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Causes and Treatments of Alzheimer's Disease
Lane Simonian
Posted: Friday, December 1, 2017 10:06 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4982


This is one of the best listings of information on Alzheimer's disease that I have seen.

Traditional Chinese Medicines Approach to Preventing and Treating Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease with Medicinal Herbs

 

Pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease include:

  • increased formation and aggregation of amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) derived from amyloid precursor protein (APP)
  • formation of intracellular neurofibrillary tangles (NFT)
  • lesions of cholinergic neurons
  • synaptic alterations in cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and other brain regions essential for cognitive function
  • loss of neurons and synapses in the cerebral cortex and certain subcortical regions in the brain

After many years of study, researchers have now accepted that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are caused by a combination of multiple factors, such as:

  • dysfunctional apoptosis
  • oxidative stress
  • nitrosative stress
  • excitotoxicity
  • disturbance of energy metabolism homeostasis
  • mitochondrial dysfunction
  • inflammatory responses
Research has shown that there is a great deal of evidence indicating that the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is probably the consequences of complex interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

Amyloid beta is one of several factors that contribute to nitro-oxidative stress--genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors also contribute to nitro-oxidative.  In addition both misfolded amyloid and tau proteins form as a result of oxidation and nitration.

The article goes on to identify the beneficial effects of certain herbs on Alzheimer's disease.

These medicinal plants and herbs have both direct and indirect effects on the prevention and treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  Some of these mechanisms include, among others:

  • acetylcholinesterase activity
  • antioxidative activity
  • modulation of Amyloid-beta-producing secretase activities
  • amyloid-beta-degradation
  • heavy metal chelating
  • induction of neurotrophic factors
  • cell death mechanisms
It then specifically identifies eighteen herbs and the mechanisms by which they may help treat Alzheimer's disease (and potentially in some cases other forms of dementia).  

One herb mentioned in the article is panax ginseng.  Panax ginseng contains several compounds that scavenge the nitro-oxidant peroxynitrite including ferulic acid, syringic acid, vanillic acid, p-coumaric acid, maltol, and ginsenosides.  These compounds further reduce some of the oxidative and nitrostative damage caused by peroxynitrite in Alzheimer's disease.  Here are some of the benefits of this.

Ginsenosides facilitated neurotransmission in the brain but inhibited glutamate excitotoxicity. In addition, ginsenosides have been reported to improve central cholinergic function, and are used to treat memory deficits in humans.

Ginsenosides have been shown in many studies to inhibit inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS).

As with iNOS, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) is inhibited by ginseng.

In contrast to iNOS, and nNOS, ginsenosides appear to stimulate endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and may have beneficial effects on the circulation. Ginsenoside-Rg1 increased the phosphorylation of GR, PI3K, Akt/PKB and eNOS, leading to NO production in human umbilical vein endothelial cells.

Ginsenoside Rg induced downregulation of calpain I and caspase-3 and attenuated neuronal apoptosis caused by cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Ginsenoside Rd also increased neural stem cell proliferation and maintained neurogenesis after lead-induced neural injury

Together, results indicate that ginseng has anti-neuroinflammatory effects by reducing activation of microglia.

 

In small scale clinical trials, panax ginseng has by itself or in combination with other herbs stabilized Alzheimer's disease for two years.  

A 24-week randomized open-label study with Korean red ginseng (KRG) showed cognitive benefits in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. To further determine long-term effect of KRG, the subjects were recruited to be followed up to 2 yr. Cognitive function was evaluated every 12 wk using the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS) and the Korean version of the Mini Mental Status Examination (K-MMSE) with the maintaining dose of 4.5 g or 9.0 g KRG per d. At 24 wk, there had been a significant improvement in KRG-treated groups. In the long-term evaluation of the efficacy of KRG after 24 wk, the improved MMSE score remained without significant decline at the 48th and 96th wk. ADAS-cog showed similar findings. Maximum improvement was found around week 24. In conclusion, the effect of KRG on cognitive functions was sustained for 2 yr follow-up, indicating feasible efficacies of long-term follow-up for Alzheimer’s disease.

