The Brain is the most amazing structure in the known universe...
.... although it only weighs about three pounds, it contains 100 Billion nerve cells. Each cell has up to 40000 synaptic connections, which results in the inconceivable number of 1000 Trillion total connections. A single brain can hold 1 petabyte of data, which is almost the entire Internet.
The brain influences our health like no other organ. Considering that half the population of 85 year olds suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, it is glaringly obvious that brain health has top priority. And despite the recent advances in the treatment of neuro-degenerative disease, prevention is still the name of the game.
Are you at Risk?
Factors that promote cognitive decline:
A first degree relative with Alzheimer’s
A history of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, sleep apnea or diabetes
A genetic predisposition (Apo E4 gene)
A history of head trauma
Lifestyle factors like lack of exercise, smoking, heavy drinking
Depression and social isolation
Exposure to Heavy Metals and chemicals.
Chronic inflammation and infections
Windows into the Brain
SPECT Scans or functional MRIs open up a window into the functioning of the brain, revealing the devastation of substance abuse, the imbalances of ADD, the deleterious consequences of head trauma.
Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis
The good news is that the brain can build new synapses and even have the potential for neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells. Not unlike training our muscles, we can train the brain.
The End of Alzheimer’s
The breakthrough research of Neurologist Dr. Dale Bredesen showed that Alzheimer’s is not just preventable, but reversible, at least in it’s early stages. Patients who had to discontinue work were able to return to work, and those struggling at work were able to improve their performance. The program uses a personalized functional medicine approach that looks for inflammation, heavy metals, neurotoxins, hormone and nutrient deficiencies, insulin resistance and relevant genetic factors.
10 steps to a Healthy Brain
1. Eat brain healthy, organic food: low in carbs and sugar, high in vegetables, fruit, nuts, healthy oils and omega-3 fatty acids (fish and flaxseed oil.) But avoid high mercury fish.
2. Take brain nutrients like Fish oil, Acetyl-L Carnitine, CoQ-10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Phosphatidyl Serine and Choline and Ginko.
3. Exercise regularly. Weight training and aerobics trigger the release of growth factors and increases the number of synaptic connections.
4. Improve your Sleep. Most people require 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep to replenish the brain. Just recently it was discovered that the brain gets rid of toxins through the glymphatic system - during sleep.
5. Avoid exposure to EMFs and dirty electricity, especially at night.
6. Cleanse and Detoxify. For heavy metals consider chelation therapy; for chemicals a liver cleanse and far infrared sauna therapy.
7. Replace Hormones. Adrenal hormones like DHEA and Pregnenolone and sex hormones like Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone have all receptors in the brain that influence memory, mood and aging.
8. Keep your Microbiome happy. Through the gut-brain connection, dysbiosis causes inflammation in the brain, which in turn promotes neurodegeneration.
9. Learn a Relaxation Method. Stress kills brain cells, where as relaxation, meditation or contemplation have powerful brain benefits, improving cognition and emotional wellbeing.
10. Stimulate your brain by learning new things.