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An encouraging finding
Lane Simonian
Posted: Monday, March 28, 2016 11:22 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5179

What appears to be lost in Alzheimer's disease is the ability to retrieve memories not to store memories.  It is like a library with a conveyor belt for books.  The books cannot be retrieved when the conveyor belt breaks down, but the books are still there.

From a recent finding:

Sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease may not have “lost” their memories, but could simply have difficulty accessing them, say researchers, who Wednesday unveiled a possible treatment that could one day offer a cure to the ravages of dementia.

Nobel Prize-winner Susumu Tonegawa said studies on mice showed that by stimulating specific areas of the brain with blue light, scientists could make the creatures recall thoughts that were otherwise unavailable to them. 

The specific treatment may turn out to be less significant than the general finding.  

What types of memories can potentially be restored in Alzheimer's disease? The ones that I have seen personally or through reports from others are: a sense of place (recognizing one's own home again, for instance), a familiarity with faces and in some cases recognizing relationships, remembering names and words, repetitive memory (the alphabet, numbers, phrases, etc.), object recognition, and some limited degree of short-term event memory. Even at its very latest stages, Alzheimer's is a partially reversible disease.

This may be a major key to understanding Alzheimer's disease:

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, the loss of acetylcholine reduces the brain’s ability to retrieve memories

And what causes the loss of acetylcholine during Alzheimer's disease?  The oxidation of muscarinic acetlycholine receptors prevents the release of acetylcholine, the oxidation of choline transport systems prevents the transport of choline in the brain, the nitration of choline acetyltransferases prevents the conversion of choline into acetylcholine. Reversing oxidation and nitration with various plant compounds (medicinal marijuana, panax ginseng, aromatherapy with certain essential oils, etc.) leads to an increase in acetylcholine levels and the ability of a person with Alzheimer's disease to retrieve some of their memories.

Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 12:36 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18723

Thanks for sharing, Lane.  

I wonder, when will they get past the mice studies?  

Iris L.

Lane Simonian
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 9:45 AM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5179

Thanks, Iris.  Getting beyond the mice studies is very important because the damage done to the brain of a mouse designed to get an Alzheimer's-like disease is usually much less than in a human with Alzheimer's disease.  One of the closest similar ailments in animals is canine cognitive dysfunction and this too can be treated with antioxidants.

Thus, studies in the canine model suggest that oxidative damage impairs cognitive function and that antioxidant treatment can result in significant improvements, supporting the need for further human studies.

I am not even sure if one could do a human clinical trial with medicinal marijuana for Alzheimer's disease in the United States given the federal laws against marijuana.  It is very difficult to get funding for panax ginseng and aromatherapy in the United States as most funding goes to test pharmaceutical drugs. Nearly all the human clinical trials for these types of treatment have been conducted outside the United States.

Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 12:43 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608

Israel is doing research on the use of cannabis for ALZ and other illnesses.

Also individuals are conducting their own, at home, experiments and sharing online in groups.

Thank you Lane. It seems to pie in the face obvious that if a person who has not talked about the past for years suddenly can and does towards end of life it is as you said: the memories are just not retrievable" and I add FAST ENOUGH for present speedy communications.

The belief that people "forget" their loved ones causes more damage than anything else in terms of the illness. Young people change physically so much every year, no wonder they are not immediately recognized when they have been absent and then reappear for a visit.

As people living with the illness it is near impossible to find the things that would help them, and then to have jail time in some states awaiting people who use it is cruel.

You can bet when the Big Pharma companies get a lock on manufacturing cannabis products again the price will sore and sanctions will be lifted.

My life with CBD is shocking. If we had a video camera I would be making before and after videos myself for youtube. 

Lane, you are a treasure to millions of people in the future world. You are so helpful to us here, now. Thank you for all you do.

Lane Simonian
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 1:45 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5179

As always, alz+ right to the point and right on everything.  Even though I have seen it several times now, it is always a joy for me to see people retrieve some of their memories, to be more at ease, and more connected to the world.

I always appreciate the kind words, too.  Little by little it seems that collectively we are getting to a better present and future with this disease.

Iris L.
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 3:18 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18723

Lane Simonian wrote:

It is very difficult to get funding for panax ginseng and aromatherapy in the United States as most funding goes to test pharmaceutical drugs. Nearly all the human clinical trials for these types of treatment have been conducted outside the United States.


Lane, I want to leave funds in my will for research on aromatherapy.  How should I go about making this happen?  Are there one or two research groups that are currently studying on humans?