CT+H significantly benefited AD patients from CT alone. A disease-modifying effect of CT+H was more pronounced with time (≥ 18 months). These results imply that Chinese herbal medicines may provide an alternative and additive treatment for AD. Figure 1. MMSE change in groups with or without herbal therapy over 24 months. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease had a transient improvement in cognitive function with conventional therapy (CT), but declined to a level similar to no treatment after 18 months. CT supplemented with herbal medicine provided additional benefit. The effect from herbal medicines became more pronounced over time. Expected decline of MMSE were calculated by formula produced from previous data. CT+H denotes conventional therapy with herbal medicine; CT denotes conventional therapy alone; MMSE, mini-mental state examination. * P<0.05.

It all adds up.


Marta
Posted: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 11:35 AM
Joined: 6/3/2013
Posts: 1115


Lane - can you post figure 1 from this article?  Thanks.
Lane Simonian
Posted: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 4:36 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4982


The one problem is that figures shrink when you post them on these boards.  The first figure is the average effect of the treatments (blue line is conventional therapy and the solid red line is conventional therapy + herbs; the broken black line is the expected decline without any treatment).  The second figure is a subgroup analysis of the effects of treatments on mild versus moderate Alzheimer's disease (solid blue line is conventional therapy + herbs; broken blue line is conventional therapy for mild Alzheimer's disease; solid red line is conventional therapy + herbs; broken red line is conventional therapy for moderate Alzheimer's disease.  The figures will appear better in the following link.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5729264/figure/Fig1/

Also the link to the full article.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5729264/

 

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is 12906_2017_2040_Fig1_HTML.jpg


Lane Simonian
Posted: Sunday, January 21, 2018 6:39 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4982


Here are some criticisms of the above study and my response:

Chinese herbs for Alzheimer’s disease? An excellent example of how fatally flawed research misleads us all

Conclusions like these render me speechless – well, almost speechless. This was nothing more than a retrospective chart analysis. It is not possible to draw causal conclusions from such data.

Why?

Because of a whole host of reasons. Most crucially, the CT+H patients were almost certainly a different and therefore non-comparable population to the CT patients. This flaw is so elementary that I need to ask, who are the reviewers letting such utter nonsense pass, and which journal would publish such rubbish? In fact, I can be used for teaching students why randomisation is essential, if we aim to find out about cause and effect.

Richard Gutkowski on Wednesday 10 January 2018 at 18:12

Sorry.

You produce apparent evidence of improvement in CT+H patients over CT ones, and then conclude that, due to a “a whole host of reasons” – none of which you detail, except that “CT+H patients were almost certainly a different and therefore non-comparable population” (again for reasons unspecified) – the conclusions “render you speechless”.

Either I’m very stupid, or unfamiliar with the vast part of your argument, since the graphs you posted – if true – suggest a different conclusion to yours.
Of course, not knowing how the Chinese Ministry of Eduction conducts its studies, or whether they are internationally recognised obviously makes a big difference but, on the basis of this post, you have NOT proved your point, sir.

Let me try to help clear it up a bit, Richard. Let me quote a couple of sentences from the study:

It’s a retrospective cohort study and patients diagnosed as Alzheimer’s dementia were collected [8, 9]. Medical records between May 2011 to August 2016 were accessed by using administrative datasets of memory clinic.

So, random people over 5 years… It’s a retrospective cohort study… That pretty much says it all. And there are significant differences between the groups in some important parameters. Also, the CT+H group contained >10% (29 of 243) patients with severe dementia, whereas the CT group contained only 1% (1 of 101) patients with severe dementia. I propose that this means that in the CT group there was more room for deterioration than in the CT+H group. There was a natural tendency for greater amount of deterioration and, so, it showed up in the end results. What makes this clearer is that the baseline MMSE score was lower in the CT+H group than in the CT group, so there is even less room for deterioration in the CT+H group. This effect is important to take into account and the final difference is small anyway.

And, to avoid all unnecessary analysis in the first place, let me remind you that A+B vs. A studies only confirm that B is at least a placebo (or nocebo, or may even have negative effects, according to the corresponding results). For further efficacy considerations, B must be tested in isolation. But since this is not possible for ethical reasons, tons of (useless)ambiguous research keeps getting published, unethically exploiting this, often neglected, caveat.

