5

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Neurodegeneration: How to prevent spending the last 10 years of your life in a diaper and a wheelchair. You have only one brain. How do you take care of it now for the future, 60 years from now?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 20, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Everything you have every experienced, felt, or conducted in life is due to brain function. The ability to enjoy, perceive, sense and experience live is dictated by the firing rate and health of your brain. It is impossible for a person to become healthy mentally or physiologically without a healthy brain.??? - Datis Kharrazian, DC, M.S

Chris Kresser, author of The Healthy Skeptic presents some interesting ideas regarding what young people can do to protect the brain from aging and what seniors can do to stop the aging process.

http://bit.ly/lwOIB6 See his posting for the full context.

Anti-aging = fix your brain
The current anti-aging movement is about botox and plastic surgery and tanning machines and hormone creams. That???s a complete joke. There???s nothing about these activities that does anything at all to slow down neurodegeneration and improve plasticity, which is the ultimate goal of any true ???anti-aging??? program.

You do this by following these guidelines:

Avoid food toxins. These include industrial seed oils, excess sugar (especially fructose), cereal grains and processed soy
Ensure adequate micronutrient status. Especially those nutrients involved in oxygen deliverability (B12, iron & folate)
Improve fatty acid balance (n-6:n-3 ratio). 60% of the brain is phospholipid, and DHA has been shown to enhance plasticity and brain function while reducing inflammation and neurodegenerative conditions.
Fix the gut. There???s a saying in functional medicine, ???Fire in the gut = fire in the brain???. Inflammation in the gut will cause activation of the microglial cells (immune cells) of the brain.
Stay mentally active. Neurons need constant stimulation or they will atrophy and die. This is why elderly people that stay active and mentally engaged in something age better than those that view retirement as an opportunity to watch golf on TV for 6 hours a day. Increase blood flow to the brain. Exercise is one of the best ways to do this. Acupuncture and stress management are also important.
Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can sabotage brain health in just about every conceivable way.
Finally, there are certain nutrients and botanicals that have been shown to protect against neurodeneration, prevent and even reverse neuroinflammation and preserve brain function. In fact, nutritional medicine really shines in this area. If you look in the scientific literature, you???ll see that almost all of the treatments being studied are either micronutrients or botanicals. That???s because there are no drugs that actually improve the health of the brain environment like natural therapies can.

If you are a young person, have you ever considered that you have to take care of your brain so it will be functional when you are an old fart? Have you ever considered how to best care for your brain?

If you are an old fart, have you considered how you can best take care of the remaining neurons you have so you will not end up in DEPENDS and in a WHEELCHAIR in a nursing home?

Is paleo your lifeline to a long, healthy, disease free lifespan?

6371f0ae0c075ded1b8cd30aafd4bf16

on May 20, 2011
at 10:34 PM

Skilled Nursing Facility. The athletes and military career residents seem to be the ones that keep function of Activities of Daily Living such as walking or eating on you own the longest which in my opinion is due to thier active past. However, when it comes to diet, I would also assume they followed a more publicly accepted standard of health that we in the paleo community know is a flawed standard. Thus the development of the dementia and Alhzeimers. My opinion, too much sugar. I think if a person follows a paleo diet and stays active to be fit; they have done everything they can.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 20, 2011
at 08:36 PM

Definitely. Fasting, ketosis, and blood sugar regulation are intimately tied.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 20, 2011
at 06:57 PM

I'm saying that if I was diagnosed with neurodegeneration, a brain injury, or cancer I would get in as deep and frequent ketosis as I could withstand. Those who are consuming 150g CHO per day are likely in ketosis during the night, and thereby also dramatically reducing their risks. Add some IF to the mix, and it probably won't ever be an issue.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 20, 2011
at 06:45 PM

SNF=senior nursing facility? Ahtletes and ex military sound like extreme stress physically and/or mentally shortened leading to telemeres that are shortened leading to declining health? Remember the gut/brain connection in another question.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 20, 2011
at 06:40 PM

Then you are saying that all the folks we see on PaleoHacks talking about not being able to go ketogenic or they just don't feel well without 150gms carbs are kidding themself to feel good in the short run and are sacrificing their brain neurons in the long run and are heading to DEPENDS or some sort of debilitation in their senior years?

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 20, 2011
at 06:38 PM

Then you are saying that all the folks we see on PaleoHacks talking about folks not being able to go ketogenic or they just don't feel well with 150gms carbs are kidding themself to feel good in the short run and are sacrificing their brain neurons in the long run and are heading to DEPENDS?

