One particularly important aspect of all neurodegenerative diseases is progressive decline in energy production within affected neurons, mostly due to impaired mitochondria.
This begins decades before a person experiences symptoms. In fact, some scientists believe that the process begins as early as a person’s 20s or early 30s. When the energy in mitochondria declines, neurons can become 100 times more sensitive to damage from excitotoxicity.
Until recently, it was thought that brain cells could only utilize sugar (glucose) for energy. But it is now understood that they can utilize short-chain fatty acids, called ketones, equally well.
More importantly, ketones do not need insulin to enter neurons, as is the case with glucose. This is critical because it appears that people who develop Alzheimer’s disease suffer from insulin resistance within their brain. This is a condition where insulin no longer works to help transport glucose into the brain cells, where it is needed.
In essence, this kind of insulin resistance starves the brain cells. Several studies have shown that a ketogenic diet (high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate) — or better yet, taking ketones directly — can significantly improve many of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, especially if started early in the disease.
Despite all the evidence confirming this, most physicians who treat Alzheimer’s patients still do not make use of this simple, safe, and inexpensive form of treatment.
Because inflammation is at the center of neurodegenerative diseases, plant extracts that reduce inflammation offer an excellent way to at least slow the course of the disease.
Nanocurcumin has been demonstrated to have several beneficial effects, including:
• Dramatically reducing brain inflammation
• Improve the function of the blood-brain barrier
• Reduce the accumulation of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain
• Inhibit excitotoxicity
• Calm microglia
Trans-resveratrol and pterostilbene also powerfully protect the brain.
Bacopa and gastrodin, in my experience, have shown the most impressive results for improving memory and overall cognitive function of the brain. Both compounds suppress microglial activation and reduce immunoexcitotoxicity.
Silymarin, apigenin, and luteolin all inhibit microglial activation, thus reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. The problem with these three is that they are poorly absorbed. But nanotechnology has greatly improved absorption of these compounds.
Unfortunately, none of these compounds are used by physicians treating patients with neurodegenerative diseases
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