I’m open to disagreement of course…

Lane Simonian on Sunday 21 January 2018 at 17:12

 As shown in the charts above, the authors did compare apples to apples at least in regards to stages of Alzheimer’s disease: they compared people with mild Alzheimer’s disease taking Chinese herbs plus conventional therapy with conventional therapy alone and they compared people with moderate Alzheimer’s disease taking Chinese herbs plus conventional therapy with conventional therapy alone.

In some respects, the individuals in the conventional therapy plus herb group should have progressed faster than people in the conventional group because they included more people with diabetes, who had hypertension, and who were smokers.

In essence, conventional therapy served as the placebo group in this study. After about twelve months, the conventional therapy group responded little better than the historical decline in people receiving no treatment.

Heo’s study using Korean red ginseng produced almost the same results at two years. That study was open label and did not distinguish between stages of Alzheimer’s disease, did not include low and high responders, and did not look at the effects of conventional treatments on cognition. This study then partially confirmed Heo’s results but with important added details.

Without getting into too much detail, Alzheimer’s disease likely is the result of oxidation and nitration. Donepezil/Aricept and Namenda slow down oxidation and nitration and many of the compounds in Chinese herbs scavenge oxidants and nitro-oxidants. Combining the two, may stop the progression of early Alzheimer’s disease and slow down its progression for those with moderate Alzheimer’s disease.  


Lane Simonian
Posted: Sunday, January 21, 2018 6:53 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4982


The following review of ginseng and conventional Alzheimer's drugs may show how close we are getting to an effective treatment for the disease.

Panax ginseng as an adjuvant treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

Several clinical trials run by large pharmaceutical companies that have targeted the inhibition of only Aβ formation or antibody therapy against Aβ for AD treatment have failed. In addition, conventional drugs such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and NMDA receptor antagonists currently used by physicians in AD clinics do not demonstrate sufficient therapeutic efficacy against AD with adverse effects. Since AD is a complex multifactorial disease involving multiple aspects of the brain, the multiple actions of ginsenosides and/or gintonin may prove more beneficial if they are combined with conventional single target drugs, such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors or NMDA receptor antagonists. The combination treatment of ginseng components, which shows different multiple modes of actions, with a conventional AD drugs which is single target drugs may provide advantages over monotherapy for the effective pharmacological management of AD. Combination therapy with ginseng components as an adjuvant may enhance efficacy by inducing additive or synergistic effects. The combination of ginseng components with AD drug might also improve safety and tolerability potentially with less side effects and making additional neuroprotective effects by prolonging the symptomatic benefits and ultimately delaying disease progression, although the combination therapy with ginseng components were not clinically demonstrated [they were in the above trial]. 

Drugs such as Aricept and Namenda which partially inhibit oxidative stress are not enough to stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease.  Certain plant that scavenge oxidants might not be enough either, but when you combine the two together you likely stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease in its early stages.


MrsGr8shpr
Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 10:39 AM
Joined: 4/19/2018
Posts: 98


I have attached a copy of the ingredients table for a cognitive supplement this am considering.

Can anyone give an opinion on this and have they tried this one or another supplement that has proven helpful?

Thank you.


File Attachment(s):
A543B03D-2384-4A3B-9419-61C400649911.jpeg (87792 bytes)

MissHer
Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 6:35 PM
Joined: 11/13/2014
Posts: 2368


https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-04-common-class-drugs-linked-dementia.html
Lane Simonian
Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 6:55 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4982


MrsGr8shpr, this is a good combination of vitamins and herbs, even though in most cases I don't know about the doses.  A higher dose of panax ginseng was used in the Alzheimer's trials (4 grams for the lowest dose).  For mild cognitive impairment, though, this may be an appropriate dose. High doses of Vitamin C can pose a problem, as Vitamin C can break down into hydrogen peroxide, but I don't think that the dose here is a problem.

Thanks for the link, MissHer.  I think that major great attention should be paid to drugs that can contribute to dementia.  


MissHer
Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 9:35 PM
Joined: 11/13/2014
Posts: 2368


Lane, 

So do I. They are a big factor as far as I'm concerned, along with the heavy metals,and herbicides and pesticides . My parents both got some form of dementia and were surrounded by corn and soy fields. 


