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Alzheimer’s Disease: Recent Research
P. Anthony Chapdelaine, Jr., MD, MSPH, Exec. Dir./Sec.*
Ayesha Sherzai,MD and Dean Sherzai, MD Co-Directors of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program Loma Linda University Medical Center, Cedars-Sinai
http://teamsherzai.com/ includes a screening test to estimate your risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.
The Alzheimer’s Solution Anti-Alzheimer’s Meal Plan. Population-based on the “Bluezones”
Research on animals shows what is also going on with human brains. To a large extent Alzheimer’s Disease can be considered “Diabetes of the Brain,” or “Type III Diabetes.” There are mechanisms (when we sleep) in the normal brain to replace amyloid (plaques which form all the time). Insulin resistance (which develops while consuming sugar or foods that convert quickly to sugar) blocks these mechanisms, leading to “Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Examples of changes that decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease:
• Eliminate and replace obvious sugars. What is OK: whole grain breads, whole fruits.
• Fill one-half the plate with low glycemic vegetables; protein and grains in the other half-plate.
• Fifty grams of fiber daily. (This also eliminates 80% of Diabetes.)
• One day each week replace a serving of meat with ½ cup legumes (such as kidney and pinto) and 1 cup of whole grains (such as quinoa, oats, or barley).
• Brain boosters include:
o an extract of turmeric (curcumin): this is anti-amyloid
o sunflower seeds: contain PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids), minerals, and vitamins which enhance each other (synergy)
o Sauerkraut (or other good sources of probiotics): provide good gut bacteria which helps communication between the gut and the brain
David Bredesen, MD, UCLA researcher
The End of Alzheimer’s describes the first clinical reversal of Alzheimer’s disease dementia.
Dr. Bredesen helped to develop a clinical protocol to reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease.
This approach is based on the last thirty years of research on Alzheimer’s Disease.
• Amyloid production is a protective response to three problems:
o Chronic inflammation
o Loss of trophic support (such as hormones, dietary nutrients, growth factors)
o Toxic exposure (such as mercury, pesticides, mold toxins)
The Protocol involves working on all the factors at one time:
Blood tests, cognitive tests, brain scans and other tests are used to evaluate the deficiencies.
• The diet involves “Ketoflex 12-3” which means twelve to 16 hours of fasting overnight with the first 3 hours of the fast occurring after dinner. This produces a mild “ketosis.” Ketones fuel the brain (instead of using sugar). This then creates more Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factors (BDNF) that help to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.
• The diet is plant based (vegetables), and allows small amounts of wild-caught fish and plant-based beef.
Although the Protocol seems difficult, patients with early to moderate symptoms of Alzheimer’s who follow the program show great improvement, including reversal of memory loss and an increase in the number of brain cells, within a few months.
Two trials are now underway at Providence Health Care and the Cleveland Clinic.
Richard Isaacson, MD, New York Presbyterian
Go to https://www.Alzu.org and take the Alzheimer’s screening test, which tracks eye movements.
Rudy Tanzi, MD, Harvard, Alzheimer’s Genome Project
Dr. Tanzi is investigating new gene candidates that affect the pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Super Genes with coauthor Deepak Chopra is one of his latest books.
Wendy Suzuki, MD, New York University Center for Neural Science, Suzuki Lab
She is investigating brain “plasticity,” the brain’s ability to change by responding to the environment.
Also, Dr. Suzuki is interested in how aerobic exercise affects: long-term memory that depends on the brain’s hippocampus area, decision-making functions of the prefrontal cortex, mood and imagination or creativity.
Other Important Research Findings:
• One-third of Alzheimer’s Disease is preventable through lifestyle choices: obesity, hypertension, sedentary (lack of exercise), and smoking.
• Exercise produces new brain cells.
• REM (dream) sleep helps to clear amyloid from the brain.
• Sleep for at least 8 hours; handle stress; interact with other people (loneliness produces toxins); exercise (aerobic); learn new things; follow a healthy diet (like the Mediterranean Diet)
• “Soda Brain” may cause the brain to shrink. Diet Soda can triple the risk of stroke and dementia.
• Bacteria and Viruses (poor dental and regular hygiene) can cause Alzheimer’s Disease: Periodontal disease (always floss); putting fingers in the nose; cold sores (Herpes virus type I) two or more times a year; possibly Lyme Disease. Amyloid plaques are protecting the brain from infection, but in the process they cause inflammation and tangles. One bacterium is sufficient to produce plaque overnight.
* The National Alzheimer’s Disease Institute is a project of The National Fund for Alternative Medicine