Archive for July, 2015
Researchers recently stumbled onto a crucial insight: Your chance of Alzheimer’s may be linked to what ethnic group you belong to.
A study at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago shows not only that African-Americans have a significantly increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s than whites whose ancestors came from Europe, but that the disease often develops differently in their brains.
“Because some studies suggest that Alzheimer’s disease is more common among older African-Americans than European-Americans, we wanted to see whether the brain changes caused by Alzheimer’s are different in these two racial groups,” says researcher Lisa L. Barnes. “Studying how Alzheimer’s disease looks in the brain in individuals of different races may help us to further understand the disease and pinpoint strategies for prevention and treatment.”
As I explain below, it looks to me like the differences in Alzheimer’s risk between black and white Americans may not be related to genetics so much as to lifestyle. . .
6 SHOCKING WAYS THIS “UNHEALTHY FAT”
SAVE YOUR LIFE
We are about to expose one of the biggest medical blunders of all time. For years, doctors warned us to avoid saturated fats like the plague.
Eat them, they said, and you’ll end up with heart disease, joint pain,
and digestion problems that will make your life a nightmare.
There’s just one problem. They were WRONG.
In other words, it’s packed with powerful healing properties that boost your brainpower, improve cholesterol, burn belly fat, fight off infections, and even help you live longer.
What the Chicago researchers found surprised them. The most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain are considered to be plaques and tangles of tissue that disrupt the functions of the brain’s neurons.
The plaques consist of fragmented, sticky proteins called beta-amyloid that bunch together between nerve cells. The sticky protein originates in the fatty membranes that normally protect nerve cells.
The tangles consist of tau, a protein whose normal function is to help distribute nutrients and necessary compounds among the brain’s cells. But when tau forms tangles, it distorts and twists, diverting the nutrient supplies that are crucial for neuron survival.
In autopsies performed after the people in the Rush study died, about 50 percent of the brains of European-Americans who had Alzheimer’s disease showed evidence of “pure” Alzheimer’s. The plaques and tangles were the only visible factors that hampered their brain function.
But among the African-Americans, only 25 percent had uncomplicated Alzheimer’s. The rest also had brain damage from Lewy bodies (bunches of protein linked to Parkinson’s disease that gather disruptively in nerve cells) and infarcts (areas of dead brain tissue killed when its blood supply had been cut off by mini-strokes). Many of these people also had heart disease and closed-down arteries that restricted blood flow to the brain.
Health Issues Linked to Alzheimer’s
The researchers point out that health issues that particularly plague African-Americans – heart disease, type 2 diabetes and hypertension – may account for their increased chance of suffering memory issues as they grow older. Research shows, for instance, that high blood sugar increases the level of amyloid beta in the brain.
While the researchers didn’t voice this opinion, lifestyle factors tend to dominate genetic factors in cardiovascular and blood sugar diseases. Although genes can play some role, few experts these days view heart disease and diabetes as mainly hereditary problems — not with such a large proportion of the population coming down with these diseases.
I’m certain the European-American victims of Alzheimer’s in this study were not all thin and fit. It’s known that, regardless of race, dementia is closely related to lifestyle. In fact, Alzheimer’s disease has been called “Type 3 diabetes.” In this study, it seems at least possible that the African-Americans simply had worse habits than the whites, as suggested by the condition of their hearts, brains and blood vessels.
It’s known that people are at greater risk of Type 2 diabetes if they have close relatives with the disease. Doctors have traditionally used this to suggest a genetic factor. I’m going to make another conjecture: Yes, something is being passed along from parents to children, but not in the genes – in the kitchen.
Kids pick up their parents’ food choices, carry them into adulthood, and pass them on to their own children. I believe the epidemics of both diabetes and obesity are so widespread they blow the gene theory out of the water. Most likely, the genetic component of Type 2 diabetes is minor.
Let me be quick to add that Parkinson’s disease — whose symptoms were more abundant in the African-Americans — is not so securely linked to lifestyle. In fact, its causes are largely unknown, except for the fact that exposure to pesticides increases the risk.
My takeaway is that, whatever your race, one of your best bets for avoiding brain damage of ANY kind is to focus on lifestyle factors you can control and not worry too much about genetic factors you can’t.
Lab tests at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis demonstrate that if amyloid beta has already started to accumulate in your brain tissue, when the level of blood glucose doubles, the level of amyloid beta can grow as much as 40 percent faster.
If you are concerned about your brain, you should be doing everything in your power to avoid diabetes and heart problems. Altering your lifestyle for better blood sugar control and cardiovascular protection also has brain benefits, too.
