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Saying that memory loss is normal when it comes to aging is somewhat like carrying around a loaded gun without the safety on.  Many people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are misdiagnosed due to this common misperception. 

Although, it’s true that the memory does falter as we age, to a certain extent, there is a major difference between normal aging memory loss, and that of a person in the beginning stages of AD.  Namely, normal aging memory loss involves forgetting memories that can later be retrieved.  In AD, the memories are lost permanently—with no chance of recall at a later point in time.  Normal aging of the brain affects memory by slowing down the processing speed.

According to a recent Harvard News report, “In terms of brain function, everyone has a decline over time in all areas, with the exception of vocabulary,” says Dr. Joel Salinas, a neurologist specializing in behavioral neurology and Neuropsychiatry at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

How Memory Works in the Brain

Several areas of the brain are involved in memory.  Initially the cerebral cortex takes in new information from our senses, next the amygdala “tags” the information as noteworthy to be stored, and finally, the hippocampus (an area initially affected by AD) stores the memories.  The frontal lobes of the brain are involved in the job of retrieving information in the form of memories. 

There are basically 3 memory processes that occur in the brain.  These 3 processes work to encode, record, and retrieve information in the form of memories.  So, initially the brain encodes or takes in new information, next, it stores it, and finally the brain accesses the stored information and retrieves the memories when called upon.

Improving Memory in the Normal Aging Brain

There are many factors that can adversely affect a person’s memory (in addition to memory loss from Alzheimer’s disease).  These include, sleep deprivation, depression, anxiety, and side effects of many types of medication.  If you, or a person you know has memory problems, it’s important to see a physician.  The factors that should be addressed include, screening for AD and other conditions such as, anxiety and depression, medication checks (to evaluate whether drug side effects are part of the problem) and a sleep pattern evaluation.      

Tips for Boosting Memory from Harvard Health

  1. Use repetition to repeat what you hear out loud, “With each repetition, your brain has another opportunity to encode the information,” explains Dr. Salinas. “The connections between brain cells are reinforced, much like blazing a trail in the woods. The more you walk the same trail, the easier it is to walk it the next time.”
  2. Write down information that is important to help jog the memory.
  3. Form associations with new information to something that is familiar—that you already know.  For example, when trying to remember a new person’s name, search your memory to recall other people you know well with the same name, and then try to form an association that stands out, such as: they both have dark hair, or they are both left handed.
  4. Put the information into a storyline if possible, “Our brain is good at sequences, and putting things into a story helps. The more ridiculous, the more memorable it is. For example, if your list is milk, eggs, and bread, the story could be that you are having milk with Elvis over an egg sandwich,” Dr. Salinas suggests.
  5. Separate large amounts of information into segments.  For example, when trying to memorize a long number or lines for a play or a speech, focus on memorizing one sentence or one number sequence at a time. “It’s hard to store a long number,” says Dr. Salinas, “but easier to store little bits through working memory.” If you’re trying to memorize a speech for a wedding toast, focus on getting only one sentence or idea down at a time, not the whole speech in one take,”Salinas adds.

Learn more about memory loss and Alzheimer’s Prevention by CLICKING HERE to view the new groundbreaking book, Alzheimer’s Treatment, Alzheimer’s Prevention Diet book, by Dr. Richard Isaacson, M.D., Harvard trained neurologist.  

The post Normal Aging vs Alzheimer’s Memory Loss: 5 Tips from Harvard Health for Improving Memory appeared first on The AD Plan.

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You may not know it, but preventing blood clots may be one important aspect of Alzheimer’s prevention.  A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body (usually in the legs, but sometimes in the upper body). A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a sudden blockage in the artery of the lung, usually due to a blood clot that travels from a deep leg vein to the lungs.

It’s common knowledge that cardiovascular disease increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  But, heart attacks and strokes are associated with blood clots in the arteries (not in the veins).  So, how is a DVT associated with high risk for AD?  Read on to find out.

