Some Alzheimer's Basics

Some Alzheimer's Basics

Posted by DS DC on Jul 21st 2022

Most of you have a family or friend who had had to deal with senile dementia or had a case of full-blown Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). In fact, researchers expect AD to increase significantly within the next 5-10 years and in some cases this will be a 50-100% increase depending on the geographical area. Some of this increase is due to an ever-increasing aging population, especially now that baby boomers are into the elderly class.

Is There Hope?

The big questions center around what are we going to do about that. Are we like flotsam on the river of life without any self direction? Should we just be content to wait for a magical medical miracle that will solve the AD disease problem once and for all?

Medical Model Treatment Not Very Impressive

It will be helpful to realize that when it comes to chronic neurological diseases, the medical model of treatment has a pretty dismal track record. Diseases like AD, ALS, Huntington’s, spinocerebellar ataxia, spinal muscle ataxia have a most spectacular failure rate when treated with current, single-modality treatment. As long as medicine was locked into a single modality mindset, HIV-AIDS didn’t respond well at all. This disease became the poster child for thinking in a more creative, multi-modal fashion.

Think Mulit-Modal

Fortunately, some researchers are thinking in that multi-modal fashion when it comes to age-related brain problems. One person who has been fairly outspoken about this is Dr. Dale Bredesen. Dr. Bredesen has published the only study showing a reversal of mild to moderate AD. Even though millions of dollars have been spent on finding a drug cure for AD, Dr. Bredesen has found that the best results can be found by thinking more holistically, that is by using tools available to the average person. Some real advances can be found right at home.

Because this isn’t a magic pill, it does require some effort on the part of the patient or care-giver but it is nice to know that hope exists for those willing to begin making meaningful changes. If you think these changes are too hard, the changes you will have to make to accommodate a deteriorating brain are harder still.

Brain Sorts Memories

The holistic model works with the fact that in order to be high functioning, our brains need to sort which memories to keep and which to discard. If this nerve signaling and memory management becomes impaired, cognitive decline follows.

Like many chronic diseases, AD can be due to many processes. An example is the balance of bone building (osteoblastic activity) and bone destruction (osteoclastic activity). The bone has cells that specialize in laying down new bone and other cells that specialize in absorbing bone tissue. This balance depends on many factors including diet, hormones and age and when the balance is disturbed excessive bone formation or excessive bone absorption will result. Excessive bone absorption with respect to bone building is a hallmark of osteoporosis.

Likewise in the brain we have the creation of new synapses and the destruction of existing synapses. We can call these effects synaptoblastic and synaptoclastic and like bone these result in healthy brain tissue when they are in balance. Current thought is that the control of synaptoblastic and synaptoclastic signaling is the result of dozens, if not hundreds of inputs.

Words to Lookup If You Are Ready

If you would like to read further about some of the technical aspects, you can search things like APP (amyloid precursor protein), APOE, Abeta (beta amyloid protein), SAPP beta, SIRT1, netrin 1, NF Kappa beta, tau proteins and more. The interplay of these factors is complex and the leads to the multi-modal treatment plan. Fortunately, you don’t have to understand anything about the technical details to have treatment success.

Think of your brain like a company. The CFO gathers information from all available departments and if the company if all is good and business is expanding, the company might expand and continue hiring. However, if the company is running in the red, he or she will first decide to stop all new hires, or in the brain analogy, stops new memories and new synapses.

A person has spent a life selecting the most critical memories so those are maintained, things like language instead of details about a HGTV show from last night.

General Types of Alzheimer's

When we talk about AD, we are talking in general terms but it is helpful to note that there are three different types. Two types are more severe and are harder to treat. These are about 6% of cases. If a person starts to show marked AD symptoms at 40 years old, that is probably a true disease that is desperate for a medical cure. That leaves 94% that come on later and slower without a clear genetic basis. This type is often treatable with lifestyle changes that we are talking about here.

When the brain can’t effectively support the extensive synaptic network for a few quadrillion synapses, the brain sends out 4 biochemicals, SAPP Beta, Abeta (beta amyloid), JCASP and C31 (from APP) that mediate downsizing of synapses. Some medications target these biochemicals and help to reduce this signaling.You can buy some time with targeted medications but that doesn’t change the reason for the release of signaling for the downsizing. For example, reducing Abeta activity and Abeta levels with drug therapy has not changed the Alzheimer’s outcomes very much if at all.

Every Person Needs To Be Evaluated

So what should we be looking at to help reduce the stress on the brain and subsequent degenerative dementia and/or Alzheimer’s? We must first abandon the one size fits all notion. Each person must be evaluated to see how many risk factors are present. Healthy people tend to have 2 or 3 associated factors out of ideal range and compromised people tend to have 10 or more indicators out of range. We are looking at things like: copper and zinc, mercury levels, testosterone, estradiol, progesterone and pregnenolone, homocysteine, iodine, B12, insulin, HbA1C, sleep patterns, stress levels, lack of exercise, CRP, Vitamin D3, amount of grains in diet and a few more.

We were going to put together a website with blogs and podcasts dedicated to helping people sort this out. That is not going to happen in time for you so the next best thing is the following site that has a ton of basic info. OPOE4 Bredesen Protocol. This site will list risk factors for cognitive decline in a well-ordered format. You can also search for doctors certified in Bredesen’s methods if you wish to go that route.

We Have Better Results with Hydroxy B12

One thing to mention is we don’t recommend methyl B12 (methylcobalamin) as a way to get your B12 up. We use hydroxocobalamin (hydroxy B12). This has to do with MTHFR and is a long topic so trust me, switch your B12 supplementation to hydroxy B12 from methyl B12. NuMedica Liposomal Hydroxy B12. Pure Encapsulations Adenosyl/Hydroxy B12

Of course we can help you with supplementation and we hope you will shop at for your supplement needs. We can also help with some blood testing for those with Nevada or California addresses.

A good place to start for improved brain function is Percepta by Cogitive Clarity and/or Cognitive Balance by NuMedica. These have both been shown to clinically help with memory and removal of beta amyloid proteins. Of course with effective lifestyle changes, these will work even better.