Your Brain On Sugar: Not A Good Idea

If you have a relative with dementia of any type, or if you are experiencing brain fog, then please be aware that eating sugar is a sincerely bad thing to do. Yes, it tastes Ok, and you are right, I don’t seem to feel much of a bad effect right away…but please do not let that fool you. Sugar is not a wholesome food and consumption of sugar is NOT associated with any known health benefits…that momentary pleasure comes with a heavy price. Here is a really great, easy to read article that you might want to pass on to your family members, relatives, co-workers and friends: Bottom Line: Skip the sugar and any type of sweeteners, at least 98% of the time. Not even a daily sugar bomb of any type!! Try this for 90 days and let me know how you feel. Be warned, some of us will have ... Read more

Brain Destruction and Bad Carbs

If anyone in your family tree has a history of Alzheimer’s or any dementia, it means that your risk for brain loss and destruction is elevated. If that is the case, you should work diligently with your food choices, exercise, supplements and stress reduction to lower your risk in order to save your future brain health: Conclusions and Relevance: Our results show that insulin resistance, a prevalent and increasingly common condition in developed countries, is associated with significantly lower regional cerebral glucose metabolism, which in turn may predict worse memory performance. Midlife may be a critical period for initiating treatments to lower peripheral insulin resistance to maintain neural metabolism and cognitive function. Bottom Line: It is estimated that one in three have insulin resistance, and ... Read more

Stress Shrinks Your Brain!

Stress, of any kind, will automatically cause survival responses that are extremely beneficial, except when these responses become chronic. When we encounter stress, our hypothalamus triggers our pituitary to signal the adrenal glands to release cortisol and adrenalin. Chronic elevations of adrenal hormones have negative health effects, especially on our brain. Conclusion: Higher serum cortisol was associated with lower brain volumes and impaired memory in asymptomatic younger to middle-aged adults, with the association being evident particularly in women. Bottom Line: Stress is just one component that results in loss of brain function, and it must be managed well if we are to keep our memory and not slide into any type of cognitive impairment. In other words, what the authors are describing in ... Read more

Inflammation Nation: Food Can Destroy You

Hello everyone: You hear me rant on and on about inflammation and how it destroys the brain, so here are 2 resources to clarify this. The first paper says that systemic inflammation causes brain damage (Alzheimer’s), the second tells you where some of that inflammation comes from: “Neuroinflammation plays an important role in the advancement of this disorder (Alzheimer’s), and n–3 (ω-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) (aka Omega-3’s) are involved in both the reduction in and resolution of inflammation.” The paper in the link above says that neuroinflammation is a key component of Alzheimer’s disease, and that Omega-3 essential fatty acids can help quench that fire. The point is that the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is loaded with bad fats. The next paper shows you what the S.A.D. does to ... Read more

Movement Is An Anti-Inflammatory Medication!!

Hello Everyone: Here is another great paper on how movement not only protects the brain, but reduces inflammation through multiple pathways: In summary, here is what the authors state: • Movement protects the brain, immune system, and energy metabolism • This is ‘vital’ for optimal emotional and cognitive brain function • Movement optimizes the stress response, • Movement optimizes brain chemistry • Movement normalizes inflammatory biochemistry and immune function • Not enough movement leads to ‘dysregulation’ of these processes and can lead to o Depression o Cognitive decline (memory loss, ability to do what used to be easy etc.) o Emotional difficulties o Increased brain and systemic inflammation (which leads to more neuro-degeneration) o Neuro-endocrine processes (negative changes ... Read more

The Eyes Don’t Lie: What Our Eyes Tell Us About Our Brain

Hello Again Everyone: As we finish our small series on eye movements as an excellent window on brain health and function, it turns out the literature has known for quite a while that eye movement abnormalities can reveal lingering brain damage/malfunction after concussion/traumatic brain injury. Here is an excellent paper: The authors state: Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) can affect up to 20%–30% of patients with mild closed head injury (mCHI), comprising incomplete recovery and debilitating persistence of post-concussional symptoms. Eye movements relate closely to the functional integrity of the injured brain and eye movement function is impaired post-acutely in mCHI. The PCS group performed worse…(on the eye movement tests)… indicating that…Poorer subconscious oculomotor function in the PCS group supports the ... Read more

ADHD and Your Frontal Lobe: Your Eye Movements Don’t Lie!!

Hello again everyone: We are continuing our discussion of how eye movements can reveal which parts of our brain may be under-functioning. In this case, abnormal or insufficient control of the ability to hold the gaze on the object of interest (this is called fixation) without intrusive eye movements are directly related to frontal lobe-basal ganglia deficits in function. This also included different types of voluntary fast movements called saccades. Those with ADHD had abnormal movements and reaction times pointing to those specific brain areas. The authors state the following: “In the pro-saccade task, ADHD participants had longer reaction times, greater intra-subject variance, and their saccades had reduced peak velocities and increased durations. In the anti-saccade task, ADHD participants had greater difficulty suppressing ... Read more

Your Eyes: Windows Into Brain Health And More!

Hello One and All: This week, and for probably 2 more blogs, I would like to cover some incredible information about eye movements and how they are enabling us to see into the brain and provide relief for a variety of health problems. As you may know, inflammation causes our brain to function poorly, and can lead to many brain-based symptoms. Previously, we have covered the many causes of inflammation, but that is not all there is to it. We also know that brains that do not function well have areas of reduced function, and if we can identify those areas and use receptor-based therapies to stimulate them, then we can induce neuron growth (called neuro-plasticity). This neuron growth can increase or normalize brain function, and reduce or control symptoms. In other words, we need BOTH a great body chemistry AND appropriate neurologic stimulation to optimize brain function. Taking ... Read more

Alzheimer’s Prevention: It’s All About Your Lifestyle

Hello everyone: Today I want to focus on dementia to let you know how the current science is trending. First of all, there has not been any prescriptions found that have any significant benefit despite 40 years of research and trials. The reason for this is that dementia has multiple causes. To put this in perspective, here are some selected quotes from this link: “Four decades of intense research and development (R&D) efforts have failed to yield any effective interventions for neurodegenerative diseases. The lack of success in the search for a drug to improve the devastating symptoms of these chronic brain disorders has been one of modern medicine's greatest frustrations with a failure rate of nearly 99.6 % as compared with about 20% success rate for cancer drugs. One important new fact about AD (Alzheimer’s ... Read more

Move Your Body & Grow Your Brain

Hello again everyone: Here is some interesting information on how yoga improves brain function! As you know, I want to provide practical tools we can all use and incorporate into a health building lifestyle that reduces risks to all chronic diseases as well as protects your brain/cognitive/emotional health. The author’s state: “Yoga combines postures, breathing, and meditation. Despite reported health benefits, yoga’s effects on the brain have received little study. We used magnetic resonance imaging to compare age-related gray matter (GM) decline in yogis and controls. We also examined the effect of increasing yoga experience and weekly practice on GM volume and assessed which aspects of weekly practice contributed most to brain size. Controls displayed the well documented age-related global brain GM decline while yogis did ... Read more