Skip to comments.Brain Starvation As We Age Appears To Trigger Alzheimer' Strategy
Posted on 12/27/2008 10:07:58 PM PST by texas booster
Improving blood flow to brain is a preventive strategy
CHICAGO --- A slow, chronic starvation of the brain as we age appears to be one of the major triggers of a biochemical process that causes some forms of Alzheimer's disease.
A new study from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine has found when the brain doesn't get enough sugar glucose -- as might occur when cardiovascular disease restricts blood flow in arteries to the brain -- a process is launched that ultimately produces the sticky clumps of protein that appear to be a cause of Alzheimer's.
Robert Vassar, lead author, discovered a key brain protein is altered when the brain has a deficient supply of energy. The altered protein, called elF2alpha, increases the production of an enzyme that, in turn, flips a switch to produce the sticky protein clumps. Vassar worked with human and mice brains in his research.
The study is published in the December 26 issue of the journal Neuron.
"This finding is significant because it suggests that improving blood flow to the brain might be an effective therapeutic approach to prevent or treat Alzheimer's," said Vassar, a professor of cell and molecular biology at the Feinberg School.
A simple preventive strategy people can follow to improve blood flow to the brain is getting exercise, reducing cholesterol and managing hypertension.
"If people start early enough, maybe they can dodge the bullet," Vassar said. For people who already have symptoms, vasodilators, which increase blood flow, may help the delivery of oxygen and glucose to the brain, he added.
Vassar said it also is possible that drugs could be designed to block the elF2alpha protein that begins the formation of the protein clumps, known as amyloid plaques.
An estimated 10 million baby boomers will develop Alzheimer's in their lifetime, according to the Alzheimer's Association. The disease usually begins after age 60, and risk rises with age. The direct and indirect cost of Alzheimer's and other dementias is about $148 billion a year.
The initial trigger of Alzheimer's has long been a mystery.
Ten years ago, it was Vassar who discovered the enzyme, BACE1, that was responsible for making the sticky, fiber-like clumps of protein that form outside neurons and disrupt their ability to send messages.
But the cause of the high levels of the protein in people with the disease has been unknown. Vassar's study now shows that energy deprivation in the brain might be the trigger starting the process that forms plaques in Alzheimer's.
Vassar said his work suggests that Alzheimer's disease may result from a less severe type of energy deprivation than occurs in a stroke. Rather than dying, the brain cells react by increasing BACE1, which may be a protective response in the short term, but harmful in the long term.
"A stroke is a blockage that prevents blood flow and produces cell death in an acute, dramatic event," Vassar said. "What we are talking about here is a slow, insidious process over many years where people have a low level of cardiovascular disease or atherosclerosis in the brain. It's so mild, they don't even notice it, but it has an effect over time because it's producing a chronic reduction in the blood flow."
Vassar said when people reach a certain age, some may get increased levels of the enzymes that cause a build-up of the plaques. "Then they start falling off the cliff," he said.
It ties into theories that diabetes makes people more susceptable to Alzheimer's Disease.
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Read this on Alzheimer’s disease.
Watching less of CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, and etc, would go a long way to preventing brain starvation.
"A simple preventive strategy people can follow to improve blood flow to the brain is getting exercise, reducing cholesterol and managing hypertension."
I read this the other day. Thanks for the ping, pandy.
Novel Science for Alzheimer’s & T2 Diabetes
l have significant Intellectual Property (IP) interests which I wish to donate to several prominent universities that are presently demonstrating material commitments to breaking new ground in diabetes treatment.
The first of the IP interests is a utility patent application titled Method for Reducing Dangerous Blood Glucose Levels. It is an effective alternative T2 Diabetes diet/treatment process that actually addresses the underlying causation of T2 Diabetes instead of simply masking over the primary symptom of high glucose levels. One of the most important elements is the ability to temporarily suspend the condition defined as Insulin Resistance and facilitate rapid induction of as much as 70% of the total body serum glucose into the skeletal muscles in less than an hour. My in vivo studies document serum glucose reductions as much as 238 mg/dL down to 65 mg/dL in less than an hour. Because the muscle cells are temporarily satiated with glucose, the glucagon-signaling action is dramatically reduced, the liver reduces the rapid release of glucose into the blood, and lower overnight glucose levels become much more obtainable. When these methods are utilized before bedtime, it is possible for T2 Diabetics to:
(1) retire for the evening with low glucose numbers (55 - 70mg/dl),
(2) restore normal sleep patterns and lipid balances,
(3) reduce depression and carbohydrate craving,
(4) increase muscle mass, energy levels, workloads & weight loss.
This “evening after” effect may well constitute a more effective treatment process than the drug-heavy treatment regimens that have dominated physicians choices for decades. I am not claiming to have “cured” diabetes, however, the limited studies which I have done show extraordinary promise.
I believe that I have ascertained one of the biological causes of “Insulin Resistance” and have a program not only for treating its effects, but possibly even restoring the T2 Diabetic to normal endocrine balance. Further, if these limited results prove to be general, I will have certainly found a way to prevent the onset of T2 Diabetes.
Recent publications indicate that Alzheimer’s disease (limited new memory creation) is a failure of insulin receptors to facilitate induction of sufficient glucose into neurons of the brain. If this Alzheimer’s form of “insulin resistance” is similar to the “insulin resistance” common in Type II Diabetics, this diabetes treatment process could well have a therapeutic impact on Alzheimer’s disease.
I am interested in collaborative relationships where this novel science can be fully embellished in an expedited manner.
Diabetes Prevention Project
It ties into theories that diabetes makes people more susceptable to Alzheimer's Disease.
There was no cognitive improvement. I have to wonder if the accumulation of amyloid plaques is just an effect, not the cause of the underlying pathology.
FReepmail me if you want on or off the diabetes ping list.
Thank you kruss3.
That looks interesting.
Maybe some Freeper or lurker who reads your post will freepmail and/or email you.
There is no “news” on TV. Only teasers about upcoming 30 second drivel fests and commercials. Lots of commercials.
That was the day that the utility worker found the bones in Orlando. I learned again why I can't stand Nancy Grace even when flipping channels every five seconds.
I think that the #1 cure for hypertension is to simply turn off the b00btube.
Quit eating like you are still enjoying two-a-days in August. That only worked when we were young. We aren't young anymore.
Live right so your blood pressure can come down. And eat right.
Quit watching TV and posting on FR and get out and walk!
Thanks Cindy for finding that snippet. I missed it completely - read right over it!
Regarding the Amyloid plaques, could it be that the brain is a slow healer and treatment has to be aimed at never allowing amyloid production to start, rather than clearing it out?
If amyloids are a reaction to physical (molecular) stress in the brain, then we have several new avenues to explore.
Exercise daily, eat very little grain foods (maybe a couple slices of whole grain bread or some oatmeal a day), no sugar, no artificial foods, and take bioidentical hormones to replace yours to a young man’s or woman’s level.
You’re welcome Texas Booster.
Having attempted such exercises myself, I can confirm anecdotally that superior sleep is also a side effect that seems to control blood sugar levels quite effectively.
I think that neverdem posted an article on the benefits of restful sleep towards our health.
Hey, it will certainly get my attention!
Do you have a link to neverdem’s article?
neverdem’s sleep articles plus a couple of additional ones.
Very interesting study. As someone who has been personally touched by the ravages of this disease, it’s encouraging that this kind of research is being done.
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