Archive for November, 2015
Millions of people today took a common medication that possibly moved them one big step closer to developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Americans spend more than $26 million a day on these drugs. That’s more than a million dollars an hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The drugs are the antacid drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) – marketed under brand names like Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid. They quell heartburn by blocking an enyzme involved in the creation of stomach acid. And while they’re doing that, they also trash your brain. . .
Continued Below. . .
A Note from Lee Euler, Editor & Publisher
Surprised Brain Scientists Discover…
The Scary Reason
You’re Suddenly So Forgetful
— and How to Reverse the Problem:
Are your new “memory lapses” and sudden forgetfulness normal for your age? Or are these the early signs of something more serious?
Brace yourself for a surprise, my friend…
Brain scientists have just discovered that the majority of age-related forgetfulness has nothing to do with “age” at all!
Instead, they are reporting an epidemic of memory loss being caused by 4 secret factors that are destroying brain cells in seniors and 20-somethings alike.
You can stop all 4 of these brain-destroyers in their tracks — and actually reverse their progression. In this Special Report, a leading M.D. details how to stimulate the self-repair and revitalization of your brain…
One thoroughly-documented research study concluded:
“Their brains performed as if they were 14 YEARS YOUNGER!”
Wouldn’t you love it if your brain functioned like that — for life? The very encouraging news is: There’s a lot you can do to keep your brain young! Take a look at the groundbreaking research which proves it.
A German study just published in August found that elderly people who receive PPI medications are at greater risk of dementia. This was a large population study in which researchers followed 3,327 people age 75 or older for a period of six years. They identified 431 patients who developed dementia, including 260 who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
The scientists concluded, “Patients receiving PPI medication had a significantly increased risk of any dementia and Alzheimer’s disease compared with nonusers.” The study appeared in the European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience.
The German study doesn’t look into the mechanism that causes this drug “side effect,” but another recent study does exactly that.
When researchers examined the way PPIs work at the cellular and molecular level, they found the drugs not only block stomach acid (and thereby hamper the absorption of vitamins in the digestive tract ), they also block natural chemicals your body uses to protect your brain against Alzheimer’s disease.
Your Brain has Its Own “Digestive” Function
Nearly ten percent of the cells in your brain are immune cells called microglia. When damage to the brain occurs, the microglia mobilize and become amoeba-like, able to move to parts of the brain that are injured.
As mobile cells, the microglia transform into phagocytes. These are immune cells that can swallow up malfunctioning neurons and other debris, digesting and eliminating them. Microglia are the brain’s janitors, sweeping up and disposing of the refuse.
The digestive process occurs in the microglia within structures called lysosomes. The lysosomes are like small vats of acid – the undesirable material is soaked in acid and dissolved.
As part of their cleanup duties, microglia remove and dissolve a substance known as fibrillar A-beta, a waste product that, if allowed to build up, is believed to initiate the destructive process that leads to Alzheimer’s disease. If not checked, fibrillar A-beta can harm neurons, disrupt their connections, impair the brain’s blood supply and lead to the formation of what is called amyloid plaque – a development considered a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s.
Unfortunately for people who take proton pump inhibitors, the microglia use proton pumps to pump protons into their lysosomes in order to maintain their digestive acidity – and this is the same type of proton pump that PPI drugs are designed to inhibit.
A study at the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran shows that proton pump inhibitors – which cross the blood-brain barrier into the brain – make these lysosomes less acidic and less able to dissolve fibrillar A-beta. They disable your microglia and damage your brain’s ability to dispose of waste.
The researchers conclude: “Chronic consumption of PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) may thus be a risk factor for AD.”
Gumming Up the Works
The bad brain news about these drugs doesn’t stop there.
Tests at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona, Spain, demonstrate that proton pump inhibitors also seem to directly cause the accumulation of amyloid plaque in both test tubes and lab animals.
In their research, the Spanish researchers found these effects with the drug Prevacid. But they believe that other proton pump inhibitors may have similar effects.
