Archive for May, 2016
Right now, your best strategy for dealing with a brain problem like Alzheimer’s disease is: Just don’t get it.
Sure, research has pointed out plenty of ways to lower your Alzheimer’s risk. But despite eye-popping amounts of money spent on studies looking for ways to treat Alzheimer’s, mainstream medicine has come up with, basically, nothing that can reliably give an Alzheimer’s patient any benefit at all.
The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that the National Institutes for Health spends about $480 million a year to study Alzheimer’s. But as they point out, “Alzheimer’s is the only top 10 cause of death without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression.”1
According to the Association, this lack of progress is due to not spending enough on these studies.
Well, that’s not quite the truth. Keep reading. . .
Special Message from Lee Euler
Attention Pain Sufferers:
Are You Missing This Little-Known Nutrient?
A recently discovered plant compound, first discovered by Native Americans, can quiet pain anywhere in your body, from head to toe.
If you or a loved one suffers from daily, long-term, chronic pain – the kind of pain that’s so bad you seldom experience a day – or a night – that’s pain-free, then you need to know about this important new discovery that can change your life.
In clinical studies, it lowered CRP (a blood test that measures your levels of inflammation) by 23 percent. It neutralizes COX-2 and IL-6 enzymes that cause inflammation.
Click here and see how this discovery can help you take a giant step towards wiping out chronic pain and inflammation – and reduce swelling and stiffness for good.
Unlike the Alzheimer’s Association, scientists at the University of Adelaide in Australia put the blame on the fact that the researchers who are showered with big money are looking for a cure in all the wrong places.
They say that while research has focused on how tau and amyloid plaque – abnormal proteins that accumulate among brain cells during Alzheimer’s disease – might be cleared from the brain, those substances are merely a symptom of brain cell destruction. They aren’t the root cause.
If their hunch turns out to be right, it will be a major discovery.
Startling new theory on the cause of brain disease
The Adelaide scientists think that if you drill down to root causes, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases (including Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s) are immune system malfunctions that cause the destruction of nervous tissue.
In fact, say the Australians, it’s likely the part of the immune system called the “innate” immune system becomes overactive in a way that results in catastrophic damage to neurons and memory.2
Rogue immune cells wreak havoc
Studies at Adelaide previously have shown that the neuron problems in Huntington’s disease – a progressive degeneration of neurons at the base of the brain – are linked to out-of-control immune cells.
And what they discovered about Huntington’s disease parallels other study results: “Remarkably, researchers from other laboratories were at the same time reporting similar features in other neurodegenerative diseases,” says researcher Robert Richards. “When we pulled the evidence together, it made a very strong case that uncontrolled innate immunity is indeed the common cause.”
Complicated system to ward off disease
Keeping the body safe from cancer and infection is a complicated job. So we shouldn’t be surprised that innate immunity is made up of a complicated organization of cells that represents the body’s “non-specific” response to these types of threats.
To perform its protective functions, innate immunity avoids being targeted to specific viruses, bacteria or other threats to health. It consists of immune cells that are all-purpose first responders ready to react to a variety of problems in the body.
According to the researchers, it’s likely that innate immunity can malfunction and set off an immune reaction that goes on too long in the brain. Eventually, this prolonged inflammation begins to kill brain cells.
Their theory comports well with other evidence. It explains why a study at King’s College in London has shown that the inflammation of gum disease is linked to a more rapid loss of memory in people with Alzheimer’s. And a British lab study – at the University of Southampton – demonstrates that limiting brain inflammation may defuse the memory-destructive power of Alzheimer’s, even without reducing amyloid plaque.
There’s also startling evidence in one study, based on brain autopsies, that half the people who donated their brains to the project had brain plaques but had exhibited no symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease while still alive.
So even though billions have been spent fruitlessly in trying to eliminate the proteins of tau and plaque, there’s hope for an eventual Alzheimer’s cure. If studies take a closer look at immune function and find how it affects the brain, we might finally make real progress against this fearful disease.
Meanwhile, do everything you can to control chronic inflammation, which is an immune system dysfunction similar to what I just described. Supplements can help: curcumin, fish oil, aronia berry extract, proteolytic enzymes, boswellia and silymarin. There is no toxicity associated with any of these natural anti-inflammatories. You can safely take them until you’re free of pain and stiffness and other symptoms of chronic inflammation.
In a surprising discovery, researchers have found that one of the biggest glands in the body produces a hormone that plays an important role in helping the brain stay healthy as you age.
But this endocrine gland needs your help to do its job properly.
Now here’s the big surprise. . . .
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.
