Alzheimer's disease and the microbiome Connection
Alzheimer’s disease implicates symptoms of dementia, memory loss and confusion. It is a slow,
progressive illness that damages nerve cells in the brain. Symptoms
gradually get worse over time as more brain cells are destroyed. Though people can have
Alzheimer’s in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, the disease is most prevalent in people over age 65
A breakthrough science is offering hope that Alzheimer's disease can be prevented and
reversed. A new understanding of the brain-gut-microbiome connection, creates new hope for
the prevention and treatment of neurological/neuropsychiatric
conditions from autism to Alzheimer's to multiple sclerosis.
The most empowering aspect
to the gut-brain connection is the understanding that many of our daily lifestyle choices play
a role in mediating our overall wellness. This whole-body approach to healthcare and wellness
continues to show its value in our longevity, well-being, and quality of life
Our gut microbiota play a vital role in our physical and neurological health via its own
neural network: the enteric nervous system (ENS), a complex system of about 100 million nerves
found in the lining of the gut. Poor gut health has been linked to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia,
memory loss and confusion. Disturbances in gut health have been linked to Alzheimer's Disease.
A new research report appearing in the journal, Science Translational Medicine, researchers
at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm studied the blood brain barrier in mice that were
“germ free.” That means, that the mice used in this experiment did not have bacteria living
within their intestines. Using highly sophisticated brain scanning technology, the researchers
demonstrated that the blood brain barrier in these mice was significantly compromised,
basically a situation of what we may call a “leaky brain,” and this leakiness of the barrier persisted into adulthood.
When these mice received a fecal transfer,
meaning that their intestines were inoculated with
the fecal material including bacteria from a healthy mouse, the permeability of the blood brain
barrier was markedly improved.
While it may not be currently approved by the FDA, or even a mainstream treatment
in general, fecal transplant offers a powerful means of resetting the gut microbiome. By simply transplanting
fecal matter from a healthy host to that of an individual suffering from one of any number of health concerns
(from obesity to autism to
multiple sclerosis), fecal transplant offers an opportunity to rebalance the gut
microbiome, and sets the stage for a return to better health.
In Brain Maker, Dr. Perlmutter explains the
potent interplay between intestinal microbes and
the brain, describing how the microbiome develops from birth and evolves based on lifestyle
choices, how it can become “sick,” and how nurturing gut health through a few easy strategies
can alter your brain’s destiny for the better. With simple dietary recommendations and a highly
practical program of six steps to improving gut ecology, Brain Maker opens the door to unprecedented brain health potential.
"Given that the microbiome composition and diversity change over time, it is tempting to
speculate that the blood-brain barrier integrity also may fluctuate depending on the microbiome.
This knowledge may be used to develop new ways for opening the blood-brain-barrier to increase
the efficacy of the brain cancer drugs and for the design of treatment regimes that strengthens
the integrity of the blood-brain barrier." Professor Sven Pettersson
The recognition of the human microbiome (HM) as a substantial contributor to nutrition, health and disease is a relatively
recent one, and currently, peer-reviewed studies linking alterations in microbiota to the etiopathology of human disease are
few. Emerging studies indicate that the HM may contribute to the regulation of multiple neuro-chemical and neuro-metabolic
pathways through a complex series of highly interactive and symbiotic host-microbiome signaling systems that
mechanistically interconnect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, skin, liver, and other organs with the central nervous system
(CNS). Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Toxic Overload Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease
The world we're living in today is a toxic minefield from vaccines
to pesticides to antibiotic-laden foods to mercury-poisoned fish to pollution both indoors and outdoors.
Toxic metals can cause or contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, memory loss, confusion and other
brain and neurological disorders. Heavy metals, such as
mercury from dental amalgam, vaccinations, lead, aluminum and
other metals can be a cause of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Dr. Steve Nugent PhD - "Without exception, every
North American now has in his or her tissues 300-500 known toxins
that were not in existence before 1940."
In 1994, the New York Times reported a scientific study which
revealed that aluminum and fluoride in water
could be responsible for the alarming increase in Alzheimer's Disease
and percentile dementia. This confirmed the long-held suspicion of
environmental writer George Glasser that fluoride has the ability to act
synergistically with other toxic minerals in drinking water.