I may as well add that PPIs are known to block the absorption of vitamin B12 – and it’s well-established that low B12 is linked to memory loss and dementia. That’s why we include B12 in one of our memory formulas, Maximum Memory Support.
PPI Drugs Increase the Risk of Death
Even aside from their potential effects on brain health, researchers are starting to uncover strong reasons to be much more judicious about our use of proton pump inhibitors.
A study at the University of Michigan Health System shows that patients who get these drugs while hospitalized are at a significantly increased risk of dying before their hospital stay is over. The researchers note that your stomach acid is a key element of the body’s defenses against infections like pneumonia and Clostridium difficile, two illnesses that threaten many hospital patients.
The message of this research is clear: Proton pump inhibitors can have dangerous side effects. They should only be used with extreme care.
Researchers recently proclaimed a huge breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease …
They identified a period that occurs from two to six years before symptoms become noticeable, but when the disease has already begun to break down brain tissue.
This crucial discovery completely changes how medical researchers think about fighting Alzheimer’s disease. . .
Continued Below. . .
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. . .
Instead of trying to reverse brain degradation, heal brain tissue, and restore memory loss — a nearly impossible task — they “only” have to find out how to slow or reverse the disease before it does any real damage to the brain.
But the only way to take advantage of this critical time period is to first have an accurate and accessible tool for early diagnosis.
For decades, that’s been easier said than done …
But a number of different groups of researchers around the world believe they’ve found a simple, accurate, inexpensive and relatively painless test that can predict Alzheimer’s disease up to six years before the onset of symptoms.
If it works, the test could change everything … and give patients a long head start in fighting their prognosis.
The Notorious ALZ
For decades since the discovery of Alzheimer’s disease, the only way to make an official diagnosis was during post-mortem autopsy.
Today, doctors have a few better options, including expensive “inflammaging” scans of amyloid build-ups in the brain, time-consuming PET brain scans, or painful lumbar punctures.
Despite their expense, these tests are still wrong a third of the time … leading to totally unnecessary patient panic, incorrect treatments, and skewed clinical trial data.1
That’s why researchers from universities and private companies around the world, from Australia to San Diego to London, have all been working to find a test that can accurately predict if someone will develop dementia, or make the transition from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer’s disease.
It seems like when it rains, it pours. After years of searching, multiple unrelated research groups have all successfully designed simple, inexpensive, and mostly painless Alzheimer’s blood tests that are 90% accurate.
Two Blood Tests Predict Alzheimer’s
With 87% – 90% Accuracy
A group of British scientists studied blood samples from nearly 1200 patients, sifting through thousands of different proteins in the blood to see which markers were actually relevant.
They were finally able to narrow the list down to a combination of ten specific proteins that could predict whether individuals would progress from MCI to Alzheimer’s within one year … with 87% accuracy.1
American researchers at Georgetown University were after a similar goal, but instead of using proteins as biomarkers, they used fats.
Dr. Howard J. Federoff and his team analyzed blood samples from more than 500 different participants over 70 years old, once a year, for five years.
They then took the data of 53 participant’s samples who developed MCI or Alzheimer’s and compared it with 53 who remained healthy.
The researchers found ten different phospholipids that were lower in participants who went on to develop dementia. (Phospholipids are fat molecules that create a double-layered wall around cells. They protect the cell and are important in supporting, regulating, producing and maintaining neurons.)
The presence of these lipids in the blood indicates degenerative disease … and that the membranes of brain cells have begun to break down. According to Dr. Federoff, it marks “the transition between preclinical states where synaptic dysfunction and early neurodegeneration give rise to subtle cognitive changes.”
And it can distinguish with up to 90% accuracy who will progress to MCI or Alzheimer’s within two to three years — and those who will remain cognitively normal in the near future.2,3
Though both the British and American teams say more research is needed to confirm the findings, it’s clear we’re on the verge of having a simple, inexpensive blood test for predicting Alzheimer’s disease on a mass scale.
The science is still new, but if you’re concerned about Alzheimer’s in yourself or a loved one, you might be able to request one or both tests from your doctor today. The research is published and available for laboratory use.
