In Today's Edition:
- Health Article - Alzheimer's Disease
- Supplement Highlight - FolACTIVE
- Gates Brain Health Immune Protocol
- Thank you!
Randall Gates D.C., D.A.C.N.B.
Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist
Prior to the 19th century, our lifespan was less than 50 years. Now that we are living longer, we are seeing other types of diseases on the rise. Most of us probably personally know someone or know of someone with Alzheimer’s disease.
As the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, it is something that we are aware of and are possibly concerned about experiencing ourselves.
How can we help those we love who have been given the diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease? How can we possibly avoid it ourselves?
First, let’s discuss what Alzheimer’s Disease is.
Alzheimer’s Disease is marked by:
- Decline in memory (the most notable feature)
- Cognitive function decline (language, problem solving, focus, arithmetic)
- Behavior or personality changes
Alzheimer’s Disease was coined in 1901 and is the most well known form of dementia.
- Vascular Dementia
- Parkinson’s Disease/Parkinson’s Plus Syndromes
- AIDS and Syphilis
- Metabolic Syndromes
The economic impact of Alzheimer’s disease is estimated at 2 trillion dollars and is dedicated to research, care, and finding a cure. 1
Alzheimer’s is known for lesions on the brain. These lesions are made of tangles and plaques. The plaques are made of a beta amyloid protein that collect, misfold, and then turn into plaques. Tangles are made up of tau that has become hyperphosphorylated. This is the histological lesion of Alzheimer’s.
These amyloid plaques and tau tangles are associated with Alzheimer’s, similarly to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, as mentioned in “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: Historical Origins and Current Perspective.” 2
This is important because as we have mentioned in previous newsletters that CTE is being seen in many high impact sports. The question is, how do they display signs of Alzheimer’s, but more so in the mood and behavioral sphere and less in the memory sphere?
With CTE, the lesions start in the surface of the brain, whereas Alzheimer’s starts deep down in the brain.
Let’s note the areas of the brain associated with Alzheimer’s versus Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and how they affect our bodies/emotions.
People believe that we lose brain cells as we age, but that isn’t true. We tend to start losing muscle tissue as we age. The aging brain shrinks because we are losing connections between the neurons, not the neurons or brain cells themselves.
Risk factors for Alzheimer’s are possibly: a genetic predisposition, depression, toxins, viruses, prions, head trauma, low level of education and environmental factors.
Research is showing a large correlation between depression and Alzheimer’s disease. In this article, Depression as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease: Gene, steroids, cytokines and neurogenesis- What do we need to know? 3 researchers dove into the connection between these two conditions.
The physiological effect of depression is that the fear center of the brain enlarges and the memory area of the brain shrinks. Stress hormones then further cause the memory area to shrink which causes the fear area to further enlarge.
The thought (though researchers are not sure) is that when you have a fear and memory area imbalance, plus a genetic predisposition, you are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Researchers are not sure though if it is one type of depressive disorder that contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s, or if there is also a physiological component, or if it is a multitude of factors coming together.
In the article Parsing the Hippocampus in Depression: Chronic stress, hippocampal volume, and major depressive disorder, 4 the connection between chronic stress and how it affects the hippocampus is illustrated. They discuss hippocampal volume loss and decreased neurogenesis that is seen with depression.
As mentioned previously, Alzheimer’s is a complex disease with many factors and possible contributions:
People tend to especially worry about the genetic component of Alzheimer’s. In the grand scheme of Alzheimer's, genes tend to be rare in the development of Alzheimer’s, but possibly significant in early-onset Alzheimer’s.
In Down syndrome there are three copies of the 21st chromosome. After the age of forty, individuals with Down syndrome invariably develop dementia. This is thought to be because they have so much amyloid precursor protein that turns into amyloid protein. Researchers believe that this predisposes them to Alzheimer's.
There are also ps1 and ps2 genes. In these genes, the amyloid protein is basically cut up, which we are finding is really important for the development of the beta amyloid plaques.
Other genes, which include the APOE gene, can be tested. If a person has the APOE4 gene (there are APOE2 and APOE3) it increases their risk of developing Alzheimer’s four-fold. That being said, if you have a family history of Alzheimer’s Disease, especially a first degree relative with Alzheimer’s, you may want to check your APOE status. This could tell you if you have a likelihood of developing early onset Alzheimer’s and could also be something that incentivizes you to do as much preventative care as you can.
All this being said, when we look at these genetic causes, they tend to be rare in the grand scheme of causing Alzheimer's Disease.
