will experience.
Researchers found that regular aerobic exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning (5). Moderate-intensity exercises such as dancing, swimming, cycling, tennis or soccer will all promote brain health. Vigorous housework is also on the list!
We need lots of fluid for both inside and outside the cells. Tap water and water in plastic bottles, which is often mostly tap water, are not the best (6). Fresh water that’s cleansed with activated charcoal (7) and other substances is best.
You need to rest and have your down time. Sleep is a time for brain cleansing (8). Adults should be aiming to sleep for seven to nine hours a night (9).
It has been said that nine out of ten conditions actually start in the mind, in the heart. So just the thoughts that we think and the emotions that we feel will have a dramatic affect.
Essential oils have a direct ability to primarily affect the limbic system, which is your mood, emotions, and remembrance. Studies have shown that diffusing citrus oils on the nurse station have created positive work-life balance for nurses, and they reported being happier at work, less stressed, less anxiety, and overall their life became better.
There are so many natural ways to combat the devastating depression, anxiety and neurodegenerative diseases of dementia and Alzheimer’s that we can’t cover them all here.
(2) Robert Goldman, Lisa Berger, Ronald Klatz. ‘Brain Fitness: Anti-Aging to Fight Alzheimer’s Disease, Supercharge Your Memory, Sharpen Your Intelligence, De-Stress Your Mind, Control Mood Swings, and Much More’, 1999 Doubleday, Random House Inc.
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