Advance Notice Gives You Time to Change Your Habits
As you can see, a blood test like this is incredibly exciting.
As a Natural Health Insiders reader, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips about effective supplements, diet, lifestyle and exercise changes that have all been linked to better brain health and a lower probability of memory loss.
You can access the archive of back issues here
It’s a treasure-trove of ideas for boosting memory and brain health.
I wouldn’t wait for some blood test before putting this information to work. But I understand that some people need a good scare to motivate them.
For people who won’t take action until a test flashes a warning signal that their memory will fail in two or three years – it may soon be available at your doctor’s office.
I’ll keep you up to date as the tests become more widely available.
(1) Alzheimer’s blood test breakthrough reported in new study
(2) New blood test predicts Alzheimer’s, dementia
(3) Plasma phospholipids identify antecedent memory impairment in older adults.
Despite decades of extensive medical research, scientists are still struggling to understand the causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
And now a startling investigation in Spain suggests that a microbial infection could be instrumental in causing Alzheimer’s, although these findings haven’t been confirmed by other researchers.1
If it IS confirmed, it may be the most important medical discovery of the decade. . .
Continued Below. . .
Hidden Constipation Syndrome –
Have You Got It?
A recent study reports that more than half of patients – 62 percent – have colons plugged up with layers of filthy, decayed fecal matter. . .
. . .even though 80 percent had bowel movements every day without straining!
Colon autopsies show it and now studies have proven it. Even if you have a regular, daily bowel movement, you may possibly have pounds of hardened, toxic, bacteria-laden waste matter stuck in your intestines!
Breakthrough study results from the prestigious Department of Organ Surgery and Gastroenterological Clinic in Elsinore, Denmark, reveal that millions of people unknowingly have these large “fecal reservoirs” – which back up your entire colon and rectum.
And no synthetic laxatives or enemas can get this toxic, rotting mess out of you!
Click here for a FREE REPORT on how you
can get rid of this deadly threat to your health and well being.
A test at the Autonomous University of Madrid found that the brains of people who had died with Alzheimer’s contained fungal infections that were not present in the brain tissue of people who had died without developing dementia.
The researchers stress that their tests don’t show that the fungal infections caused the Alzheimer’s. They might have been a result of Alzheimer’s – perhaps entering brain cells after Alzheimer’s disease had compromised their immune defenses.
The Spanish researchers conclude that, while more research is needed, “the possibility that AD (Alzheimer’s disease) is a fungal disease, or that fungal infection is a risk factor for the disease, opens new perspectives for effective therapy for these patients.”
Old Ideas Make a Comeback
Ironically, the idea that Alzheimer’s disease might be connected to a fungal infection is not new. Back in the early 1900s, a researcher named Oskar Fischer thought Alzheimer’s could be caused by fungus in the brain that led to destruction of the brain’s neurons.
Today, the Spanish researchers aren’t the only scientists linking Alzheimer’s to infections. Other tests have shown that the yeast infection chlamydia pneumoniae2 as well as the herpes virus3 can potentially cause brain plaque – clumps of protein called beta-amyloid that form during Alzheimer’s.
A Variety of Fungi in Troubled Brains
When they examined the brains of ten Alzheimer’s victims, the Spanish scientists found evidence of four different kinds of mold and six types of yeast.
In contrast, they found absolutely no evidence of fungus in the brains of ten people with normal brain function.
“The fact that we find this in 100 percent of AD patients (that we examined) but no controls (people without Alzheimer’s) makes me optimistic that this is significant,” says researcher Luis Carrasco.
Lead an Anti-Fungal Lifestyle
Whether or not fungal infections turn out to be the prime cause of many cases of Alzheimer’s, it’s a good idea to start leading an anti-fungal lifestyle. Consider these habits that lower your risk of infection and help your immune system protect you from fungus:
- Engage in moderately intense exercise five or six times a week. Exercise boosts the immune system and can help it guard the body against invading fungus although, if you exercise too intensely, it can slow your immune defenses.4
- Avoid refined sugar. Lab tests at the University of Utah show that the amount of sugar we consume, especially in sugar-sweetened soft drinks, is toxic and impairs health and immunity.5 Sugar is the ideal medium for yeast and other fungi.