Getting consistent exercise, eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting back on processed foods and sugar is a good place to start your healthy brain program.
Because even if you belong to an ethnic group that has a low chance for Alzheimer’s, why not slash your risk even further?
Years ago, TV quiz show hosts promoted a tonic that was supposed to be able to perk up “tired blood.”
There wasn’t much to that product. What it mainly contained was a hefty dose of iron and a dash of alcohol to make its customers feel as though they had more pep and vim.
While there was more hype than health in that tonic, it now turns out that fixing “tired blood” may indeed hold the key to reviving the brain and body when advancing age slows them down.
But the ingredients to rejuvenate your tired blood won’t be iron and alcohol. They’ll be compounds made by the body itself.
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. . .
Research into natural chemicals circulating in the blood shows that blood contains a variety of compounds produced by the immune system that can slow your memory as you grow older – and other compounds that might do the opposite and restore your brainpower.
A few years ago, tests on lab animals at the University of California in San Francisco initially showed that if you circulated blood from young animals in older ones, you could improve the function of the muscles, brains and hearts of the older animals – in effect turning back the clock and making these organs function as though they hadn’t aged.
The effects were especially striking on the brain. The young blood significantly boosted the animals’ aptitude for learning mazes and other tasks that the rodents were being taught.
“It was as if these old brains were recharged by young blood,” says Professor Tony Wyss-Coray, a member of the research team.
The scientists found profound changes in the hippocampus, the area of the brain that is key to forming memories and, in particular, remembering spatial relationships.
“That’s what you need to use when, for example, you try to find your car in a parking lot or navigate around a city without using your GPS system,” Professor Wyss-Coray says.
As you get older, and have more problems locating your keys and remembering daily appointments, a possible cause is that the function of your hippocampus has slipped.
“We know that detrimental anatomical and functional changes occur in the hippocampus as mice and people get older,” says researcher Saul A. Villeda. “This is just from natural aging. We’re all heading in that direction.”
Laboratory analysis of the hippocampi in older mice who had received the blood of younger mice showed stronger connections between the neurons – evidence that their learning abilities had been enhanced.
Some Blood Compounds have a Negative Influence
The researchers also found that blood from older animals included what they call “pro-aging factors.” These chemicals slow the brain’s neurogenesis, interfering with the regeneration of new brain cells. The decline in the production of new cells can contribute to dementia and other memory issues.
And while the researchers have not yet identified the rejuvenating substances in younger blood, they discovered an immune substance called beta-2 microglobulin (B2M) that hampers brain cell restoration and repair.
The amount of B2M in the blood and the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the brain not only climbs in both lab animals and humans with age, but people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia have the highest levels of B2M.
The researchers are now looking into ways to counter this pro-aging factor. Their lab work shows that if it can be reduced or stymied, its negative effects are reversible.
And who knows, soon you may hear scientists promoting a new way to invigorate “tired blood” and enliven older brains.
When you breathe what is called “fine particle” air pollution day after day, the neurotoxins it contains can harm your brain as you age,1 according to a study at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
“Long-term exposure to air pollution showed harmful effects on the brain in (our) study, even at low levels, particularly with older people and even those who are relatively healthy,” warns researcher Elissa H. Wilker. Here are the types of pollution to especially watch out for – and avoid. . .
Grow new “gray matter” and
boost your brain in four weeks!
It happens to everybody. As you age, your brain shrinks as much as 15 percent.
This may not seem like a huge amount, but…
…new research reveals a shrinking brain is linked to poor memory, depression and dementia.
Sadly, most people do nothing about this problem.
But now, you can grow new “gray matter” and boost your brain starting in just four weeks with a breakthrough mineral. Go here for a Free Special Report that reveals the whole story…
Fine particle air pollution consists of invisible particles that are smaller than 2.5 micrometers (.001 inches) in diameter. Scientists say this common form of pollution, originating from wood smoke, burning coal and car exhaust, is the most widespread, unsafe form of air contamination.
Ms. Wilker’s research involved people in the New England and New York areas, places with relatively low air pollution. By making use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the research team found that every tiny increase (2 micrograms per cubic meter of air) of fine particle pollution over a ten year period was linked to a 46 percent higher chance of silent strokes called “covert brain infarcts.” Those incremental microscopic climbs in pollution were also associated with a drop in cerebral brain volume of .32 percent.
Those small changes may not seem like much, but losing .32 percent of your brain volume, according to the researchers, is the equivalent of an extra year of brain aging.
