Preventing or slowing age-related cognitive decline

I took notes on Dr. Andrew Huberman’s AMA (ask me anything) — he’s the Stanford neurobiology and ophthalmology professor with a podcast on using science for many factors of well-being.

His AMAs only available to premium subscribers of the Huberman Lab Podcast. Yes, I really am that nerdy!

Dr. Huberman says that lifestyle factors can override a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease if started early enough.

He also mentioned that scientists are working on a method of early detection using visual screening.

By the way, a friend of mine defined aging as “continuing to live”. I love it.

Many of these tips are best started decades before the ages in which Alzheimer’s usually shows up, but are helpful at any age.

  1. Avoid environmental toxins: pesticides, toxins, heavy metals are neurotoxins. They damage your brain. That means eat organic food!
  2. Do not hit your head hard if at all possible. Give up risky behaviors, especially if you’ve already had one TBI.
  3. Get quality sleep at least 80 percent of the time. Deep sleep helps your brain clear toxins, and you can use sleep apps to measure this. Slightly elevating your feet seems to help. Seems to me this would work best for back sleepers, not side sleepers.
  4. Challenge yourself cognitively. It’s not just doing crosswords, it’s more like learning a new language, reading difficult material, learning new-to-you dance steps. If you don’t get frustrated, you’re not being challenged enough!
  5. Get 3 to 3.5 hours of Zone 2 cardiovascular exercise per week to increase blood flow to the brain. Zone 2 cardio includes walking, rowing, swimming, and working out on an elliptical or stationary bike.
  6. Do 20 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to release catecholamines for alertness, turning on neuroplasticity.
  7. Do 5-10 sets of resistance training to offset atrophy from aging.
  8. Your brain needs acetylcholine for focus and cognition. You can get it from food (eggs, especially) or take AlphaGPC in the morning, 300-900mg. Also: nicotine gum or patches — safe nicotine. Can ask your doctor.
  9. Eat a ketogenic diet. Also fasting.
  10. Take creatine monohydrate, 5 mg per day.
Advertisement

Hydration: the first step to building health

The first step to preventing dementia is to stay hydrated. The brain is more sensitive to dehydration than any other tissue in your body. This issue is on my mind due to numerous friends’ parents having tragically developed Alzheimer’s and also learning of contemporaries with early-stage dementia. Craniosacral therapy can help, and I’ll write about that in the future. Today: hydration.

This is a topic that your doctor will probably never mention unless you have a severe issue like kidney disease, but your massage therapist certainly will!

You are at your most dehydrated when you wake up in the morning. Therefore, drink water soon after you wake! It’ll help get your brain and your whole system going.  Continue reading

Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, prevention.

Browsing the web looking for health information, I learned that academics have discovered an undeniable link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Melissa Schilling, a professor at the NYU Stern School of Business, has just completed a large scale study in which she reviewed the extensive literature that clearly associates diabetes with Alzheimer’s disease, both in terms of risk and now in terms of mechanism. She was able to find robust evidence that links insulin, as well as the enzyme that degrades insulin (insulin-degrading enzyme or IDE), and the development of Alzheimer’s disease in itself. Her study strongly suggest that elevated insulin plays a critical role in the development of the various hallmarks characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. – See more at: http://www.drperlmutter.com/alzheimers-news-front-page/#sthash.dAVa7l9b.dpuf

Given that diabetes (Type 2, anyway) is considered a lifestyle disease, it adds to the urgency that diabetics and pre-diabetics change their diets now to prevent Alzheimer’s later. Some say Alzheimer’s is Type 3 diabetes.

Continue reading