In a few days I’ll heading off to to learn all about one of my favorite subjects, the gut, from some of the top integrative doctors in the world. Specifically, I’ll be flying to Miami for my next module of my functional medicine training!
I am looking forward to sharing what I learn with all my readers and clients in the upcoming months. In the meantime, I wanted to provide the empowering information I promised via my “Top Holistic Health Reads.”
My aim is to keep it sweet, and skim friendly for you, regardless of my nerding-out on all the information I can get my brain around. This month I give lists to highlight the main points on my homepage. If you want to dive more into the information, I also provide the sources and excerpts.
This blog is a special focus for the top health updates related to brain health for October 2014 in which I summarize in the headings below:
Integrated Protocol Is a Success with Cognitive Impairment- Case Studies
report describes a novel, comprehensive, and personalized therapeutic
program that is based on the underlying pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s
disease, and which involves multiple modalities designed to achieve
metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration (MEND). The first 10
patients who have utilized this program include patients with memory
loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amnestic mild cognitive
impairment (aMCI), or subjective cognitive impairment (SCI). Nine of the
10 displayed subjective or objective improvement in cognition beginning
within 3-6 months, with the one failure being a patient with very late
stage AD. Six of the patients had had to discontinue working or were
struggling with their jobs at the time of presentation, and all were
able to return to work or continue working with improved performance.
Improvements have been sustained, and at this time the longest patient
follow-up is two and one-half years from initial treatment, with
sustained and marked improvement. These results suggest that a larger,
more extensive trial of this therapeutic program is warranted. The
results also suggest that, at least early in the course, cognitive
decline may be driven in large part by metabolic processes. Furthermore,
given the failure of monotherapeutics in AD to date, the results raise
the possibility that such a therapeutic system may be useful as a
platform on which drugs that would fail as monotherapeutics may succeed
as key components of a therapeutic system.
Bredesen DE. Reversal of cognitive decline: A novel therapeutic program. Aging. September 27, 2014.
C. Can Dementia be Defeated Naturally? Small clinical study finds that
memory loss can be reversed by diet and lifestyle. Vital Choice. October
Blood Type Relates to Memory
with blood type AB may be more likely to develop memory loss in later
years than people with other blood types, according to a study. AB is
the least common blood type, found in about 4 percent of the U.S.
population. The study found that people with AB blood were 82 percent
more likely to develop the thinking and memory problems that can lead to
dementia than people with other blood types.
Academy of Neurology (AAN). Can your blood type affect your memory in
later years? Science Daily. September 10, 2014.
S. Alexander, Neil A. Zakai, Sarah Gillett, Leslie A. Mcclure, Virginia
Wadley, Fred Unverzagt, and Mary Cushman. ABO blood type, factor VIII,
and incident cognitive impairment in the REGARDS cohort. Neurology,
September 2014 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000844
Neuroticism Linked to Alzheimer’s
population-based sample of 800 women, aged 38 to 54 years, was examined
in 1968, with subsequent examinations in 1974, 1980, 1992, 2000, and
2005. Neuroticism and extraversion were assessed using the Eysenck
Personality Inventory at baseline. Distress was measured according to a
standardized question at each study wave. Dementia was diagnosed
according to DSM-III-R criteria based on information from
neuropsychiatric examinations, informant interviews, hospital records,
and registry data.
study suggests that midlife neuroticism is associated with increased
risk of AD dementia, and that distress mediates this association. The
results have clinical implications because a group of women at risk of
AD dementia is identified.
Johansson L1, Guo X2, Duberstein
PR2, Hällström T2, Waern M2, Ostling S2, Skoog I2. Midlife personality
and risk of Alzheimer disease and distress: A 38-year follow-up.
Neurology. 2014 Oct 1. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000907. [Epub ahead of
Movement- For Improving Cognition and Brain Function in Kids
study of 221 children (ages 7-9 years) aimed to determine the effect of
a 9-month afterschool physical activity (PA) intervention on brain and
behavioral indices of executive control in preadolescent children.
addition to changes in fitness (maximal oxygen consumption), electrical
activity in the brain (P3-ERP) and behavioral measures (accuracy,
reaction time) of executive control were collected by using tasks that
modulated attentional inhibition and cognitive flexibility.
The intervention enhanced cognitive performance and brain function
during tasks requiring greater executive control. These findings
demonstrate a causal effect of a PA program on executive control, and
provide support for PA for improving childhood cognition and brain
Hillman CH1, Pontifex MB2, Castelli DM3, Khan NA4,
Raine LB4, Scudder MR4, Drollette ES4, Moore RD4, Wu CT5, Kamijo K6.
Effects of the FITKids Randomized Controlled Trial on Executive Control
and Brain Function. Pediatrics. 2014 Oct;134(4):e1063-71. doi:
Exercise, a New Treatment for ADHD?
goal of this study was to compare the effects of before school physical
activity (PA) and sedentary classroom-based (SC) interventions on the
symptoms, behavior, moodiness, and peer functioning of young children (M
age?=?6.83) at risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD-risk;
n?=?94) and typically developing children (TD; n? =?108). Children were
randomly assigned to either PA or SC and participated in the assigned
intervention 31 min per day, each school day, over the course of
12 weeks. Parent and teacher ratings of ADHD symptoms
(inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity), oppositional behavior,
moodiness, behavior toward peers, and reputation with peers, were used
as dependent variables. Primary analyses indicate that the PA
intervention was more effective than the SC intervention at reducing
inattention and moodiness in the home context. Less conservative
follow-up analyses within ADHD status and intervention groups suggest that a PA intervention may reduce impairment associated with ADHD-risk
in both home and school domains; interpretive caution is warranted,
however, given the liberal approach to these analyses. Unexpectedly,
these findings also indicate the potential utility of a before school SC
intervention as a tool for managing ADHD symptoms.