Accelerated brain shrinkage is a serious concern. It significantly boosts your chances of memory and intellectual decline.
Brain infarcts are also troubling: They create areas of dead tissue, often deep within the brain, that are linked to neurological troubles, poorer memory and an increased risk for dementia.
White Matter Disappears
Air pollution’s damage doesn’t stop there, as research at the University of Southern California demonstrates. Pollution also causes the loss of the brain’s white matter as you age.2
White matter has been called the “subway” of the brain.3 Although most of your memory and thinking occurs in the outer part of your brain – in the gray matter – the white matter beneath connects the different areas of the brain together, shuttling the transmission of signals from one locale to another.
Tests at the University of Kentucky show that the health and functioning of white matter is central to keeping your brain working properly in your later years.4
“We used magnetic resonance imaging to compare the health of the brain’s white matter and how strongly it connects different parts of the brain,” says researcher Elizabeth Head. “The results indicate a compelling progression of deterioration in the integrity of white matter in the brains of our study participants commensurate with their cognitive health.”
Translated, that means that as your white matter goes, so go your mental abilities. A breakdown in white matter leads to an overall breakdown in the brain.
Better Air, Better Brain
Air pollution is a ubiquitous menace. A study at the University of Utah even suggests that it can increase the risk of suicide among people aged 36 to 64.5
So, obviously, you should avoid air pollutants whenever possible. If you have a choice, don’t live near a major highway. Certain vitamins may also help. Antioxidants like vitamin C and E may help protect cells from pollutant damage.67
Scientists have been working to create a blood test for Alzheimer’s for some time.
If only they could detect this deadly disease years before the first symptoms appear, we might have a better chance of preventing it.
Now it looks like the fruits of their efforts could be paying off, as two research teams have come up with some exciting discoveries over the last 12 months.
This is what they found.
A Personal Message from Lee Euler
Do Your Eyes Hold the Key to
Scientists have discovered a startling link
between good vision and good memory —
and a new secret that may help you hang on to both!
Why does research show that when your eyesight begins to fade, your memory fades along with it?
This is a startling new fact that scientists have just discovered. Two of the problems we seniors fear most – going blind and losing our memories — are actually related.
Scientists are calling it “The Oxygen Connection.”
And the progressive and invisible damage first appears in the eyes – before it begins to slowly attack the brain. Breakthrough studies now reveal that even “normal” age-related vision problems can be early warning signs of this condition. . .
A condition that is rapidly becoming the leading cause of blindness in adults over 50 (including one out of every four people past the age of 65). . .
At the same time, this condition substantially increases your risk of memory loss and even full-blown dementia.
Considering this scary link between vision loss and cognitive decline, I’ve personally been researching and talking to doctors about every possible way to save my eyes.
The good news is, the latest research also reveals powerful steps you can take NOW to support your eyes and make sure they stay healthy at any age. Click here to learn more.
Ten Proteins Predict Alzheimer’s Disease
With 87% Accuracy
Knowing that 26 different blood proteins had previously been identified as possible markers for future Alzheimer’s, researchers at King’s College London, UK, wanted to refine this further.
For their study, they recruited 1,100 people who were either cognitively healthy, had symptoms of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), or actually suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
The scientists identified 16 of the 26 proteins that were strongly associated with shrinkage of the brain. Of these, 10 proteins were able to predict how a patient would progress from MCI to full-blown Alzheimer’s — with an accuracy of 87%!
Lead researcher Simon Lovestone said, “When we started off this research we were setting out to show that a blood test was absolutely not possible. I think we’ve proved ourselves wrong on that point.”
Lysosomal Proteins Predict Alzheimer’s
Meanwhile, Dr. Edward Goetzl, professor of medicine at the University of California, is examining lysosomal proteins. These are part of the brain’s housekeeping crew, removing damaged and dead neurons.
His research team examined how 20 people who went on to develop Alzheimer’s within ten years compared with a group of healthy controls, a group of people who already had Alzheimer’s, and a group of people with other forms of dementia.
They found these proteins were much higher in the blood of those with healthy cognition who went on to develop Alzheimer’s.
According to Dr. Goetzl, “Abnormal levels of the proteins may be useful [signals] that could help us study early treatments to limit or reverse the damage to brain cells and even prevent the development of the full blown disease.”
A Single Protein is Implicated in Cognitive Decline
Back in the UK, the King’s College researchers made another new discovery.