Veins and arteries are like one-way streets.  Arteries transport oxygenated blood from the heart to the tissues throughout the body, and veins carry the blood to the lungs to be oxygenated–and then back to the heart. 

Studies on DVTs, Heart Attacks and Strokes

Although DVT’s are in the veins, and NOT in the arteries, recent studies have shown that having a deep vein thrombosis may put a person at higher risk for heart attack or stroke in the first year after diagnosis of a DVT, according to Danish researchers.

The Danish study, published in The Lancet, involved over 200,000 adults aged 40 and older; 26,000 study participants were DVT patients and 17,000 who had been diagnosed with pulmonary embolism-the remaining participants had no history of DVT or embolism. 

Participants were followed for up to 20 years. For DVT and pulmonary embolism patients, that period began when they left the hospital after treatment.

Study Results

After patients who were diagnosed with DVT or pulmonary embolism (PE), left the hospital, those in the study underwent follow up for 20 years.  Here are the study results:

-Heart attacks and strokes were noted at a 60% higher rate in the first year after a DVT or PE (compared to those who never had a   DVT or PE). 

-Heart attacks were twice as common, and strokes were 3 times more prevalent in the first year after PE.

-Over the 20 year span (after the first year), risks remained 20% to 40% higher than average. 

Common Causes of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Common causes of DVT include, sitting for very long periods of time (such as on an airplane) causing the blood in the lower extremities to pool, or due to other types of long term inactivity such as after surgery.  The blood begins to pool as a direct result of chronic inactivity, which can lead to thickening of the blood due to improper circulation–and subsequently lead to clotting.

These clots are most likely to occur in the lower extremities, but they can also happen in the arms or other areas of the body.  If the clot starts to move throughout the blood vessels, it could end up in the lungs—causing a life threatening pulmonary embolism.

Prevention

Simple movement exercises can help prevent dangerous blood clots. 

Here are some tips on movements and prevention measures for DVT, according to Eric Robertson, spokesman for the American Physical Therapy Association, and assistant profession of physical therapy program, at Regis University in Denver:

  • Avoid being immobile for extended periods of time.
  • If you are on a long airplane trip, be sure to get up and walk around frequently during the flight whenever it’s safe to do so.
  • Stop smoking, smoking raises your risk of clots because it interferes with normal blood circulation.
  • Engage in frequent movements and stretches.
  • Take short walks whenever you are able, particularly after surgery (even moving around in the bed and getting up and down helps).
  • If you are unable to walk around, perform seated exercises every 30 minutes (5 to 10 reps) including, foot pumps, ankle circles, leg raises and shoulder rolls.
  • If you are bedridden, do frequent stretches such as foot pumps, stretching your toes up and back, and flexing the feet and holding for a few seconds, then pointing the toes.  Thigh stretches, stretch the hamstring muscle located on the back of the thigh by lifting legs up straight (one at a time) to a 90 degree angle with the body, then gently pull the leg forward and hold for 30 seconds.

Treatment

Once you have a clot, it’s vital to seek medical attention immediately.  If you suspect a blood clot, avoid any type of exercise as that might potentiate the clot moving from the extremities to the lungs, where it could be fatal.  The physician will prescribe a type of medication that will help treat blood clots called an anticoagulant.  Anytime you implement an exercise program or increase your physical activity, it’s important to get your physicians okay first.

High Risk Group for DVT

  • Those receiving cancer treatment
  • Women on birth control pills
  • Anyone taking hormone therapy
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Those experiencing prolonged bed rest or who have swelling or edema
  • Anyone who is inactive
  • Those who have had trauma, such as fractured bones (particularly seniors)

The more you move, the lower your risk for DVT.  After surgery or inactivity, once you are at a stage to be about to do more strenuous activities (with the doctor’s permission) your risks will be lower.

Learn more about Alzheimer’s risks and Alzheimer’s prevention by clicking here to view the book, The Alzheimer’s Treatment & Prevention Diet book, written by Dr. Richard Isaacson, Harvard trained neurologist.

