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Spice up your memory: Just one gram of turmeric a day could boost memory
Myriam
Posted: Friday, November 21, 2014 12:53 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326


Adding just one gram of turmeric to breakfast could help improve the memory of people who are in the very early stages of diabetes and at risk of cognitive impairment. The finding has particular significance given that the world's ageing population means a rising incidence of conditions that predispose people to diabetes, which in turn is connected to dementia. 

 

Early intervention could help to reduce the burden, whether by halting the disease or reducing its impact, said Emeritus Professor Mark Wahlqvist, from the Monash Asia Institute at Monash University. 

 

Professor Wahlqvist recently led a study in Taiwan that tested the working memory of men and women aged 60 or older who had recently been diagnosed with untreated pre-diabetes. 

 

"Working memory is widely thought to be one of the most important mental faculties, critical for cognitive abilities such as planning, problem solving and reasoning," he said. 

 

"Assessment of working memory is simple and convenient, but it is also very useful in the appraisal of cognition and in predicting future impairment and dementia." 

 

In the placebo-controlled study, subjects were given one gram of turmeric with an otherwise nutritionally bland breakfast of white bread. Their working memory was tested before and some hours after the meal. 

 

"We found that this modest addition to breakfast improved working memory over six hours in older people with pre-diabetes," Professor Wahlqvist said. 

 

Turmeric is widely used in cooking, particularly in Asia. Its characteristic yellow colour is due to curcumin, which accounts for 3 to 6 per cent of turmeric and has been shown by experimental studies to reduce the risk of dementia. 

 

"Our findings with turmeric are consistent with these observations, insofar as they appear to influence cognitive function where there is disordered energy metabolism and insulin resistance," Professor Wahlqvist said. 

 

The study, which was published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also involved a number of research institutes in Taiwan. 

 

  1. Meei-Shyuan Lee, Mark L Wahlqvist, Yu-Ching Chou, Wen-Hui Fang, Jiunn-Tay Lee, Jen-Chun Kuan, Hsiao-Yu Liu, Ting-Mei Lu, Lili Xiu, Chih-Cheng Hsu, Zane B Andrews, Wen-Harn Pan. Turmeric improves post-prandial working memory in pre-diabetes independent of insulin. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr., 2014;23 DOI:10.6133/apjcn.2014.23.4.24 
 

  


onward
Posted: Saturday, November 22, 2014 6:30 AM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 217


Thanks again for your posts, Myriam.

 

As Lane or others have mentioned, turmeric is also available as an essential oil  - which could be inhaled/sniffed per Lane's simple aromatherapy protocol that he used with his mother (sniff briefly a couple times daily?).

 

Anyone tried this?  Turmeric essential oil is easily available at amazon & elsewhere and is relatively inexpensive.

 

I don't know if turmeric aromatherapy has ever been tried in a formal clinical trial for memory, nor have I seen any anecdotal reports online yet.  Maybe some of you with good investigative skills could track down some info on this.  (Or maybe it's already been posted and I missed it?)


Vita99
Posted: Saturday, November 22, 2014 7:30 AM
Joined: 9/4/2012
Posts: 469


I have not tried the oil yet but use the turmeric powder  daily in cooking along with black pepper for absorption.  I sprinkle  it on many foods too after cooking.  Seems to help with arthritis issues.  Does not sound so good for breakfast though!
Lane Simonian
Posted: Saturday, November 22, 2014 11:15 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4998


I have just one report so far that the combination of turmeric essential oil via aromatherapy and the turmeric spice is helping to a small degree so far (more comfortable in surroundings; more appropriate responses).   


 

Essential oils and herbs often contain different compounds or different concentrations of compounds.  Sometimes combining the essential oil via aromatherapy with the herb/spice may help (examples include rosemary, turmeric, lemon balm, and ginger) as a greater variety of antioxidants may reach the brain (even if some of the compounds in the essential oil may be more powerful antioxidants than those found in the herb or vice versa).  Also not trying to isolate compounds is a good idea as certain compounds may reach the brain better (curcumin, for example does not enter the bloodstream well and ferulic acid does not enter the brain well). 


 

www.eat2think.com/2014/11/3-cases-of-turmeric-improving-alzheimers.html 

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665200/ 


 

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/8/55 


onward
Posted: Saturday, November 22, 2014 11:38 AM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 217


Thanks for your helpful comments, Lane and Vita!