It is important to note that early-onset Alzheimer’s tends to have a very strong genetic component. It can be an autosomal dominant component to their illness, but the vast majority of Alzheimer’s patients develop it in a sporadic fashion. But typically, when a patient is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s into their 70’s and particularly their 80’s, it seems that this APOE4 status is what tends to be seen along with other environmental factors.
Diabetes Type 3?
In the past, Alzheimer’s has also been called Type 3 Diabetes. Based on the research, it would seem that there is definitely an association with conditions of insulin production dysfunction, particularly insulin resistance and/or frank diabetes. In the article, Is Alzheimer’s disease a Type 3 Diabetes? A Critical Appraisal, 5 they give a nice layout about this relationship. The research comes to the conclusion that when we have dysregulated blood sugar, we have an excessive activation of this enzyme called glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta. When glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta is activated, it leads to beta amyloid plaquing as well as neurofibrillary tangles because of hyperphosphorylation of tau.
There is much debate in the literature right now as to whether this plaquing and tangling is due to too little insulin, too much insulin, or possibly more related to the GLP1 Agonist. GLP1 causes your pancreas to produce insulin but it also has effects on insulin resistance. These possibilities are currently being investigated by researchers.
Whether the issue is too much insulin or too little, we know there is a dysregulation of insulin that seems to be the problem. That being said, it is so important to have tight control of one’s blood sugar.
In the article Principles of Neuroscience, 1 it is said that caloric restriction seems to be the most helpful action step for treating Alzheimer’s disease or potentially preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
A low-calorie diet is important because in the higher calorie (Standard American) diet there is more GSK3 activation, which leads to more misfolding of protein and phosphorylation of tau. This leads to a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s. If you couple a poor diet with an HPOE4 status or something like a history of head trauma, these can be contributing factors that lead to Alzheimer’s.
So, what can we do???
Red wine has high amounts of resveratrol and sirtuins. If you are not a wine drinker, you can also take these as a supplement. Aging experts take these type of supplements and incorporate fasting. Also, please note we are not suggesting you drink an excess of alcohol. A little goes a long way.
By consistently fasting we can better regulate our insulin. Our bodies are meant to experience both fasting and well-fed states. However, in our current society, our bodies are nearly always in a well-fed state. The standard American diet consists of high-calorie foods and drinks, and excessive sugar which drives up insulin production. Again, insulin management seems to be the main thrust of Alzheimer’s treatment and prevention according to Alzheimer’s research groups.
Alzheimer’s research groups are wondering anxiously about the future because currently 10% of the population is diabetic, 33% of the population is prediabetic and these numbers are growing. How will this affect the aging population who is living longer due to different medical interventions? These interventions lead to longer lifespans but also more metabolic unhealthiness.
Learn new skills
Begin learning a musical instrument, take up a new hobby, work on learning a new language! If these activities do not sound interesting or appealing to you, think of something you have always wanted to learn. It can be something simple, like brushing your teeth with the opposite hand.
Check your APOE4 status
This can be done through specialty testing.
Check your blood sugar function and insulin resistance
You can check your blood sugar easily at home. Also pay attention to how you feel after you eat your meals.
Get a volumetric MRI
Volumetric MRI measures density of all the different parts of your brain and can be a predictive measure to determine your propensity towards Alzheimer’s or other neurological issues.
While yes, there are medications and treatments with billions of dollars of research behind them, most recommendations in literature suggest that diet and lifestyle can drastically affect our possibility of developing Alzheimer's .
If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one developing Alzheimer's, please call our office today to schedule your FREE consultation.
This Article by Gemma Ward based on information shared by Dr. Gates here.
9. Image. Montenigro, Philip & Corp, Daniel & Stein, Thor & Cantu, Robert & Stern, Robert. (2015). Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: Historical Origins and Current Perspective. Annual review of clinical psychology. 11. 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032814-112814.
