Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Prevent strokes and even recover from them....

Tuesday, 8-19-2014

In part two of this post we cover several ways to prevent having a stroke.

But the BIG news in this post is that there looks to be something you can simply go do ahead of time to make your recovery more likely if you do have a stroke or a TIA!

Part One:  Medical News Today had the news that it’s possible that taking ginkgo EVEN AFTER a stroke caused more repair and less net damage!

This has several exciting and desirable implications:

A.  It works by causing the creation of new brain cells.  Moreover, it does so by itself!

B.  But this also likely means that people already taking Ginkgo will be less damaged and recover faster from strokes!

1.  This could be huge for people unable to exercise or to exercise yet after a stroke.

2.   Repair of damaged areas in the brain is a key to depression and PTSD recovery too. It also helps stop or even reverse early mental decline.

3.  Since it takes about 12 weeks to build up the full effect of ginkgo, this may also mean that people who begin taking ginkgo regularly have some protection against badly damaging strokes should they get one.  That’s because after the 12 weeks, they will start out with this protection already in place even before they have a stroke if they do.  It’s like wearing a bullet proof vest in combat as you do have some protection.

4.  And, for people who have TIA's and repeated small strokes, in addition to exercise, taking DHA, and taking bacopa, also taking Ginkgo may minimize or reverse the damage AND offer some protection if that person gets a bigger stroke!

5.  It also may mean that taking Ginkgo in addition to exercise and taking DHA or eating fish high in it and taking bacopa would aid people trying to repair their brains from PTSD or explosion damage or the minimum brain damage that causes depression and/or mental decline.

Medical News Today had the news that it’s possible that taking ginkgo EVEN AFTER a stroke caused more repair and less net damage!

In the quote below, I provided the bolding on the points I think most significant.

“Led by Dr. Zahoor A. Shah, Dr. Shadia E. Nada and Jatin Tulsulkar (graduate student), researchers at the University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, have discovered that mice treated with Ginkgo biloba 4 hours after inducing experimental stroke and then daily for seven days had improved recovery and less brain damage than the control mice.

It was also observed that Ginkgo biloba-treated mice had enhanced neurogenesis, partly due to the increased protein expression of hemeoxygenase 1, an antioxidant gene that also has a role in neurogenesis. Pertinently, mice lacking the hemeoxygenase 1 gene were observed to have reduced neurogenesis after stroke.

Besides prevention, improving recovery following a stroke should become the prime focus of current stroke research. We now know that neurogenesis is not only an ongoing process in adults, but can also be induced by pathological conditions like traumatic brain injury and ischemic stroke, and strategies that promote endogenous neurogenesis as part of repair and regeneration process should be prioritized.

Neurogenesis in the adult brain involves not only the proliferation and migration of precursor cells known as stem cells/neural progenitor cells (NSCs) but also their functional integration into the neural network.

Ischemia, though a potent inducer of proliferation and migration of NSCs, does not provide an environment conducive to their survival, differentiation and integration, and creating an environment with exogenous drugs is paramount to improving the number of NSCs that can result in improved brain repair and regeneration.

The study, first reported in Molecular Neurobiology (Vol. 49, 2014) and then reviewed in Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No.11, 2014), confirmed that Ginkgo biloba, in addition to its antioxidant, neuritogenic and angiogenic properties, provides a conducive environment for the survival and functional integration of NSCs into neural system.”

Here’s the link to the original story in Medical News Today:

Neurogenesis and recovery following stroke enhanced by Ginkgo biloba in mouse 
Led by Dr. Zahoor A. Shah, Dr. Shadia E. Nada and Jatin Tulsulkar (graduate 
student), researchers at the University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, have discovered 
that mice treated with Ginkgo biloba 4...

Note that even though this study was on mice, the processes and effects sound like they would operate just as well in people!

Part II:  Ways to prevent strokes:

1.  Avoid tobacco smoke completely if you can; don’t smoke or quit as soon as possible; and avoid second hand smoke as close to 100% as you can!

Despite how very many do get cancer, some smokers don’t.  But ALL smokers and those exposed often to second hand smoke get plaque buildup in their blood vessels.

And, guess what studies find? 

This if often worst in the carotid artery that supplies your brain!

That also is likely the case inside your brain and is another reason far more smokers than nonsmokers get vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s than nonsmokers.

2.  Follow all the methods that protect your heart that don’t require drugs. 

Avoid eating and drinking foods and drinks that, like smoking, directly cause heart disease.  Eat lots of organic vegetables every day.  And, once those ways of eating are in place build up to vigorous exercise most days of every week even if for only 10 to 20 minutes a day.

3.  If you have moderately high blood pressure from 140 over 90 to 159 over 99, research finds that doing step 2 well is every bit as protective as taking the hypertension drugs AND, for such people, adding the drugs adds zero increased protection.

In addition to that, following this way of eating in the DASH II diet or the Furhman diet or the Wahls Protocol, has been shown to lower high blood pressure.

And, just today I saw research showing that while slow, long cardio has no effect,
doing vigorous variable or interval cardio for 10 to 20 minutes each day at least 3 days a week  with several sections with much higher speed and effort with rests or much easier efforts in between DOES lower systolic blood pressure.

4.  The vegetable intake in step 3 provides a good intake of natural vitamin C.  But taking at least 500 mg a day more plus eating organic wild blueberries several times a week makes you less likely to get a stroke and maintains the health of your blood vessels.

5.  Avoiding a high salt intake and all refined grains and high fructose corn syrup and far less sugar plus the exercise strongly prevents blood vessel damage from high salt levels and excessive blood sugar levels – as these eating plans all do -- prevents strokes. 

This is because it lowers existing high blood pressure, makes future increases less likely, and prevents excessively high salt and blood sugar from damaging your blood vessels. 

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