MissHer
Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 10:05 PM
Joined: 11/13/2014
Posts: 2368


https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/04/26/vitamin-d-deficiency-linked-to-dementia.aspx
Lane Simonian
Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 11:06 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4982


Thanks for the article on Vitamin D, MissHer.  I was happy to see it as part of the supplement posted by MrsGr8shpr.

I believe too that pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals are another major cause of dementia.  A number of studies is beginning to bear this out.


MissHer
Posted: Friday, May 11, 2018 10:56 AM
Joined: 11/13/2014
Posts: 2368


https://www.healthnutnews.com/world-renownd-heart-surgeon-speaks-out-on-what-really-causes-heart-disease/
Lane Simonian
Posted: Saturday, May 12, 2018 9:27 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4982


This was a fascinating article, MissHer.  I think the heart surgeon's findings regarding heart disease also apply to Alzheimer's disease: cholesterol and saturated fats in and of themselves are not the cause of the disease but the problems instead is inflammation (caused by oxidation).  In the case of Alzheimer's disease, dietary factors such as sugar, carbohydrates, and salt trigger oxidation and inflammation.

For heart disease:

Your immune system may mistake oxidized cholesterol for bacteria. Your immune system then tries to fight it off, which can cause inflammation inside of the arterial wall. This can lead to atherosclerosis or heart disease.

For Alzheimer's disease (although I wouldn't go quite this far).

Increasing evidence is now consolidating the hypothesis that oxidized cholesterol is the driving force behind the development of AD, and that oxysterols are the link connecting the disease to altered cholesterol metabolism in the brain and hypercholesterolemia; this is because of the ability of oxysterols, unlike cholesterol, to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB).




MissHer
Posted: Friday, May 18, 2018 7:36 PM
Joined: 11/13/2014
Posts: 2368


https://www.healthnutnews.com/fluoride-literally-turns-the-pineal-gland-to-stone-research-suggests/
Lane Simonian
Posted: Sunday, May 20, 2018 9:49 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4982


This was a very interesting article as well.  I rooted around to try to find the cause of pineal calcification and found this:

Pineal calcification in Alzheimer's disease: an in vivo study using computed tomography.

Melatonin has been postulated to have diverse properties, acting as an antioxidant, a neuroprotector, or a stabilizer within the circadian timing system, and is thus thought to be involved in the aging process and Alzheimer's disease (AD). We used computed tomography to determine the degree of pineal calcification (DOC), an intra-individual melatonin deficit marker, as well as the size of uncalcified pineal tissue, in 279 consecutive memory clinic outpatients (AD: 155; other dementia: 25; mild cognitive impairment: 33; depression: 66) and 37 age-matched controls. The size of uncalcified pineal tissue in patients with AD (mean 0.15 cm(2) [S.D. 0.24]) was significantly smaller than in patients with other types of dementia (0.26 [0.34]; P=0.038), with depression (0.28 [0.34]; P=0.005), or in controls (0.25 [0.31]; P=0.027). Additionally, the DOC in patients with AD (mean 76.2% [S.D. 26.6]) was significantly higher than in patients with other types of dementia (63.7 [34.7]; P=0.042), with depression (60.5 [33.8]; P=0.001), or in controls (64.5 [30.6]; P=0.021).

Oxidants such as sodium fluoride and aluminum fluoride increase calcification and antioxidants such as melatonin help decrease calcification.  



MissHer
Posted: Sunday, May 20, 2018 2:22 PM
Joined: 11/13/2014
Posts: 2368


Lane,

Thank you! My mom didn't really drink flouridated water most of her life. She did distill her water for many years and also lived in the country.  She takes melatonin nightly . Guess I might take some,too. 

I did do the RO but now I use Zero Water filter. Mike Adams at Natural Health News has a lab and test many of those counter filters, Zero Water and Berkley were the best. 

Flouride displaces iodine in your thyroid, also. I did the iodine protocol and my throat is no longer tight. I am hypothyroid just like mom. I guess you can also detox flouiride with borax and water. Protocol on Earth Clinic. But I prefer the melatonin. . Thanks!


Lane Simonian
Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 10:08 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4982


You are welcome, MissHer and thank you for the additional information.

I had not known about the fluoride iodine displacement link before--that might explain for some people at least the connection between fluoride, oxidative stress, and thyroid problems.