The gland I’m talking about is your skeleton. Until recently it wasn’t even recognized as a gland.1 I’ve sure never thought of it that way, but things have changed.
Studies into the substances released by bones shows that one hormone in particular – osteocalcin – interacts with neurons in the brain and helps preserve the brain’s cognitive powers.
Lab research at the Columbia University Medical Center shows that osteocalcin improves brain health throughout your life – from the moment of conception into old age. As you developed in your mother’s womb, this hormone ensured that your neurons developed correctly; as you mature it preserves your ability to learn new things, store memories, maintain a better temperament and keep a brighter mood.2
“The brain is commonly viewed as an organ that influences other organs and parts of the body, but less often as the recipient of signals coming from elsewhere, least of all, the bones,” says researcher Professor Gerard Karsenty who led the Columbia study. Dr. Karsenty is an M.D.-Ph.D. and chairman of the school’s genetics and development department.
The Brain Talks to the Bones, and Vice Versa
Dr. Karsenty says his earlier studies showed that the brain sends signals that limit how much calcium is deposited in the skeleton and thereby curtails bone strength and size: “This effect was so powerful that it immediately raised the question, ‘Does the bone signal back to the brain to limit this negative influence?’ ‘If so, what signals does it use and how do they work?'”
Previously, Karsenty and his research team had identified osteocalcin as a hormone released by osteoblasts (skeletal cells that construct bone). They found it helps regulate the body’s glucose levels and use of cellular energy.
The research results on brain effects were startling. The researchers found:
- Osteocalcin crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to neurons in the hippocampus (believed to be the brain’s memory center) and also interacts with neurons in the midbrain and brainstem.
- When it is in the brain, osteocalcin stimulates the production of new neurons.
- Osteocalcin increases the production of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and catecholamine.
- A lack of osteocalcin results in hippocampus shrinkage and potential memory problems.
- When you run short of osteocalcin, you may have an increased risk of anxiety and depression.
Aging Bones Affect Your Brain
According to the Columbia researchers, the weakened bones in older people are probably linked to memory and cognitive difficulties. The researchers note, “(Our results) raise the prospect that a decrease in bone mass as seen during aging may be a cause of the decrease in cognitive functions seen in the older population because of a decrease in the synthesis and/or activation of osteocalcin.”3
This is an exciting discovery because it suggests you can take action to preserve your brain. For better bones and increased brain power:
Do some daily exercise. Weight bearing exercises like dancing, walking and jogging help build the bones of the lower body. Weight-lifting (the weights don’t have to be very heavy) can strengthen the muscles and bones of the upper body. And you would be surprised: People of advanced age – even those in their eighties – can reap enormous benefit from a little weight-lifting. Just be careful to proceed slowly and start with VERY light weights, building up from there.
Get enough Vitamin D and K2 as well as calcium. Getting out in the sun for 20 minutes or so can help the body make vitamin D in the summer. (Be careful to consider your skin type and the time of day, so you don’t burn. Midday sun is much more intense than early morning or later afternoon sun.) Vitamin K2 is in green, leafy vegetables and fermented foods like natto. Calcium can be had in leafy green vegetables and dairy products.
None of these bone-strengthening measures are in the least controversial – any competent medical professional would agree with them. But now we know they’re doubly important – crucial for both mind and body.
It’s the world’s most exotic and expensive spice, revered for its distinctive color, flavor and odor.
Its medical applications were referenced in ancient Indian and Middle Eastern texts, and practitioners of traditional Persian medicine prescribed it as a treatment for depression and failing memory.
Today, scientists are confirming that the historic healers of Persia were spot on, as saffron has proved itself effective for mood and cognitive disorders. Here’s what we found. . .
A Message from Lee Euler
This Doctor Blunder is
Condemning Millions of
People to Joint Pain
. . .maybe including you!
Stanford University scientists have made a startling new discovery about the true cause of joint pain – and it’s turning the medical world upside down.
Everything doctors thought they knew about joint pain is DEAD WRONG! And they’ve been treating it in the wrong way.
That’s the bad news. The GOOD NEWS is that the actual cause of most joint pain is easy to treat. You just have to know what it is.
Here’s your chance to experience relief like you’ve never known before. ADDED BONUS: The same overlooked cause of joint pain also contributes to dementia and memory loss. So click here for the full story.
Treats Emotional Disorders Without Side Effects
Early lab studies showed saffron had clear antidepressant effects in mice. This was later confirmed in human studies. In one of these, 40 adults with severe depression had significantly better outcomes after six weeks on saffron than did those taking a placebo.
Later studies compared saffron with the antidepressant drugs Tofranil and Prozac. In both cases saffron proved equally beneficial in treating mild to moderate depression, but without the adverse side effects of the drugs.