- Take a probiotic supplement and consume fermented, cultured foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, pickled vegetables and natto (fermented soy). These foods contain beneficial bacteria. Research in Finland shows that a probiotic supplement can improve the function of the immune system in older people – the tests were performed on people between the ages of 72 and 103.6
- Get enough sleep. Sleep helps immune cells recognize and destroy invading pathogens.7
The role that fungi play in our bodies and the environment is still largely a mystery. Many leading figures in alternative cancer treatment insist that cancer is actually a fungus. The idea is by no means crazy. The behavior of cancer and fungal infections is nearly identical. If you’d like to read up on this important subject, check out Issue #454 of our sister publication, Cancer Defeated.
A study at the University of North Carolina that looked at the fungi that live in American homes found evidence of 63,000 different species.
Your best bet amongst all these unknowns – support your immune defenses.
For some time, researchers have sought ways to detect neurological disease at a very early stage.
Early diagnosis, before patients show up in a doctor’s office with symptoms, could delay the onset of the disease or even offer a shot at preventing it altogether.
Recent developments in computer learning and technology give us hope that this can be achieved through analysis of speech patterns. Here’s what they’ve found. . .
Continued Below. . .
Colonoscopy cover-up—are you being swindled by this medical sham?
2015 will be the year one of American medicine’s most profitable cover-ups is blown to pieces.
Over 14 million colonoscopies are performed each year.
But despite its prevelance, there are devastating facts most American doctors are “keeping mum” all at your expense.
The most important being…you have 3 unbelievably easy and effective alternatives right in front of you.
Imagine—NO more painful probes and with these results, you can feel safe knowing you’re helping to protect yourself from colon cancer.
Today, one medical insider is releasing his scathing report—absolutely FREE. It’s yours—but I can’t guarantee how long they will last. Claim yours while you can.
Not to beat around the bush, it appears that the “dumber” our use of language gets, the more likely we are to get a neurological disease. Declining vocabulary. . .fewer and simpler ideas in a sentence. . .long pauses. . .and repeating the same phrases are just a few of the many speech signals that point toward a medical problem.
Researchers from Arizona State University were fascinated by The Nun Study published in 1986 in which the letters and writings of 700 nuns were analyzed.
It compared the number of new ideas in a sentence to its length. It was found that the greater this “idea density” the lower the risk of dementia in later life.
Bush vs Reagan
The researchers wondered if this also applied to speech, so they compared the non-scripted press conferences of President Reagan with those of the first President Bush.
They found that the former, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s five years after he left office, had significant changes in his speech.
Over time he spoke a reduced number of unique words and used more non-specific nouns like “thing” when he could not think of the right word. He used more conversational fillers and repeated himself more. None of these speech pattern irregularities were apparent with President Bush.
A Five Minute Test in the Doctor’s Office
Prof. David Shaffer of Binghamton University, New York, is another researcher who looks for clues in speech. He and his team have compiled a hundred indicators. He believes there must be an “identifiable fingerprint” for Alzheimer’s patients.
In his tests, subjects are shown a picture and asked to describe it.
Some indicators are the length of pauses and their frequency, short and clipped sentences, complexity of sentences and repetition of phrases.
They are developing a software program that can be used as a diagnostic tool in any doctor’s office.
His colleague Dr Shawn Berkowitz holds out the potential of creating “a five minute test in their office and says, you know, you have a 70% chance that this could be Alzheimer’s. That’s our dream really.”
Working on the same problem is Professor Sona Patel from Seton Hall University in New Jersey.
Volunteers’ brain activity and vowel sounds are analyzed while hooked up to an electroencephalogram.
She too is looking to provide software a doctor can use with a score that indicates the likelihood of a neurological condition. She is even considering a smartphone app to allow patients to test themselves.
