Archives for May 2018

Exercise & Brain Health

More and more information about brain health is emerging and how fitness can protect you from memory loss, depression and more. In fact, I would say that there is enough science to say that exercise is actually mandatory for depression, memory loss, anxiety, insomnia, and virtually any brain health concern. http://www.neurology.org/content/early/2016/02/10/WNL.0000000000002415 This link reveals that poor fitness in midlife leads to smaller brain volume some two decades later! In other words, if you are thinking about getting fit or getting into a health restorative program later when a crisis spurs you to do it, think again. The problem started decades ago and now is the time to prevent it. Later on, you probably won’t be able to achieve the degree of recovery that you could if you were fit. In other words, health and lifestyle choices made earlier in life have important ... Read more

Brain On Fire!

First of all, we would like to thank our active military and veterans and their families for their service and sacrifices...we appreciate their incredible contributions for our freedoms. And now, I want to continue to focus on inflammation as a cause of brain degeneration and refer you to this great paper and several part of it. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3513880/ "Because of the importance cognition plays in one's ability to live independently, reducing the impact of inflammation on cognition during aging is likely to significantly impact on the quality of life of older persons. The notion that neuroinflammation leads to a decline in cognitive function is supported by the association between markers of inflammation and several pathological conditions, such as AD, Parkinson's disease, and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Inflammation, especially within ... Read more

Brain Fog

One thing that I hear a great deal from people is that they are experiencing "brain fog." This is a persistent feeling of mental sluggishness, poor memory, fatigue, maybe some slowness to recall information, some slowness to get motivated to get things done...just don’t feel yourself and as if you are moving in a fog through molasses. It is like your brain is just slow and tired. It can include a general feeling of anxiety or slight low level depression, or it can accompany depression or gut issues or be a part of many health issues, like headaches, migraine, any chronic pain condition, diabetes or a new medication or arthritis or after gut disturbances, being overweight and much more. In other words, brain fog can be a symptom by itself, or as part of a health condition, but it is ALWAYS a warning sign that should be taken seriously as it means the brain is inflamed and ... Read more

Inflammation Shrinks Our Brain

Here is another great paper showing how our lifestyle choices will predict our future brain health. This paper revealed that those with the higher blood markers of inflammation had greater significant shrinkage later in life. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29093073 DISCUSSION: "Using a large community sample, we demonstrated that a higher level of systemic inflammatory markers measured during midlife is independently associated with lower regional brain volume and reduce episodic memory 24 years later among older adults without dementia. Similarly, participants who had elevations in a larger number of 5 inflammatory markers during midlife were found to have lower regional brain volumes and reduced episodic memory in late life in a dose-response manner." Bottom Line: Please refer back to my blog series on inflammation and all of the causes. We went over blood sugar, sleep, ... Read more

Brain Health & Abdominal Fat: Part 2

Sorry to get heavy (pun intended) on abdominal fat and brain function, but here is some more information for you. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160126175513.htm As the article states: Obesity and cognitive decline: Evidence that suggests a link between the two includes: • People ages 40-45 who were obese had a 74 percent increased risk of dementia 21 years later, and those who were overweight had a 35 percent greater risk. This study cohort had 10,276 men and women. Whitmer, RA, et al., BMJ 2005. • A study of 2,223 healthy workers found that a higher body-mass index was associated with lower cognitive scores, after adjustment for age, sex, educational level, blood pressure, diabetes and other co-variables. Also, a higher BMI at baseline was associated with higher cognitive decline at a follow-up five years later. Cournot, M., et al., Neurology 2006. • ... Read more

Plants Save Our Brains

Here is some more news about how we can use select plant compounds to protect our neurologic health at any age. Please recall that inflammation damages and shrinks our brain, which is obviously NOT GOOD! https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1471-4159.2009.06562.x “Certain naturally occurring dietary polyphenolic phytochemicals have received considerable recent attention as alternative candidates for AD (Alzheimer’s Disease) therapy. In particular, curcumin, resveratrol, and green tea catechins have been suggested to have the potential to prevent AD because of their anti‐amyloidogenic, anti‐oxidative, and anti‐inflammatory properties. These polyphenolic phytochemicals also activate adaptive cellular stress responses, called ‘neurohormesis’, and suppress disease processes.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781139/ “Curcumin as an antioxidant, ... Read more

Brain Health & Abdominal Fat

As a chiropractic neurologist whose primary focus is brain health, you soon learn that you have to study far and wide to learn about all of the positive and negative factors that cause brain health or advance or cause brain degeneration and dysfunction. It was surprising to me to learn just how bad for brain health it is when we carry extra abdominal fat. You can even have a normal weight or BMI and be at serious risk for an early and unpleasant death. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/249506.php Obviously this extra abdominal fat is known to contribute to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, abnormal cholesterol levels, cancer, hormonal imbalances and other diseases. It is bad fat in a bad location, and it is slowly killing anyone with increased abdominal fat. But did you know that this fat contributes to dementia, depression, cognitive decline and ... Read more

Move It Or Lose It: This Old Saying Applies to Your Brain!

Thank you for reading this blog, I really appreciate you. Here is more news you can use, and the old adage that says "move it or lose it" is now seen to apply to memory and brain health. This paper highlights the connection between brain health and function (healthy aging) and exercise. It means that in order to keep optimal brain function and avoid age related memory decline, as well as depression and anxiety and a host of other issues, we must keep moving. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0170547 The authors summarize: "Aerobic exercise in early AD is associated with benefits in functional ability. Exercise-related gains in cardiorespiratory fitness were associated with improved memory performance and reduced hippocampal atrophy, suggesting cardiorespiratory fitness gains may be important in driving brain benefits." This information about ... Read more

Depression: An Inflammatory Condition

In a previous blog, I promised that I would cover the fact that in order to have a healthy brain, there needs to be the understanding that there are multiple causes that lead to brain decline, including the ability to recover from head injury or stroke or anything. For example, when it comes to depression and anxiety, it is now widely recognized that the brain dysfunction that results in the symptoms of depression and/or anxiety has multiple causes. And while depression, or anxiety, are not diseases, they are certainly powerful symptoms of something(s) gone wrong in the way that the brain works. Depression and anxiety can be part of any disease state, such as the flu or Alzheimer’s or post-stroke or even post-pregnancy, so when evaluating your health many things must be taken into account. To have a healthy brain, you need a healthy body as well. Take a look at these ... Read more