 

I can access the eat2think page, but for some reason I can't access the video there.  (Maybe some program I use is blocking it.)

 

   http://www.eat2think.com/2014/11/3-cases-of-turmeric-improving-alzheimers.html


Lane Simonian
Posted: Saturday, November 22, 2014 6:58 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4998


The video looks at the Japanese study which showed improvement in three people with Alzheimer's disease over the course of a year using turmeric.  The person in the video suggests that the difference between these results and the negative results in a couple of studies using curcumin to treat Alzheimer's disease was that turmeric contains additional useful compounds besides curcumin. 


 

It is good to have you back, Onward.  Thank you, Myriam, too for the post and Vita for your comment. 


onward
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 8:12 AM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 217


Thanks so much for the video summary, Lane.  Very helpful.


Lane Simonian
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 9:23 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4998


Certainly, Onward.
scma_2007
Posted: Friday, December 12, 2014 12:35 PM
Joined: 9/13/2013
Posts: 112


Sharing my family’s experience with turmeric.  

   

In September 2012, I read a blog where a son gave his dad turmeric 1 tsp split 3 times a day. The dad is late stage alzheimer's. He would be slouching on his wheelchair,  was not talking at all, and was not recognizing anybody.   

  

http://www.skepticnorth.com/2012/02/can-coconut-oil-reverse-alzheimer%E2%80%99s-disease/comment-page-1/#comment-352039 

  

  

My 84 y.o. mother, at the time, was already diagnosed as having early moderate Alz.   

She is functional. She has a caregiver 24/7. She can perform ADL (Activities of Daily Living) okay, but just need supervision.  

But she has stopped cooking for a while as she found it confusing to even start. She found it to be complicated and overwhelming She used to cook daily for my dad.  

She also  has short term memory loss, like she would not remember who just visited her say 3 hours earlier.  

  

We gave her a 500 mg capsule of turmeric daily based on the blog.  

  

After a week, one Saturday morning, she cooked fried eggs for her grandson for breakfast.You can’t imagine how happy we are.  

  

The sad fact is that clinical trials funding is very hard to get for natural substances.  

 


Lane Simonian
Posted: Friday, December 12, 2014 1:15 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4998


Thank you very much for giving us all this information scma.  I am glad that your mother is doing better.


People are so engrained to think that Alzheimer's disease is irreversible that it is hard for them to accept reports to the contrary.  Also you are quite right it is very difficult to get funding for clinical trials for natural products.  There are a number of researchers who have been working on turmeric and other natural products for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease whose progress has stalled for that very reason. So as others have said for the time being it is clinical trials of one at a time.  


onward
Posted: Friday, December 12, 2014 10:07 PM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 217


 

scma_2007, thanks very much for sharing the link and also your experience with your mother taking turmeric.

 

Exactly what turmeric brand is she using?

 

How long has your mother been taking turmeric now? 

 

Do you think it's improved her short-term memory?

 

Thanks again for your input.


scma_2007
Posted: Monday, December 15, 2014 8:39 PM
Joined: 9/13/2013
Posts: 112


onward wrote:

 

scma_2007, thanks very much for sharing the link and also your experience with your mother taking turmeric. 

You are welcome. If you decided to try, I would be interested to hear back from you. I also suggest that you do research on drug interactions as turmeric is a known blood thinner in high dosage,

  

Exactly what turmeric brand is she using? 

Capsules -Puritan's Pride Turmeric (500mg or 400mg); New Chapter Turmeric  Force (400 mg); Solgar Turmeric (400 mg) - any of these depending on availability overseas.

 

 I have more faith in the whole turmeric, not much with any Curcumin standardized. Recent studies by German scientist Maria Adele Rueger et al Sep 2014  found another turmeric substance called Aromatic-turmerone that promotes stem cell proliferation and differentiation in the brain, in simple language, brain repair.

http://stemcellres.com/content/5/4/100

  

How long has your mother been taking turmeric now?  

Since September 2012 and ongoing.

The basis for the 500 mg is from recommendation of UCLA scientists Drs. Greg Cole and Sally Frautschy 

http://accelerating.org/articles/curcumin.html

 

They eventually developed a patended curcumin extract in 2008 that is very bioavailable called LongVida/Optimized Curcumin under Verdure Sciences, no need for piperine. There are many brands carrying this. http://longvida.com/buy/. A patent formula has made it expensive.

