Archive for January, 2015
How would you describe your personality? Outgoing and friendly? Shy and reclusive? Serious and studious?
According to researchers, when you talk about your personality, you’re not only talking about your social skills, you’re also discussing the shape of your brain and the function of your immune system. Remarkably, certain personality types may be more likely to catch an infection. . .
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. . .
A study at the University of Minnesota demonstrates that various aspects of how you relate to the world and to other people reflect the internal structure of your brain.i
The Minnesota researchers gave questionnaires to 116 people in order to determine their personality characteristics and then scanned their brains to measure the sizes of its various parts.
The results demonstrated that a part of the brain that has been shown to be linked to seeking rewards is bigger in people who are extroverts.
“Everybody, I think, has a common sense of what extroversion is – someone who is talkative, outgoing, brash,” says researcher Colin DeYoung. “They get more pleasure out of things like social interaction, amusement parks, or really just about anything, and they’re also more motivated to seek reward, which is part of why they’re more assertive.”
The scans showed that the medial orbitofrontal cortex (just above and behind your eyes), an area connected to reward-seeking behavior, is, in fact, bigger in extroverts.
“This starts to indicate that we can actually find the biological systems that are responsible for these patterns of complex behavior and experience that make people individuals,” says DeYoung.
Immunity and Personality
Aside from relating to the anatomy of your brain, your personality can shape aspects of your immune system.
Tests at the University of Nottingham in England and the University of California in Los Angeles show that your tendency to be an extrovert or – at the opposite end of the spectrum — more reclusive (while being conscientious and intellectually open to new ideas) can affect the expression of genes in immune cells. That, in turn influences how your immune system reacts to microbes that can potentially make you ill.ii
The scientists looked at the links between personality traits and genes in leukocytes (white blood cells), using what is called microarray technology (microscopic examination of DNA).
They found that extroverts have immune systems that are quicker to respond to infections. On the other hand, people who are conscientious and open/intellectual (and less social) were found to be more likely to have immune cells that are slower to respond to an invasion by pathogenic microbes.
“Our results indicated that ‘extroversion’ was significantly associated with an increased expression of pro-inflammatory genes and that ‘conscientiousness’ was linked to a reduced expression of pro-inflammatory genes,” says researcher Kavita Vedhara. “In other words, individuals who we would expect to be exposed to more infections as a result of their socially orientated nature (i.e., extroverts) appear to have immune systems that we would expect can deal effectively with infection. While individuals who may be less exposed to infections because of their cautious/conscientious dispositions have immune systems that may respond less well.”
In this context, “pro-inflammatory” is a good thing because it’s associated with an active immune system. It’s only when inflammation becomes chronic that it’s harmful.
The findings suggest that if you are happier staying home and reading a book or surfing the internet rather than going out on the town and partying, your immune system probably agrees with you. You may be more content with a quieter lifestyle involving fewer strangers and their accompanying entourage of microbes.
Surprisingly, the study did not find any signs that people who are depressed or anxious have immune systems that make them more liable to be in poor health.
Lee Euler, Publisher
Do you know someone whose sense of direction is so bad, you might say they couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag?
While some people can find their way home blindfolded, others can’t make two left turns without getting lost. And there may be more at stake than your ability to drive.
In fact, new studies suggest your sense of direction may indicate the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or even the actual presence of the disease. Here’s what researchers have found. . .
This “Forbidden” Food
Super-Charges Your Brain
It’s being called a “silent epidemic”. . .
A brain health crisis already growing faster than Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. . .and affecting the memory and cognitive ability of Americans as young as 40.
Over the next decade, the U.S. government will spend more than $3 billion to study this threat. Yet for millions of young and middle-aged adults, this research may come too late.
And you know what? They don’t need to spend the $3 billion because the major cause of memory loss has already been identified. Yet almost no one knows about it.
Millions of people are losing their memories and seeing their brain health go downhill because nine out of ten of us don’t consume enough of a vital nutrient. . .
. . .and the reason we don’t get enough of this nutrient is that doctors tell us NOT to eat the foods that happen be richest in this “missing ingredient for good brain health”!!
That’s right, the very food you need most for memory and cognitive health is a forbidden food!
It’s a national scandal. . . but it’s also an opportunity for you to save your brain and improve your memory like you wouldn’t believe. . .
Click here and I’ll tell you the full story. . .
The Brain’s Inner GPS
The entorhinal cortex plays an important role in transforming our experiences into long-term memories. It’s the gateway to the hippocampus, which helps form and store memories. It’s also one of the first areas of the brain to be damaged by Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to storing memories, researchers have discovered that the entorhinal cortex is also the seat of our ability to navigate. This part of the brain tells us which way we are facing and which direction we need to go.