In a study published in June, 2016, 54 adults suffering from anxiety and depression took either a 50 mg capsule of saffron each day or placebo. After 12 weeks the saffron group experienced significantly reduced anxiety and depression compared to the placebo group.
Just as Effective as Leading Dementia Drugs
After demonstrating learning and memory benefits in mice, researchers carried out three studies between 2010 and 2014 to see if saffron could help people suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.
In the first study, 46 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s took either 30 mg a day of saffron or placebo. By the end of 16 weeks, saffron significantly improved cognition compared to placebo. The study’s conclusion was that “saffron is both safe and effective in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.”
In the second study, 55 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s took either saffron or Aricept, a drug that aims to increase the brain neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Alzheimer’s patients are deficient in acetylcholine and this is a feature of mental decline.
After 22 weeks it was found that saffron is about as effective as the prescription drug. The main difference was that the saffron group didn’t suffer from vomiting, a side effect limited to the drug.
The final study compared saffron with the drug Namenda in patients with moderate to severe dementia. Namenda blocks an excess of the brain neurotransmitter glutamate in order to improve dementia symptoms.
After 12 weeks, the 68 patients taking part saw similar reductions in cognitive decline for both the spice and the drug.
How Does Saffron Work?
Scientists have identified fewer than 50 constituents of saffron so far, which leaves a large number of unidentified components that may be responsible for some of its beneficial effects.
Of the known compounds, many show promising mood and memory enhancing benefits. One of them is safranol, which reduces anxiety and promotes better sleep.
Saffron is also rich in antioxidants and gallic acid, which has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune supporting roles. Since free radicals, inflammation and abnormal immune mechanisms are features of Alzheimer’s, saffron should be of benefit.
Saffron interacts with amyloid beta peptides that accumulate in Alzheimer’s. It is believed to inhibit their build up into brain plaques.
Compounds in saffron have also been shown to inhibit acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that limits the production of acetylcholine, one of the most vital molecules in the brain.
Another beneficial component is crocins, which are anxiety-reducing compounds that also promote better signal transmission between neurons, thereby improving learning and memory. The word “crocin” is derived from the crocus flower, which is the source of saffron.
How to Take Saffron
Although expensive, a little bit of saffron goes a long way, at least in cooking. All it takes is a pinch to affect the flavor of a dish. The spice is popular in seafood and rice recipes and can be added to stews, sauces and soups. It’s also found in some cakes and desserts.
To really enjoy the cognitive and mood-enhancing benefits of saffron, you would need to be take it regularly as a supplement. The dosage used in most human trials is 30mg per day of the extract. This, advisors say, is the safe upper limit. Saffron supplements are available on the Internet, including one from Life Extension, which I regard as a high-quality brand.
Some people do report side effects – nausea or drowsiness seem to be the most common – but they are rare and not particularly serious. The symptoms could be the result of taking too much, or perhaps the people simply had an allergy. If you experience distress when taking any supplement, just stop.
A Pacemaker for Your Brain?
Latest Developments. . .
It was considered far-fetched science fiction when doctors first tried to create a device to control abnormal heartbeats by stimulating heart cells with low-grade electric current …
Today, we know this common treatment as a cardiac pacemaker.
Now, scientists are testing the same hypothesis for treating Alzheimer’s disease …
But instead of controlling heartbeat, it directly stimulates neurons in the brain.
Researchers did some preliminary tests on this concept a few years ago, and it seemed to work.
Read on to discover how this potential treatment is advancing, and if it could soon be a viable option for you or someone you love …
A Special Message from Lee Euler
Improve Your Memory by 47%?
YES, YOU CAN!
If you’ve ever wondered why it becomes harder to recall names, dates and figures with every passing year, I have news of an important new discovery out of Asia to share with you.
Until now, you could take steps to help protect your brain from aging, but nothing could dramatically improve your memory, your thinking and even your intelligence like this does, and give you results that you can actually feel in a matter of weeks.
Now this newly discovered and important “brain factor” can revitalize areas of the brain you need to remember names and faces – and everything else that’s precious to you.
This substance is clinically proven to improve performance on the most accurate memory test ever developed when it comes to predicting whether a person is likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s years from now.
This means you can start increasing your memory ability long before it becomes obvious this part of your brain is deteriorating. It’s truly remarkable.
No drug, no antioxidant, no omega-3 fatty acid and no brain herb like ginkgo can achieve results like this. To discover this memory-saving secret for yourself, click here for full details.
New Tests Bring this Device Closer to Market
Back in Issue #100 I first brought you the news that researchers were trying to treat Alzheimer’s disease with a method that had been used for Parkinson’s disease, chronic depression and epilepsy.