 

The study in your video used turmeric 764 mg/day (curcumin 100 mg/day) treatment for 12 weeks.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665200/

 

 

Do you think it's improved her short-term memory? 

It is still a hit and miss.

 1) This year, in the Senior Center she goes to, one of the activity is that a major news item is picked, read and discussed.. After the news talk, which can run about 20-30 minutes, my mom is able to talk about it within the hour. We have to ask the caregiver to check if she can remember an hour later.

2) Last December, we went to a resort away from the city. About 3 days later, she talked about the place being far away and within a forest and said she didn't like it much, which is accurate.

3) Her two sisters visited her recently, and three hours later, when asked who visited her, she could not remember.  

Note that she is on a minimum dosage of 400-500 mg. We will increase it and see what happens.

 

  

Thanks again for your input. 



onward
Posted: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 9:09 AM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 217


 
 
 
scma, thanks so much for your thoughtful and detailed reply.  Much appreciated.
 
 
scma_2007 wrote:

If you decided to try, I would be interested to hear back from you.

  

 

We've experimented off and on with turmeric and/or curcumin (a couple different doses and brands - including, years ago, Longvida).

 

So far, no definite success, though there are always new variations of brand, dose, scheduling, and method of administering that could be tried.  Sometimes these kinds of variations can make a significant difference.

 

As you noted, there's the blood-thinning factor that can be a concern with some individuals.

 

Again, thanks for all the very interesting and helpful information you're sharing, scma.  I'm sorry I don't have anything useful to add.

  



scma_2007
Posted: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:02 PM
Joined: 9/13/2013
Posts: 112


@ONWARD

 

One thing that I have not mentioned was that I also read that turmeric has to be taken with Vitamin D3 and/or DHA (omega-3, fish oil) for synergy effect. We have used Vit D3 together with turmeric at the same time. At that point, my mom already has been taking omega-3. One thing I had not tried is piperine, 'coz it gets too complicated.

 

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/scientists-pinpoint-how-vitamin-229702.aspx (original from UCLA - 2nd news release, 3/6/2012)

 

http://alzheimer.neurology.ucla.edu/Curcumin.html  (with fish oil) 

 

Also, like you said - "So far, no definite success, though there are always new variations of brand, dose, scheduling, and method of administering that could be tried.  Sometimes these kinds of variations can make a significant difference."

 I agree 100%.

 

Two cents - My belief is that among all the natural substance, turmeric is the most promising. Maybe worth another try.

 

 

 


 


onward
Posted: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:47 PM
Joined: 12/20/2011
Posts: 217


scma_2007 wrote:

 

One thing that I have not mentioned was that I also read that turmeric has to be taken with Vitamin D3 and/or DHA (omega-3, fish oil) for synergy effect. We have used Vit D3 together with turmeric at the same time. At that point, my mom already has been taking omega-3. One thing I had not tried is piperine, 'coz it gets too complicated...

 

 

scma, thanks for the helpful tips. Will try to keep them in mind.  D3 and omega-3 are part of the regimen we're currently using, and I'm interested to know that it's useful to take one or both at the same time as the turmeric.

 

Like you, we haven't tried the piperine. 

 

And I agree - things can very easily get complicated (such as when we simultaneously try multiple supplements that can cause blood-thinning, as you mentioned earlier).

 

Thanks again for your posts.



Dd197
Posted: Friday, December 19, 2014 5:59 AM
Joined: 9/11/2013
Posts: 1085


The use of turmeric sounds promising. However it does have some side effects for those with a clotting disorder. My husband who has AD (early stage 4) is anti-cardiolipin antibody positive (Cardiolipin AB IgA >150). He is under the care of a hematologist. He takes one low dose aspirin daily and is not anti-coagulated as he has had no additional clotting in lungs in the last 15+ years. He also has placement of a Greenfield filter (15+ years).

This is the info I read regarding turmeric for those with clotting disorders:  the anti-clotting properties may cause complications in those who have a clotting disorder as it restricts the formation of clots. Also those awaiting  surgery should tell their physician they are taking this supplement since it thins the blood.  Since hubby is already on low dose aspirin, I will discuss this with his hematologist at his next appointment. I was a little disappointed when I read the side effects of turmeric as we were hoping to add it to his routine.

