Tuesday, July 01, 2014

3 Studies show everyone should work to prevent mental decline....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 7-1-2014

A surprisingly high number of people are developing mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Less surprising is that many people fear having it happen to them.

What’s much less well known is that if you work to prevent mental decline, you can make it dramatically less likely.

1.  There are things you can do to prevent the damage that causes it. Those are highly recommended and most have other health benefits

2.  There are things you can do to keep the damage if you get it from causing any drop off in mental function and memory.  Those have other life and health benefits too.

3.  And, although mental decline can be irreversible, at least given current knowledge, in the later stages, there are things that mostly DO reverse it and prevent any more damage IF you do them as preventive measures. 

People in the early stages have no symptoms or tiny ones.  But since the preventive and restorative measures are quite doable and have other health benefits, those are highly recommended also.

A.  The first study I saw had this:  “This article reports that some people have a heredity that avoids brain inflammation and so their brains remain functional and the nerves less damaged than otherwise.”

The much better news is that besides the things that prevent the buildup of beta amyloid such as taking sterols or getting them in food, there are a number of things you can do to get this effect without having that heredity or as much of it.

(Taking stigmasterol supplements restored a sense of smell to people with beta amyloid damage who had lost it before.  And, it may work best when you also get antioxidants.  In this case, the mechanism was by reducing the amount of beta amyloid.)

1.  Thinking and learning that use those neurons has been shown to have exactly this effect. Even if beta amyloid has built up, there is no functional damage. (The effect seems to be similar to having snow plows come through every five minutes when it’s snowing.  The road stays clear anyway.)

2. Secondly, your brain is like an internet network, the more it's used and the more nerves and interconnections have build up the more damage you can have in some places without crashing the network or perceiving or having dysfunction.

Learning two or more languages has this effect. 

Socializing with other people regularly and often has this effect too.  (You do it from babyhood so it often feels easy.  But brain scans show it uses enough of your brain to do, it’s like lifting heavy weights and running sprints back to back.  Your brain gets a LOT of exercise every time you do it.)

So does continuous learning for your work or in fields that simply interest you outside of work.

3.  Excess inflammation is part of the process of creating nerve and functional damage that this study found.  You can turn it off by taking natural and safe anti-inflammatories, particularly turmeric or the curcumin in it.  And, you can also live a low inflammation lifestyle that we post on often and did on 5-6 this year, 2014, with a brief summary of how to do it as part of that post.
(We also posted recently that besides other protective effects against Alzheimer’s disease or related damage later, turmeric and its main ingredient curcumin lower inflammation so much it keeps it from forming AND also lowers the small particle LDL that causes heart disease.)

4.  And there are two supplements that have tested as preventing or reversing nerve damage: alpha or r-lipoic acid and benfotiamine.

5.  You can restore or regrow damaged neurons by taking the omega 3 oil, DHA AND doing regular vigorous exercise because that strongly releases BDNF which is a growth hormone that causes the growth of new nerves and brain cells.  (This also prevents mental decline by avoiding brain shrinkage.)

6.  Last but far from least, you can live a lifestyle with high blood sugar preventing effects to avoid one of the main causes of the beta amyloid build up to begin with. 

Regular vigorous exercise, eating LOTS of vegetables and ingesting no high fructose corn syrup or refined grain wheat flour and eating very limited amounts of sugar and whole grains are the main ways to do that.  (That also grows new nerve and brain cells and prevents inflammation besides keeping your blood sugar low.)

Here’s that study:

The genetics behind Alzheimer's resiliency
Autopsies have revealed that some individuals develop the cellular changes
indicative of Alzheimer's disease without ever showing clinical symptoms in
their lifetime.

B.  The second study I saw had this:  This research found a way to boost BDNF with a compound that could result in a drug and that boosting BDNF DID seem to reverse or help stop Alzheimer's disease.

"BDNF levels rose and Alzheimer's disease features were alleviated."

But here again, we do NOT have to wait on the drug!

Regular vigorous exercise most days of every week even in 5 to 25 minute sessions each time boosts BDNF quite strongly.  Doing such exercise is as important to your health as eating or sleeping! 

Longer sessions of 20 to 60 minutes a time a few times a week of moderate exercise, particularly walking also works but takes a lot more time and causes less of a boost. But for people who do it every week routinely it does work. Nice to add if you have time for it or a doable at your desk moderate exerciser.

Taking DHA and omega 3 oil supplements from wild caught fish or algae or the correct strain of plankton BOOSTS this BDNF release from exercise.

Some studies have found that the brain booster supplement bacopa works in part because it also boosts BDNF release.

Here’s that study:

4 new microRNAs involved in regulation of BDNF levels found
Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) regulates many processes including
memory and learning in our daily tasks. Levels of BDNF are important in
determining the outcome of these processes.

C.  The third study I saw had this:  To prevent mental decline -- and to prevent loss of function from brain harming diseases in their earliest stages and before any symptoms show up, the point this research makes clear that it is a good idea for everyone to do the things that boost repair on a regular and ongoing basis.

a) Regular and vigorous exercises most days of every week plus some low moderate exercise as well may be most important due to the release of BDNF they cause.

b) Eating wild caught fish with low mercury from waters with low pollution and/or taking DHA or getting DHA from omega 3 supplements adds to the BDNF release. (This also lowers inflammation and lowers triglycerides both of which lower vascular dementia from reduced blood flow.)

c) So the research says does taking the herb bacopa.  (Bacopa is also a productivity booster because it lowers anxiety and speeds learning.)

d) Adding choline from supplements or egg yolks from eggs from pasture raised chickens at about the same time you take in the DHA and bacopa apparently boosts the process of repair.

e) One study found that adding uridine or the brewer's yeast that's high in it at the same time as the DHA and choline increased the repairs.

Here’s that study:

Boosting self-repair may preserve brain in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's
Brain-wasting is assumed to be unstoppable in diseases like Alzheimer's and
Parkinson's. Now research suggests boosting natural self-repair may be possible

in the early stages.   

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