It has been a while since I have blogged but we have been very busy behind the scenes. We are building an amazing board and if you read the articles on the "in the news" page you will see we have set a goal to raise $100 million to go towards collaborative research to end Alzheimers and related diseases. Dad has been using a new device to administer insulin to his brain. One theory is that these dementia's are type III diabetes. It is very easy to administer and there are no side effects. Dad is back on a gluten free diet and still exercises 3-4 times per week. Dad has incredible strength and persistence and I am proud to be his daughter.
Take a look at this document discussing research currently underway at Oxford University. The scientists discuss the similarities of neuro-degeneration in Alz. and Parkinson's. In very layman's terms from a layman's perspective (me) the study looks at certain areas of the brain that are affected by this type of neuro-degeneration and is identifying a chemical malfunction of sorts. They propose some event such as a stroke or head trauma may turn on a process typically only seen in early developing brain systems. There are two main parts of the research: They are looking for the markers in the blood that suggests this system has been activated in the adult brain and are also looking for a pharmaceutical solution to block the process if it is activated. Below is the document with the full details of the research.
We have had requests from our readers to make a contribution to the Stay Sharp Fund. Our fund is part of the Community Foundation. All contributions will be tax deductible. 100% of the money raised will go towards grant submissions from organizations pioneering the field of progressive research and development of a cure for Alzheimer's and neuro-degenerative disease. You will find a page on our site that has the link to Community Foundation giving page. Thank you for considering donating to this fund. Regardless of your ability to contribute financially we appreciate your comments and suggestions and especially your prayers for wisdom as we navigate the Alzheimer's research and development waters.
There has been some question about our current blog status. All lights are green. We are absolutely still accepting posts. I think it is important that I make sure the readers understand that I am giving my personal opinion that comes from my observations of my dad's and our family experiences. I am not medically trained and I do not ever want anyone to use my blog for medical advice. If you find the posts of interest please discuss implementing these protocols with your doctor. I must also point out that my father is one of many affected by this disease and while some treatments may not work for him they may still work for others. So please continue to share your positive experiences and negative experiences. I have seen a lot of blogs that deal with the emotional side of living through Alz but have not seen one truly dedicated to all possible treatments in one place. I like the idea of being a hub for treatment/testing protocols. Therefore, I will always be extremely honest and I ask that you do the same. I am not out to promote or demote any protocol and any such comments will be deleted. Our mission is pure. This is a blog for normal, everyday people who are highly motivated to do all we can to help our loved ones.
A couple of questions have come up about Anatabloc, or as I knew it, Anatabean. Dad was one of the first to take higher doses of what is known as CigRx. CigRx is marketed as a smoking cessation supplement. It is my understanding that the theory is that higher doses of this natural supplement derived from the tobacco plant will reduce or eliminate inflammation in the body. Dad was taking them all day long throughout the day and continued to increase his dose. In my humble opinion I always thought there could be a place for this supplement but I never believed it was the entire answer. IF it eliminates or reduces inflammation that is a good thing. However, I believe we need to figure out what is causing the inflammation in the first place and take care of that too. It seems to me that the the company manufacturing the Anatabloc believes it is the only answer and that one will have to stay on it for life (which makes sense because they do not target the cause of the inflammation). I like a proactive approach to health and wellness not just a medicated approach. That being said, dad's C-Reactive Protein never decreased and in fact increased while on the Anatabloc. We believe dad's severe gluten sensitivity (that never manifested itself as digestive issues but showed up on the Cyrex test) caused his inflammation as well as his homocysteine levels are 15 and it is known that a level higher than 14 has the potential to affect brain function.
There were side effects from Anatabloc. His metabolism sped up a great deal which caused him to lose weight. His weight reached an undesirable low point which was cause for concern. He was also cold all the time and just could not seem to get warm. These side effects along with the lack of a change in his C-Reactive Proteins convinced us it was not worth it for dad. My personal final analysis is that perhaps it will be a better weight loss supplement rather than a cure for dementia.
