Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was an easy, low cost, non-invasive way of reversing Alzheimer’s – one that didn’t involve turning your life upside down?
Well, perhaps there is. A new study by MIT scientists found they could do just that. Okay, it was in mice, but the results were dramatic, and hold out real hope for a simple, effective treatment in humans.
All it involves is light and sound. . .
Boosted Immune Cells Clear Brain Plaques
Just like a strobe, our brains flicker, generating electrical impulses at different frequencies.
Gamma oscillations range from 25 to 80 hertz (cycles per second) and are believed to have roles in memory, attention and perception. People with Alzheimer’s disease are known to have impaired function in the gamma range.
In 2016, neuroscientist Li-Huei Tsai and her research group at MIT tested what would happen if white light were flashed at mice for an hour at a frequency of 40 Hertz (40 times a second).
These mice were specially engineered to develop Alzheimer’s-type symptoms, so the plaques (amyloid) and tangles (tau) typically seen in the disease had built up in their brains, and they exhibited irregular brain activity in the gamma range.
The result of the experiment was that a steady frequency of 40 Hertz was reflected back from the mice in the visual cortex, the area that receives and processes visual information — a not unexpected result. But something else happened that the scientists were unprepared for.
The microglia in the visual cortex were strongly stimulated. These are immune cells that clear debris and toxic waste from the brain.
This light stimulation caused a sizable reduction of amyloid and tau. Dr Tsai described the effect as “most remarkable.”
Better Cognitive Function
For their latest study, published in the journal Cell in March, instead of light, they tested the effect of sound.
Listening to 40 clicking sounds a second, one hour a day for seven days, the mice not only experienced a large reduction of amyloid and tau in the auditory cortex, where sound is processed, but likewise in an area located nearby – the hippocampus – a key part of the brain for learning and memory.
Compared to mice that didn’t receive the stimulation, they performed much better on tests of navigation round a maze, where landmarks must be recalled, and the recognition of objects they’d previously been shown.
As in the light test, the microglia were stimulated, but in addition, there were positive changes in the brain’s blood vessels.
The final experiment was to see the effect of combining both light and sound.
The microglia response was far stronger, and amyloid plaques were reduced not only by a huge amount, but also in a much larger area of the brain. This included the prefrontal cortex where higher cognitive processes take place.
The treated mice performed far better on a set of cognitive tests. For instance, untreated mice shown an object they’d seen before reacted as though they’d never seen it. The stimulated mice spent far less time examining it because they recognized the object.
Overall, the result of combing light and sound was greater than either one alone.
Commenting on the findings, Dr Tsai said, “It was unbelievable. This is the first time we’ve seen that this non-invasive stimulation can improve cognitive function. It’s not a drug or an antibody or anything, it’s just light and sound.”
Shannon Macauley, a neuroscientist at Wake Forest School of Medicine, who was not involved with the study, enthused, “I think it’s an absolutely fascinating paper.” The fact that amyloid and tau fell in both the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex is, she explained, “one of the big jumps in the new paper.
“These are the learning and memory centers of the brain. And there was about a 40 or 50 percent decrease in amyloid and tau levels. It’s an absolutely impressive feat.”
Although the effects fade over time, it would be simple to apply regularly at home by patients, if they’re able, or by a relative or caregiver.
The light-sound therapy has already been tested for safety on healthy volunteers, and early-stage Alzheimer’s patients are currently being recruited for the first human trial.
Dementia is an epidemic in Arizona and America. Whether Alzheimer’s type dementia, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s Disease Dementia, Lewy Body dementia, mixed dementia or others, the result is the same. Loss of memory, declining mental function, loss of quality of life, and death. Neurodegenerative disease (most of which is Alzheimer’s or mixed type dementia) is the fastest growing cause of death in America. Dementia is the only major disease for which we have no effective drug treatment options.
Pfizer, a major American pharmaceutical giant, recently stated that they will be pulling out of Alzheimer’s treatment research. It has been 15 years since a new drug for Alzheimer’s was launched, reflecting one of the longest and most expensive losing streaks for Big Pharma. Now some in the industry are starting to question how long that commitment can last, after Pfizer announced it was pulling out of neuroscience research. Its decision means the race to find the first medicine to slow or halt Alzheimer’s type dementia must now proceed without one of the biggest forces in drug development.
