Alzheimer's

  1. Sleep disruptions linked to Alzheimer's

    Could insomnia CHANGE your brain?

    My friend, I'm here to tell you... You've got rhythm!

    No, I'm not talking about how well you can cut a rug.

    I'm talking about your body's "internal clock," a.k.a. your CIRCADIAN rhythm!

    It's something that's built right into everyone's brains -- it tells your body when it's time to go to sleep at night AND when it's time to wake up into the morning.

    Who could ask for anything more?

    Well, it turns out that for some of us, the circadian rhythm doesn't hold steady as we age -- which may turn your life upside down and sideways, leaving you up and active at night and sawing logs during the day (if at all).

    And according to a new study, if your clock gets out of whack... and your sleep becomes scattered all over the place... your precious memories could be at risk.

    That's because disruptions to your circadian rhythm may be one of the first signs of Alzheimer's disease, YEARS before devastating memory loss sets in.

    In the study, out of Washington University, about 200 older folks who had NO symptoms of cognitive decline kept daily sleep diaries for up to two weeks and also wore devices that tracked their activity levels.

    Researchers then looked for any buildup of amyloid protein (a.k.a. " plaques") -- a signature sign of Alzheimer's disease -- in the participants' brains, either by giving them PET brain scans, testing their spinal fluid for amyloid protein, or both.

    When the researchers compared the sleep data with these test results, it turned out that most of the folks who had normal sleep/wake cycles were free of amyloid plaques in their brains.

    But on the flip side, ALL of those with disruptions to their circadian rhythms had evidence of amyloid plaques.

    That means that their brains showed signs of Alzheimer's damage even though they didn't yet have ANY symptoms of the disease!

    Now, the study didn't determine whether disturbances in circadian rhythm led to the Alzheimer's changes... or the other way around.

    But we know from previous studies that amyloid levels in the brain DECREASE during sleep... and when you don't get enough shuteye, those amyloids can build up.

    So, to be on the safe side, you want to make sure your "clock" is running right on time!

    And your best bet for doing that is to supplement with melatonin, which is the "sleep hormone" that helps regulate your body's circadian rhythm.

    Your body produces it naturally, but since your levels of it wane as you get older, it's best to take a supplement.

  2. Inflammation linked to Alzheimer's

    Could your brain be on FIRE?

    It chips away at your memory... hijacks your ability to think... and can even rob you of your personality.

    I'm talking about Alzheimer's disease, and living with it can feel like not living at all.

    Unfortunately, there's no pill you can pop to make it better or go away -- in part because we don't know exactly what causes this devastating illness.

    But we DO know that the brains of many Alzheimer's patients are full of "plaques" made of a protein called amyloid beta, AND they're riddled with inflammation in those same areas.

    For years, in fact, docs have wondered which comes first in Alzheimer's -- the plaques or the "flames"?

    And now, a new study has finally solved this "chicken-or-egg" riddle, and the smoking gun turns out to be something I've been warning you about for years.

    INFLAMMATION.

    In a study out of Germany, researchers encouraged the formation of plaques in the brains of mice -- specifically, in the hippocampus, a brain region involved in memory and often implicated in Alzheimer's -- and they did that by stimulating an inflammatory response.

    That means that inflammation was the driving force behind the formation of these plaques, NOT the other way around.

    And what's true for mice is also true for men -- at least, in this case.

    The researchers also analyzed human brain tissue and found that inflammation set the stage for amyloid beta deposits in a similar fashion.

    Now, if you've been reading my eTips for a while now, you're well aware that inflammation is your body's response to injury and infection -- but what you might not know is that your brain actually has its own immune system that's distinct from the rest of your body.

    When there are toxins invading your brain -- whether from food, the environment, or byproducts of your own metabolism -- this system kicks into high gear.

    And if whatever's activating your brain's immune response never goes away, that could leave a continuous fire raging in your gray matter... opening the door to Alzheimer's.

    That means you want to do EVERYTHING you can to extinguish this four-alarm blaze.

    For starters, the Paleo diet is a simple way to eliminate the grains, sugars, and processed foods that are known to kick up inflammatory processes in your body.

    And since pollutants and toxic chemicals are in everything from the water we drink to the products we use to clean, it's also a good idea to supplement with natural detoxifiers like glutathione (the "master antioxidant") or the potent amino acid NAC (a well-known glutathione producer).

    The omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon and mackerel, as well as fish oil supplements, are also powerful anti-inflammatories that have also been proven to protect your brain from Alzheimer's.

    And as I shared with you just this morning, exercise is a great way to boost your brain -- not only because it increases blood flow to your grey matter, but also because it's a natural inflammation fighter.

  3. Mulberries may protect against Alzheimer's

    A good reason to go 'round the mulberry bush Life is full of little details -- and sometimes, they slip through your fingers. It's called being human! And as we age, everyone has a few more of these "mental hiccups." But if it's getting harder and harder to keep a grasp on everything from appointments... to directions... to anniversaries... then...
  4. Canola oil linked to the development of Alzheimer's

    This toxic oil could "grease" the wheels of dementia If you've been reading my eTips for a while now, you know that the health of your BRAIN depends a lot on the food you put in your MOUTH. Cooking fresh foods at home --- rather than nuking a package or hitting the drive-thru -- is one of the best ways...
  5. Melatonin improves cognitive function in Alzheimer's cases

    The 'sleep hormone' can sharpen your brain Everyone feels scattered from time to time -- and as we age, a few of those little "senior moments" are par for the course. But if your brain feels like it's "sleeping on the job" more and more often, it could be a sign of something more serious. According to a new study...
  6. Melatonin improves cognitive function in Alzheimer's cases

    The 'sleep hormone' can sharpen your brain Everyone feels scattered from time to time -- and as we age, a few of those little "senior moments" are par for the course. But if your brain feels like it's "sleeping on the job" more and more often, it could be a sign of something more serious. According to a new study...
  7. Omega-3s protect your brain from Alzheimer's

    Keep your brain sharp... with FAT! Sometimes, life can feel like a quiz show -- especially as we age. You're constantly being called on to remember names and important dates... but you can't hit that "buzzer" with the answer as quickly as you used to! We all have our share of "senior moments" as we add more candles to our...
  8. Vitamin D and resveratrol improve memory in Alzheimer's

    How to use the 'buddy system' to save your precious memories There are some things in life that are just better together. Whether it's bacon and eggs... Laurel and Hardy... or Simon and Garfunkel... the combination of the two just ends up being greater than the sum of its parts. Sure, each of them is great on their own...
  9. Antidepressants spike head injuries in Alzheimer's patients

    These pills can kick you while you're down With all that candy and all those pumpkins already cramming store shelves, it's beginning to look a lot like Halloween. And even if your trick-or-treating days are way behind you, this spooky season reminds us that things aren't always as they seem. Take, for example, two illnesses that often go hand in...
  10. Music benefits Alzheimer's patients

    Preserve those precious memories with some oldies but goodies You forget the day of your doctor's appointment... what you needed to pick up from the store... and maybe even your wedding anniversary. But put on a toe-tapping tune from your teenage years, and you can still remember all the words! Just a few of those first notes, and all those...

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