 

 


Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, December 20, 2014 9:19 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17544


Dd197, thank you for the information about your DH and his positive anticardiolipin antibodies.  I had positive antibodies years ago, but I have not been tested in recent years.  In fact, the rheumatologist told me that my cognitive impairment was due to these positive antibodies.  I was interested in turmeric but have not begun supplementation yet.  I will have to look into this.

On reading your profile, I wonder if your DH was evaluated for posterior cortical atrophy, which is associated with reading difficulty and spatial difficulties.

Iris L.

Serenoa
Posted: Sunday, December 21, 2014 5:48 AM
Joined: 4/24/2012
Posts: 484


Very interesting connection to Cardiolipin (CL). I had not heard of this molecule before but am reading about its critical role in metabolism and connections to Alzheimer's. Here's what Wiki says about CL:

 

Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer’s disease

Oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation are believed to be contributing factors leading to neuronal loss and mitochondrial dysfunction in the substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease, and may play an early role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.[21][22] It is reported that CL [cardiolipin] content in the brain decreases with aging,[23] and a recent study on rat brain shows it results from lipid peroxidation in mitochondria exposed to free radical stress. Another study shows that the CL biosynthesis pathway may be selectively impaired, causing 20% reduction and composition change of the CL content.[24]

It’s also associated with a 15% reduction in ...activity of the electron transport chain, which is thought to be a critical factor in the development of Parkinson's disease.

 

Diabetes

Heart disease hits people with diabetes twice as often as people without diabetes. In those with diabetes, cardiovascular complications occur at an earlier age and often result in premature death, making heart disease the major killer of diabetic people. Cardiolipin has recently been found to be deficient in the heart at the earliest stages of diabetes, possibly due to a lipid-digesting enzyme that becomes more active in diabetic heart muscle.

 


The reason I noticed the diabetes connection is because Alzheimer's is strongly linked to insulin resistance and glucose metabolism. So, cardiolipin appears to be critically important to brain health. This information supports the theory that, simply put, sugar and a low-fat diet are killing our brains.

 

 

 


Serenoa
Posted: Sunday, December 21, 2014 6:01 AM
Joined: 4/24/2012
Posts: 484


Thanks for all the info on turmeric. I put it in my eggs in the morning. Tastes great. I noticed that turmeric comes from the root of a plant in the ginger family that is native to India, Curcuma longa. I bought a turmeric root once; it is very similar to ginger root in appearance, only it was orange on the inside. So, it can be used in cooking or otherwise just like ginger root (although the taste is much different). It also probably means that ginger, being closely related, also has many beneficial properties.

 

Apparently turmeric is beneficial to insulin function and glucose metabolism, which may be one way it helps with Alzheimer's. From the article below:

 

"[turmeric] possibly acts via the insulin-mediated glucose uptake pathway. In summary, water soluble compounds of turmeric exhibit insulin releasing and mimicking actions within in vitro tissue culture conditions."

 

An aqueous extract of Curcuma longa (turmeric) rhizomes stimulates insulin release and mimics insulin action on tissues involved in glucose homeostasis in vitro

 

Abstract

Curcuma longa (turmeric) has been used widely as a spice, particularly in Asian countries. It is also used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine as an antiinflammatory and antimicrobial agent and for numerous other curative properties. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of an aqueous extract of Curcuma longa (AEC) on tissues involved in glucose homeostasis. The extract was prepared by soaking 100 g of ground turmeric in 1 L of water, which was filtered and stored at −20°C prior to use. Pancreas and muscle tissues of adult mice were cultured in DMEM with 5 or 12 mmol/L glucose and varying doses of extract. The AEC stimulated insulin secretion from mouse pancreatic tissues under both basal and hyperglycaemic conditions, although the maximum effect was only 68% of that of tolbutamide. The AEC induced stepwise stimulation of glucose uptake from abdominal muscle tissues in the presence and absence of insulin, and the combination of AEC and insulin significantly potentiated the glucose uptake into abdominal muscle tissue. However, this effect was attenuated by wortmannin, suggesting that AEC possibly acts via the insulin-mediated glucose uptake pathway. In summary, water soluble compounds of turmeric exhibit insulin releasing and mimicking actions within in vitro tissue culture conditions.