John LaMattina, a former head of research and development at Pfizer, interprets the decision as a portent of things to come, and predicts other large drug makers will eventually follow suit.
What if the Solution was Not a Drug?
The FINGER study in Finland (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25771249) showed remarkable improvements in the high-risk older group studied through Lifestyle Change. Dr. Dale Bredesen, neuroscience researcher and former professor of medicine at UCLA wrote the ground-breaking book, “The End of Alzheimer’s” documenting the 30 years of research in his lab and others showing that Alzheimer’s type dementia is really many diseases. The research shows at least 36 documented root causes of the neurodegenerative disease process. We don’t “get” Alzheimer’s type dementia like we get the flu. We develop it over many years – usually decades – as a result of our lifestyle failing to fit our unique genetic and epigenetic needs.
It’s not just genetic. That’s right. Our genes do NOT determine our health. They influence our health. It is the interaction of our lifestyle choices, our environment, and our genes known as epigenetics that determines which genes turn on and which stay turned off. For the majority of human diseases, our lifestyle choices far outweigh our genes in determining our health and wellness. This is Great News!
Discover Magazine did an excellent summary article in December 2018 issue entitled: “Alzheimer’s Under Attack – Armed with big data, researchers turn to customized lifestyle changes to fight the disease”. Dr. Leroy Hood, biomedical pioneer & chief science officer for one of our nation’s largest non-profit health care systems, says, “Alzheimer’s is a really complex disease that has been utterly intractable.” He goes on to say, “Taking a systems approach reflects my own conviction that these complex diseases almost never respond to a single drug.”
It takes a systems approach process to solve the multiple pieces of the puzzle behind each person with dementia. More importantly, we need to solve the unique puzzle of each sufferer of brain decline since we are each different. This is not a “one size fits all” approach since, in my experience, there is no one size that fits all. Often medical research studies look for what single factor (usually a drug) creates a benefit in a large study group creating statistical significance for the study group – not individuals. This model fails to address the fact that each of us is unique with a dozen or more “root causes” behind our brain degeneration and dementia. This current double-blind placebo-controlled research model is ill-suited to complex, chronic neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. These complex diseases have multiple lifestyle-related causes different for each individual and multiple interventions are needed for synergistic therapeutic benefits. Medical studies typically study just one drug or intervention at a time which is just not enough to shift the direction of an unusually difficult, complex disease process like dementia.
Dr, Timothy C. Gerhart, D.C., DABCI, Dip. Ac., BCN is the author of 4 books on lifestyle approaches to brain and body Wellness and practices in Peoria, Arizona. His most recent book, “Living Free of Dementia – Solving the Puzzle to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline” is scheduled for release in March 2019.
His other books are: “7 Secrets to Wellness, Change Your Brain, Transform Your Life, & Why Am I Not Right Since My Concussion”. Dr. Gerhart understands that the word “doctor” means “teacher” and is available to present to groups to teach the approaches he uses to prevent and reverse cognitive decline.
It is evident in our culture, that the topic of whether to vaccinate our children or not can be a very volatile subject.
Vaccines were designed to evoke an immunity response to protect individuals from potential serious illnesses. This decision can however come at a high price. The risk of side effects may outweigh the benefits – ranging from mild to severe and even life altering.
Here is a short list of the potential vaccine risk involved. noted from the website of Dr. Jack Wolfson
Immediate side vaccine injury may include:
Change in behavior such as screaming, not eating or drinking
Lack of attention, focus, or visual contact
Physical regression- bed wetting, incontinence
Skin changes including local or systemic (eczema)
Long term vaccine injury results may include:
Loss of muscle control
Mental health issues
Sudden death – including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (“Crib Death”)
At Renovare, we are passionate about providing you with information so that you can make an informed decision.
Please take the time to watch the video below and know that your vaccination choices for you and your family are not out of lack of knowledge or misinformation.
More information and links will be provided in future blogs – including how you can make a difference in the rights of choice that our legislature is trying to take from us.
This Discover Magazine article is a wonderful summary of the emerging research. Discover Magazine is like Scientific American for everyday people. Click Here for article.
This article explains why the Billion dollar blockbuster drug for Alzheimers Disease (AD) is likely to never happen. AD is not one disease but many.