The procedure is known as deep brain stimulation (DBS). Researchers thought DBS might also work on Alzheimer’s patients, so they tested it on six people.
Each patient had tiny electrodes (similar to a cardiac pacemaker) surgically implanted in their nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM). This part of the brain, located near the brainstem, is important to mental capacity and learning.
The electrodes release low-level pulses to stimulate the neurons in the NBM.
The scientists hypothesized that pulses aimed directly at the NBM would give the circuitry a consistent “jump-start,” helping it function normally again. The results of this initial test were encouraging, so they moved into Phase 2 of testing.
The Latest Brain Pacemaker Trial
The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, delayed-start clinical trial conducted at six sites in the US and one site in Canada.
In other words, the design of the test was extremely rigorous.
In this phase, the researchers tested DBS on the hippocampal fornix, an area of the brain that controls memory. The procedure is called DBSf – meaning direct brain stimulation of the formix.
The hypothesis driving the study is the same as the first: Alzheimer’s disease is a disorder of the memory circuit brought on by neuronal deterioration. Stimulating the neurons may help activate them so they function normally.1
Previous research suggests that stimulating this area of the brain can physically “unlock” memories of specific events as well improve the brain’s use of glucose – the brain’s primary fuel.2
The brain’s inability to use glucose to generate energy is key to memory loss — and a sign of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. The 42 patients in the study (average age of 68.2 years) all had early stage Alzheimer’s.
Surgeons implanted the pacemaker-like stimulators in the fornix of the patients’ brains, then studied their response for 12 months, with another 12 months of follow up.3
Did it Work?
The results of this Phase 2 trial were very promising. A few highlights include:
- Patients who received DBSf had increased glucose metabolism by an average of 22% after one year …While patients in the placebo group experienced a 1.2% decline of glucose metabolism.The increase in glucose metabolism was significant after just six months of DBS use.
- On the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale, which assesses cognitive status, the placebo group worsened an average of 7.8
While DBSf patients worsened only by an average of 3.7 points. If this holds up, it suggests that the “pacemaker” might slow cognitive loss by half.
(For your reference, results are measured on a scale of 0 to 70, where 70 is severely impaired cognition. The researchers did note this decline was not statistically significant.)
- On the Clinical Dementia Rating (Sum of Boxes), used to assess both cognitive and functional performance, the placebo group worsened by 3.5, while DBSf patients saw a loss of 2.1.(Again, for your reference, the CDR-SB test is different than “global CDR.” The CDR-SB scale includes 18 possible points, where a score of up to 4.0 indicates very mild dementia, and 18 is severe. The researchers noted here, too, that the decline was even less significant than the ADAS test.)
- The surgery and brain stimulation were well tolerated and within an acceptable safety range.4
The researchers are moving onto Phase 3 of these trials. If all goes well there, we may have a viable way to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
When the disease is caught in the early stages, the brain pacemaker could allow people to live a normal life, for a longer period of time, without being institutionalized or needing a high level of care-giving…
It would also provide patients with critical extra time to adjust their diet and lifestyle to reduce inflammation and boost brain health. Exercise, sound sleep habits and a regimen of healthy, anti-inflammatory food and supplements are all potent ways of preserving mind and memory.
The pacemaker looks to be one more way a person can extend the time he or she is able to live independently and preserve memory and cognition.
Perhaps the combination of DBS treatment and lifestyle changes will be enough to slow Alzheimer’s disease to a near-standstill. Brain surgery is not cheap – it’s hard to say if this procedure will be cost-effective as far as Medicare and insurance companies are concerned.
Only time will tell … and I’ll keep you updated on new developments here.
1 A stimulating approach to Alzheimer’s.
2 Memory enhancement induced by hypothalamic/fornix deep brain stimulation.
3 Deep brain stimulation targeting the fornix for mild Alzheimer dementia: Design of the ADvance randomized controlled trial.
4 Deep brain stimulation of the fornix (DBSf) shows promise as treatment for patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease.
How Strong Legs Equal a Strong Brain
For years, scientists have been searching for minimally invasive, inexpensive ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s as early as possible.
If the onset of the disease could be seen several years ahead of really bad symptoms, patients would have enough time to make changes that can slow or even prevent the disease.
A string of new studies points toward a new, simple test that indicates whether Alzheimer’s or other dementia is just around the corner …
And if scientists can confirm their findings and create a protocol, it may offer older adults a new way to kick Alzheimer’s to the curb. (Literally!)
A Personal Message from Lee Euler
You Take an Eye Supplement …
But Your Vision
Keeps Getting Worse!