 


Dd197
Posted: Sunday, December 21, 2014 8:08 AM
Joined: 9/11/2013
Posts: 1085


Iris, thanks you for your reply. No my husband was not tested for posterior cortical atrophy. The AD was diagnosed with spinal fluid and the batter of cognitive testing done through the neurologist. We have an appointment with the University of Michigan and will discuss this with them. DH has great difficulties with spacial abilities and reading. His reading has declined to a second-third grade level. I'm a tutor for dyslexic students trained in best practice techniques (multisensory) and he cannot do the simplest task such as breaking down a word into phonemes. I will do more research on this. With the battery of tests that he had including the dr's knowledge of the positive cardiolipin antibodies (both neuro and hematologist ) that this was not explored. They chalked it up to learning disabilities.
Lane Simonian
Posted: Friday, January 9, 2015 10:52 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4998


The way to the most effective treatment of Alzheimer's disease is likely through the nose (although various herbs taken orally may also help).  This may be particularly true of compounds like cucuminoids and eugenol that are not easily absorbed into the bloodstream but are easily absorbed into the fatty tissue of the brain.  In a sense, these compounds pass through the limited blood-brain barrier via the nose. 


 

The following article addresses this approach for curcumin. 


 

One of the most promising new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease may already be in your kitchen. Curcumin, a natural product found in the spice turmeric, has been used by many Asian cultures for centuries, and a new study indicates a close chemical analog of curcumin has properties that may make it useful as a treatment for the brain disease... 


 

Developing small molecules to reduce this accumulation or promote its demolition is crucial, but the ability of these small molecules to cross the blood-brain barrier has been a restricting factor for drug delivery into the brain.

Pham and colleagues at Shiga University of Medical Science in Otsu, Japan, developed a new strategy to deliver a molecule similar to curcumin more effectively to the brain.

“One of the difficulties in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is how to deliver drugs across the blood brain barrier,” he said. “Our body has designed this barrier to protect the brain from any toxic molecules that can cross into the brain and harm neurons.

“But it is also a natural barrier for molecules designed for disease-modifying therapy,” Pham said.

To work around the problems of giving the drug intravenously, the researchers decided to develop an atomizer to generate a curcumin aerosol. The Japanese researchers developed a molecule similar to curcumin, FMeC1, which was the one actually used in this study... 


 

“In this way the drug can be breathed in and delivered to the brain,” he said, noting that nebulizers are out in the market already, and are relatively inexpensive.

“In this paper we also showed that delivery to the cortex and hippocampal areas is more efficient using aerosolized curcumin than intravenous injection in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease,” Pham said. 

 

http://presszoom.com/story_183689.html


 


 


 


Lane Simonian
Posted: Friday, January 9, 2015 6:53 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4998


J. Alzheimers Dis.
J Alzheimers Dis 2014 Sep 16. Epub 2014 Sep 16.
Curcumin is a promising compound that can be used as a theranostic agent to aid research in Alzheimer's disease. Beyond its ability to bind to amyloid plaques, the compound can also cross the blood-brain barrier. Presently, curcumin can be applied only to animal models, as the formulation needed for iv injection renders it unfit for human use. Here, we describe a novel technique to aerosolize a curcumin derivative, FMeC1, and facilitate its safe delivery to the brain. Aside from the translational applicability of this approach, a study in the 5XFAD mouse model suggested that inhalation exposure to an aerosolized FMeC1 modestly improved the distribution of the compound in the brain. Additionally, immunohistochemistry data confirms that following aerosol delivery, FMeC1 binds amyloid plaques expressed in the hippocampal areas and cortex.



There are two principal ways of treating Alzheimer's disease: one is to deliver methoxyphenols to the brain via the nose (aerosolized curcumin derivatives and essential oils high in eugenol) or herbs containing multiple methoxyphenols (such as panax ginseng).

Myriam
Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2015 3:15 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326


Great stuff, Lane!
Lane Simonian
Posted: Saturday, January 17, 2015 11:24 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4998


I think that I can narrow down even further which compounds most effectively treat Alzheimer's disease: methoxyphenols with a methylene group (CH2). The methoxy group donates electrons and the methylene and phenol groups donate hydrogen atoms and this is exactly what one needs to scavenge peroxynitrites and reverse part of its damage: ONOO- (peroxynitrites) + 2e- + 2H+= NO2- +H20

Here are some of the compounds and plants containing a methoxy, phenol, and methylene group: turmeric/curcumin, eugenol (in rosemary essential oil, for instance), and panax ginseng (which also contains other methoxyphenols). And here again are the results of clinical trials and studies using these substances:

