For many years, I have been interested in Alzheimer’s and memory loss. My father at the age of 91 just died from a complication of Alzheimer’s. He had inherited a certain gene called the APOE-4 gene, which made him susceptible to Alzheimer’s. He was a periodontist and had been exposed to mercury his whole life.
We now know that mercury is a neurotoxin, and can cause degenerative disease, especially Alzheimer’s. It seems to me that a great many things are associated with Alzheimer’s, and I have reviewed the literature extensively.
If we did not know what to do about Alzheimer’s, our best choice might be to accept and reside ourselves to a gradual deterioration of our memory.
But we DO know what to do.
The work of many brilliant scientists around the world had shown us that we can extend our quality of life as well as a memory if we are well and willing to investing in our own health. My approach to memory protection and Alzheimer’s prevention is based on peer reviewed medical literature, all documented and researched.
We now know there is a direct correlation between exposure to heavy metals like mercury and lead, and certain white metals like aluminum and Medium. There is also a relationship between exposure to pesticides, fungicides, head injury, infections, and inherence of certain genes. If you are suffering from memory loss or have a loved one with it, these things are easily measured through blood and urine.
To understand the course of these neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and others, it is important to understand the brain’s unique immune system, which is controlled by microglia and astrocytes.
Some new research suggest it is a autoimmune disease.
Normally, these brain immune cells are quiet, in a resting state, but when they are activated by excitotoxins, virus, bacteria, fungus or metals, they begin to attack the brain.
The brain’s immune system is activated and cannot shut off. It continues to release destructive cytokines and free radicals that can continue for decades. The vital importance of brain energy is to process of energy generation in mitochondria.
The mitochondria is also the source of free radicals and energy production in our body. Interestingly, studies have shown that an average male age 55, having the APOE-4 gene was found to have significant suppression of the mitochondrial energy production in the same areas of the brain of affected and Alzheimer’s dementia.
This was decades before the onset of disease.
Even more startling, they found that men that were carriers of this APOE-4 at an average age of 30 years, found that even at this young age, their brain mitochondrial production was significantly impaired in the same regions.
So the question is, “What is causing our mitochondria to fail, which cause our memory to fade?”
We now live in a sea of toxic chemicals in our environment – in our drinking water, the air we breathe, and the fluid we eat.
Compelling evidence indicates that many of these chemicals impair the mitochondria to make energy. Mercury, lead, cadmium and aluminum are toxic to the mitochondria. These result in activation of the microglia leading to Alzheimer’s and memory loss. It is also shown that inflammation is triggered by vaccinations that can increase the neurotoxicity of a number of these environmental toxins, especially pesticides.
What Is Your Brain State?
In our 50s or sooner, we all experience those “senior moments” when we forget a familiar name, find ourselves word-searching in mid sentence, or misplace items. For most of us, this is due to normal age-related memory impairment or simple distraction.
For too many, however, these are absences that can represent the tip of the iceberg, a condition called mild cognitive impairment (MCI). MCI is very different from normal memory loss because it results from the same pathologic process as Alzheimer’s. This is the accumulation of beta amyloid plaque in the brain. In fact, MCI is considered Alzheimer’s and 10% of people with MCI will progress on to Alzheimer’s.
When I see a patient for the first time, I perform professional cognitive testing to evaluate the state of the brain’s health.
There is also a new test called the Amyvid PET scan, which is the first imaging study that can actually measure the amount of beta amyloid plaque in the brain.
Beta amyloid plaques accumulate even before cognition declines, so the Amyvid scan alerts us to the presence of impending Alzheimer’s. At this stage, we have the best chance to arrest it or slow its process. Whichever category you fall into, normal mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s, this program is designed to help you.
In addition to the Amyvid scan, there are also SPECT brain scans which I obtain.
Why treatment of memory loss and Alzheimer’s works
My approach empowers you to take control and become your own healer. I feel most doctors believe there is no cure because we do not yet have a magic bullet in the form of a single drug to stop or reverse the brain deterioration.
The reason is that drug treatment can target only a single chemical reaction in the body, but Alzheimer’s is a different animal, its causes are many; so unlike treating strep throat, targeting one single chemical reaction will not work.