In 1995, attention was drawn to the possible link between electromagnetic
radiation and Alzheimer's disease following a landmark publication in the American
Journal of Epidemiology by researchers at the University of Southern California
School of Medicine. Subsequently, these researchers confirmed a direct relationship
between occupations exposing individuals to higher levels of electromagnetic
radiation and the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Their report, published in the December 1996 issue of Neurology, revealed a substantial increased risk
of developing Alzheimer's disease, dementia, memory loss and confusion in individuals whose occupations exposed them
to higher than average levels of electromagnetic radiation. The occupations
determined to be "high risk" with respect to exposure included electrician,
machinist, machine operator, seamstress, sewing factory worker, sheet metal
worker, typist, keypunch operator, welder, machine shop worker, and several
others. The risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in these individuals was
calculated to be as much as four times higher than the general population.
Subjects evaluated were at least 65 years of age. at the time of their first
examination and their recorded occupations reflected what they had been doing
up to 40 years prior to their evaluation and diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
Modern cosmetics contain a host of dubious ingredients that would be more
at home in a test tube than on our faces.Coal tar colors, phenylenediamine,
benzene, even formaldehyde, are just a few of the synthetic chemicals commonly
included in cosmetics, shampoos, skin creams and blushes - toxins which are absorbed
into your skin with every use.
The Alzheimer's Association has developed a list of ten
warning signs of Alzheimer's disease:
- Memory loss that affects job skills.
- Difficulty in performing familiar tasks.
- Problems with language.
- Confusion about time and place.
- Poor or diminished judgment.
- Problems with abstract thinking.
- Misplacing of things.
- Changes in mood or behavior.
- Changes in personality.
- Loss of initiative.
Three Potential Causes of Memory Loss:
60% of Alzheimer's Patients put on anti-psychotic drugs
Around 60 per cent of Alzheimer’s patients are put on an anti-psychotic, even in the early
stages of the disease, in order to control behavior such as aggression. This effect has
earned the drugs the epithet of “the chemical cosh”.
The drugs can cause a serious deterioration within six months, and new research
is exploring the suspicion that the drugs are also increasing the death rate among
Alzheimer’s sufferers. Researchers from King’s College London and the Universities
of Oxford and Newcastle made the discovery when they observed the progress of 165
Alzheimer’s patients in care homes. The anti-psychotics reviewed by the research
study were thioridazine (Melleril), chlorpromazine (Largactil), haloperidol (Serenace),
trifluoperazine (Stelazine) and risperidone (Risperdal). Public Library of Science
Medicine, 2008; 5: e76 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050076.
Soy products may be dimming memory
Frequently consuming foods containing soy
may contribute to memory loss, British experts say. Experts at England's Loughborough
and Oxford Universities researched the impact of soy consumption in 719 senior
citizens on the Indonesian island of Java, the Daily Mail reported Saturday.
Researchers determined people who ate soy at least twice a day had 20 percent
less memory function that those who ate it significantly less. "Soy consumption
is on the increase in the West and is often promoted as a 'superfood.' Soy products
are rich in micronutrients called phytoestrogens, but it is not entirely clear
what their effect on the aging brain is," said Professor Eef Hogervorst of Loughborough
University. Hogervorst said vegetarians and elderly women seemed to be highly
susceptible to potential memory loss from soy consumption.
Other potential causes of memory loss
Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, argues that
gluten and carbohydrates are at the root of Alzheimer's disease,.
And not just unhealthy carbs, but even healthy ones like whole grains can
cause Alzheimer, dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression,
and much more.
The vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease may cause an immune overreaction
causing severe brain swelling. Some six percent of participants in a trial of the vaccine suffered from severe
brain swelling, leading the vaccine manufacturer, Elan, to call off the trial.
Researchers examined the brain of a woman who had taken the vaccine and died
after a fall in order to investigate the side effect. They found fewer plaques
in the woman’s brain than in Alzheimer's patients who did not receive the vaccine.