We describe here three patients with the Alzheimer's Disease (AD) whose behavioral symptoms were improved remarkably as a result of the turmeric treatment, which is the traditional Indian medicine. Their cognitive decline and Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) were very severe. All three patients exhibited irritability, agitation, anxiety, and apathy, two patients suffer from urinary incontinence and wonderings. They were prescribed turmeric powder capsules and started recovering from these symptoms without any adverse reaction in the clinical symptom and laboratory data. After 12 weeks of the treatment, total score of the Neuro-Psychiatric Inventory-brief questionnaire decreased significantly in both acuity of symptoms and burden of caregivers. In one case, the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score was up five points, from 12/30 to 17/30. In the other two cases, no significant change was seen in the MMSE; however, they came to recognize their family within 1 year treatment. All cases have been taking turmeric for more than 1 year, re-exacerbation of BPSD was not seen. The present cases suggest a significant improvement of the behavioral symptoms in the AD with the turmeric treatment, leading to probable benefit of the use of turmeric in individuals with the AD with BPSD.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665200/

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.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3659550/


2012 Jul 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Heat-processed ginseng enhances the cognitive function in patients with moderately severe Alzheimer's disease.


REsults: The treatment groups showed significant improvement on the MMSE and ADAS. Patients with higher dose group (4.5 g/day) showed improvements in ADAS cognitive, ADAS non-cognitive, and MMSE score as early as at 12 weeks, which sustained for 24-week follow-up


DISCUSSION:

These results demonstrate the potential efficacy of a heat-processed form of ginseng on cognitive function and behavioral symptoms in patients with moderately severe AD.


2009 Dec;9(4):173-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-8301.2009.00299.x.

Effect of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Recently, the importance of non-pharmacological therapies for dementia has come to the fore. In the present study, we examined the curative effects of aromatherapy in dementia in 28 elderly people, 17 of whom had Alzheimer's disease (AD).

METHODS:

After a control period of 28 days, aromatherapy was performed over the following 28 days, with a wash out period of another 28 days. Aromatherapy consisted of the use of rosemary and lemon essential oils in the morning, and lavender and orange in the evening. To determine the effects of aromatherapy, patients were evaluated using the Japanese version of the Gottfries, Brane, Steen scale (GBSS-J), Functional Assessment Staging of Alzheimer's disease (FAST), a revised version of Hasegawa's Dementia Scale (HDS-R), and the Touch Panel-type Dementia Assessment Scale (TDAS) four times: before the control period, after the control period, after aromatherapy, and after the washout period.

RESULTS:

All patients showed significant improvement in personal orientation related to cognitive function on both the GBSS-J and TDAS after therapy. In particular, patients with AD showed significant improvement in total TDAS scores. Result of routine laboratory tests showed no significant changes, suggesting that there were no side-effects associated with the use of aromatherapy. Results from Zarit's score showed no significant changes, suggesting that caregivers had no effect on the improved patient scores seen in the other tests.

CONCLUSIONS:

In conclusion, we found aromatherapy an efficacious non-pharmacological therapy for dementia. Aromatherapy may have some potential for improving cognitive function, especially in AD patients.


It appears that ginger root can be vaporized, but I cannot find any studies on its safety. In general, though, inhaling plant compounds is the best way to get the highest concentrations of these compounds to the brain.


Thank you, Myriam. I hope that you find a way to survive and somehow adapt to the changes made to Alzconnected. We need you and so many others for whom this change has been more than just a nuisance.


Lane Simonian
Posted: Monday, January 19, 2015 10:20 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4998


Hydrogen donation is the key to treating Alzheimer's disease because hydrogen is needed to scavenge peroxynitrites, to partially reverse oxidation, and to partially reverse nitration so that enzymes, transport systems, receptors, and neurons in the brain can regain function. Curcumin is one of the compounds that is a good hydrogen donor.

Numerous pieces of evidence suggest that curcumin may be a promising therapy for AD because it has different neuroprotective activities, including antioxidant [9], anti-inflammatory [10] and antiamyloidogenic properties [11]. Curcumin has been demonstrated to have a strong antioxidant neuroprotective effects, scavenging ROS [reactive oxygen species] [12] and neutralizing nitric-oxide-(NO-) based free radicals [13]. However, one of the issues of curcumin as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of AD is its poor water solubility [14], which is one reason for its low bioavailability following oral administration or through parenteral route [15]. The poor bioavailability is one of the causes of its failure in randomized control trials for AD. The structural features of curcumin that can contribute to the antioxidant activity are the phenolic and the methoxy group on the phenyl ring and the 1,3-diketone system. Moreover, the antioxidant activity of curcumin increases when the phenolic group with a methoxy group is at the ortho position [16, 17]. The orthomethoxy group can form an intramolecular hydrogen bond with the phenolic hydrogen, making the H-atom abstraction from the orthomethoxyphenols surprisingly easy [18]. The H abstraction from these groups is responsible for the remarkable antioxidant activity of curcumin. Moreover, the reactions of curcumin with free radicals produce a phenoxyl radicals and a carbon-centered radical at the methylene CH2 group [19] (Figure 2).

