Archive for September, 2014
The symptoms of early Alzheimer’s disease tend to parallel depression; so closely, in fact, it often makes it hard for doctors to diagnose which affliction the patient has.
If it’s depression, there are multiple options for treatment, both mainstream and alternative. But if it’s Alzheimer’s … the prognosis isn’t as positive.
But there’s an additional piece to the puzzle. . .
Powerful Marine Extract Reverses Aging
— While You SLEEP!
Stem cells are your body’s built-in mechanism for staying young and healthy. They repair any tissue or organ that’s injured – and restore it to brand new.
But as you grow older… you have fewer stem cells in circulation – and the effects of aging begin to set in.
And there was nothing you could do about it – until now…
Researchers discovered how to boost the release of stem cells and mobilize them to repair and renew your body – with a powerful seaweed extract.
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For years, neuroscientists and psychologists have not known how—or even if—depression affects onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease.
Is depression a cause of Alzheimer’s disease?
Is it a risk factor? Is it a neurological marker that signals dementia is on the way?
Or is it something else entirely?
One thing is for sure: depression is all-too common in Alzheimer’s patients. And thanks to a massive analysis from Rush University, we might finally have another piece to the Alzheimer’s puzzle.
This is the data we’ve been waiting for
In the 1990s, two cohort studies of the elderly were performed: the Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging Project.
These long-term clinical studies featured three necessary components: data on depression, cognitive decline, and post-mortem examination of brain tissue for signs of damage and disease.
The two studies provided the data scientists had been waiting for to fill in the blanks.
At the beginning of each study, the 1,764 participants were healthy, with no signs of cognitive impairment, and the majority showed no signs of depression. The average starting age was 76.6 years old.
Over nearly eight years, 52% developed MCI and 18% developed dementia.
During the study, 680 participants passed away. Autopsies were conducted on most to measure signs of Alzheimer’s disease, such as beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles.
This is what the researchers found:
- As age increased, symptoms of depression increased slightly.
- 50% of people with mild cognitive impairment were more depressed before the MCI diagnosis.
- The 18% that developed dementia were more depressed before dementia onset, but were less depressed after dementia had set in.
- Higher levels of depression were associated with more rapid cognitive decline, regardless of how much damage was found in the deceased participant’s brain tissue.1
So what does all this mean?
“These findings are exciting because they suggest depression truly is a risk factor for dementia,” Dr. Robert Wilson, lead author of the study said. “If we can target and prevent or treat depression and causes of stress we may have the potential to help people maintain their thinking and memory abilities into old age.”
And it appears that depression isn’t necessarily a sign of Alzheimer’s, as the post-mortem autopsies suggest.
Though more research is required to reach a firm conclusion, Dr. Doug Brown, director of R&D at the Alzheimer’s Society agreed. “This interesting study suggests that depression could be a risk factor, separate from the biological processes thought to cause dementia,” he said.2
Easy, at-home treatments for depression in the elderly
If depression is indeed a warning sign of on-coming dementia, there are multiple action steps you can take to prevent it in yourself or your loved ones:
Take in some “vitamin sunshine”. Vitamin D is one of the body’s most powerful antioxidants, and exposure to sunlight increases serotonin as well. (Bright halogen lights inside help, too!)
Exercise as much as possible. Studies show exercise can be as effective as prescription antidepressants.
For people whose movement is impaired, a walk around the house or to the end of the street is an excellent start. 3 Doing something – even a tiny bit – is better than doing nothing. Don’t imagine that because you can’t do a full workout “it’s no use.”
Boost your mood with the right nutrients—and avoid inflammatory foods. Eat a “thumb size” of healthy fats per meal, while avoiding processed food and refined carbohydrates (especially white flour and sugar). These simple steps are a great start, especially for those with low appetite.4
What about antidepressants?
Antidepressants should be used only as a very last resort … if ever.
If this is news to you, consider this: One study from the University of Pennsylvania concluded that commonly prescribed sertraline (brand names Zoloft, Lustral) might not be indicated for treatment of depression in Alzheimer’s disease at all—and many of those who took it suffered severe side effects. 5
I’ll throw in a personal note here. My mother, then in a nursing home, was giving antidepressants including Paxil when she started showing signs of severe dementia. She went sharply downhill following that. We didn’t know any better and did what the doctor said.