The post What Do Blood Clots Have to Do with Alzheimer’s Prevention? appeared first on The AD Plan.

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Aromatherapy has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to help promote health and wellness, and protect from disease. But, what exactly is aromatherapy?  How can this age-old method of treatment help promote brain health and potentially stave off Alzhiemer’s disease?

Aromatherapy is essentially the result of inhaled elixirs from concentrated forms of plants and botanicals.   One of the most common forms of essential oils is Lavender oil, noted for its relaxation promotion properties.  These therapeutic essential oils can be used in a diffuser to send minute particles of the oils into the air for inhalation, others are used directly on the skin, and some can even be ingested.  But, do essential oils really promote health and wellness, or is it all a bunch of new age hype?  Read on to find out what the scientific/medical experts have to say…..

The post What is Aromatherapy and How Can it Help Alzheimer’s Disease? appeared first on The AD Plan.

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Eating a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables every day is one vital part of the Alzheimer’s diet.  Not only do fruits and vegetables provide plenty of antioxidants, thought to aid in staving off symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), they also provide ample minerals, vitamins and fiber.    But, a recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans fall short when it comes to eating enough of these healthy side dishes.

In fact, as many as 76% of adults did not meet the daily recommendations of fruit intake and 87% fell short of the daily vegetable intake recommendations.  Children who were surveyed were not an exception to the bad news when it came to adequate intake of fruit and vegetables.  The numbers came in at 60% who didn’t meet the recommendations for fruits and a whopping 93% of American children didn’t eat enough vegetables.  How many vegetables and fruits should you eat each day; is there a simple way to get more of these healthy foods into the Alzhiemer’s diet?

 

If you are a physically active adult who works out at least 30 minutes (of moderate activity) daily, you should be eating 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit per day and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables each day.  All in all, 50% of the total population in the United States reported eating less than 1 cup of fruit and less than 1.5 cups of vegetables per day.

If you are one of the many Americans who are not measuring up when it comes to eating enough fruits and vegetables, here are some tips:

  • Integrate tasty recipes like stir fries into the weekly family menu.
  • When eating out, choose a vegetarian or vegan restaurant or one that offers a wide range of healthy vegetarian dishes.
  • Plan for at least 2 meatless dishes per week, vegan and vegetarian options taste delicious while featuring a wide range of vegetables.
  • Make healthy soups (particularly in the winter months) and add a variety of fresh herbs and vegetables.
  • Roast root vegetables (such as sweet potatoes, leeks, carrots, and beets) drizzled with olive oil and topped with fresh garlic cloves and rosemary.
  • Substitute sweet potatoes for the more starchy and higher calorie white potatoes as a healthy side dish.
  • Steam a large pan with a variety of tasty vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and carrots, then drizzle with a small amount of olive oil,  salt and pepper.
  • If you have access to a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), be sure to give it a try, it’s a great way to try new produce.  Most CSA’s include tasty recipes in their baskets for innovative new ways to incorporate fresh vegetables and fruits into your daily meals. 
  • Keep plenty of produce in the fridge and/or in fruit baskets–wherever it’s most convenient.
  • Include 2 to 3 types of fruits and vegetables in to go containers for lunch and snacks.
  • Hide vegetables you don’t really like (such as kale) in smoothies-such as, a pineapple and kale flavored drink.
  • Substitute great tasting fruits (such as raspberries and whipped cream), for sugar laden desserts.
  • Add a variety of fruit,  fresh nuts, coconut, honey, and other healthy toppings to low fat yogurt.
  • Make tasty dips (such as pumpkin cashew butter) for dipping raw apples.
  • Prepare raw vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots and celery to dip in healthy, low-fat dip (like hummus).
  • Add fresh fruit to low fat frozen yogurt for a healthy and great tasting dessert.

Learn more about the Alzheimer’s diet by CLICKING HERE to check out the book, “The Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention Diet,” written by Harvard trained neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson, M.D.