Vitamin deficiencies have been implicated in the development
of Alzheimer's disease. A vitamin B-12 deficiency is particularly
serious as it can mimic the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and may even progress
to Alzheimer's disease itself. One recent study found that 40% of elderly Americans
suffers from a vitamin B-12 deficiency. People who have had surgery for stomach
ulcers are particularly prone to a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Lack of vitamins
A, E, and beta-carotene has also been linked to the development of Alzheimer's
disease. British researchers found that Alzheimer's disease patients admitted
to a London hospital had only half the vitamin E level in their blood as did
healthy, matched controls. The patients' beta-carotene levels were four times
lower than that of the controls.
Neurogenesis, Adult Brain Cells Do Keep Growing
The apocryphal tale that you can't grow new brain cells just isn't true. Neurons continue to grow and change beyond the first
years of development and well into adulthood, according to a new study.
The finding challenges the traditional belief that adult brain cells, or neurons, are largely
static and unable to change their structures in response to new experiences.
"Back in medical school we were told that we were given a certain number of
brain cells and that was it for life. However, this idea that humans do not grow
new brain cells is now fully demonstrated to be wrong. How exciting it is that
we possess the ability to grow brain cells, a process called neurogenesis.
Not only that, but we retain this ability throughout our entire lifetimes." David Perlmutter MD
Glutathione's For Neurodegeneration Diseases
There is significant evidence that the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative
diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Dementia and memory loss may involve the generation of reactive oxygen
species and mitochondrial dysfunction.
Here, we review the evidence for a disturbance
of glutathione homeostasis that may either lead to or result from oxidative stress
in neurodegenerative disorders. Glutathione is an important intracellular antioxidant
that protects against a variety of different antioxidant species. An important role for
glutathione was proposed for the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, because a
decrease in total glutathione concentrations in the substantia nigra has been
observed in preclinical stages, at a time at which other biochemical changes
are not yet detectable.
Because glutathione does not cross the blood–brain
barrier other treatment options to increase brain concentrations of glutathione including glutathione analogs, mimetics
or precursors are discussed.
Schulz, J. B., Lindenau, J., Seyfried, J. and Dichgans, J. (2000), Glutathione,
oxidative stress and neurodegeneration. European Journal of Biochemistry,
267: 4904–4911. doi: 10.1046/j.1432-1327.2000.01595.x
Dr. Jimmy Gutman, MD - "Clinical evidence links low glutathione levels to
the most common illnesses of our time as well as newly emerging diseases. Glutathione
levels diminish as we age and many diseases normally associated with aging have been
linked to glutathione deficiency."
Glutathione levels fall even much further in later stages, the magnitude of reduction
in glutathione seeming to parallel the severity of the disease. The lowered
glutathione values and increased oxidative stress are thought to be responsible
for the loss of dopamine producing cells in the substantia nigra in Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s
disease patients . The use of antioxidants, particularly
for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases is an obvious consideration.
'Memory Herb' Helps Alzheimer's Patients
Ginkgo Biloba, an herb touted as a memory booster, shows
promise in treating Alzheimer's disease, a study published in the Journal of
the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests. Previous studies have shown
that ginkgo improves blood flow to the brain. In Europe, there is now a large and
convincing body of evidence showing how the herb Ginkgo Biloba will help boost memory and brain function, as long
as the patient takes it for several months.
German researchers, for example,
found that giving people who had been diagnosed with memory and learning problems
ginkgo biloba significantly improved their memory skills after six weeks, and
dramatically increased their ability to learn after five months. Ginkgo biloba
were found to benefit cognitive, (which means learning, memory, and knowing
things) function, within three months. In fact, Ginkgo is so effective that
some scientists now suggest everyone over 40 should take a daily dose to help
prevent the slow but inevitable decline of brainpower that is a feature of aging.
In Germany, Ginkgo is the most widely prescribed herb, as it is considered to
be as effective as drug treatments used for treating Alzheimer’s disease and
other severe forms of memory and mental function decline.
Marine Phytoplankton Provides Vital Nutrients for Brain Function
"My 11 year old has been in a special needs school for the last 3 years,
due to severe memory loss caused from seizures. Since taking Marine Phytoplankton my son no longer
needs to take medication and his memory is as good as it ever was."