As research continues into the important connection between depression and dementia, I’ll keep you updated.
(1) Clinical-pathologic study of depressive symptoms and cognitive decline in old age.
(2) Feeling lonely and gone off your food?
(3) New Guidelines for Using Exercise as an Antidepressant
(4) Loss of Appetite in the Elderly
(5) Sertraline for the treatment of depression in Alzheimer disease http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20220589
And This Food Makes Your Brain Bigger
Your brain naturally becomes smaller as you age. This natural brain shrinkage is one of the most vexing problems of aging, and here at Natural Health Insiders, we’re always always on the lookout for ways to slow down or even reverse it. Today’s bulletin is about one of the best. . .
BREAKING NEWS From Dr. Al Sears, MD:
Can Your Stinky, Old Fish Oil Do This?
If you’re STILL taking smelly fish oil, you’re not getting NEARLY enough of your body’s “universal healing nutrient.”
Doctors have recommended fish oil for years because it was the ONLY way to get this healing nutrient anywhere near your cells.
But the awful truth about fish oil is that it’s poorly absorbed. It doesn’t get this healing power to the places you need it most.
That changed when Al Sears, M.D. discovered a new way to get this healing nutrient into places fish oil could never go.
Suddenly, he was seeing healthy joints … relaxed, flexible blood vessels … normal triglycerides and blood pressure … sharp eyesight … focused concentration … and a LOT LESS DISCOMFORT.
He’ll show you how to use this breakthrough RIGHT AWAY.
If your brain shrinks too rapidly, it can signal impending memory problems. On the other hand, extra brain volume helps preserve your memory and intellectual abilities in your senior years. What can you do?
Get Plenty of Oil
A studyi at the University of South Dakota in Sioux Falls shows that, in general, older folks who consume more omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil have larger brains. According to these researchers, that extra size makes those brains the equivalent of one to two years younger than the brains of seniors whose gray matter has suffered more shrinkage. The researchers note that a rapidly shrinking brain can be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
In this research, the scientists measured the blood levels of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) in more than 1,000 women who were taking part in a research project called the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study.
As part of the eight-year study, the scientists used MRI scans to measure the women’s brains. Those women with the largest amounts of the omega-3 fats in their blood had brains 0.7 percent larger, on average, than did women with half as much of the fats.
Most important were the effects on the hippocampus, a key brain area that’s associated with memory. When you begin to suffer Alzheimer’s disease, the hippocampus starts to shrink even before memory problems become apparent.
The hippocampus in women with the most circulating omega-3s was, on average, 2.7 percent larger than the same brain area in the other women.
“These higher levels of fatty acids can be achieved through diet and the use of supplements, and the results suggest that the effect on brain volume is the equivalent of delaying the normal loss of brain cells that comes with aging by one to two years,” says researcher James V. Pottala, Ph.D.
The fact that omega 3 supplements support the brain also emerges from research at Rhode Island Hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center.
The Rhode Island studyii looked at more than 800 people and found that those taking fish oil supplements had less brain shrinkage and fewer cognitive complaints. (However, the research also showed that the supplements were not very effective for people with a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease known as APOE4.)
Researcher Lori Daiello sums up the results like this: “In the imaging analyses for the entire study population, we found a significant positive association between fish oil supplement use and average brain volumes in two critical areas utilized in memory and thinking (cerebral cortex and hippocampus), as well as smaller brain ventricular volumes compared to non-users at any given time in the study.”
“In other words,” she continues, “fish oil use was associated with less brain shrinkage in patients taking these supplements during the ADNI (Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative) study compared to those who didn’t report using them.”
No matter what your age today, you can start protecting your brain and offset some of the vicissitudes of aging: All it takes is a daily helping of omega 3 fatty acids. By the way, don’t imagine that fish oil is the best or only source of omega 3s. One of our valued sponsors offers a premium omega 3 supplement from another source and you might want to check it out. This supplier has a great reputation and I think you can purchase their products with confidence.