Each of us is unique with unique genetics, epigenetics, and lifestyle/environmental influences so we manifest brain neurodegeneration differently.
AD commonly occurs with Parkinson-like problems as well as white matter brain disease or Vascular dementia. It is more helpful to think of AD as a complex multiple system neurodegenerative disease and move beyond the name of the disease to the root causes. Here are some of the most common root causes from the emerging research and our experience in practice:
Excitotoxicity – the brain over-revving in the internal stress response
Low magnesium a major factor
Excessive toxic stress
Brain imbalances from concussion, life traumas etc. that turn on the yellow sympathetic nerve stress response which stays stuck “ON”
Poor circulation or perfusion
Not enough oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the brain
Low Nitric Oxide a major factor (get tested – cost just 10.)
Exercise deficiency/sedentary lifestyle
Poor blood sugar and insulin regulation.
Diabetes starves the brain for energy and creates massive inflammation damage
Insulin resistance has been called “Type 3 Diabetes” or “Diabetes of the Brain” since 2014 in the research literature.
Creates massive inflammation and damages the blood-brain barrier creating “Leaky Brain”
Loss of microbial diversity a major factor
Creates autoimmune balances that can attack the brain
Sleep is one of the best anti-inflammatories for our brain and body
AD considered by some researchers to be caused by long-term poor sleep
Eating for Disease
Lots of sugar and processed foods
Lots of gluten
Avoidance of vegetables and fresh, living foods
Lots of pesticides, herbicides, and artificial “crap” in our food – best reason to eat organic
Neuroinflammation or the Brain on Fire is the Root mechanism for Alzheimers, Parkinsons and many of our brain diseases. When our brain is on fire, our brain begins to degenerate. We lose volume and our brain begins to shrink from the inside and outside.
When we tip one way we are making neural connections in the brain, when we tip the other we are removing neural connections in the brain. This moves us towards Alzheimers and other types of dementia.
The research shows us 36 factors that influence towards Alzheimers or towards brain health. They include:
vitamin D – critical for brain health
essential fatty acids
brain derived neurotropic factors
how well our mitochondria works to make energy
glutathione (an essential molecule for antioxidant balance)
improving blood flow to our brain
Reducing oxidative stress
neurotransmitter hormone balance
optimizing our cortisol and stress hormones
improving GABA which is calming to our brain
How do we help people with Neurodegeneration? We help them by dealing with root issues – not covering up symptoms. We work by solving the puzzle of why we are having our issues. We use a functional medicine, functional neurology approach
Two people can be in the same car accident with one suffering traumatic brain injury that lasts for years. The other person, same accident and same “jolting” to their brain suffers less damage and quickly recovers. Why?
Diminished brain resilience syndrome
Diminished brain resilience syndrome (DBR) is increased susceptibility to mild brain trauma, concussion, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration. DBR is caused by Toxin exposures, Nutrient-deficient food, Pro-inflammatory essential fatty acid ratios, Leaky Gut, Dysbiosis, Chronic Immune activation, Excessive Stress, Sleep deprivation, Poor quality of Sleep, Vitamin and mineral deficiencies (esp. Magnesium, Vitamin D, OmegaBoost 1300 Pro, Brain E DHA 1200 TG, Poor Detoxification (esp. compromised Phase 2 liver detox). This leads to increased susceptibility to concussion injury, reduced ability to heal, and increased risk to Post- Concussion Syndrome (PCS) & Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
In short, our unhealthy lifestyles make our brain susceptible to injury and inability to heal.
DBR from the typical pro-inflammatory, high stress lifestyle helps to explain our increased number and severity of concussions.
How do we make our brain concussion resistant? How do we support healing after concussion? By solving the puzzle below:
Creating a LifeStyle that fits our unique genetic needs is the solution. Since everyone is different, this journey looks different for each person. Some people need help in just a few of the puzzle pieces above, others need help in all 8 puzzle piece areas.
Creating a customize care process to fit your individual needs with metrics to measure progress is what we do. Investing in our brain health to make our brain concussion resistant is a smart investment with side benefits like:
High level focus, memory, and concentration.
High level energy and stamina
Peak Brain Performance in relationships, school, work, and activites.
Inner peaceful balance and wellness
Increased stress tolerance and improved stress management so big problems feel small