The discovery of the brain’s “inner-GPS,” as it’s been called, started in 1971 when John O’Keefe, an American-British professor at University College London, discovered what he called “place cells” in the hippocampus.
These place cells are what create our mental maps of external environments.
Then, in 2005, researchers Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser discovered a kind of nerve cell in the entorhinal cortex they called a “grid-like cell.” Grid-like cells act as a coordinate system that helps the brain navigate through positioning and pathfinding.
These cells not only tell us which direction we’re facing, but also tell us which direction we need to face to accomplish a goal. Then, remarkably, they store that information for future use.
The discovery of these two types of “navigating neurons” was so important, O’Keefe and the Mosers were awarded the Nobel Price for Physiology or Medicine in 2014.
The existence of these specialized neurons strongly indicates that humans’ higher cognitive functioning is tangible and physically based in our cells and their unique abilities …
Which means we can retain cognitive functioning as long as we keep those physical neurons happy and healthy.
Researchers are now applying this new understanding of the brain to further explore Alzheimer’s disease.
The Inner GPS and Alzheimer’s Disease
Since one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s is loss of a sense of direction and spatial memory — and we know the disease is associated with a weakened entorhinal region1 as well as a weak hippocampus — testing one’s sense of direction could indicate the presence of the disease or the risk of developing it.
A study published in the journal Science tested the navigation abilities and functioning of the entorhinal cortex of young adults ages 18-30, some of whom were at genetic risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. (They were APO-E4 carriers, the gene that appears in about 40% of people with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease)2.
The researchers asked the participants to navigate through a virtual reality maze and perform memory tasks such as picking up an object, then returning it to the same place later.
While the subjects performed these tasks, the scientists monitored their brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
What they discovered is nothing short of mind-boggling …
The genetically at-risk participants behaved much differently in the maze than those who did not carry the gene.
The APO-E4 carriers had less grid-like cell activity, and chose to stay on the edges of the maze, rather than exploring the interior like the non-carrier group.3
The at-risk group also had a more active hippocampus, which researchers suggest may have been a coping mechanism for the entorhinal region’s inability to handle navigation by itself.
These differences were also associated with impaired spatial memory performance.
All this evidence lead the researchers to conclude that, in APO-E4 carriers, abnormal navigation can reveal dysfunctions in the entorhinal region of the brain years before any symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease appear.
These findings provide yet another clue in determining the potential causes of Alzheimer’s disease … as well as possible new, noninvasive tests for early detection.
I’ll keep you updated as this incredible research continues to unfold.
In the meantime, you can actively keep your neurons and entorhinal cortex strong by taking new routes to and from work or when running errands.
Playing brain games and practicing mazes online to exercise your brain’s inner GPS may even help stave off cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
Every little bit helps.
(1) Entorhinal cortex pathology in Alzheimer’s disease.
(2) Alzheimer’s disease and APOE-4.
(3) Reduced grid-cell–like representations in adults at genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/350/6259/430.short
With Alzheimer’s diagnoses and awareness on the rise, it’s understandable that the first signs of memory loss in your loved ones might immediately make you think Alzheimer’s.
However, Alzheimer’s disease — and even other forms of irreversible dementia — may not always be to blame for sudden memory loss or changes in behavior in elderly people.
In fact, there are over 50 other common conditions that can result in dementia-like symptoms. Often, these conditions can be treated. And some of the most common dementia triggers are infections.
Read on to see how you can help avoid a false diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, and possibly save your loved one’s life.
The Ancient Memory-Boosting
Secret of Chinese Emperors
A note from Lee Euler
Our best-selling book Awakening from Alzheimer’s featured an ancient Chinese secret for boosting memory. Now I’m happy to tell you we have a recommended source for this supplement if you wish to try it.
I’ve been taking it myself, and I can feel the results. I’m thinking faster and more clearly than I have in years. This is definitely not one of the supplements where you take it and “nothing happens.”
So, what is this stuff? In ancient China, the emperor was believed to be the son of heaven. One of the perks of the job was that he was the only one allowed to eat a certain medicinal mushroom that was said to give him “nerves of steel and the memory of a lion.”
Now modern science has confirmed this mushroom’s remarkable benefits. If you’d like to reap the benefits for yourself click here now…
Infection, Inflammation, and Fever
If a loved one displays sudden memory loss or dementia, think infection before you think Alzheimer’s.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Dementia-like symptoms can result from fever or other side effects of your body’s attempt to fight off an infection.”1
Bacterial, viral and fungal infections — and the inflammation and fever they bring – can cause rapid decline in people who already suffer with Alzheimer’s. It makes sense that this might occur in otherwise healthy older people, and be mistaken for Alzheimer’s or dementia.