Lee Euler, Publisher
The macula is a small spot on the eye’s retina where light is focused and provides the sharp central vision that allows us to appreciate detail and see objects clearly.
Degeneration of the macula – known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – is a major cause of visual impairment and blindness in older adults. Some form of macular impairment is thought to affect more than 10 million Americans.
As we get older, particularly after the age of 70, levels of certain pigments in the macula decrease. These pigments are yellow in color and come from three carotenoids called lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin. These are collectively known as macular pigment (MP). Decreasing levels of MP increase the risk of AMD.
But what is of particular interest is the growing evidence that MP doesn’t concern just eye health. It is also vital for cognitive function. This is lifesaving information – relating to one of the easiest ways to catch Alzheimer’s early and take preventive steps. . .
Alzheimer’s Symptoms Vanish with One Pill?
Here is Mary’s story about her father who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
On the advice of an “alternative” doctor she gave her father one 1/16 of an inch tablet to dissolve under his tongue.
When he went for his next checkup with his usual doctor, a conventional MD, the doctor was amazed!
When the doctor entered the examining room, he found his Alzheimer’s patient reading Time magazine and commenting on minivan recalls.
The treatment was noninvasive. There was only a few hours of our time and one little tablet taken one time.
Click here to watch the video that reveals this health phenomenon and the details on this “hidden” health breakthrough.
Macular Degeneration and Alzheimer’s
Are Strongly Linked
A study in 2006 compared 33 Alzheimer’s patients with 24 people in good mental health. The occurrence of AMD was significantly higher for those suffering with dementia, 42.4% compared to 25% for those without dementia.
The researchers concluded that AMD is associated with Alzheimer’s and believed this is likely because they both share common causes and develop in similar ways.
In 2009, a much bigger study comprising 2088 patients aged 69 to 97 found that those who were cognitively impaired were up to twice as likely to have AMD than a similar group of people who enjoyed good mental health.
Lead researcher Dr Wong said, “It tells us that brain changes may be linked with eye changes and that common treatments and prevention strategies may work for both conditions.”
There are three sources of evidence that the two diseases share much in common. . .
The first proof comes from examining changes in the tissues of the eye and brain following death. Similar changes are found in both tissues.
Secondly, in both conditions there is an accumulation of similar debris. In AMD this consists of beta amyloid, lipids and other waste products from eye cells which deposit in the macula. In Alzheimer’s, beta amyloid and waste products clump together around unhealthy nerve cells. These form the plaques and tangles associated with the disease.
Thirdly, clinical studies suggest that AMD and Alzheimer’s disease share similar cardiovascular risk factors, such as arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cigarette smoking.
Professor John Nolan of the Macular Pigment Research Group, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland, has conducted a number of studies over the last decade.
In 2013 he and his research team investigated the relationship between MP – those pigments found in the macula — and thinking ability in 4,453 people over 50 years of age. They found that a lower density of the eye pigments was associated with poorer cognitive performance. People with compromised macula had worse memories, took longer to complete tasks and had slower reaction times.
In his latest study, 36 patients with moderate Alzheimer’s disease were compared with 33 people of similar age but without dementia. They found that the volume of MP was significantly lower in the Alzheimer’s group.
It’s Essential to Maintain Your Macular Pigment
According to Dr Nolan, “Brain carotenoid concentrations are positively related to macula pigment. There is a sound and biologically plausible rationale whereby lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin may be important in the prevention and/or delay in the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Dick Roberts, PhD, of Kemin’s Life Sciences Human Nutrition and Health Division states that “current research shows that eye health and brain health are coming together as one.”
This makes it doubly important to get regular eye checks. Not only is this vital to catch eye problems early but also to reduce the risk of dementia.
I would also strongly suggest eating foods high in MP, those three carotenoids. Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale are excellent sources. Other good sources are corn and eggs. Alternatively, MP can be taken in a supplement called MacuHealth. This is a patented supplement that contains all three carotenoids. However, all three are also available individually in various supplements, and possibly at lower cost. Just be sure to choose a quality brand.
