By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
January 14, 2012
- Alzheimer’s begins much earlier than you may think
- A surprising way to stop your brain from shrinking
- Rebuilding your brain from the inside out
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the scariest health concerns imaginable. And the older you get, the more worrisome the threat becomes. Especially if you’ve ever watched a parent or loved one go through the changes and memory loss associated with this disease.
Identifying Alzheimer’s in the early stages can be difficult. That’s because onset typically occurs over a long period of time. For the first several years it may not be very noticeable at all. Just a little confusion and forgetfulness, things you can easily pass off to aging in general.
This makes it real tough to do anything to stop the process. And once the late-stages of the disease set in, it’s often too late to take any real action against it.
That’s why the news I’m bringing to you today is crucially important to your mental health. It will help you ward off Alzheimer’s long before it has time to wrap its memory-robbing fingers around your brain.
It turns out the changes in your brain leading to Alzheimer’s start occurring up to 25 years before onset of the disease!
This is really important news, especially if you’re in your 50’s, 60’s or 70’s. Because it gives you time to slow down – maybe even halt – the progression of this brain-wasting disease.
I’ll tell you how in just a minute. First, let me explain…
I don’t want to tie you up in details, but it’s important you understand the cause of Alzheimer’s. The idea is to get to the root of the problem so you can reverse the underlying conditions that may be leading you down the lonely path toward dementia. And you can’t do any of that until you understand how it works.
You may remember I’ve written about a theory on beta amyloid plaque and the herpes virus (HSV1) previously.
And although more research is needed to confirm the findings on amyloid plaque and HSV1, there is a lot we do know about Alzheimer’s.
You see, Alzheimer’s disease is the result of a cascade of changes occurring in your brain. Clumps of a protein called beta amyloid begin building. These are known as amyloid plaques. At the same time, another protein called tau begins tangling around nerve cells in the brain.
It’s this combination of events that leads to the loss of brain function and cognitive ability. Some researches believe the excess beta amyloid and tau literally choke out brain and nerve cells. This, in turn causes the brain to shrink.
Thanks to recent research from Washington University School of Medicine, we now know these events start happening many years prior to the onset of Alzheimer symptoms.
In fact, one marker indicates the buildup of sticky amyloid beta in the brain shows up as many as 25 years prior to the onset of symptoms. Here’s what else the researchers discovered…
- Elevated levels of tau appear 15 years before Alzheimer’s symptoms.
- Shrinkage in key brain structures begin occurring 15 years before symptoms
- Decreases in the brain’s use of the sugar glucose and slight impairments in a specific type of memory are detectable 10 years before symptoms
These findings send an urgent message to all of us that we need to begin addressing these underlying problems right now!
You may be saying “Hmmm, how do I know if this process has started in my brain?”
Truth is you don’t. But this new research gives us critical information. It tells us we can take measures to slow down or halt the progression of this mind-numbing disease before it advances. Perhaps even stop some of these changes before they begin to occur.
In other words, you no longer have to sit around holding your breath and worrying you’re going to be a victim of Alzheimer’s. You can literally put the brakes on mental decline and begin preserving your memory right now.
The solution is so simple anyone can do it. It’s one of the easiest preventive measures you could ever imagine…
Yup. That’s right. Research finds that adults who are more active and get plenty of exercise have less buildup of beta-amyloid than those who are sedentary. It even helps people who carry the gene variant (APOE-e4) that puts them at greater risk of Alzheimer’s.
Plus, a recent study published in Neurology shows people in their 70’s who get more exercise have less brain shrinkage than those who are less active.
Researchers looked at medical records of 638 people from Scotland born in 1936. The participants were given MRI scans at 73 years old.
The group gave details about their exercise habits. It ranged from moving only in connection with household chores to keeping fit with heavy exercise or sports several times per week. They also reported their participation in social and mentally stimulating activities.
The study found that after three years, people who participated in more physical activity experienced less brain shrinkage than those who exercised minimally.
Other research shows people who engage in moderate exercise in midlife have about a 39 percent reduced likelihood of developing cognitive impairment. And even if started later in life it can reduce the odds of mental decline by 32 percent. This includes activities like brisk walking, aerobics, yoga, strength training and swimming.
So start moving your body more frequently. It’s probably the single most important thing you can do for your long-term mental health. I recommend you walk for 30 minutes, twice a day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park in the furthest spot at the mall, not the closest. Make movement a part of your life.
Here are a few other tips to help rebuild your brain from the inside out and keep your mind in top-notch shape:
Stimulate your brain. Keep your brain active by engaging in crossword puzzles, brain games and other stimulating activities. Research shows people who do more reading, writing and game playing have less amyloid protein in the brain.
Supplement with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and alpha lipoic acid (ALA). These two glutathione precursors help reduce oxidative damage caused by excess amyloid beta and tau proteins. They also help remove mercury and other metals that may be affecting your brainpower. I recommend 500 mcg of NAC and 50 mg of R-alpha lipoic acid (the more potent form of ALA),
Cut down on sugar and carbohydrate intake. Mayo Clinic researchers have found people 70 and older who eat food high in carbohydrates have nearly four times the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment. The danger also rises with a diet heavy in sugar. Sticking with my Modified Mediterranean diet reduces those risks significantly.
Remember, it’s never too late to begin protecting your memory and mental function. Exercise, keep your mind active, boost your glutathione levels with NAC and ALA… and make sure you’re sticking with low carb foods.