Inclusion of a no treatment control group in future studies will enable
further understanding of PA as an alternative management strategy for ADHD symptoms.
B, Smith, A, Shoulberg, E, et al. A Randomized Trial Examining the
Effects of Aerobic Physical Activity on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity
Disorder Symptoms in Young Children. J of Abnormal Child Psychology.
September 10, 2014. Doi. 10.1007/s10802-014-9929-y
Hamblin, J.Exercise is ADHD Medication. The Atlantic. September 29, 2014.
Exercise For Memory
studies have shown that memory may be improved by several months of
aerobic exercises, such as running, cycling or swimming. However, the
findings of the new study – published in the journal Acta Psychologica –
demonstrate that a similar memory boost can be achieved in a much
study indicates that people don’t have to dedicate large amounts of
time to give their brain a boost,” says Lisa Weinberg, the Georgia Tech
graduate student who led the project.
well as looking at aerobic exercise, Weinberg’s team also examined how
resistance exercise – weightlifting, push-ups and sit-ups – might affect
team recruited 46 participants (29 women and 17 men), who were randomly
assigned into two groups. For the first part of the experiment, all
participants viewed a series of 90 images on a computer screen.
McNamee. D. What kinds of exercise can boost long-term memory? Medical News Today. October 5, 2014.
Inflammation and Depression Linked (Curcumin vs. NSAIDs)
The following is a review of the antidepressant and possible adverse effects of anti-inflammatory interventions.
Sources-Trials published prior to December, 31, 2013, were identified
searching Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed,
EMBASE, PsychINFO, Clinicaltrials.gov, and relevant review articles.
Selection- Randomized placebo-controlled trials assessing the efficacy
and adverse effects of pharmacologic anti-inflammatory treatment in
adults with depressive symptoms, including those who fulfilled the
criteria for depression.
Ten publications reporting on 14 trials (6262 participants) were
included: 10 trials evaluated the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs (NSAIDs) (n?=?4258) and 4 investigated cytokine inhibitors (n?=?2004). …
and Relevance – Our analysis suggests that anti-inflammatory treatment,
in particular celecoxib, decreases depressive symptoms without
increased risks of adverse effects. However, a high risk of bias and
high heterogeneity made the mean estimate uncertain. This study supports
a proof-of-concept concerning the use of anti-inflammatory treatment in
depression. Identification of subgroups that could benefit from such
treatment might be warranted.
Ole Köhler, et al. Effect of
Anti-inflammatory Treatment on Depression, Depressive Symptoms, and
Adverse EffectsA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized
Clinical Trials ONLINE FIRST. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online October
15, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.1611
Curcumin for Cognition Support
possesses many properties which may prevent or ameliorate pathological
processes underlying age-related cognitive decline, dementia or mood
disorders. These benefits in preclinical studies have not been
established in humans. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled
trial examined the acute (1 and 3 h after a single dose), chronic (4
weeks) and acute-on-chronic (1 and 3 h after single dose following
chronic treatment) effects of solid lipid curcumin formulation (400 mg
as Longvida®) on cognitive function, mood and blood biomarkers in 60
healthy adults aged 60-85. One hour after administration curcumin
significantly improved performance on sustained attention and working
memory tasks, compared with placebo. Working memory and mood (general
fatigue and change in state calmness, contentedness and fatigue induced
by psychological stress) were significantly better following chronic
treatment. A significant acute-on-chronic treatment effect on alertness
and contentedness was also observed. Curcumin was associated with
significantly reduced total and LDL cholesterol and had no effect on
hematological safety measures. To our knowledge this is the first study
to examine the effects of curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy
older population or to examine any acute behavioral effects in humans.
Results highlight the need for further investigation of the potential
psychological and cognitive benefits of curcumin in an older population.
Cox, K, Pipingas, A, & Scholey, A. Investigation of the
effects of solid lipid curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy
older population. J Psychopharmacol. October 2, 2014. Doi:
Tumeric For (Rodent) Brain Growth
a recent rodent study, a bioactive compound found in turmeric promoted
stem cell proliferation and differentiation in the brain.
test the effects of ar-turmerone on NSC in vivo, the researchers
injected adult rats with ar-turmerone. Using PET imaging and a tracer to
detect proliferating cells, they found that the subventricular zone
(SVZ) was wider, and the hippocampus expanded, in the brains of rats
injected with ar-turmerone than in control animals. The SVZ and
hippocampus are the two sites in adult mammalian brains where
neurogenesis, the growth of neurons, is known to occur.
FARS News Agency.Turmeric Compound Boosts Regeneration of Brain Stem Cells. Life Extension. September 29, 2014. http://www.lef.org/news/lefdailynews?NewsID=22917&Section=DISEASE
J, Klein R, Neumaier B, Graf R, Fink G, et al. Aromatic-turmerone
induces neural stem cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Stem Cell Research & Therapy. 2014.
Castillo, S. Turmeric Helps Your Brain Heal Itself: Spice Up Your Brain Power With Curry. Medical News Today. Sep 26, 2014. http://www.medicaldaily.com/turmeric-helps-your-brain-heal-itself-spice-your-brain-power-curry-305242
Also, be sure to check out all the updates on health, lifestyle, wellness, food & nutrition, and drug updates on my homepage.
Until next time, keep educating and empowering your health and brain!