Memory & Alzheimers Disease: How Walking, Aerobic Exercise and Nutrition Strategies are Natural Defenses

 
We are excited share what we’re learning by following brain health research. Our therapies are based in the current research learning about how the brain develops memory; how it functions and stays sharp into the later years.
Specifically regarding Alzheimers Disease and Brain Health, we want to define what Alzheimers Disease is – abnormal proteins aggregate to form plaques and tangles in the brain. These tangles progress over time, damaging brain tissue and lead to severe cognitive declines.

Memory naturally fades after 60 years old as the size and volume of the memory processor starts to decrease, but in the case of Alzheimer’s memories can vanish much more dramatically than in the normal population. In the normal population, signs of Dementia or Alzheimer’s will start just after 80-84 years old.

Why should you care if you’re going to lose it naturally over time anyway? Because research shows you can preserve and protect these areas of the brain with moderate attention toward memory health.
Why are we passionate about brain health, and why you should be too? Because the prevalence and costs for Neurological Diseases are Soaring. Hitting closer to home, you’re likely to be 1 of 3 Americans who develop a neurological disorder.

Adapted from ~ Pauline Anderson 4-13-2017, Medscape News, Article Cited: Ann Neurol. Published Feb 15, 2017
As americans live longer, surviving heart disease, cancer and other chronic conditions, numbers of neurological disorders in the elderly are increasing dramatically.
  • As of 2011 – 100 million Americans had at least 1 of the more than 1000 neurological diseases.1/3 of Americans!
  • “Society is asleep at the switch and doesn’t fully recognize that this is a problem,” ~ Clifton L. Gooch, MD, professor and chair, Department of Neurology, University of South Florida – College of Medicine in Tampa
  • Dr. Gooch looked at impact of 9 of the most prevalent and costly neurological disorders.
  • From most to least, here’s the list … represented annually in BILLIONS!
    • Alzheimers and other Dementias ($243)
    • Chronic Low Back Pain ($177)
    • Stroke ($110)
    • Traumatic Brain Injury ($86)
    • Migraine Headache ($78)
    • Epilepsy ($37)
    • Multiple Sclerosis ($25)
    • Spinal Cord Injury ($19)
    • Parkinson’s Disease ($15)
$800 BILLION total cost ANNUALLY – The cost for the worlds largest military in 2016 – $598 Billion, and the number of elderly will DOUBLE over the coming years, costs for these diseases becoming 3-4x’s the military budget in 20-30 years.

It is reported that Alzheimers Disease alone will bankrupt the country, said Dr. Gooch
This presentation by Dr. Gooch and Statistical analysis were generated to highlight the gravity of the problem that exists. Research funding needs to be increased. Later in this article we highlight some of the most recent research articles pointing towards prevention capabilities.

How do we focus on brain health and longevity in our own lives, you ask? I want to defend against Alzheimers!