Dr. Jerry Tennant, M.D. says that
marine phytoplankton contains almost
everything one needs to sustain life and to restore health by providing the
raw materials to make new cells that function normally. Marine phytoplankton
has been called "the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet". Containing
a wide range of trace elements, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll,
enzymes and cellular materials, marine phytoplankton promotes and maintains
optimum health by boosting and supporting all systems within the body. Its antioxidants
and unique polysaccharides can halt the genetic mutations that can lead to cancer.
Both high levels of saccharides and adaptogens increase energy and stamina by
improving our ability to consume and use oxygen. Adaptogens also improve cardiovascular
health by strengthening the heart and circulation.
Essential Fatty Acids Deficiency and Alzheimer
Omega 3 fatty acids in the form of flaxseed oil dramatically improved brain function in Alzheimer's patients with dementia and cognitive memory loss.
Among various organs, in the brain, the fatty acids most extensively studied
are omega-3 fatty acids. Alpha-linolenic acid (18:3omega3) deficiency alters
the structure and function of membranes and induces minor cerebral dysfunctions,
as demonstrated in animal models and subsequently in human infants. Even though
the brain is materially an organ like any other, that is to say elaborated from
substances present in the diet (sometimes exclusively), for long it was not
accepted that food can have an influence on brain structure, and thus on its
Consequently, the nature of polyunsaturated fatty acids (in particular omega-3)
present in formula milks for infants (premature and term) conditions the visual
and cerebral abilities, including intellectual. Moreover, dietary omega-3 fatty
acids are certainly involved in the prevention of some neuropsychiatric
disorders, particularly dementia, notably Alzheimer's disease.
James Scala PHD - "
Fish oil supplies omega-3 oils, and among
them is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), essential for brain and eye tissue development
(specifically the retina) in infants; it remains fundamental to those tissues
throughout life. Current research focuses on these oils—often woefully short,
if not deficient, in modern diets—as one cause of attention deficit disorder . Once more,
modern research is validating folk wisdom—fish really is brain food." The basic
building blocks of our brain cells are essential fatty acids such as EPA and
DHA from fish oil . These fatty acids are also used as fuel for brain metabolism
and help control the chronic inflammatory processes involved in degenerative brain disorders.
A study conducted by Uppsala University in Sweden looked at the effect of
Omega 3 fatty acids on patients who already had Alzheimer's disease. Researchers
gave 89 patients Omega 3 fatty acids for a period of 6 months and another 85 were given a placebo in the
form of corn oil. After the initial 6-month period, the placebo group also switched
to Omega 3 for a further 6 months. Although there was no real differences noted
between the two groups in general, there was an interesting result where 32
patients who had milder mental impairment showed less of a decline whilst taking Omega 3.
Mineral Deficiency Impairs Memory and Cognitive Skills
Scientists theorize that mineral deficiency subjects us to more diseases,
aging, sickness and destruction of our physical well-being than any other factor
in personal health. Fulvic acids consist of an immense
arsenal and array of naturally occurring powerful phytochemicals, biochemicals,
supercharged antioxidants, free-radical scavengers, super oxide dismutases,
nutrients, enzymes, hormones, amino acids, antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals,
etc. Marine phytoplankton and Fulvic Acids greatly enhance the bioavailability
of important humic trace minerals. Regenerate and prolong the residence time of essential
nutrients in the cells. Modify the damage or toxic compounds such as heavy metals
and free radicals. Enhance the permeability for digestive, circulatory, and
cell membranes. Increase the activity of a multitude of enzymes. Fulvic Acid
can also be known as nature's electrolyte. It charges and restores the potential
that is or once was normal to the cell, and in doing so, balances and super
charges cellular life. (do not confuse "fulvic acid" with "folic acid" which
is a common B vitamin).
