Have you ever gone to the store with intention, but then your mind went blank as soon as you walked through the doors?
Or have you ever gotten in your car to run an errand and completely forgotten where you were driving?
This is a normal incident for many, if it occurs every once in a while.
For those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, this becomes a part of their daily (and scary!) reality.
Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative brain disorder that leads to memory loss, impaired thinking, and eventually death. The cause of Alzheimer's is not fully understood, but it is believed to be associated with the accumulation of certain toxins in the brain.
Neurological conditions are becoming more and more prevalent in our society, and Alzheimer's is one of the most common. It's important to understand how Alzheimer's affects the brain and body, and what we can do to detoxify our bodies and minds to prevent or mitigate its effects.
Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the buildup of plaques and tangles in the brain. These plaques and tangles are made up of proteins, fats, and other substances that accumulate over time. They interfere with communication between nerve cells, eventually leading to cell death.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ALZHEIMER'S
The most well-known symptom of Alzheimer's is memory loss, but the disease also causes changes in mood and behavior, impaired thinking and judgment, and difficulty carrying out everyday activities. As the disease progresses, individuals may become withdrawn, confused, and unable to care for themselves.
The top ten symptoms of Alzheimer's are as follows:
Memory loss that disrupts daily life: As people grow older, it's common that they experience some brain fog, or even confusion from time to time. It becomes a problem, however, when memory loss starts to interfere with day-to-day activities. This is one of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer's.
Challenges in planning or solving problems: People with Alzheimer's may have trouble completing familiar tasks, such as getting dressed or driving to a familiar place. They may also have difficulty understanding new concepts or making decisions.
Difficulty completing familiar words or phrases: A person with Alzheimer's may have trouble finding the right word when speaking or writing, and may eventually stop speaking altogether.
- Disorientation about time and place: A person with Alzheimer's may get lost in familiar places, and may no longer be able to keep track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time.
- New problems with vision: A person with Alzheimer's may have trouble reading, judging distance, or recognizing colors and patterns.
Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps: A person with Alzheimer's may put things in unusual places and then be unable to find them again. They may also have difficulty completing common tasks if they require moving from one place to another.
Changes in mood and behavior: A person with Alzheimer's may experience mood swings, irritability, depression, anxiety, or apathy. They may also become more withdrawn from family and friends.
Changes in personality: A person with Alzheimer's may become more suspicious, paranoid, or agitated. They may also act out of character, doing things that are out of the norm for them.
Loss of interest in hobbies and favorite activities: A person with Alzheimer's may lose interest in activities that they once enjoyed, such as reading, gardening, or going for walks.
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks: As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer's may have trouble feeding themselves, brushing their teeth, or using the restroom independently.
HOW DOES ALZHEIMER'S AFFECT THE BRAIN?
Alzheimer's disease affects the brain in multiple ways. The most well-known is the buildup of plaques and tangles, but Alzheimer's also causes inflammation, changes in brain chemistry, and death of nerve cells.
Plaques and Tangles: Plaques are made up of a protein called beta-amyloid that accumulates between nerve cells. Tangles are made up of another protein called tau that accumulates inside nerve cells. These plaques and tangles interfere with communication between nerve cells and eventually lead to cell death. The location of plaques and tangles is important, as well, when it comes to behavioral changes. For example, studies show that only severe dementia behaviors had tangles on the neocortex, but plaques may develop there. Tangles appear in the aging process on the hippocampus, anterior olfactory nucleus, and the parahippocampal gyrus.
Inflammation: Inflammation is a normal response by the body to injury or disease, but in Alzheimer's, inflammation occurs in the brain even in the absence of injury or disease. This chronic inflammation is thought to contribute to the damage of nerve cells. Systemic inflammation (which can be measured in labs by proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines), can be a key role in neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s. It’s likely these could be caused by infection, toxins, stress, other chronic disease, and many other root causes. This is a key point that proves detoxification is vital for Alzheimer’s prevention and support.
Changes in Brain Chemistry: Alzheimer's disease is associated with changes in levels of certain chemicals in the brain, including neurotransmitters, neurotransmitter transporter expression disruption, and inflammatory agents. These changes may contribute to the symptoms of Alzheimer's. The influence of oligomeric A beta ligands (ADDLs) is also implicated in memory loss.