And, the most common bacterial infection (second only to candidiasis, or yeast infection) can remain asymptomatic and go entirely unnoticed in the elderly until it starts to cause serious damage.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are especially common in older women. They occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and multiply in the bladder. If the infection goes untreated, the bacteria can spread to the kidneys … and on to the bloodstream.
That’s when the real problems start. As the infection spreads, it increases inflammation in the body and can cause sudden onset of dementia.
Early warning signs of a UTI include fatigue, offensive smelling urine, back pain, and cloudy or bloody urine. For men, there may be a feeling of fullness in the rectum.2
UTIs aren’t the only culprits …
Here are a few other common infections with dementia-like symptoms:
- Meningitis is a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection and causes inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. Sudden memory loss or dementia-like symptoms often occur.
- Encephalitis is similar to meningitis, a bacterial or viral inflammation of the brain itself.
- Latent syphilis, also a bacterial infection, can cause dementia-like symptoms. People may be unaware that they’ve been exposed, and the bacteria can lay dormant for years without symptoms. Sudden progression to late-stage syphilis can lead to brain damage and thus apparent dementia.
I’ve also previously reported about bacterial infections of the phylum spirochetes, which are often found in people with gum disease.
Some species of spirochetes are also transmitted from ticks and cause Lyme disease. The bacteria can travel from the infection site to the brain, cause inflammation, and spark sudden dementia – or make an existing case of dementia worse.3
Many doctors are unaware of the connection between infection, inflammation, and sudden memory loss in older patients. If someone you love suddenly seems to be losing their memory, this information might help get them the treatment they need faster … and avoid a false Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
Important Notes for Caregivers
On a similar note, scientists are currently investigating whether infections speed up the progress of dementia in Alzheimer’s patients.
Dr. Delphine Boche and her team at the University of Southampton hypothesize that additional inflammation caused by an infection “could tip the balance and make immune cells switch from being protective to harmful.”4
This research could help scientists develop a broader theory about inflammation, fever, and degenerative disease in the brain.
If you’re a caregiver to an Alzheimer’s patient, I encourage you to remain hyper-aware of infections, fever and sudden declines in condition. One of the most common causes of death in late-stage Alzheimer’s are fever and infections — if they remain untreated.
Lee Euler, Publisher
(1) Dementia: Causes
(2) The unlikely connection between UTIs and dementia.
(3) Startling New Theory: Alzheimer’s May Be Caused by an Infection.
(4) Can infections make Alzheimer’s worse?
An effective immune system can save your life. Robust immunity keeps infectious bacteria, viruses and other pathogens from invading the body and making you ill.
But you can have too much of a good thing.
One big problem: You may be eating foods that cause the immune system to not only guard against infectious organisms, but also send over-eager immune cells into the brain and warp its functions. We came across a study that suggests how a bad eating habit might set off such an immune response. . .
Hidden epidemic picking off
Baby Boomers in their prime
Leg cramps that wake you up out of a sound sleep… Fingers so cold you’re embarrassed to shake hands at church… Unsightly circles under your eyes–no matter how much sleep you get… Bruises that appear after the slightest bump…and take WEEKS to go away.
These aren’t just minor annoyances. They’re the first signs of the hidden epidemic picking off Baby Boomers like flies. So deadly, it claims another new victim every 30 seconds.
Which is why it’s absolutely critical for you to watch this special presentation right now. It will tell you everything you need to know about this sweeping threat. Including the solution so stunningly simple, it puts modern medicine to shame. Please, don’t miss it.
A series of studies examining how the immune system can go awry demonstrates that many people have a type of problem with immune cells called microglia.
Scientists classify microglia as macrophages, a type of immune system cell that roams around the body scavenging for invaders and eating them up, more or less. “Macrophage” literally means “big eater.” Microglia are the specific type of macrophage that’s supposed to protect the brain and nervous system. But when their numbers build up, they can cause difficulties.
An animal study at the University of California-San Francisco found that a diet high in saturated fat (the researchers used saturated milk fats) can cause microglia to accumulate in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that affects hunger and the urge to eat. The milk fat was also found to be amassing in that part of the brain.i
As the number of microglia in lab animals’ brains burgeoned, so did the animals’ appetites and body weight. But the same effect was not found when the animals consumed a diet low in fat or a diet high in olive oil or coconut oil.
In the past, it was believed that microglia would only gather in response to infection or injury. But the researchers now think that their behavior responds to our meals.
“As opposed to classically defined inflammation, in which immune cells build up in tissues where environmental insults have created disarray, microglial activation in the brain may be a part of a normal physiological process to remodel brain function in response to changes in the composition of food intake,” says researcher Suneil Koliwad.
“When the intake of saturated fats is chronically high,” he continues, “this microglial sensory network may be hijacked, and this has the potential to mediate increased food consumption and promote more rapid weight gain.”
Microglia have also been implicated in autism.
A research review performed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore shows people with autism have signs of brain inflammation caused by an abundance of microglia.ii
The researchers believe that the increase in microglia is a result of the autism. But they don’t know if the microglia are helping to control the brain abnormality or making the condition worse.
“There are many different ways of getting autism, but we found that they all have the same downstream effect,” says researcher Dan Arking, who is with the McKusick-Nathans Institute for Genetic Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “What we don’t know is whether this immune response is making things better in the short term and worse in the long term.”
The scientists say that in people who have autism, microglia seem to be continually activated and causing inflammation.
“This type of inflammation is not well understood, but it highlights the lack of current understanding about how innate immunity controls neural circuits,” says researcher Andrew West of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Research suggests that the omega-3 fats in fish oil may help protect against this type of inflammation. A study at the University of California-San Diego shows that omega-3 fats may help keep the immune system under proper control.iii
I would be cautious about drawing conclusions based on the animal study we cite at the beginning of this article. In that study, as you may recall, consuming milk fat seemed to bring on the microglial immune response while consuming coconut oil did not.
Milk is widely regarded as unhealthy for adults – even those who don’t suffer from lactose or casein intolerance – while coconut oil is acknowledged to be a healthy saturated fat, even medicinal. And of course, fish oil is also a healthy saturated fat.
It doesn’t look to me like fat as such is the problem. More study is needed, for sure. But meanwhile it sounds like milk fat should be avoided.
Lee Euler, Publisher
When many people think about the benefits of detoxification, they focus on detoxing below the neck in order to clear out substances linked to illness.
But they don’t often consider the fact that the brain needs to be detoxed, too. There are substances that build up in the blood that can impede the function of the neurons in your brain and lead to mental problems and depression.
Now, to cleanse the body, many health practitioners advocate a juice cleanse or a period of fasting. But to cleanse the brain, you don’t need to skip any meals or drink a cleansing concoction. Keep reading to discover one of the best things you can do…
How a Jamaican “Fishing Secret” Makes You Fall Asleep
FASTER and Stay Asleep LONGER. . .
My name is Dr. Al Sears, M.D. and I made a discovery in Jamaica that could be the most effective way to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Jamaicans use this “fishing secret” as a natural relaxant and stress reliever. And locals throughout the West Indies rely on it for help with stress, tension and occasional sleeplessness.
Ease your worried mind and get the restful sleep you deserve.
Probably the most effective way to detoxify the brain is to exercise consistently – your muscles can help to cleanse your brain.
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have demonstrated that when you exercise, your muscles remove a substance from the blood that builds up when you are feeling stressed and which can damage the brain and lead to mood disorders.i
The Swedish scientists used lab tests to focus on a protein made by the body called PGC-1a1. Before their experiment, they knew that this protein increases in muscle tissue when you exercise and helps muscles grow stronger.
In their tests, they examined the physiological response of lab animals to various stressors for five weeks, comparing animals whose muscles were rich in PGC-1a1 with others who lacked the protein. They found that the animals who didn’t possess the protein displayed signs of depression in response to prolonged stress. The mice who had PGC-1a1 acted more normally and were not seriously affected.
“Our initial research hypothesis was that trained muscle would produce a substance with beneficial effects on the brain. We actually found the opposite: well-trained muscle produces an enzyme that purges the body of harmful substances,” says researcher Jorge Ruas, who is with the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Karolinska.
The analysis revealed that animals with large amounts of PGC-1a1 in their muscles also had increased levels of enzymes called KATs (kynurenine aminotransferases). KATs change a brain-harming substance (kynurenine) that is created when you are stressed into kynurenic acid which is benign.
Mental Illness Factor
While no one is quite sure how kynurenine hurts the brain, research has shown that it reaches high levels in people who suffer from mental illness. So getting rid of kynurenine, the way exercise does, is a beneficial goal.
In another part of their study, the Swedish researchers gave kynurenine to lab animals who had not been stressed. The toxin caused the animals to display signs of depressive behavior. But animals who had high levels of PGC-1a1 in their muscles who were given this substance continued to act normally.
The researchers point out that as soon as they gave the kynurenine to animals whose muscles were rich in PGC-1a1, the PGC-1a1 immediately began to dissipate the substance by turning it into kynurenic acid.
The researchers believe that drug companies eventually can develop anti-depressant medications based on their studies.
“It’s possible that this work opens up a new pharmacological principle in the treatment of depression, where attempts could be made to influence skeletal muscle function instead of targeting the brain directly. Skeletal muscle appears to have a detoxification effect that, when activated, can protect the brain from insults and related mental illness,” says Ruas.
But you don’t have to wait for the development of those drugs. You can encourage your body to create this detox effect today by exercising. No prescription necessary.
Lee Euler, Publisher