Sound Mind Neurodegenerative Disease Prevention Program

You CAN Prevent Alzheimer's Disease...  


Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). If you don’t know someone with it, then you know someone caring for an afflicted loved one.The Alzheimer's Association estimates that 1 in 10 people over age 65 and nearly half of people over 85 have AD.According to Johns Hopkins University researchers, more than 26 million people worldwide had AD in 2007 and they forecasted the number would quadruple by 2050.


Some Strategies to Prevent Alzheimers and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases

  • Eat in a way that keeps your gut healthy

  • Keep your blood vessels healthy

  • Limit your exposure to heavy metals and detoxify them from your body

  • Maintain a low normal blood sugar

  • Heal chronic infections such as sinusitis and gingivitis


It’s time to change our thinking around AD and and other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Lou Gehrig’s. The pharmaceutical industry has focused its efforts on developing drugs thatinterfere with the production of amyloid-beta, a component of the plaques seen in brains of people with AD and other neurodegenerative diseases, without success. Drugs that increase levels of brain chemicals that are low in people withthese diseases, such as acetylcholine in AD and dopamine in Parkinson’s are available, but their results have been disappointing.


Given all of this, some researchers have focused their efforts on understanding the process that leads to AD. Two discoveries illuminate a path towards prevention. One is that the blood brain barrier leaks in patients with AD. The second is that amyloid-beta is an anti-microbial protein, that is, the bodies own antibiotic. Let’s look further.


Leaky Brain  The blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to all parts of are bodies, aren’t just tubes. Molecules move in and out them through the vessel walls. The blood vessels in the brain are different from the rest of the body. They only let certain molecules through. These blood vessels are known collectively as the BBB.


Copper has made the news lately as an AD trigger and illustrates how the BBB breaks down and leaks. Copper is essential for many bodily functions. When the body has too much, it stores it in the walls of the blood vessels. This a normal defense mechanism. As the copper accumulates it oxidizes--think green patina. In small amounts, the immune system would mount an inflammatory response to clear out the oxidized copper. In larger amounts the oxidative stress creates a chronic inflammatory response that causes the BBB to leak. It also disrupts the process of moving molecules through the barrier. In the case of copper, the normal immune system process that removes amyloid beta from the brain slows down.


Copper is just one example. The same thing happens when excess iron, sugar or microorganisms cause oxidative stress and inflammation.


Sugars: A Major Cause of Leaky Brain  Advanced glycation end products, AGEs, are created when a sugar molecule such as glucose or fructose binds very strongly to a protein or fat molecule. Many cells, including the cells that make up our blood vessel walls, contain receptors for AGEs called RAGEs. When an AGE binds to a RAGE an inflammatory response results. Again, in small amounts this is appropriate. Yet at fasting blood sugar levels in the upper part of the normal range, AGEs can cause a chronic inflammatory response that cause the BBB to leak and malfunction. This is one way insulin resistance and diabetes increase the risk of AD.


Amyloid Beta: the Brain's Antibiotic  Microorganisms, such as the virus herpes simplex, the yeast Candida and the bacteria E. coli, enter the brain through a leaky BBB. One way the brain responds is by making its own antibiotic, which happens to be amyloid-beta. Microorganisms can get into our blood stream from any chronic infection, such as sinusitis or gingivitis. They also can enter the body through a damaged gastrointestinal tract or leaky gut. Gluten, dairy, processed foods, or a single high fat, high sugar meal can cause inflammation in the gut wall that makes it leak and malfunction. A leaky gut increases your chance of a leaky brain.


HealthSpan’s Sound Mind Neurodegenerative Disease Prevention Program  Preventing Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases rarely requires drugs or specialty lab testing. A right carbohydrate diet, stress reduction, exercise, proper hormone balance, appropriate supplementation and monitoring markers of inflammation, oxidative stress and immune function are part of HealthSpan’s Sound Mind Neurogenerative Disease prevention program. This program is appropriate for anyone who aspires to remain mentally and physically sharp in their later years, or who notices they are not as mentally or physically sharp as they once were.

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