14. Sheline, Yvette I et al. “Parsing the Hippocampus in Depression: Chronic Stress, Hippocampal Volume, and Major Depressive Disorder.” Biological psychiatry vol. 85,6 (2019): 436-438. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.01.011
15. Kandel ER, et al. Principles of Neural Science. 5th ed McGraw Hill 2013; page 1334
16. BRAIN MADE OUT OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES©GETTYIMAGES/TIJANA87
1. Kandel ER, et al. Principles of Neural Science. 5th ed McGraw Hill 2013; page 1334
2. Montenigro, Philip H et al. “Chronic traumatic encephalopathy: historical origins and current perspective.” Annual review of clinical psychology vol. 11 (2015): 309-30. doi:10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032814-112814
3. Herbert, Joe, and Paul J Lucassen. “Depression as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease: Genes, steroids, cytokines and neurogenesis - What do we need to know?.” Frontiers in neuroendocrinology vol. 41 (2016): 153-71. doi:10.1016/j.yfrne.2015.12.001
4. Sheline, Yvette I et al. “Parsing the Hippocampus in Depression: Chronic Stress, Hippocampal Volume, and Major Depressive Disorder.” Biological psychiatry vol. 85,6 (2019): 436-438. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.01.011
5. Kandimalla, Ramesh et al. “Is Alzheimer's disease a Type 3 Diabetes? A critical appraisal.” Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular basis of disease vol. 1863,5 (2017): 1078-1089. doi:10.1016/j.bbadis.2016.08.018
FolACTIVE "Provides a natural, biologically active form of folate."
"Folate is essential for cell division and growth, and also works to balance the homocysteine pathway and helps to increase blood folate levels much better than folic acid." 1
Your body uses folate for a wide array of critical functions, including: 2
- the synthesis, repair, and methylation — the addition of a methyl group — of DNA
- cellular division
- the conversion of homocysteine to methionine, an amino acid that’s used for protein synthesis or converted into S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), a compound that acts as a primary methyl donor in your body and is necessary for numerous cellular reactions
- the maturation of red blood cells
Folate is involved in a number of vital metabolic processes, and deficiency leads to an array of negative health outcomes, including megaloblastic anemia, increased risk of heart disease and certain cancers, and birth defects in infants whose mothers were deficient in folate. 2
Folate deficiency has multiple causes, including:
- poor dietary intake
- diseases or surgeries that affect folate absorption in the digestive system, including celiac disease, gastric bypass, and short bowel syndrome
- achlorhydria or hypochlorhydria (absent or low stomach acid)
- drugs that affect folate absorption, including methotrexate and sulfasalazine
- hemolytic anemia
Promotes brain health
Reduces heart disease factors
Is used in the treatment of mental health disorders
Can reduce inflammation
And more! 2
Call (775) 507-2000 to order or click the button below.
This week, we are featuring recipes from the Paleo Running Momma!
Vanilla Cheesecake Paleo Smoothie
Raw cashews, medjool dates, coconut milk, almond milk, vanilla extract, lemon juice, ice, protein powder/collagen peptides.
Paleo Vegan Banana Breakfast Bake
Overripe bananas, unsweetened almond butter, maple syrup, unsweetened applesauce, vanilla extract, flax “eggs”, almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda, sea salt, pecans.
Roasted Delicata Squash and Kale Paleo
Kale, avocado oil, delicate squash, apples, ground cinnamon, pecans, dried cranberries (juice sweetened), Medjool dates, water, apple cider vinegar, mustard, cinnamon, sea salt, black pepper, avocado oil/ olive oil.
Sweet Potato Hash
Ground sage, dried thyme, dried rosemary, black pepper, cinnamon, allspice/ground cloves, nutmeg, onion powder.
Sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, avocado oil/olive oil, sea salt, coconut oil, apples, pecan halves, dried cranberries (fruit sweetened) (optional.)
Butternut Squash Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
Poppy Seed Dressing:
Medjool dates, apple cider vinegar, almond milk, ground mustard, onion powder, sea salt, avocado oil/olive oil, poppy seeds.
Butternut Squash, avocado oil, sea salt, kale, Brussels sprouts, pecan halves, coconut oil, dried cranberries (fruit sweetened), apple.
Low-Carb Shepherds Pie
Cauliflower florets, fresh garlic, coconut milk or cream, ghee (I use butter flavored coconut oil), nutritional yeast (optional), sea salt, black pepper.
Ghee (or sub), ground lamb or beef, salt and pepper, carrots, onion, fresh garlic, bone broth, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, frozen green peas (or chopped green beans for fewer carbs.)
Vegan Paleo Pumpkin Cheesecake
Medjool dates, raw pecans, blanched almond flour, coconut flakes (unsweetened), coconut oil, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon.
Raw cashews, pumpkin puree, coconut cream/full-fat coconut milk, coconut oil (refined to avoid coconut flavor), maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, coconut whipped cream for optional garnish.
Note: The Paleo Running Mama has a TON of vegan ice cream recipes!
What do you want to try this week?
Call us to order your immune protocol bundle today!
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This is not intended as medical advice. Please check with your doctor before making any changes.