There is hope to be had if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. The first step is to understand a little bit more about what is happening in the brain. This is not knowledge too difficult to understand. Once understood the options for prevention abound before us.
When you look at the origins of Alzheimer’s research shows it begins decades before symptoms appear outwardly. Functional medicine has given us a great key through their research. This field believes taking food as medicine can actually cure the body. What the research shows is that inflammation is oftentimes happening in the body decades before. It rears its head in anything from diabetes to heart disease to arthritis and even osteoporosis.
Overtime, in some cases and thankfully not in all cases, what happens to the inflammation in the body overflows into the brain. When that inflammation overflows into the brain it begins to interrupt the flow of what we call cerebral spinal fluid. It’s a fluid that bathes and nurtures the brain. When the interruption happens ground for the formation of the amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles is established and THEY are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
What my research led me is to believe is that if we can find a way to interrupt this inflammation in the body and then interrupt this information in the brain then perhaps we could prevent the outcome of the disease in the first place and possible even reverse it as well.
One way our research has found to interrupt this pattern includes body centered modalities such as Craniosacral therapy. We tested this theory on nursing home residents with mid to late stage dementia by giving them a 5-10 minute treatment working with the Cerebro-spinal fluid for six weeks. We were excited to see there was a notable change in behavior. A couple remarkable examples included recognizing their caregivers and completing sentences. Yes, these residents began to improve! We looked into other research that might help us understand what was happening and found a new study into the glymphatic structure of the brain.
This new field is contributing significantly to our understanding of the brain. Glymph means ‘glue,’ and lymph means ‘lymphatic system.’ The researchers naming and discovering this part of the system of the brain won a Nobel Prize for their work several years ago, adding great credibility for other research to ensue. This system is very efficient in removing waste products and toxins from the brain. When the system is in good shape it provides the field through which the Cerebro-spinal fluid can move quickly and easily through all the micro channels. When it is inflamed the channels shrink up with resulting tangles and amalyoid plaques. Ultimately the neurons in the brain are destroyed.
They begin to conjecture that if there was a way to increase the flow of the cerebral spinal fluid back to their normal levels and wash away these bits and toxins in the brain then diseases such as dementia and Alzheimers could be prevented and reversed.
It is exciting to see our initial research complimenting the research of the glymphatic system and neuroanatomy. It puts brain health more solidly in our hands.
We want to begin our attention for our brains NOW, however. We found that by the time that Alzheimer’s is actually detected and diagnosed the unhealthy patterns have already existed for quite a while. Even at the earliest stages of forgetting keys and names and places we want to address techniques and lifestyle changes that can help reverse the patterns setting into motion.
Poor diet, concussions, trauma to the body, emotional trauma, and even a life void of exercise for years before set the stage for the inflammation. These factors could be contributing 10-20 years before a diagnosis is even given!
Educating ourselves by knowing even this, and then acting on it, can help us maintain a healthy life, and assist our helping those we love. Take a look at my Huffington Post article to learn four simple steps you can begin today to prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s Disease:4 Simple Steps to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease