Hello again: Here is another report that chronic stress can shrink our brain because the stress hormones (specifically the stress hormone cortisol) damage the brain. http://n.neurology.org/content/early/2018/10/24/WNL.0000000000006549 The authors conclude: "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." Furthermore, the researchers found that people with high levels of blood cortisol had much poorer memory when compared with peers with normal cortisol levels. Importantly, impaired memory was present in these individuals even before obvious symptoms of memory loss set in. They went on to comment that it is very important to find ways to reduce stress by daily lifestyle activities: “So it's important for people to find ways ... Read more

We all know that Vitamin D deficiencies are very, very common…but did you know that making sure that you have adequate amounts of Vitamin D can be a part of a healthy lifestyle to prevent dementia?!? Well, it turns out to be true: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28522216?dopt=Abstract The author’s findings included this statement: “25(OH)D deficiency was associated with a nearly three-fold increased risk of AD (hazard ratio = 2.85, 95% confidence interval 1.37-5.97).” Bottom Line: Get your Vitamin D levels tested and aim for a value of between 60 to 80. The normal range is a broad one, 30 to 100, however optimal levels are between 60 to 80. It is important not to settle for a number less than 60. So if you are told your numbers are fine, make sure you actually get to look at the lab report and check the numbers for yourself and if they are lower than 60 then supplement ... Read more

Hello again to all: Hope everyone had a really great Thanksgiving, and for those of us with anxiety, we may want to add fish and/or omega-3 rich foods to our Thanksgiving spread. It turns out that essential fatty acids known as the Omega-3 group, can have very brain favorable health benefits: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2702216 The author’s state: Conclusions and Relevance: This review indicates that omega-3 PUFAs might help to reduce the symptoms of clinical anxiety. Further well-designed studies are needed in populations in whom anxiety is the main symptom. Bottom Line: As part of a brain healthy program, most people can add a dietary and/or supplemental source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids to the mix. There is enough research to validate this approach, but in my opinion, it should not be a stand-alone therapy. Because of the way that ... Read more

Hello again everyone: First of all, everyone here at Richmond Chiropractic Neurology sends you warm wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday…a time to give thanks and express gratitude. As it turns out, practicing gratitude in our daily life has positive health benefits and can be a foundational conscious activity that supports your health on many levels. To start, here is a basic definition: gratitude is the sincere appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself; it is a general state of thankfulness and/or appreciation. There are a lot of studies on gratitude, and here is a good one: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15427609.2018.1499350?scroll=top&needAccess=true “Gratitude provides many advantages throughout development…Mounting evidence shows that gratitude is advantageous because it helps reduce antisocial behavior and pathology, protects from ... Read more

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: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prime-your-gray-cells/201110/why-sugar-high-leads-brain-low 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

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: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/fullarticle/2398420 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, 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. http://n.neurology.org/content/early/2018/10/24/WNL.0000000000006549 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

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: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5015035/ “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

Hello Everyone: Here is another great paper on how movement not only protects the brain, but reduces inflammation through multiple pathways: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30093853 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

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: https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/132/10/2850/330220 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