We’re learning more every day about the benefits of lifestyle factors that guard against neurodegenerative disorders such as alzheimer’s. In addition to our advanced therapies for memory, here are some simple tips that are easy to implement:
  • Cognitive and memory protection comes from the proper use of and support of brain tissue that may be impacted in the case of Alzheimer’s. In our office we perform patient specific cognitive exercises and use therapies such as low level laser therapy to enhance metabolism and blood flow to weakened or damaged regions of the brain.
    • Brain Calisthenics: Memory can be trained to grow long term retention, just like building a muscle with regular training and repetitions.
      • Word Tricks: Say the color the word is printed in, not what the word says. Repeat 10 words quickly without a mistake – RED Black Green BLUE RED YELLOW BLUE Green
      • Quick Counting: Try to count to 120 in a minute clearly and articulate each number. Use this process to help improve speech to brain coordination.
      • Rapid Recall: Study a list of 20 words and memorize as many as you can in 90 seconds. Then put it away and attempt to write as many of them as you can. Slowly grow and change words on the list to 25-30 words as recall of all words becomes consistent.
  • Support of brain tissue also comes with a significant need to address dietary strategies either early on before the onset of memory problems, or even after signs have been progressing toward a diagnosis of alzheimer’s. In other neurodegenerative diseases, nerves are first effected in the gut which travel up to the brain to degenerate certain areas. So we should focus on our gut health at all stages of life.
    • Fats and Oils in the Diet: Intake of oils that are polyunsaturated such as olive oil are beneficial to protect neuronal cell walls. These walls allow for a sturdy structure of the cell and easy passage of minerals and proteins across the cell wall that help to sustain cellular health. This is specifically beneficial for nerves and the the nervous system.
    • DHA is a form of omega 3 unsaturated fatty acid that shows promise for neuroprotective benefits in metabolically active nerve bundles in the brain. These are easily obtained directly from fish, but can be converted from intake of other forms of fats like EPA and ALA from vegetables, nuts and seeds.
    • Reference: Evidence in Diet and Alzheimers
  • Avoiding Triggers: excess blood sugar damages a vital enzyme involved with the inflammation response to early stage Alzheimers. High blood sugar levels are well known in the case of diabetes/obesity, but not in the link to Alzheimer’s.
    • Glucose has a breakdown product that can damage cells via a reaction called glycation.
    • Glycation causes damage to an enzyme MIF (macrophage migration inhibitory factor) which plays a role in immune response and insulin regulation.
    • Glycation can damage cellular survival by stopping the body from protecting it.
      • Normally, MIF would be part of an immune response to the build-up of abnormal proteins in the brain, but because sugar damage (glycation) reduces some MIF functions and completely inhibits others, this could be a “tipping point that allows Alzheimers to develop” ~ Professor Jean van den Elsen, University of Bath, Dept. of Biology and Biochemistry. Journal Scientific
    • Diabetics have increased risk of Alzheimers compared to healthy individuals precisely because of these problems.
    • Given that BLOOD SUGAR AFFECTS so many organ systems and THE INFLAMMATORY SYSTEM, it is imperative that WE LEARN and PRACTICE CONTROL over OUR BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
Learning to control blood sugar levels is a process that needs to be exercised in most human beings. The best way to do this is to sign up for my Rhythm Cleanse Newsletter where we lay out a dietary intervention in an easy to follow and implement format. Subsequent information beyond diet will be revealed to enhance the dietary changes, including movements, daily routines of movement and cognitive exercise. Sign up for my brain health newsletter below and keep reading our information as its updated and developed
  • Walking and moderate aerobic exercise is shown to combat early onset memory loss – pre-Alzheimers and is positively correlated with decreased risk or onset of neurodegenerative disease and memory loss.

The University of Maryland brings a new study into the debate over cognitive function and anti-aging. Findings were promising, fMRI scans of patients with pre – Alzheimer’s showed increased activity in memory areas with mild exercise. The authors suggest that exercise may be most useful for anyone with mild memory loss.

  • Exercise helps the brain fight the effects of age, even in small amounts at mild intensities.
    • 30 minutes, 4x’s/week for 3 months
A small sample of adults, some with mild cognitive impairment (often a precursor to Alzheimer’s Disease) and control groups. Both groups improved their immediate memory and recall after the 12 week exercise protocol.

So, anyone will benefit from even the easiest amount of exercise, without stress and pains from high intensity exercises. Those with cognitive impairments have something to hold onto with this study, exercise and movements will bring about increased function.

Chirles, Theresa. Reiter K, Weiss L, Alfini A, Nielson K, Smith C. Exercise Training and Functional Connectivity Changes in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Healthy Elders. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Volume 57, 3/17

Another study from the American College of Sports medicine presented an abstract in May of 2017 showing that exercise may reverse the decline in cognitive function occuring in older adults who ARE AT RISK or HAVE ALZHEIMERS.

  • These favorable effects were largely seen with the group performing moderate – vigorous Aerobic Exercise, such as treadmill walking, cycling, Rowing, and other forms of coordinated and rhythmic movements.

Regardless of your steps to intervention at this point, there’s always the next step in recovering your health. Please take action on my 3 step Rhythm Cleanse information below.