Death of Nerve Cells: In Alzheimer's disease, nerve cells die throughout the brain. This loss of nerve cells causes shrinkage of the brain and contributes to the decline in cognitive function seen in Alzheimer's. There are studies that show specifically pyramidal nerve cell loss can affect dementia and Alzheimer’s.
While these are the most well-known ways that Alzheimer's affects the brain, researchers are still working to understand all of the ways in which the disease causes damage.
HOW DOES ALZHEIMER'S AFFECT THE BODY?
In addition to affecting the brain, Alzheimer's disease also causes changes in the body. These changes can lead to physical symptoms that can be seen and measured. Here are some factors that might either be a root cause or impact the body due to Alzheimer’s.
Heavy metals: People with Alzheimer's have higher levels of aluminum, lead, and mercury in their brains than people without the disease. While it is not clear how these metals contribute to Alzheimer's, they may play a role in the formation of plaques and tangles or cause inflammation. Studies also show that metals like lead and cadmium have association with both the development of and mortality from Alzhiemer’s.
Toxins: People with Alzheimer's have higher levels of toxins in their brains, including pesticides and herbicides, industrial chemicals, and other air pollutants. Environmental toxins play a clear role in the disease, alongside human lifestyle choices and patterns. A number of in vitro studies have shown this relationship, including how the body is affected cellularly and through related metabolisms and pathways associated with neurodegeneration.
Pathogens: People with Alzheimer's have higher levels of certain viruses and bacteria in their brains. Specifically, spirochetes seem to be one potential area to study, including Treponemas and Borrelia burgdorferi, better known as the cause of Lyme disease. Chlamydophyla pneumoniae and HSV-1 have also been shown to have a relationship with Alzheimer’s.
Changes in immune system: People with Alzheimer's have changes in their immune system that may contribute to the disease. Certain components are specifically highlighted in studies, such as complement and microglia, monocytes, and lymphocytes. Immune activation (possibly caused by amyloid-beta deposits), can be a factor as well in neurodegenerative diseases like dementiaThese changes make the brain more susceptible to damage from toxins, pathogens, and other agents.
While these are some of the most well-known ways that Alzheimer's affects the body, researchers are still working to understand all of the ways in which the disease causes damage.
WHAT CAUSES ALZHEIMER'S
One theory is that Alzheimer's is caused by the accumulation of heavy metals, such as mercury, in the brain. Heavy metals are known to be neurotoxic, and they can accumulate in the brain over time. Mercury has been found in high levels in the brains of people with Alzheimer's, and it is thought to contribute to the disease.
One study showed that people with Alzheimer's had significantly higher levels of mercury in their brains than people without the disease. The study found that mercury exposure was associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's, and it has been found in case studies, too.
Another theory is that toxins produced by bacteria, such as beta-amyloid, contribute to the development of Alzheimer's. Beta-amyloid is a protein that is found in high levels in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. It is thought to cause damage to brain cells and contribute to the development of the disease.
One study showed that people with Alzheimer's had significantly higher levels of beta-amyloid in their brains than people without the disease. The study found that beta-amyloid exposure was associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's.
Pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, have also been implicated in the development of Alzheimer's. One theory is that these pathogens damage brain cells and contribute to the development of the disease. The accumulation of toxins from pathogenic bacteria can damage neurons and lead to the development of Alzheimer's. Pathogenic bacteria are often found in the gut, and it is thought that they can enter the brain through the bloodstream.
One study showed that people with Alzheimer's had significantly higher levels of a certain virus in their brains than people without the disease. The study found that virus exposure was associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's.
It is not exactly clear how toxins, heavy metals, or pathogens contribute to the development of Alzheimer's, but it is clear that they are likely to be involved in some way.
Detoxification is one approach that may help to reduce the levels of these toxins in the brain and potentially prevent or treat Alzheimer's disease.
HOW TO TREAT ALZHEIMER'S
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to detoxifying the body, there are some general things that everyone can do to reduce their toxic load. These include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, reducing stress, and avoiding exposure to toxins. Flavonoids, gingerols, tannins, and alkaloids have been shown to have a positive (anti-inflammatory and antioxidant) effect.
Eating a healthy diet is important for many reasons, but it can also help to detoxify the body by providing nutrients that support detoxification processes. Foods that are particularly rich in detoxifying nutrients include leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Also, you want to avoid saturated fats and branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) as these can progress dementia symptoms. Mediterranean and DASH diets are recommended in studies.