The post Getting More Fruits and Vegetables into the Alzheimer’s Diet appeared first on The AD Plan.

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A heart healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean Diet is highly recommended for Alzheimer’s prevention.  Maintaining a healthy blood pressure and overall cardiac health are vital aspects of Alzheimer’s prevention; so keeping your sodium intake within recommended levels is important.  

Lowering Sodium Intake

Keeping your daily intake of sodium under control is one way to promote Alzheimer’s prevention.  But, it can be a real challenge, particularly if you eat a lot of prepared foods or eat out frequently.  Canned foods, breads, pastries, packaged snack foods, deli meats, and other prepared food items are usually loaded with sodium.  Just one serving of many of these packaged foods would most likely put a person over the recommended daily sodium intake level for optimal heart health. 

Reading labels is vital to keeping sodium intake within recommended levels.  Eating fresh, non- processed foods is a key aspect of controlling salt and sodium intake, because processed and ready- made foods usually have such a high sodium content.  A good way to reduce your consumption of sodium is to prepare your own food or read nutrition labels on prepared foods so you can choose low sodium options.  Substituting herbs and spices for salt can help enhance the flavor of foods.  Be cautious when using salt substitutes.

 Are salt substitutes safe?

Most salt substitutes contain potassium chloride, which can be dangerous, particularly for people with kidney problems and those taking some types of high blood pressure medications. The very conditions that cause a person to seek out a low sodium diet may be exacerbated by swapping table salt for some salt substitutes.  While it’s true that potassium is healthy, it’s important to get dietary potassium from foods high in this essential nutrient, such as potatoes, beans, yogurt and many fruits and vegetables.  A good way to reduce your consumption of sodium is to prepare your own food or read nutrition labels on prepared foods so you can choose low sodium options. 

The Future

In conclusion, with all of the evidence on the health hazards of eating too much sodium, it’s hard to ignore the benefits of a low sodium diet over the long run.  Hopefully in the future, the high sodium food fad will decline in the United States.  Longer term clinical trials, comparing people on diets with various amounts of sodium, are needed to better understand just how much sodium is optimal for varying groups of people and different medical conditions.  

Overall, when you crave salty foods, be aware that it’s a learned behavior and that in time, the desire to eat high salt foods can be overcome.  The benefits of implementing a lower sodium diet for optimal heart and brain health are worth the effort. 

Learn more about foods for the Alzheimer’s diet by CLICKING HERE to view the book Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention, written by Harvard trained neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson. 

The post To Salt or Not to Salt: Lowering Sodium Intake for Alzheimer’s Prevention (Part II) appeared first on The AD Plan.

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It’s common scientific knowledge today that what’s good for the heart is good for the brain.  So, it stands to reason that a heart healthy diet is recommended for Alzheimer’s prevention.  But what about added table salt?  Most doctors and dieticians would recommend a low sodium diet for optimal heart health due to salt’s propensity to wreak havoc with the cardiovascular system.  In fact, too much sodium consumption can increase blood pressure and cause the body to hold onto fluid. This extra fluid can cause swelling in the extremities as well as more complicated health problems, such as congestive heart failure.  High blood pressure (hypertension) is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems.

How Much Salt is Too Much?

So, how much salt does the average person in America ingest?  That number is estimated to be over 3,400 mg per day, according to Harvard Health.   According to a recent Harvard Health report, the U.S. guidelines for the average adult daily intake of salt per day is under a tsp. ofsalt–2,300 mg of sodium per day. The American Heart Association says no more than 1,500 mg per day, particularly for certain people with high risk for heart disease.  

When it comes to cardiovascular health, high blood pressure is one of the most modifiable risk factors (able to be changed). Heart disease is the leading cause of premature death worldwide, so factors that can be changed are important for heart as well as brain health. 