Iris L.

Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 10:11 PM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408

That is exactly the way I feel at times, like the information is there and I know the information but I just can't get to it. Recognition seems to be much more than just remembering a face or a name or putting to words a face or a name. Thank you Lane!
Lane Simonian
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 10:29 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5179

I think you explained it perfectly, llee.  I remember once my mother was having troubles falling asleep.  I asked her what the problem was.  She said I cannot remember my name. I said it is Cecelia.  She said yes that is it and fell asleep.  She had not lost the memory of her name she just could not pull it up.

Iris, I think this is a wonderful idea, I just cannot think of the best way to do it right now. Many of the researchers who studied aromatherapy for the treatment for Alzheimer's disease (from places like Japan, Italy, and England) did so about a decade ago, and I am not sure if they are still actively doing research in this area.  I will see if I can find some place committed to this type of study for the long term.

I always greatly admire how all of you support and bolster each other.  When any of you are gone for awhile, you are missed by many of us.


Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 8:04 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4408

Lane, hearing about you mom's angst over not remembering her name reminds me of my angst one day when was trying to remember my granddaughter's name. I knew her name began with the letter A but that's as far as I could get. I forgot about not remembering her name for a couple days maybe but then it came back to me somehow. I certainly did not forget who she was and how very much I love her. I felt all of her and knew her. I cannot imagine ever completely forgetting her. I don't believe we forget the representation of love ever and that the love we have for others is forever imprinted on us and is forever a part of us and who we are. 

There may come a day when I do not meet someone's idea of what recognition looks like. But I have faith in the God given power of love and that in some way, somehow, I will feel those I love. 

Perhaps others too, started forgetting things and then were able to "pull up" or retrieve the information at a later time. This may be normal forgetting for some. However, for some of us that gap between when we can, if we can, pull up the information grows ever wider. 

It helps me to think of this concept like my brain is wired with all different neural pathways similar to the wiring in my house. I'm not at full power or operating with a 100 amps and all the information is stored in the circuit breaker. Unfortunately, some of the damaged wiring is unable to reach the circuit breaker and get to the information. The undamaged wiring needs to be re-routed and detoured down a different neural pathway so I can retrieve the information. 

Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 12:02 PM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 1747

Lane... as wonderful as always... Such a gentle-man. I adore you!

Ilee... what great words about memory and love. Yes, the love we have for a beloved is forever imprinted on us. It is forever a part of us. It is an integral part of who we are. It never goes away. My immortal beloved told me so while taking his last breath. There was a magnificent silent intimate communication between our hearts... At that last moment, I encountered so much love in his heart!

I call my beloved, may he rest in peace, my immortal beloved... Two years after his death, I feel lonely without his body. But I do not lament his death... As long as I am... As long as I exist... he is. For he dwells inside of me... He makes me feel good about myself. He makes me feel good about life. He is love... Day after day. The love I give to him and the love I receive from him, brings me tranquility and peace. It makes me feel complete.

Neural connections? Yes. When those connections begin to fail, they make us feel lost, anxious, afraid, panicky... But love never goes away...  What is essential; it is found in the heart...

 My cup overflows...

 Hugs to all.


Lane Simonian
Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 9:44 PM
Joined: 12/12/2011
Posts: 5179

I believe the same--the love that existed before Alzheimer's disease remains throughout the disease.  A person may not be able to recall a name or how the person is related to them, but they still know they are loved and still show their love in various way.  

Thank you, w/e.  Your wise sayings and wisdom help me keep my patience and to persevere.  I admire you and your eternal love for your husband.

Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2016 9:59 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4500

Iris- you may want to starts by contacting the NIH foundation and ask them.


Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2016 11:29 AM
Joined: 11/4/2015
Posts: 60

"I always greatly admire how all of you support and bolster each other.  When any of you are gone for awhile, you are missed by many of us".


Lane,  I would like to second this opinion, and I'm sure many others agree as well.

Also, thank you Lane for your excellent contributions to these boards.  You are another 'port in the storm' of this disease.. and offer some hope, through your research on antioxidants, cannabis and aromatherapy.  It's nice to see the positive feedback and I hope you know that you are making a difference.    Keep posting and keep the faith!

w/e.. sounds like you and immortal beloved were/are soul mates. You touched me so much with your words.

llee, alz+ and Iris... you always deliver.. with your thoughtful words of wisdom.

blessings to all.

Iris L.
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2016 12:52 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18723

Thank you, Michael.  I will look into contacting the NIH Foundation for my future bequeath.

Iris L.