Healthy Beginnings

Thinking ahead: What more can be done for Alzheimer’s patients?

Brain inflammation from a source other than the inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s can exacerbate many symptoms of the disease.

We all know that Alzheimer’s is one of the top devastating diseases in modern times, yet many of us may not know that it is much like the 1920s worldwide epidemic of Encephalitis Lethargica (EL) that killed millions and left millions more, according to a 2004 BBC news article, “frozen inside their useless bodies (and living) in institutions.”

Back in the 1920s, the sole medical intervention was palliative relief of symptoms from bacterial infections because penicillin and other antibiotics had not yet been discovered.

Today, it’s similar for Alzheimer’s patients — there is no treatment cure because the actual root cause is still unknown. But for many Alzheimer’s patients, there ARE many health issues that can cause the same symptoms of Alzheimer’s that are unrelated to the disease. As such, there are natural medicines and therapies that can treat those issues and improve function, which currently are not included in conventional care.

Does this sound controversial? Maybe it is, but it is true because many Alzheimer’s patients have hidden concurrent conditions that are mimicking the disease’s symptoms and also could be contributing to other processes of brain degeneration.

Non-Alzheimer’s inflammation

For starters, brain inflammation from a source other than the inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s can exacerbate many symptoms of Alzheimer’s, according to a February 2000 article in the “Journal of Immunology.”

In other words, Alzheimer’s patients can have a concurrent undiagnosed condition, which is causing brain inflammation that interferes with brain function, and the symptoms are assumed to be caused by the Alzheimer’s.

Such sources include food intolerances, sub-clinical infections (viral, bacterial), poor blood sugar regulation (diabetes) due to poor eating habits or diet, excitotoxins in processed foods, and an autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis).

Hence, it is important to have thorough diagnostic tests to rule out or identify the inflammation and then treat. Today, extensive scientific research has determined that specific forms of acupuncture can inhibit brain inflammation and microglial cells’ damage to neurons; as well, there are many natural herbal products that are anti-inflammatory, according to February 2007 article in the journal “Brain Research.”

Also, according to a May 2016 article in “Advance Pharmacological Science,” research has confirmed that certain forms of acupuncture stimulate the release of neuron growth factor, which is necessary for growing neurons to replace lost connections and restore function.

Inflammation/neuron timing and brain region synchronization

Inflammation can disrupt neuron timing, which in turn interferes with information processing (brain region synchronization), which can present as any type of poor brain function — for Alzheimer’s patients, this can be poor memory, loss of speech and reduced cognition, according to an October 2010 article in “Autonomic Neuroscience.”

Once the inflammation is reduced, it may be necessary to re-establish timing and synchronization just like a manual clock that needs its spring to be “wound” and the hands “set” to the new time. To do this task, today we have computer neurological therapies such as the Interactive Metronome, which is discussed in the March 2013 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Nutrient deficiencies and neuron timing

Another cause of poor neuron timing and asynchronous information processing through the brain is nutrient deficiencies that can be caused by inflammation.

Extensive research has determined that neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, which is utilized in the hippocampus for memory function, are one of the neurotransmitters affected by inflammation, which in turn cause nutrient deficiencies. Hence, treatment must not be limited to reduction of inflammation, but must also include nutrient supplementation, multiple studies suggest.

What is exciting is that most Alzheimer’s patients have not had appropriate diagnostic work-ups and treatment with these natural therapies — thus, a promising opportunity of unexplored territory that may be contributing to their dysfunction can be addressed.

All of the above has been well researched, some by the U.S. Veteran’s Hospital for TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), yet the insurance industry has not integrated these therapies as benefits, hence the reason why you’ve not been referred. So, while stem cell therapy is still in research, try these natural therapies — they are here and available.

For more information on the therapies and diagnostic tests cited in this article for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other brain degenerative diseases, contact Van Harding at Tahoe Neuro Healing, located in Truckee, by visiting or calling 530-536-5084.

Learn the terms

  • A subclinical disease has no recognizable clinical findings. It is distinct from a clinical disease, which has signs and symptoms that can be recognized. Common subclinical diseases include diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Lyme Disease is often not overlooked and not diagnosed. It can be a concurrent infection, which both contributes to brain inflammation and similar brain dysfunction by infection of spirochetes in the brain’s frontal cortex.
  • Common Food Intolerances that can cause brain inflammation and autoimmune diseases against brain tissue and neuron function include: gluten, cow’s dairy, corn, rice, oats, millet and yeast.
  • Interactive Metronome is a computerized biometric technology that measures and improves human timing (neuron firing and brain region synchronization).