Studies on Salt Intake and Cardiac Health

In an article published in New England Journal, former Harvard Medical School faculty member, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, combined information from over one hundred studies regarding sodium intake-in as many as 66 different countries around the world.  The following estimate was published regarding cardiac disease related to salt intake:

  • The average sodium intake was nearly 4,000 mg a day
  • If the average intake of sodium was around 2,000 mg per day, there would be 1.65 less worldwide deaths per year
  • Reducing sodium rates (to recommended levels) would result in approximately 10 percent fewer deaths associated with cardiovascular disease.

High Risk Groups

High risk groups that are encouraged to lower their consumption of sodium include:

  • Any person over age 50
  • African Americans
  • Those with high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, or heart failure

Limiting the intake of sodium can help prevent or control high blood pressure and avoid a condition where the body retains fluid beyond its ability to effectively get rid of it–called fluid overload.

What is hypervolemia?

Fluid overload, also referred to as hypervolemia, is a condition in the body with excess water.  Of course the body normally has a specific amount of water or fluid, but too much can actually lead to serious health problems.

Signs and Symptoms of Hypervolemia

  • Causes include, heart failure, kidney problems (retaining salt) diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, pregnancy, hormonal imbalances.
  • Swelling of the extremities (edema), usually in the feet, ankles, wrists, and face
  • Cramps, headache, bloating and overall discomfort in the body
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) caused by excess fluid in the bloodstream
  • Excess fluid in the lungs, causing shortness of breath
  • Excess fluid can speed up or slow the heart rate causing heart problems

Learn more about the Alzheimer’s diet by CLICKING HERE to view The Alzheimer’s Treatment, Alzheimer’s Prevention Diet book, written by Dr. Richard Isaacson, M.D., Harvard trained neurologist.

 

The post To Salt or Not to Salt, That is the Question: How Much Salt is Recommended for Alzheimer’s Prevention? appeared first on The AD Plan.

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Glymphatics is a recent groundbreaking discovery that may be very useful in Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment.  But, just what exactly is glymphatics, and how might it impact Alzheimer’s disease (AD) treatment?  

What is Glymphatics?

Scientific researchers have recently identified two circulatory networks in the brain, the vessels that lead into and surround the brain, and those within the brain itself. According to a recent Washington Post article, “The first is known as the lymphatic system for the brain, while the latter is called the glymphatic system.” The lymphatic system is a network of vessels through which lymph (a clear, watery, sometimes slightly yellowish fluid derived from body tissues) drains from the tissues into the blood.  The letter “g” which was added to the word “lymphatic,” makes reference to a type of neuron called “glia,” which makes up the lymphatic vessels of the brain.  These glymphatic vessels work to transport cerebrospinal  fluid and immune cells into the brain and “remove cellular trash from it,” says The Washington Post.

 Glymphatics and Alzheimer’s Disease

In essence, glymphatics is a method of clearing out of the unhealthy protein (called amyloid), which is a hallmark symptom of AD.  Surprisingly, this waste removal process (removing waste and wear and tear from the previous day) occurs in the spinal cord during sleep. The glymphatic system is the pathway for the breakdown of waste products such as damaged amyloid proteins.  Glymphatic stands for the “glial cells” and “lymphatics” in the brain and spinal cord that functions to clean damaged waste products-which are eventually dumped into the peripheral lymphatic system.  During sleep, it is said that 2 times the amyloid beta is removed than during waking hours.  In fact, scientists today are saying that this cleaning system may be a primary reason we need to sleep; this may also explain why sleep is such a vital component of Alzheimer’s prevention. 

Studies on Sleep, Glymphatics and Alzheimer’s Disease

A series of mice studies, performed at the University of Rochester, showed that during sleep the fluid around the  spine (cerebral spinal fluid) is pumped around the brain to flush out waste products, in a process that has been referred to as a “biological dishwasher.”  As the mice slept, the brain cells were found to shrink, leaving ample space for spinal fluid to flow ten times faster than during the waking hours of the mice.  Next, the scientists injected traces of amyloid protein into the brains of the mice and observed how quickly the amyloid was removed.  This biologic trash removal system was found to function by flushing the brain’s waste products into the glymphatic system, carrying waste through the body via the lymphatic system, into the liver where it is broken down.  Scientists found that the amyloid was removed much faster in the brains of sleeping mice. 