Read on for the surprising reasons why …
When you hit a certain age, it’s almost like someone flips on a self-destruct switch in your eyes.
Suddenly, reading anything up close – like your favorite books or ingredient labels – becomes difficult (if not impossible).
As for driving at night… forget about it!
The blinding glare of oncoming headlights can make navigating the roads at night a frustrating (and at times, even hair-raising) experience.
But here’s what’s really bothering you…
The eye supplement you’ve been taking – the one that was supposed to give you back your sharp 20/20 vision?
It doesn’t seem to be working at all.
If you’ve tried everything, but your eyes are still sore and tired at the end of the day … it’s still hard to focus … and the bright lights and glare still make driving a nightmare …
You need to Click here to learn the whole story on why nothing you do, try, or take seems to fix things …
And how 3 missing ingredients may be the key to solving age-related vision problems once and for all!
Click here to discover why nearly ALL vision supplements are missing the mark …
Walking Away from Alzheimer’s Disease
As a regular Natural Health Insiders reader, you know beta-amyloid plaques are sticky proteins that adhere to and eventually kill neurons, triggering Alzheimer’s disease.
But did you know your walking speed could indicate the presence of plaques in your brain?
In a study published in the journal Neurology, lead researcher Natalia del Campo and her colleagues investigated the relationship between beta-amyloid plaques and gait speed in elderly people at high risk for dementia.
The researchers measured how fast their 128 elderly participants could walk and used PET scans to measure plaque levels in the brain.
They discovered a distinct correlation between slow gait and a buildup of beta-amyloid plaques.
Even though it seems like a simple task, successfully walking actually uses multiple complex systems in your brain. It’s not so surprising that the scientists found slow walking speed—or a change in a person’s walking speed from their previous habits—indeed indicated brain abnormalities.
The researchers found specific regions of the brain used to walk were particularly affected by plaques,1 including:
- the posterior and anterior putamen, responsible for controlling numerous types of motor skills;
- the occipital cortex, which controls visual understanding and spatial functioning;
- the precuneus, associated with self-awareness and consciousness, and both episodic and source memory;
- and the anterior cingulate, which plays a crucial role in initiation, motivation and goal-directed behaviors.
The buildup of beta-amyloid plaques in these regions accounted for up to nine percent of the variance of gait speed.
However, while there appears to be a correlation between plaques, gait speed and risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers admit they’re not certain of the cause-effect relationship.
“It is possible that amyloid accumulation and slow gait speed co-occur as the result of a common lifestyle factor such as a deficient diet… low physical activity or smoking,” Dr. del Campo said.
Also, when areas of the brain go unused for a long time, they begin to weaken, so it’s possible a sedentary lifestyle characterized by very little walking or lack of vigorous leg muscle use could lead to both muscle atrophy and brain weakening as well.
In other words, it seems your brain forgets how to “talk” to your legs if you don’t use them regularly.
More research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society confirms this.
In a study of “very old adults,” scientists discovered they could predict whether a participant would suffer an accidental fall by measuring cognitive ability.
The researchers compared their participants’ cognitive functioning with self-reported falls. They discovered a direct relationship between decreased verbal ability, processing speed, and immediate memory and increased rates of falling and fall risks.2
Strong Legs, Strong Brain
Researchers at Kings College London tested the theory that muscle fitness, as measured by leg power, could predict rates of cognitive decline over time.
In a fascinating 10-year study, they observed 324 healthy twin females between the ages of 43 and 73.
The results, published in the journal Gerontology in 2015, showed a striking correlation between leg power and the brain.
After controlling for genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors, the researchers found the twin with more leg power retained higher cognitive functioning, as well as retaining more overall grey matter as the years went by (loss of brain tissue is a “normal” part of aging, but, as this study indicates, there a number of things you can do about it).3
According to lead researcher Dr. Claire Steves, “When it came to cognitive aging, leg strength was the strongest factor that had an impact in our study.”
The “Use It or Lose It” Adage
Proves True Again
When you combine these new discoveries with the fact that exercise is one of the few things proven without doubt to delay dementia, it seems safe to conclude that strong legs specifically will help keep your brain firing on all cylinders.
Keeping your legs and mind strong is as easy as taking the stairs, walking a few blocks to the store, or walking on a treadmill a few times a week. Many experts recommend walking at least 30 minutes a day, for both reducing stress (another cause of Alzheimer’s) and increasing strength.
If you’re feeling sprightly, begin an exercise regimen that includes squats, lunges, calf raises and step-ups (using bodyweight or light weights). Start at your personal fitness level to ensure your leg muscles — and your brain “muscle” — all stay strong and healthy for years to come.