Exercise is another important piece of the puzzle when it comes to detoxification. Exercise helps to increase circulation and promote the elimination of toxins through sweat and urine. It also helps to support the liver and kidneys, two key organs involved in detoxification.
Reducing stress is also important for detoxification. When the body is stressed, it enters into a state of fight-or-flight, which can impede detoxification processes. Therefore, it's important to find ways to manage stress through relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing. Research has shown that chronic stress can be a risk factor for neurological disease.
Finally, avoiding exposure to toxins is an important part of detoxification. This means eating organic foods, filtered water, and natural cleaning and personal care products. It also means avoiding cigarette smoke, air pollution, and other sources of toxic exposure.
There is no cure for Alzheimer's, but there are treatments that can slow the progression of the disease. These treatments typically involve detoxification, which can remove some of the toxins that have accumulated in the brain.
Detoxification can be done through a variety of methods, including fasting, saunas, and supplements. Fasting is a method of detoxification that involves abstaining from food for a period of time. This allows the body to focus on removing toxins from the system.
Saunas are another method of detoxification. Saunas use heat to help the body sweat out toxins. The sweat produced during a sauna session can help to remove toxins from the body.
Supplements can also be used to detoxify the body. There are many different types of supplements available that can help to remove toxins from the system. These supplements typically contain vitamins, minerals, and herbs that support detoxification.
INFRARED TECHNOLOGY FOR ALZHEIMER'S
Infrared technology has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of Alzheimer's. Infrared therapy uses light to penetrate the skin and promote detoxification.
One study with infrared technology for Alzheimer's found that infrared therapy was able to improve brain function and reduce the levels of toxins in the brain, also increasing blood flow and promoting the same brain benefits as physical exercise.
Another study suggests that infrared therapy may be an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease. With a special photobiomodulation (PBM) helmet, scientists have created a way to allow patients with neurological diseases to receive light therapy. This infrared therapy may help to remove toxins from the brain and improve cognitive function.
Treatment for Alzheimer's typically involves detoxification, which can remove some of the toxins that have accumulated in the brain. Infrared therapy is a type of detoxification that uses light to penetrate the skin and promote detoxification. Studies have shown that infrared therapy can be effective in reducing the levels of toxins in the brain and improving cognitive function in people with Alzheimer's.
SAUNAS FOR ALZHEIMER'S TREATMENT
Saunas are another method of detoxification that can be used to treat Alzheimer's. Saunas use heat to help the body sweat out toxins. The sweat produced during a sauna session can help to remove toxins from the body. Saunas also increase blood flow, and in Alzheimer’s disease, decreased blood flow to the brain can cause dementia symptoms.
One study found that saunas were effective in reducing the levels of amyloid beta, a protein that is thought to play a role in the development of Alzheimer's. The study found that saunas were able to reduce amyloid beta levels by as much as 50%.
Another study found that saunas were effective in improving cognitive function in people with Alzheimer's and dementia, perhaps because of the hemoglobin oxygenation and growth of new nervous tissue. Saunas may help to improve memory, language, and executive function in people with Alzheimer's.
Sauna bathing was inversely associated with both dementia and Alzheimer’s risk in one study out of Finland (they took 2-3 saunas per week!). The study cited a 65% reduction in Alzheimer’s disease in those who used it even more, though… up to daily!
SUPPLEMENTS FOR ALZHEIMER'S DETOXIFICATION
There are many different types of supplements available that can help to remove toxins from the system. These supplements typically contain vitamins, minerals, and herbs that support detoxification.
One study found that a supplement containing curcumin was effective in reducing the levels of amyloid beta, a protein that is thought to play a role in the development of Alzheimer's. One study found that the supplement was able to reduce amyloid beta levels by as much as 40%. Curcumin can help support the health of cerebral vessels, synapses, and mitochondria. It also impacts multiple signaling pathways.
Another study found that a supplement containing green tea extract was effective in reducing the levels of toxins in the brain. The green tea extract contains catechin polyphenols, which can protect the brain due to their anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative stress properties. Also, it can support cognition and inhibit the growth of amyloid-beta.
If you or someone you love is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease or other neurological disorders, it’s important to know that there’s plenty to do to protect the health of the brain, prevent further damage, and even treat the disease.
Detoxification will play a vital factor in the protocol, most likely. One easy way to start is to look at diet, supplementation, and infrared light or sauna use, which can have an incredible neuroprotective impact!