In more recent studies, Maiken Nedergaard, lead study author, and Helene Benveniste, a scientist at Yale University, discovered evidence linking problems in the lymphatic and glymphatic systems to AD. In a study on mice, researchers showed that glymphatic dysfunction contributes to the buildup in the brain of amyloid beta protein. 

Nedergaard explained that the study shows why sleep is important for all living beings. “I think we have discovered why we sleep,” Nedergaard said. “We sleep to clean our brains.”  Nedergaard says that this cleanup process is more active in the body during sleep because it takes too much energy during waking hours.  ”You can think of it like having a house party. You can either entertain the guests or clean up the house, but you can’t really do both at the same time,” she said in a statement.

Learn more about the latest Alzheimer’s disease treatment by CLICKING HERE to view the groundbreaking book, The Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention Diet book, written by Dr. Richard Isaacson, Harvard trained neurologist.

The post New Study Says “Glymphatics” may Influence Alzheimer’s Disease While We Sleep appeared first on The AD Plan.

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An innovative study has targeted a new way that brain cells die from Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).  This is the first EVER evidence of a new biological pathway linked to AD severity & loss of brain tissue-all hallmark symptoms of AD.  The pathway is called necroptosis, and it causes nerve loss.   This new research is thought to lead to innovative methods of Alzheimer’s treatment in the future. 

The study was published by Arizona State University-Banner Health neuroscientist Salvatore Oddo and his colleagues from Phoenix’s Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) — as well as the University of California, Irvine, and Mount Sinai in New York.

“We anticipate that our findings will spur a new area of Alzheimer’s disease research focused on further detailing the role of necroptosis and developing new therapeutic strategies aimed at blocking it,” said Oddo, the lead author of this study, and scientist at the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center at the Biodesign Institute and associate professor in the School of Life Sciences.  The findings of the study were published in Natural Neuroscience.

The term necroptosis is considered a form of necrosis, or inflammatory cell death.  It is usually associated with the death of a cell due to cellular damage, as compared to orderly, programmed cell death that occurs via a pathway called apoptosis.  This disorderly type of cell death results in the cell bursting from the inside out; it is triggered by a triad of proteins.  Necroptosis has been associated with multiple sclerosis and Lou Gehrig’ disease.  This is the first time scientific evidence has linked necroptosis with Alzheimer’s disease.

“There is no doubt that the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease have fewer neurons,” said Oddo. “The brain is much smaller and weighs less; it shrinks because neurons are dying. That has been known for 100 years, but until now, the mechanism wasn’t understood.”

Inflammation has long been associated with AD.  In necroptosis, there are 3 proteins involved, RIPK1, RIPK3 and MLKL.  In the study, a key event was discovered in the process of necroptosis,  when RIPK1 and RIPK3 from a structure called a necrosome.  The formation of this necrosome is what is thought to start the process of cell death from necroptosis, by activating MLKL, which in turn adversely affects the powerhouse of the cell (called the mitochondria)–eventually leading to cell death.  So, the MLKL is thought to execute necroptosis which eventually results in brain cell death.

“In this study, we show for the first time that necroptosis is activated in Alzheimer’s disease, providing a plausible mechanism underlying neuronal loss in this disorder,” said Liang, who contributed to the study’s gene expression analyses.

The Study

The research team used donated samples from the Body Donation Program at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute and Mount Sinai VA Medical Center Brain Bank.  Scientists then utilized the samples to measure RIPK1, RIPK3 and MLKL in a particular area of the brain that has been found to be adversely affected by AD-called the temporal gyrus.  During necroptosis, the RIPK1, RIPK3 and MLKL markers were increased in the brains of those with AD.  When examining postmortem (after death) brain tissue levels of protein, elevated MLKL and RIPK1 levels were discovered in those with AD, compared with normal postmortem brains.   In addition, the necroptosis activation was linked to the abnormal tau protein, considered a hallmark symptom of AD.  Interestingly, the necroptosis was NOT associated with the other abnormal protein found in the brains of those with AD, called amyloid plaque.