Homeopathy can Improve Cognitive Function
Whether they are suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia,
often homeopathy can, at least to a degree, help. It usually will not cure,
but will often slow the decline and make their life much happier. Here is one
case to give you an idea how this works:
Ruth was a woman in her early 70’s who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Stage
3. She had moderate level of memory loss and confusion. She talked of her fears
of what was happening to her and what lay ahead. Her main concerns though were
of her past life. She described a life of many hurts. Of people doing things
that emotionally made her feel very bad. Of feeling alone and sorry for herself.
Of all the love she felt but couldn’t always express. Of her headaches and arthritis
Based upon this and many other symptoms we gave him a
homeopathic dose of Natrum Sulphuricum
(note this was the right remedy for her but the possibility of it being the
right remedy for another person with Alzheimer’s is very low). By one month
she was much happier. Her memory was much better for both the past and the present.
She was much less tired. She said that she felt better than she had in years.
She no longer felt so dragged down by the past.
Over the next 10 years there was a very slow gradual decline into dementia
but much slower than average for Alzheimer’s patients. Whenever she didn’t feel
as good she took a dose of her remedy which lifted her up for weeks. Despite
the decline she was happier than she had ever been in her life. The remedy helped
her memory, health and happiness tremendously and slowed but did not stop the
development of the disease.
In this example you see the difference between homeopathy and other approaches
for treatment of Alzheimer’s. After the right remedy we expect to see everything
getting better in the person’s life. In some very early stage Alzheimer’s cases
we can see complete cure. More often we see improvements as in this example.
Alzheimer's Disease Responding to AFA
Gabriel Cousens, M.D.
Presently there is a common belief that there is no cure or even amelioration
for the degenerative process called Alzheimer's Disease. Having personally experienced
and witnessed in my patients the brain function enhancing qualities of a blue-green algae named
aphanizomenon flos-aqua (AFA), I was interested when I read some reports
of its effects on Alzheimers Disease. This algae is particularly high in active
neurotransmitters and appeared to have positive therapeutic results in people
whose general mental functioning seemed sluggish.
For my experiment I chose two individuals who had well documented Alzheimer's
Disease, dementia and memory loss. They had obvious deficient mental functioning. Each month, besides
my notes, the mate of each of the patients was asked to fill out a questionnaire
covering thought process, memory function, ability to focus, judgment, perception,
emotions, ability to care for oneself, and sleep function. Each section had
several categories to be evaluated from 1 to 10 for a total of 28 questions.
Each case has been followed for 12 months.
The first case is a 66-year-old women with a seven-year history of Alzheimer's;
the last five of which were thoroughly diagnosed in 1978 and followed at Stanford
Medical Center. She had also been through oral choline and I.V. chelation therapy
without any effect on her deteriorating state.
On initial exam she revealed a significant aphasia. She seemed unable to
express her thoughts in words; her long and short tern memory was significantly
degenerated; she had great difficulty focusing on the present situation. In
essence she seemed absent. She also had a severe Parkinson-like tremor, had
much difficulty in walking a straight line and tilted to the right.
According to the report from her husband, she was completely unable to take
care of herself or even dress herself. The husband seemed hopefully pessimistic.
After one month of taking the blue green algae some decrease in the aphasia
was clearly discernible. A glimmer of awareness seemed to have returned to her
eyes. Some of the hand tremors had also decreased. She was also able to put
on an apron and tie it - something she had not done for months. She also seemed
to be able to express her feelings more. By two months, her communication improved
and she was able to watch TV and understand what was happening.
By six months, her husband and I both agreed on our subjective experience
that her spirit, humor, and sense of awareness had significantly improved. She
was now able to work intellectually with the environment. Her short term memory
had improved. The aphasia had significantly improved over the past six months,
but had seemed to level off in the last month. Her attention span had improved
to the point that she could sit for several hours listening to music. Her judgment,
reasoning ability, and clarity of thinking had significantly improved. There
was no change in her long term memory. On the physical level, she had moved
from not being able to dress herself to being able to put her clothes on, although
sometimes backwards. She was able to walk a straight line and stand almost straight.