In the biggest study of its kind so far, they measured over one thousand one hundred proteins in the blood of 212 people. This included 106 pairs of twins, of which 55 were identical. The purpose was to take age and genetics into account in the study’s findings.
The UK team measured each person’s cognitive ability using computerized tests sensitive for the type of changes seen in early Alzheimer’s. Results were compared with the protein levels found in their blood.
What they discovered was that a single protein called MAPKAPK5 was reduced in those whose mental faculties declined significantly over a 10 year period. The association was unrelated to age or genetics.
MAPKAPK5 has been studied previously in relation to rheumatoid arthritis and cancer, but this is the first time it has been implicated in dementia.
Declared Dr. Claire Steves, one of the study authors, “We’re very optimistic that our research has the potential to benefit the lives of those who don’t currently have symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but are at risk of developing the disease.”
I hope that these three studies will soon issue in a blood tests available to the general public. True, there’s no “cure” for dementia as yet, but there are a number of things we can do, including sensible eating, moderate daily exercise, plenty of sleep, and supplements that can boost memory or reduce inflammation.
If people get an early warning that they’re at high risk of Alzheimer’s, maybe they’ll be inspired to do something. .
An effective way to help your brain perform better and stay healthier may be a simple change in your surroundings.
For instance, what do you see when you look out the window from where you are right now? A city street? A grove of trees? A brick wall?
Research shows the scene that greets you could make the difference between foggy thinking and razor-sharp, focused thoughts. Keep reading. . .
This MRI could save your life
I’ve never seen anything like this…
Experimental doctors treating a former gold medalist with terminal cancer got the shock of their lives when they held his MRI up to the light.
What they saw could be hailed as the biggest cancer breakthrough in history.
And after 7 years, their unbelievable discovery is finally being revealed in this free video.
If you’re suffering from cancer or even if you just want to see something astonishing… You need to watch it now.
The government has kept this rare footage quiet over the last 7 years for fear it will topple the billion dollar cancer industry… I can’t guarantee how long it will be available, so watch now!
To get a glimpse at how scenery affects the brain, researchers at the University of Melbourne, Australia, assigned a boring, repetitive task to 150 people. The intentionally pointless exercise entailed pressing a key while numbers flashed on a computer screen.1
In the middle of the experiment, the subjects in the study were given a 40-second reprieve that allowed them to stare out a window at an urban rooftop. Half of the subjects gazed at a roof covered with grass and flowers. The others looked at bare concrete.
After the 40 seconds, the people who had perused greenery were more alert and focused than those treated to a view of concrete. The foliage and flowers they had gazed at revived their tired neurons and strengthened their brain power.
“We know that green roofs are great for the environment, but now we can say that they boost attention too,” says researcher Kate Lee.
Living with Plants
Other studies show similar brain benefits from seeing and being near plants and natural scenery.
A test at Cardiff University’s School of Psychology in Wales demonstrates that having plants in your surroundings — even if they’re just house plants — improves your attention span and your emotional wellness. The researchers reached their conclusions after analyzing the productivity and mental alertness of people who had plants in their offices compared to those who didn’t.2
According to researcher Kenneth Freeman, this study and others demonstrate that “… plants can lower physiological stress, increase attention span and improve well-being.”
You Can See It in Brain Imaging Tests
Brain scans at Stanford reveal that your surroundings when you walk outdoors influence your neuronal function in ways that can determine the future health of your brain.3
In the Stanford study, about three dozen people walked either through a wooded area near the school’s campus or along a busy street in downtown Palo Alto, California.
After the 90-minute walk, the subjects filled out questionnaires that analyzed their thinking processes — and then had their brains scanned.
The scientists were particularly interested in how these strolls affected brain activity in an area called the subgenual prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain, say the researchers, is “particularly active during the type of maladaptive, self-reflective thought and behavioral withdrawal that occurs during rumination.”
Rumination refers to negative inner thoughts people experience that criticize their own actions and abilities. Long term, it can lead to severe depression linked to an increased risk of memory problems like Alzheimer’s disease.4
The Stanford brain scans demonstrated that, compared to walking in a busy urban setting, natural scenery produces significantly healthier brain activity — reduced activation of the subgenual cortex.
“This provides robust results for us that nature experience, even of a short duration, can decrease this pattern of [negative, self-critical] thinking that is associated with the onset, in some cases, of mental illnesses like depression,” says researcher Gregory Bratman.5
Unfortunately, many of us live in environments that are more asphalt than fauna and flora. In that case, a walk in nature every day, or even a few plants on the windowsills, can help restore the natural balance that helps the brain stay healthier.