Conclusion

This study provides an opportunity for new hope for future research.  Scientists hope to discover  innovative new Alzheimer’s treatment modalities, that will effectively target nerve cell loss in the brain. “One may not agree as to which molecules trigger Alzheimer’s disease, ” said Oddo, “but everybody agrees that the end result is the neuronal loss. If you can prevent that you may have a beneficial effect.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about Alzheimer’s treatment and prevention in the groundbreaking book written by Dr. Richard Isaacson, Harvard trained neurologist.  

The post Innovative Study on Brain Cell Death May Lead to New Alzheimer’s Treatment appeared first on The AD Plan.

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Some foods, such as strawberries should be part of a healthy Alzheimer’s diet every day, why?  Because new studies reveal that a compound found in strawberries could help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  This natural compound that is present in strawberries and some vegetables may prevent AD, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases-says a new research study.

In fact, a recent mouse model study conducted by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA, examined aging results after administration of a compound called “fisetin” (a flavanol antioxidant present in many fruits and vegetables including strawberries).  The study concluded that a reduction of cognitive decline and inflammation of the brain resulted from fisetin supplementation.  

Fisetin is present in various fruits and vegetables including onions, grapes, cucumbers, apples, persimmons and strawberries. Studies show that this natural compound not only acts as a coloring agent for fruits and vegetables, it also has a high level of antioxidant (flavanol) properties.  Flavanols help to prevent the damage to cells caused by free radicals.  Inflammation may also be reduced from fisetin.

Pamela Maher, senior study author at the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at Salk, recently reported results of the study in The Journals of Gerontology. Included in the report was the results of fisetin, in clinical studies, on brain cells, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which could protect the brain against the negative effects aging. 

The Study

The mice study involved a group of prematurely aging mice given fisetin does with their food for 7 months.  The control group had the same food, without the fisetin supplement.  Each group of mice was then given a variety of memory tests.  Other responses were monitored in the mice, including protein levels (associated with inflammation, brain function and the stress response).

“At 10 months, the differences between these two groups were striking. Mice not treated with fisetin had difficulties with all the cognitive tests as well as elevated markers of stress and inflammation. Brain cells called astrocytes and microglia, which are normally anti-inflammatory, were now driving rampant inflammation. Mice treated with fisetin, on the other hand, were not noticeably different in behavior, cognitive ability or inflammatory markers at 10 months than a group of untreated 3-month-old mice with the same condition,” lead researcher Dr. Pamela Maher told Sci-News.com.

“Mice are not people, of course. But there are enough similarities that we think fisetin warrants a closer look, not only for potentially treating sporadic AD but also for reducing some of the cognitive effects associated with aging, generally…Based on our ongoing work, we think fisetin might be helpful as a preventative for many age-associated neurodegenerative diseases, not just AD, and we’d like to encourage more rigorous study of it,” Dr. Maher added.

Tips on Preserving Strawberries

Now that the strawberry season is upon us, learning how to successfully preserve the delicious red berries for as long as possible.  Here are three quick tips for preserving strawberries year round:

  • Keep the stems on until you are ready to eat them
  • Don’t wash the strawberries until you are ready to eat them (water makes them mushy)
  • Examine the berries for any moldy berries and toss them out right away, one bad berry can quickly spoil the rest.
  • Store berries in the refrigerator if you are going to wait a few days to eat them.

How to Freeze Strawberries

If you have more berries than you can eat, consider freezing them.  Although frozen produce do not retain 100% of their nutrients, some nutrients can be retained.  The berries will become soft and juice from freezing and thawing, so consider using the berries in smoothies or even shortcake. Steps for freezing the berries:

  • Rinse berries in cold water
  • Place the berries on a towel to dry
  • Hull berries and remove any damaged parts
  • Tops are edible, if you are using them in smoothies it’s okay to leave the tops on (they have vitamins and minerals as well as ellegic acid)
  • Place strawberries on a sheet pan and cover in parchment paper, freeze them and then vacuum seal the next day. 