You would have had a clue about the relationship between eye health and Alzheimer’s disease as much as two years ago if you’d read our Special Report Awakening from Alzheimer’s. In this valuable collection of cutting edge Alzheimer’s discoveries, author Peggy Sarlin was among the first to caution that people who have a regular eye examination are much less likely to get Alzheimer’s than people who don’t.
But here’s something more important: A test that just indicates you might be coming down with dementia is almost useless – all it does is scare you – UNLESS you know what to do about it. And Awakening from Alzheimer’s is a treasury of solutions to this disease that conventional medicine thinks is incurable. So if you don’t have a copy, I urge you to click here and ask for one.
Lee Euler, Publisher
There’s a reason they take your blood pressure every time you go to a doctor’s office. It’s the key to a great many health problems.
High blood pressure triples the risk of dying from a heart attack, quadruples the chances of heart failure, and increases the risk of death from stroke seven times over. It also magnifies the threat of kidney failure and atherosclerosis.
But what few people know is that high blood pressure also increases the risk of memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s what scientists have been able to find out. . .
9 Proven Ways to Reverse Alzheimer’s
One of these 9 breakthroughs – an all-natural protein
– melts away the brain-clogging mineral that triggers
memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s –
And yet this Nobel Prize-winning discovery
is being ignored by 99% of doctors
That’s why I’d like to tell you about Carolyn. . .
Large Studies Confirm the Heart/Brain Link
In the Honolulu Heart Program/Honolulu-Asia Aging Study, nearly two thousand Japanese-American men were followed for 32 years. It was found that if a man had high blood pressure when he was middle-aged, he had an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s ten to twenty years later compared to those whose blood pressure was lower.
A similar relationship was found in 382 Swedish people over 70 who were monitored for 15 years. Those who developed dementia between the ages of 79 and 85 had higher blood pressure when they were 70 when compared to those who didn’t develop dementia.
In the most recent long term study, published in August 2014, 14,000 people aged 48 to 67 were followed for 20 years. The results of the study confirmed the earlier research. There was a 6.5% greater decline in cognitive test performance among those who had high blood pressure (140/90 or greater) at the start of the study compared to those who didn’t.
In an editorial to accompany the latest study, Dr. Philip B. Gorelick wrote that a “less well-documented benefit of blood pressure lowering may be the preservation of mental function as we age.
“With additional study, we may be better positioned to tell our patients whether control of blood pressure not only prevents stroke and heart attack, but also helps to preserve their brain.”
His comment was reinforced by Dr. Walter Koroshetz, deputy director of NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. According to Dr. Koroshetz, “If you look … for things that we can prevent that lead to cognitive decline in the elderly, hypertension is at the top of the list.”
It’s thought that the adverse effects of hypertension on the brain are caused by the continual pressure on small brain blood vessels leading to damage and shrinking. One study showed long term hypertension causes shrinkage and premature aging of the brain.
Hypertension also greatly increases the risk of stroke. Repeated small strokes – which can be so minor they are not even noticed – are a significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s.
Half of Americans Who Have High
Blood Pressure Don’t Know It
The message from these studies is clear. Middle aged people should get their blood pressure checked at regular intervals. But even though it’s imperative to control blood pressure, a recent study found that almost half (46.5%) of those with hypertension were unaware they had it.
Of course, drugs are available to lower blood pressure, but all of them have unpleasant side effects, and quite a few patients stop taking them after a few months (thereby risking their lives).
So if you do have high blood pressure, this is a good time to get started on natural treatments and good nutrition. Natural methods are far preferable and benefit the whole body.
Conventional medicine endorses the eating plan called the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH). This diet emphasizes whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish and nuts.
Those recommendations will probably do the job, but my own current thinking about diet differs somewhat. In my view, the most important thing is to limit carbs as much as possible – the less you consume the better. Grains should be kept to a minimum, and sugar should be eliminated completely. You can eat as many vegetables as you wish (not potatoes!) and you can eat healthy fats like nuts, olives and coconut oil almost without limit. Protein, even including organic meat, can safely make up at least 20 percent of your food. It’s carbs that are the problem.
Another effective strategy is the Comprehensive Approach to Lowering Measured Blood Pressure (CALM-BP), based on holistic health principles. This approach incorporates diet, stress management, controlled diaphragmatic breathing, yoga, qigong and exercise. This is important to know: You can learn to be aware of and reduce your own blood pressure using these techniques. Plus they improve your life in countless other ways as well.