Wayne asked below what our current findings are on testing and treatments. Here is my rather long answer but I truly hope it will benefit those of you who are involved with disease in any way.
I am sorry to hear about anyone suffering from this disease. We have had several encouraging protocols introduced to us over the past month. The first (and the easiest) is adding 6-8 tablespoons of coconut oil to the diet every day. We get ours from Whole Foods and find it in the supplement section. It is the nature's way brand, organic pure extra virgin coconut oil with 62% MCT's. Here is a link to a video discussing the benefits of adding coconut oil to the diet.
As discussed in the above video the theory is that the brain can no longer use glucose as fuel and the brain tissue dies. The MCT's in the coconut oil are used as an alternate fuel source. Along those same lines, Ketones can also be used as an alternate fuel source for the brain. These are released by eating a ketogenic diet and putting your body into ketosis. The first phase of the Adkin's diet is a program to put you into ketosis. You can test your ketosis with Ketostix found at most drugstores. We have been to see Dr. David Perlmutter in Naples Florida who is a neurosurgeon studying all types of neuro- degenerative disease. He has written several books but also recommended we read Primal Body, Primal Mind.
The most important thing of all is to do consistent aerobic activity 5-6 times a week for 45 minutes to an hour, making sure to stay in the 50-75% heart rate range to make sure you stay in the aerobic zone.
He has found that along with eating a ketogenic diet a person suffering from any inflammatory disease should either test for gluten sensitivity with the extensive Cyrex gluten sensitivity test or just eliminate gluten from their diet entirely. The thought is that there are all ranges of gluten sensitivity that go far beyond Celiac disease. Taking that a step further is to find any other food sensitivities that may cause inflammation in the body. A great way to do this is to find a LEAP therapist in your area by calling 1-888-NOW LEAP (1-888-669-5327). The LEAP protocol tests for just about every food but does test for gluten so doing both the CYREX gluten test and the LEAP food test is recommended. (It was recommended by the nutritionist who works at the Perlmutter Health Center in Naples, Florida).
When you follow a ketogenic diet your body looks for ways to produce glucose and targets the muscles when you are eating low carbs. For this reason it is important to do weight bearing exercise two times a week for about 30 minutes each. It is my belief that using your own body weight in the form of push ups, squats, pull-ups and planks is sufficient. I love the work out recommended by Mark Sisson. I will provide a link in the near future to his books and website. I am a big fan. I am working to allow for the proceeds generated from the sales of books through this site to be put into the staysharp fund so stay tuned!
The greatest thing about all of these theories is that anyone can implement them because they are all diet. That being said it is really tough and a big life change. As a daughter who is worried about taking preventative measures I have also adopted this primal lifestyle and added coconut oil to my daily eating plan.
Dad also had very low B-12 levels and is now taking B-12 injections and had extremely low Vitamin D3 which plays a huge role in everyone's over all health. He is taking a prescription D3 to get his levels up. Get to know your level! It should be close to 70. It is also highly recommended everyone take fish oil that contain high levels of DHA (Nordic Naturals Pro DHA is a great supplement but is very hard to find and may need to be ordered through a physician. You can get the normal pills, not the pro, at whole foods).
Dad started the diet about 3 weeks ago and is mostly frustrated because he feels like one of his last enjoyments was ice cream and chips and now those are being taken away too. The results are slow and he would like to make sure "the juice is worth the squeezin'". We are going to start by trying this for 3 months and go from there. One day at a time right?
I am especially interested in the Oxford research (as shown in the video above) that is manufacturing super strong Ketones and if the diabetes of the brain theory proves solid it would be an incredible leap for this disease.
Lastly, we have been put on the list for dad to take part in a new study at John's Hopkins studying the insulin delivery to the brain because as all the theories above, the consensus is an inability to use glucose which is essentially "diabetes of the brain". That is slated to start in late spring/early summer and I will post on any updates.
This is a lot of info but I hope you find it helpful.
Thanks for your comments and support. We are all in this together and as a nation need to fight to fight for more research and development funding.