At 12 months, some slight improvement in these areas was noted. Her course
at this point, after relatively rapid improvement in six months, seems to be
a very gradual improving situation. The second case involved a 64-year-old lawyer
from the Midwest who was diagnosed as having Alzheimer's in 1982 after a series
of neurological and psychological tests. Before he had come for diagnosis his
intellectual functioning and memory had significantly decreased. He could no
longer perform his work, or remember what transpired beyond 15 minutes, and
his IQ was measured at 92, significantly below that of the average lawyer. He
was put on the same protocol of the blue-green algae as the first case. After
one month his wife noted a cessation of the degenerative process. After 12 month,
she has noted no further obvious degeneration, yet no significant return of
lost function. The wife of the patient is quite pleased with the results and
feels the basis of a solid husband-wife relationship has been preserved.
Two thoroughly documented cases have been reported: one showing some significant
return of function and the other showing cessation of progressive degeneration
from Alzheimer's. These preliminary results suggest that Alzheimers may be a
degenerative process that indeed may be halted and possibly at least partially
reversed by the use of aphizominon flos-aqua. " Gabriel Cousens, M.D
. (Dr. Cousens is an orthomolecular psychiatrist who practices in Petaluma,
You're Not Demented, Just Dehydrated
By Peter Ragnar
"You don’t need to be stranded in a desert to feel the effects of dehydration.
Almost all the people you see and meet on a daily basis are dehydrated. How
many folks complain of a lack of energy? It’s the number one complaint in America.
Insufficient energy is the first sign that the blood, tissues, and organs are
not getting enough water, and your liver and brain are the least tolerant of
a lack of water. This has led some medical researchers to conclude that Alzheimer’s
disease is simply the result of long-term dehydration of the brain. The same
loss of brain function that causes a lost and thirsty person to eat sand believing
it to be water causes your wife, husband, mother, or father not to recognize
you any longer. They are not demented, only thirsty."
F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. - "Every function inside the body
is regulated by and depends on water. Water must be available to carry vital
elements, oxygen, hormones, and chemical messengers to all parts of the body.
Without sufficient water to wet all parts equally, some more remote parts of
the body will not receive the vital elements that water supplies. Water is also
needed to carry toxic waste away from the cells. In fact, there are at least
50 reasons why the body needs sufficient water on a regular, everyday basis.
Without sufficient water to constantly wet all parts, your body's drought-management
system kicks into action. The histamine-directed chemical messenger systems
are activated to arrange a new, lower quota of water for the drought-stricken
areas. When histamine and its subordinate "drought managers" come across pain-sensing
nerves, they cause pain. This is what I discovered in my research that I mentioned
"...Every time you move any body part, even a finger or toe, water is required.
That’s why dehydrated people have so many aches and pains. It’s also why people
look so old; their dehydrated organs steal the water from their skin in order
to function. Remember, under ordinary circumstances, you expel up to a gallon
of water every twenty-four hours. What do you think happens when you don’t replenish
that supply? Your body experiences a drought condition! A mere two percent drop
in hydration will make your short-term memory so fuzzy that you’ll be unable
to remember your friends’ names, have trouble doing basic math, and forget where
you put your keys. Since seventy-five percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated,
it’s no wonder people are losing their minds. Yet, the solution is so simple:
cool, clean water . Drink eight to
ten eight-ounce glasses a day of pure distilled water, and you’ll be amazed
at how many ailments disappear. Don’t worry; you’re not demented—just dehydrated!"
Water The Great Healer! Water therapy has
been used for centuries to heal the sick. Hydro- and hydrothermal therapy are
traditional methods of treatment that have been used for the treatment of disease
and injury by many cultures, including those of ancient Rome, China, and Japan.
The ancient Greeks took clay and mineral therapeutic baths. Water is an important ingredient
in the traditional Chinese and Native American healing systems.
Dr. Hidemitsu Hayashi, M.D. - " Water has the ability to
attract and accumulate bio-energy. It also stores an energy memory of harmful
or helpful vibrations to which it was exposed in the past. Chlorinated tap water
is polluted with non-biological chemicals and negative energy imprints. It is
also devoid of bio-energy and so may be regarded as being badly polluted as
well as 'dead'. Alkaline living water
is regarded by a growing number of health care professionals as the best
water to drink and is listed as a medical device in Japan for the treatment
of degenerative diseases."