You must listen to this podcast and learn how certain supplements have the ability to enhance our brain health even as we age.
Did you know that your body has a powerful barrier that helps keep your brain safe from invaders and toxins? This shield, called the blood-brain barrier, can weaken with age. The good news is that resveratrol can help support protection of the brain.
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Jerry Hickey. Ph
In part one of this podcast episode, we discussed evidence that specific and varied infections organisms, certain viruses and bacteria, can trigger the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. I also discussed the other theory that it’s plaque, beta-amyloid plaque. The truth of the matter is that researchers are weaving together both of these ideas, that the infectious organisms are triggering the formation of plaque and that’s triggering the Alzheimer’s disease.
The role of genetics in Alzheimer’s disease
Now, we come to genes, which I also touched on in the first part of this episode.
A report in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease done by Indiana University School of Medicine and the St. Vincent Medical Group in Indianapolis looked at the susceptibility gene, the APOE e4 gene. If both of your parents donate their APOE e4 gene to you, that could be a problem because that gene’s involved with plaque in the heart and with Alzheimer’s disease. That doesn’t mean it’s written in stone. You can do things to help protect yourself. But if you have that gene, there’s a higher likelihood that you can develop Alzheimer’s disease.
In this study, the researchers were looking to see if pathogens interact with the susceptibility gene to cause sporadic cases of Alzheimer’s disease. They’re not saying all Alzheimer’s diseases come from this, but they’re saying that between the gene and the infections, there’s increasing inflammation in the brain. They’re saying that especially the herpes simplex type 1 gene, cytomegalovirus, chlamydia pneumonia, spirochetes, helicobacter pylori and various bacteria you get from gum disease. There’s a lot of evidence for all of these getting into the brain and/or causing inflammation in the brain.†
They actually enter the brain through the part of the brain that senses odors. In fact, one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is a loss of your sense of smell. There’s a lot of evidence that bacteria are somehow getting into this nerve and then get into a part of the brain called the entorhinal cortex, which is like one of your GPS’s inside your brain. That seems to be where Alzheimer’s damage really starts and takes off and spreads out from. It’s not that far from other parts of the brain that are really important for memory and cognitive functions. Your entorhinal cortex is connected closely to your dentate gyrus and your hippocampus, so it’s plausible.†
The researchers went on to report that these pathogens are able to evade destruction by our immune system, leading to longstanding infection. Bacterial and viral DNA and RNA and bacterial proteins increase the expression of pro-inflammatory molecules, molecules made by the immune system that inflame us and activate all parts of our immune system. The researchers say that these bacteria and viruses lead to Alzheimer’s disease damage, like a buildup of plaque in the brain, damaged tau proteins, brain injury and the death of brain cells.†
Then, they talk about the susceptibility gene for heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease called APOE e4 gene. The researchers say it enhances brain infiltration by pathogens including herpes virus and chlamydia pneumonia and it’s involved with increased inflammation in the immune system.†
Listen to the full podcast for more research about the relationship between pathogens, genetics and Alzheimer’s disease.
Thank you for tuning in to the Invite Health Podcast. You can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen to podcasts or by visiting www.invitehealth.com/podcast. Make sure you subscribe and leave us a review! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at Invite Health today. We’ll see you next time on another episode of the Invite Health Podcast.
Could an infection cause Alzheimer’s disease? There’s been evolving science indicating that infectious organisms may cause this disease.
A new study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago shows has developed a diet plan, called the MIND diet, that may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53 percent. Even those who didn’t stick to the diet …
The month of June isn’t only known as the official start to summer – it is also Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month! Organizations and individuals come together to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s from posting photos of their loved ones battling the disease on Twitter to participating in fundraisers all over the world. But what exactly is Alzheimer’s? And what are some symptoms and warning signs of the disease?
According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, “Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells (neurons) which results in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes. These neurons break connections with other nerve cells and die. Alzheimer’s disease dates back to 1906 when Dr. Alois Alzheimer presented the case of a 51 year-old that suffered from a rare brain disorder. Her autopsy later identified the cause of death to be what we know today as Alzheimer’s. Because Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in persons over the age of 65, representing about 60 percent of all dementia cases, it is important to know what contributes to dementia (the general term describing loss of memory, judgment, language, complex motor skills cause by permanent damage of the brain’s neurons).”
About 4.5 million Americans suffer from this condition, which usually begins after age 60, according to WebMD. Several factors can contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s – family history is a major factor.
Warning Signs of Dementia (According to the AFA’s website)
- Memory trouble
- Replying on memory helpers
- Trouble finding words
- Struggling to complete familiar actions
- Confusion about time, place or people
- Misplacing familiar objects
- Onset of new depression or irritability
- Personality changes
- Loss of interest in important responsibilities
- Difficulty seeing or hearing
- Expressing False Beliefs
Symptoms of Dementia (according to the AFA’s website)
- Cognitive symptoms – amnesia (memory loss), aphasias (inability to do pre-programmed motor tasks), agnosia (inability to correctly interpret signals from their five senses)
- Personality changes (irritability, apathy, withdrawal and isolation)
- Hallucinations and delusions followed by fear, anxiety, paranoia
Early detection gives individuals the ability to learn more about the disease, get counseling and treatment, and improve the quality of life. A great first step is to receive a memory screening to test memory, language skills, and intellectual functions. And always follow up with your doctor for a complete and thorough check up. Be sure to get a proper diagnosis by a healthcare professional if you or someone you know has many of these symptoms and warning signs.
If you or someone you know has found yourself as the primary care giver of an individual battling Alzheimer’s, know that you are not alone. Here are some tips for you:
- Learn as much about the disease as you can
- Learn how to communicate and manage challenges and activities
- Understand what that specific individual needs
- Be patient and be kind
- Be sure to make time for yourself! Join support groups and pursue other interests
- Try to involve your loved one in financial, legal and long-term care decisions, if they are still capable
- Always think positive
If you are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s due to genetics, all hope is not lost! According to WebMD.com, “Leisure activities such as reading, playing board games, playing musical instruments and dancing are associated with a reduced risk of dementia. Overall health habits care help reduce the risk of this age-related illness.”
For more information and support for Alzheimer’s disease, visit The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
Sources: http://www.pbs.org, http://www.alzfdn.org, http://www.webmd.com