Iodine deficiency may produce conditions of oxidative stress with high TSH [thyroxine] producing a level of H_2O_2 [hydrogen peroxide]

Factors that lead to oxidative stress result in the calcification of the pineal gland which further depletes melatonin leading to more oxidative stress:

Melatonin releases from the pineal gland‚ reaching its peak at night to help maintain healthy cell health throughout the body. Secretion of melatonin declines significantly with age‚ as the pineal gland becomes calcified. Jet lag‚ shift work‚ and poor vision can disrupt melatonin cycles.

Melatonin keeps our circadian cycle in tune. Not only does this hormone work to maintain cell health‚ it appears to regulate a system of self-repair and regeneration. As melatonin diminishes with age‚ our biological functions are impaired. Melatonin also has strong antioxidant properties. It directly scavenges both hydroxyl and peroxyl free radicals‚ and it does so more effectively than most other antioxidants. It also greatly potentiates the efficiency of other endogenous and exogenous antioxidants. Melatonin is especially important for protecting cellular DNA against peroxynitrite damage by inhibiting peroxynitrite free radical reactions. Some research has found that melatonin increases the speed of falling asleep and adds to the quality of sleep in about 60% of people who use it.


MissHer
Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 11:35 AM
Joined: 11/13/2014
Posts: 2368


Thanks Lane!

Wow! It just never ends does it? Have you ever heard of Dr Brownstein? https://www.drbrownstein.com/dr-bs-blog/page/2/


MissHer
Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 12:09 PM
Joined: 11/13/2014
Posts: 2368


A study on hypothyroid and alz. So many hypothyroid and hyperthyroid women have alz. It's scary!

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2694610/         

There is an optimal TSH that we need to stay in, and most Dr's claim that we are okay by their scale when we really are not. My daughter had the TSH that claimed she was fine. She insisted on the full thyroid panel and they found out that she had graves disease. We are not being optimally treated for our thyroid disease and I had to take it upon myself  several years ago. Found an OTC supplement that works great. Did the iodine protocol with the co factors. Stopped drinking city water, beverages with city water unfiltered, bromides in bread and so is soy. BPA ..  I take a great OTC supplement and no more chemical thyroid treatment. Much better..


Lane Simonian
Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 2:54 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4982


Which OTC supplement are you taking?  Perhaps that supplement will also be helpful in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.  

Over the years, several of my students have had thyroid problems.  I think in some of those cases it was due to mercury in the water from old and newer mines.  I found this interesting "blurb".

Unfortunately for your thyroid, mercury and iodine are chemically very similar to each other, so your thyroid is quick to absorb and store mercury too.

This creates a two-fold problem for your thyroid. First, if your thyroid is storing mercury in place of iodine, it won’t have enough iodine to produce adequate levels of T4 and T3 hormones, which can cause you to develop hypothyroidism. Second, it puts you at risk of developing an autoimmune disease. No one knows exactly how heavy metals like mercury lead to autoimmune disease, but research has shown a demonstrated link between the two, including a 2011 study that found that women with high mercury exposure were more than twice as likely to have thyroid antibodies. 

I had not heard of Dr. Brownstein before.  It looks like he has many interesting things to say.



MissHer
Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:05 PM
Joined: 11/13/2014
Posts: 2368


Lane,

Never heard of the mercury replacing iodine! More info!. I do have some fillings, unfortunately. Now I will need to get those out.  My mom had all of her teeth root canaled   and capped!(Not good) She also took all of those flu vacs since the big scare in the 70's! (My family passed) Tons of mercury! There is a dentist in Iowa City who does remove fillings safely. (someday) 

https://www.naturalthyroidsolutions.com/testimonials.html  Great product! I take one 300 mg capsule a day. I've been using this for about 6 years. Also, send the students to ,"Stop The Thyroid Madness"  on the web. 


Lane Simonian
Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 3:19 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4982


Thanks for all the information, MissHer.  If I do run into my former students with thyroid problems I will refer them to the web page for the supplement.


AlistonM
Posted: Thursday, April 8, 2021 7:47 AM
Joined: 4/8/2021
Posts: 1


The goal is to reduce the risk of blood clots that can form when patients have an irregular heartbeat and make their way to other parts of the body. These clots can potentially lodge in small blood vessels within the brain, lungs and other structures.  https://hopeforhearts.com.au/arrhythmias/atrial-fibrillation/treatment/