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2012/386527/

The phenolic group and the methylene group are the hydrogen donors and curcumin can be restructured to increase the hydrogen donation of the the methylene group and the phenolic group.

it is demonstrated that H- atom transfer from CH2 group at the center of the heptadione link also plays an important role in the antioxidant properties of curcumin along with that of its phenolic –OH group.

The next step is to deliver the compound via a nebulizer. Ultrasonic nebulizers are expensive but they may be the most effective. I would think that delivering a liquid extract of any form of turmeric/curcumin would be more effective than taking it internally.

Lane Simonian
Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 11:14 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4998


Technical but important. The C-4 substitute in the curcumin aerosol involved replacing a hydroxy group (OH--phenols contain a hydroxy group) with a methoxy group (OCH3). Methoxy groups increase the hydrogen donating capacity of phenols and thus make for a better antioxidant.

Amongst the several [curcumin] compounds that were evaluated for their anticancer activity, the compound possessing methoxy substitution at the aromatic C-ring (154) exhibited highest activity against murine B16-F10 cells.

The simple substitution of the para-hydroxy group on curcumin with a methoxy substitution improved inhibitor function [of amyloid oligomerization] by 6-7-fold over that measured for curcumin.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0031869

I am not sure if any nebulizer would lead to this substitution, but it may be worth a try. Combine this treatment with stimulating essential oils high in eugenol (bay laurel, clove, rosemary, nutmeg, holy basil, etc.) and where needed relaxing essential oils high in linalool (orange, lavender, and rose, for instance) via aromatherapy and you likely have a very effective inhalable treatment for Alzheimer's disease.



Lane Simonian
Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 12:42 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4998


Location! Location! Location!

Protection against peroxynitrite reactions by flavonoids

Food Chemistry 01/2014; 164:228–233. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.04.105

ABSTRACT Peroxynitrite is believed to contribute to pathogenesis of various diseases. Search for drugs and nutraceuticals able to limit peroxynitrite reactions is thus of interest. This study aimed to compare the capacity of 16 flavonoids and several other compounds present in food to prevent peroxynitrite reactions in three different test systems, based on fluorescein bleaching, tyrosine nitration and serum albumin thiol oxidation. The sequence of protective capacity of the antioxidants was different in various systems. Correlation analysis revealed that the hydroxyl group at the R′4 position of the flavonoids contributes significantly to prevention of fluorescein bleaching, R3-OH is important for prevention of thiol oxidation while R5-OH and R′3-OH are significant in prevention of tyrosine nitration. The total number of hydroxyl groups correlated with the ability of flavonoids to prevent oxidation reactions and the presence of vicinal hydroxyl groups correlated with flavonoid reactivity in all systems used.


I am not good at reading chemical structures unless I see a diagram, but perhaps what you ideally want is OH (hydroxy group) at the 3 and 5 positions and a methoxy group (OCH3) at the 4 position. What is missing in flavonoids (found for example in dark chocolate, greeen tea, and wine) is a methoxy group which may explain why flavonoids slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease, but do not apparently reverse it.


In the post above, essential oils high in linalool may reduce stress and general anxiety, but for more severe psychiatric problems in various forms of dementia the best compound is ferulic acid (another methoxyphenol).


Results: Treatment with Feru-guard led to decreased scores on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory in 19 of 20 patients and significantly decreased the score overall. The treatment also led to significantly reduced subscale scores on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory ("delusions", "hallucinations", "agitation/aggression", "anxiety", "apathy/indifference", "irritability/lability" and "aberrant behavior"). There were no adverse effects or significant changes in physical findings or laboratory data.

CONCLUSION:

Feru-guard may be effective and valuable for treating the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia in frontotemporal lobar degeneration and dementia with Lewy bodies.