Also, please be aware there are some problems with diagnosing high blood pressure. The test itself is stressful and sends some people’s blood pressure soaring. Try to calm yourself down as much as you can just before and during the test (this is where it would be handy to know meditation and controlled breathing).
If you test high, tell the doctor or nurse you were very nervous and ask them to try again. The second test may come in lower.
Whatever you decide to do about your blood pressure, please don’t ignore it. Dealing with it not only lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke, it could also preserve your mental health in the years ahead.
Lee Euler, Publisher
Researchers have identified two key lifestyle factors that can produce a cascade of mind-health benefits if you want a brain that works more efficiently, lasts longer and provides sharper intellectual abilities.
All you have to do is change these two factors, and — like ripples in a lake from a falling pebble — you should witness a spreading effect that improves your health, your emotional well-being and memory.
How Joe Healed His Osteoarthritis
And Canceled His Double Knee Replacement
This all-natural therapy kick-starts joint healing
and is clinically proven to regrow cartilage –
seven out of ten patients
NEVER need joint replacement –
and I’ll show you the X-ray proof it works!
If you or someone you love suffers from chronic joint pain, then you know relief never comes fast enough or stays as long as you hoped. And often it never comes at all. Day-after-day pain is not just an inconvenience – it gets in the way of everything you want to do in life.
That’s why the news of the pain breakthroughs I’m about to reveal could literally restore your active lifestyle.
Best of all, these discoveries prove you don’t need dangerous drugs or surgery to relieve the worst chronic pain – even “hopeless” and “irreversible” pain vanishes quickly.
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The first change you may need to make: Spend your days before a window that provides daylight.
A studyi from Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign shows that when you are exposed to more daylight during the day, you sleep longer at night, you enjoy better sleep quality, you are more physically active and you have a better quality of life compared to people who don’t receive enough natural light.
This research, which focused on office workers, found that those with windows get 173 percent more white light exposure during the daytime and sleep, on average, 46 minutes more each night than those deprived of natural light. They also engage in more exercise.
“There is increasing evidence that exposure to light, during the day, particularly in the morning, is beneficial to your health via its effects on mood, alertness and metabolism,” says researcher Phyllis Zee, M.D., a neurologist and sleep specialist. “The study results confirm that light during the natural daylight hours has powerful effects on health.”
Because extra daylight through a window is linked to more sleep, it also improves brain power. Research shows that sufficient sleep is necessary for the brain to rid itself of toxins and consolidate memories.
I find these results especially interesting because in this instance we can rule out vitamin D as the health-boosting element. Windows screen out the ultraviolet rays that cause the skin to produce more D.
Set Yourself a Goal
The second lifestyle factor you may have to attend to: Develop a sense of purpose in your life, don’t just go through the motions of daily living.
Researchii at Carleton University in Canada demonstrates that those who feel their lives possess a sense of purpose tend to live longer – and it’s never too late to set yourself a goal.
“Our findings point to the fact that finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can help you actually live longer, regardless of when you find your purpose,” says researcher Patrick Hill. “So the earlier someone comes to a direction for life, the earlier these protective effects may be able to occur.”
This 14-year study focused on more than 6,000 people who reported on their purpose — or lack of it. During the study, the people who died tended to report less purposeful lives with fewer positive relationships than did those who were still alive at the end of the research.
The scientists were surprised to find that having a greater purpose in life increased longevity in all age groups.
“There are a lot of reasons to believe that being purposeful might help protect older adults more so than younger ones,” says Hill. “For instance, adults might need a sense of direction more, after they have left the workplace and lost that source for organizing their daily events. In addition, older adults are more likely to face mortality risks than younger adults. To show that purpose predicts longer lives for younger and older adults alike is pretty interesting, and underscores the power of the construct.”
Natural health practitioners have been preaching the wellness qualities of daylight for hundreds of years. And philosophers, since the dawn of history, have promoted the benefits of purposeful lives. Good to see that scientific research is finally embracing this counsel. You should too!
Lee Euler, Publisher