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4 Answers

2
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on May 20, 2011
at 07:44 PM

I came into Paleo with no real health issues. My goal was to lose weight, but I could've done that by restricting calories or following just about any "quick fix" diet.

I have an intense fear of becoming old and decrepit and not being able to take care of myself. In my opinion, the worst thing that could happen would be to continue living but decline physically and mentally where I am just a burden on someone else. I also don't plan on having children, so you can add in the fear of having to live in a nursing home--and we all know those aren't really held in high esteem. I know for a fact I would rather die than be useless and bothersome, or possibly be mistreated and not be able to do anything about it.

What I wanted was a healthy, sustainable, lifelong solution. My first (and continuing) impression is that a Paleo lifestyle offers me the best chance of living a healthy and full life where I can stay in control and where I don't have to depend on others to do everyday tasks, such as use the toilet, when I'm an old fart.

2
9e1dedf12f6ee75b7fe460960971fd21

(624)

on May 20, 2011
at 07:01 PM

There is evidence that fasting is neuroprotective. It certainly ties in with the idea of ketosis being protective, along with regulating blood sugars.

Similarly, weightlifting increases BNDF 1 (?) which neuroprotective. Something like that.

One can certainly hope that these things would help minimize risk of dementia.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 20, 2011
at 08:36 PM

Definitely. Fasting, ketosis, and blood sugar regulation are intimately tied.

2
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 20, 2011
at 06:27 PM

A ketogenic diet, of course. Neuroprotection is its forte.

THE NEUROPROTECTIVE PROPERTIES OF CALORIE RESTRICTION, THE KETOGENIC DIET, AND KETONE BODIES

Neuroprotective and disease-modifying effects of the ketogenic diet

[T]here is evidence from uncontrolled clinical trials and studies in animal models that the ketogenic diet can provide symptomatic and disease-modifying activity in a broad range of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer???s disease and Parkinson???s disease, and may also be protective in traumatic brain injury and stroke. These observations are supported by studies in animal models and isolated cells that show that ketone bodies, especially ??-hydroxybutyrate, confer neuroprotection against diverse types of cellular injury.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 20, 2011
at 06:40 PM

Then you are saying that all the folks we see on PaleoHacks talking about not being able to go ketogenic or they just don't feel well without 150gms carbs are kidding themself to feel good in the short run and are sacrificing their brain neurons in the long run and are heading to DEPENDS or some sort of debilitation in their senior years?

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 20, 2011
at 06:38 PM

Then you are saying that all the folks we see on PaleoHacks talking about folks not being able to go ketogenic or they just don't feel well with 150gms carbs are kidding themself to feel good in the short run and are sacrificing their brain neurons in the long run and are heading to DEPENDS?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 20, 2011
at 06:57 PM

I'm saying that if I was diagnosed with neurodegeneration, a brain injury, or cancer I would get in as deep and frequent ketosis as I could withstand. Those who are consuming 150g CHO per day are likely in ketosis during the night, and thereby also dramatically reducing their risks. Add some IF to the mix, and it probably won't ever be an issue.

1
6371f0ae0c075ded1b8cd30aafd4bf16

on May 20, 2011
at 06:39 PM

I work at a SNF and its apparrent that abuses such as alcohol, drugs, bad food choices and inactive lifestyle are what utlimately cause you to end up here. . I have dementia patients in thier 90's that can still walk unassisted and rather quickly and with the exception of dementia they are healthy. If you look at thier history and discover that they were either athletes or career military. We have a unit for just Alhzeimers care. Its amazing that they (the medical staff) feed these patients so much sugar in the form of candy and cookies for activities and then sit there wondering why they all have sundowners behaviors. Im almost convinced that behaviors in dementia patients is completely tied to blood sugar and or elevated insulin.

6371f0ae0c075ded1b8cd30aafd4bf16

on May 20, 2011
at 10:34 PM

Skilled Nursing Facility. The athletes and military career residents seem to be the ones that keep function of Activities of Daily Living such as walking or eating on you own the longest which in my opinion is due to thier active past. However, when it comes to diet, I would also assume they followed a more publicly accepted standard of health that we in the paleo community know is a flawed standard. Thus the development of the dementia and Alhzeimers. My opinion, too much sugar. I think if a person follows a paleo diet and stays active to be fit; they have done everything they can.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 20, 2011
at 06:45 PM

SNF=senior nursing facility? Ahtletes and ex military sound like extreme stress physically and/or mentally shortened leading to telemeres that are shortened leading to declining health? Remember the gut/brain connection in another question.

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