One of the best herbs for treating Alzheimer's disease is panax ginseng which contains two methoxyphenols (ferulic acid and syringic acid).


2009 Feb;12(1):124-30. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2007.0646.

Evaluation of the peroxynitrite scavenging activity of heat-processed ginseng.

Abstract

To ascertain the principal active peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)) scavenging components of heat-processed Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer (sun ginseng [SG]), the ONOO(-) scavenging activities of fractions and components of SG were compared. The results demonstrated that the ONOO(-) scavenging ability of SG was due to its ether fraction containing phenolic compounds. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis and ONOO(-) scavenging activity tests of the phenolic acids contained in SG identified vanillic acid, ferulic acid, p-coumaric acid, syringic acid, and maltol as the main active ONOO(-) scavenging components of SG. The ONOO(-) scavenging activities of phenolic acids and maltol were dependent on the degrees of their proton donating ability.


2012 Jul 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Heat-processed ginseng enhances the cognitive function in patients with moderately severe Alzheimer's disease.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Ginseng has been reported to improve cognitive function in animals and in healthy and cognitively impaired individuals. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of a heat-processed form of ginseng that contains more potent ginsenosides than raw ginseng in the treatment of cognitive impairment in patients with moderately severe Alzheimer's disease (AD).

METHODS:

Forty patients with AD were randomized into one of three different dose groups or the control group as follows: 1.5 g/day (n = 10), 3 g/day (n = 10), and 4.5 g/day (n = 10) groups, or control (n = 10). The Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS) and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) were used to assess cognitive function for 24 weeks.

RESULTS:

The treatment groups showed significant improvement on the MMSE and ADAS. Patients with higher dose group (4.5 g/day) showed improvements in ADAS cognitive, ADAS non-cognitive, and MMSE score as early as at 12 weeks, which sustained for 24-week follow-up.

DISCUSSION:

These results demonstrate the potential efficacy of a heat-processed form of ginseng on cognitive function and behavioral symptoms in patients with moderately severe AD.


Red panax Korean ginseng seems to work almost as well (and is much less expensive):


Improvement of Cognitive Deficit in Alzheimer’s Disease Patients by Long Term Treatment with Korean Red Ginseng


Abstract

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.


This may be the best protocol for treating Alzheimer's disease: curcumin aerosol, aromatherapy with some combination of bay laurel, clove, rosemary, nutmeg, and holy basil, and panax ginseng (with a nebulizer perhaps).

Funny, how such a complicated disease comes down to one simple thing: compounds that readily donate hydrogen atoms to scavenge peroxynitrites treat Alzheimer's disease.


Myriam
Posted: Friday, February 6, 2015 5:25 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326


Awesome info, Lane!
Lane Simonian
Posted: Friday, February 6, 2015 6:48 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 4998


Very good to have you fully back, Myriam. We have been sort of plodding along in your absence posting a study now and then, but we missed your research and postings.

I enjoyed reading about your (relatively) new place and all of your activities and continued advocacy work.

Slowly by slowly people are coming back having survived all the problems created by "revamping" the old boards. I don't fully appreciate how much of a cooperative all this is until people are gone.

Dd197
Posted: Saturday, February 7, 2015 6:34 AM
Joined: 9/11/2013
Posts: 1085


Iris,my husband was just tested for posterior cortical atrophy by his neurologist and he does not have that. We have an appointment with his hematologist and I will ask about the possibility of adding turmeric safely. Years ago when he was in the hospital for pulmonary emboli, I noticed that his cognitive abilities greatly declined after this incident. He had multiple clots in both lungs and the doctors said they did not expect him to survive. It took a long time for him to regain memory and the ability to function at his job.
scma_2007
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2015 9:44 PM
Joined: 9/13/2013
Posts: 112



Has anyone tried curcumin supplements Curamed 750 mg or Super-Bio-curcumin 400 mg?

Both contain the proprietary complex of BCM-95 with essential oil of turmeric. It is supposed to provide superior absorption. The ordinary curcumin is not readily absorbed.

Current research on curcumin BCM-95 for AD is ongoing. .




scma_2007
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2015 12:07 PM
Joined: 9/13/2013
Posts: 112



@Dd197

Can you please tell us the procedures done for your husband on diagnosing for PCA?

Was there an MRI done?

The research of Fox and Lehmann of UCL in London using MRI showed that the brain loss is in the back of the brain which is involved in visual processing.

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=892