Learn more about the Alzheimer’s diet by CLICKING HERE to view the groundbreaking book, The Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention Diet book, written by Harvard trained neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson.

The post Why Strawberries Should be Part of a Healthy Alzheimer’s Diet appeared first on The AD Plan.

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Turmeric (curcumin, or curcuma longa) is an Indian spice that is thought to help promote Alzheimer’s prevention.  It was discovered when scientists realized that the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is much lower in India than it is in Western cultures. In fact, several studies found that the prevalence of AD in India was as 4.4 times lower in adults (aged 70 to 79) than in the United States.   So, researchers began to look at the diet people in India were eating.  They found that people who ate curry (with curcumin as the primary spice) more often performed better on standard memory tests and cognitive functioning tests than those who did not have curry in their diet regularly.

Curcumin was found to be a very potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.  Inflammation is thought to play a huge role in the development of AD.  Curcumin may also improve cognitive functioning in people with AD.  A growing body of evidence points to the possibility that curcumin helps to lower oxidative stress and reduce free radicals, as well as lowering the level of beta amyloid in the brain.  Beta amyloid is known as a hallmark symptom of AD.  Turmeric has been found to have so many health promoting properties that there are currently over 10,000 articles published about the benefits of this amazing spice!

Studies on Turmeric and Alzheimer’s Prevention  

In AD, chronic inflammation of the nerve cells is one of the primary pathological symptoms.  In research studies, the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen) resulted in a reduced risk of developing symptoms of AD.  However, with long term use,  NSAID’s are toxic to the liver and kidneys as well as the GI tract.  It just so happens that turmeric is thought to have potent anti-inflammatory effects without any side effects.   Studies have found that curcumin is  a very strong inhibitor of inflammation.

The many health benefits of turmeric are thought to include:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Antidepressant effects
  • Analgesic effects
  • Diabetes management
  • Arthritis benefits
  • Anticancer effects
  • Anticoagulant effects (preventing blood clots)
  • Anti-cholesterol effects
  • Weight loss promotion
  • Healthy skin and wound healing

Studies on Turmeric and Alzheimer’s Prevention

According to a National Institutes of Health report, there have been over a thousand animals and human studies on the effects of curcumin on different diseases (including studies on turmeric and Alzheimer’s prevention).  Study results indicate a much lower incidence of AD in those who ate curcumin on a regular basis.

The levels of beta-amyloid (a hallmark symptom of Alzheimer’s in the brain) were lower in lab studies of mice with AD who were given low doses of curcumin.  In fact, the beta-amyloid levels decreased by 40% compared to the mice who were not given curcumin.

Side Effects of Turmeric

Although no serious side effects have been reported from the use of turmeric as a supplement, minor symptoms have been reported.  These include, GI upset, chest tightness, skin rashes and swollen skin.  These side effects all resulted from high doses. 

Getting Curcumin in the Daily Diet for Alzheimer’s Prevention

According to a study, published in Planta Medica, combining black pepper (which contains piperine) with turmeric improves its absorbability throughout the entire body. In the study,  20mg of piperine was added to 2,000 mg of turmeric.  Adding piperine increased the bioavailability of turmeric 154 percent.

  • Drink turmeric tea-heat full fat canned coconut milk with turmeric, ginger, a tsp of coconut oil and black peppercorns.  Strain out the peppercorns and add some stevia and cinnamon to taste. 
  • Eat curry dishes frequently, one delicious dish made with turmeric is curry carrot soup.  

Learn more about Alzheimer’s prevention by CLICKING HERE to view the book “The Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention Diet,” written by Harvard trained neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson.  

The post Clinical Studies say Turmeric May Help with Alzheimer’s Prevention appeared first on The AD Plan.

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