Speech Patterns Help Diagnose Parkinson’s
Changes in speech patterns are already assessed in Parkinson’s patients. A tremor in the voice, and soft, breathy speech are early indicators of the disease.
Max Little, Ph.D., is a University of Oxford applied mathematician and currently project director of the Parkinson’s Voice Initiative at MIT. He’s been developing methods of detection from voice recordings for some years.
He says, “Vocal effects can actually be quite subtle, in some cases, but with any digital microphone, and using precision voice analysis software in combination with the latest in machine learning, which is very advanced by now, we can now quantify exactly where somebody lies on a continuum between health and disease using voice signals alone.”
In 2012 he and his colleagues were able to demonstrate with 98.6% accuracy whether a subject was healthy or had Parkinson’s.
He hopes an ultra-low cost, 30-second self-administered test will be available to the public in the near future.
Common Mistake of High Achievers can Weaken the Memory
If you’re finding it harder with the passing years to retain information that you’re trying to remember, it may not be the fault of a faltering brain.
You may just be trying to learn new things the wrong way.
Today we’re living in a distracted, information-saturated world: cellphones, computers and video screens all vie for our attention.
No wonder we’re all having problems focusing and remembering. If you want to improve things, you might want to stop doing this. . .
Continued Below. . .
Special Message From Lee Euler, Editor
The miracle mineral that
keeps your brain from
shrinking as you age
Prestigious medical journal Lancet reports this
breakthrough “triggers a significant increase in
brain volume and protection of billions of
healthy new brain cells.”
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…
This report is especially hot if you’re worried that your memory problems are getting worse and worse.
Find out how this remarkable mineral safeguards you from the two main causes of brain failure. Click here for your Free Special Report…
To help your brain keep up with important information, avoid the most common mental mistake many of us make: Resist the urge to multitask.
When faced with a group of items calling for attention, don’t juggle several mental projects at once. This habit fragments your focus and reduces your ability to remember.
Research supports this notion: Multitasking sends the information you need to recall to a part of the brain that is not very effective at retaining new information.
“Multitasking adversely affects how you learn,” says researcher Russell Poldrack, a full professor at Stanford. “Even if you learn while multitasking, that learning is less flexible and more specialized, so you cannot retrieve the information as easily. Our study shows that to the degree you can learn while multitasking, you will use different brain systems.”
Prof. Poldrack’s lab study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the brain activity of people trying to accomplish two or more mental tasks at the same time.1
The tests showed that while – at first — multitasking didn’t compromise people’s accuracy in performing demanding projects, it impairs the later ability to precisely recall details about what their activity was. Information encountered during multitasking is less accessible for conscious recall.
“The best thing you can do to improve your memory is to pay attention to the things you want to remember,” Prof. Poldrack says. “Our data support that. When distractions force you to pay less attention to what you are doing, you don’t learn as well as if you had paid full attention.”
Areas of the Brain that Learn
Prof. Poldrack explains that different types of memory are handled by separate areas of the brain. If you try to remember where you were last Monday or bring to mind somebody’s face, you use what’s called “declarative” memory.
On the other hand, when you recollect how to ride a bike or play ping pong, you implement what is known as “procedural” memory. This memory relies on the part of the brain that usually helps call forth the physical knowledge of how to coordinate muscle activities. It is inefficient at retaining concepts and ideas.
The distractions of multitasking derail declarative memory, which takes place in the brain’s hippocampus. Instead, it diverts your mental activity to a brain location called the striatum, the home of procedural memory. And when facts or ideas are diverted to the striatum, your ability to recall them later is fuzzier.
This Kind of Multitasking Can be Good
Studies show that there is one place that multitasking pays off – the gym. If you read a book or listen to music while you do aerobic exercise on a treadmill or elliptical trainer, for example, your exercise can be more intense and productive.2
But when you are immersed in trying to learn new information, concentrate on one thing at a time for better learning. Plus, if you take a mental break now and then to let your brain refresh, your learning will also be improved – Periodically take a short walk. Hum a song. Daydream. Don’t forget to let your mental energy recharge.