For the most part, the FDA approved medications for Alzheimer’s disease merely increase the production of a neurotransmitter, acetylcholine in the brain, for temporary improvement of cognition BUT the underlying disease process continues on. The only exception is the drug Memantine, which works by different mechanism and whose effect is only temporary.
The key to controlling this disease is examining all the biochemistry we know, and taking a multifaceted approach to alter the biochemistry.
The biochemistry of Alzheimer’s is now significantly understood. The problem is, no one has attempted to simultaneously influence all the pathways by which Alzheimer’s develops, and clean up the mess until now. If you are on a prescription drug for Alzheimer’s, you should know that my program will not interfere with your medication, and that you may continue to stay on it.
More than 35-million people have dementia today. Each year, 250,000 new cases are documented within the United States, and 4.6-million new cases occur worldwide, or one new case every 7-seconds. By the year 2030, there will be 70-million people affected. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. As many as half the population at age 85 has Alzheimer’s, and 1 in 8 over the age of 65. Half of the elderly in long-term care facilities are suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Stages of Alzheimer’s
Stages of Alzheimer’s go from stage I to stage 7, stage 1 representing no impairment, and stage 7 representing very severe decline.
Alzheimer’s usually surfaces after the age of 60 with a marked decline of cognitive function such as remembering, reasoning and planning.
There is also a gradual decline in mental function, beginning with daily noticeable lapses in memory, followed by losses and inability to plan and execute tasks, and having good judgment. Eventually, memory loss increases in severity. There is inability to articulate words, and changes in mood and personality. There is confusion, feeling withdrawal, disorientation and even hallucination.
People with Alzheimer’s live an average of eight years from its diagnosis, but their interval can be as short as 1 or as long as 20. Remember, Alzheimer’s disease does not appear suddenly. It is progressive and begins decades before the first symptoms. In 10% of cases, it occurs in people in their 40s and 50s. This is so-called early-onset of Alzheimer’s.
The incidence of Alzheimer’s is growing rapidly. Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal process of aging, it is an abnormal condition. In fact, the age at which people are getting Alzheimer’s is growing younger over time.
The best time to find Alzheimer’s is before it progresses to the point that symptoms become easily recognizable. I perform not only scanning, but also do the mini mental state examination (MMSE) to screen for dementia. Other reasons of dementia, including vascular dementia and Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis are also ruled out.
Why Do We Get Alzheimer’s?
A number of processes are believed to contribute to the cognitive decline seen in Alzheimer’s. There are several factors along with an increased propensity with abnormal genes to develop memory loss in Alzheimer’s.
Free Radicals Oxidative Stress:
Oxidative stress is a process in which highly reactive molecules called free radicals damage cell structure. Free radicals are bi-products of normal metabolism, but during states of the brain toxicity and metacognitive dysfunction, we generate more free radicals. Oxidative stress both facilitates some of the damage caused by amyloid plaque and also increases its formation. My first approach in treatment of memory loss in Alzheimer’s is to find why the patient is making excess free radicals, and to limit them through supplementation.
A prominent finding in Alzheimer’s disease is senile plaques. These are clumps of protein called amyloid beta protein. They accumulate especially in the hippocampus, which is involved in memory consolidation. Aggregates of amyloid plaque have been shown to contribute to oxidative damage, excitotoxicity, inflammation cell death, and formation of neurofibrillary tangles.
Tangles are made up of microtubules with specialized proteins called tau proteins. In Alzheimer’s, these microtubules disintegrate and the tau proteins clump together to form aggregates of neurofibrillary tangles. These, along with beta amyloid, initiate several processes leading to cell death.
Source of Free Radicals:
Diet is a major source of free radicals. That is why we need to eat a nutrient-dense low-carbohydrate organic diet. Certain food additives, pesticide residue, chemicals and pollution increase our free radical load. Be aware that polyunsaturated oils are so prone to free radical formation that the body’s antioxidant reserves are quickly eaten up to neutralize them.
When proteins and sugars are cooked together at high temperature in the absence of water, advanced glycation end-products (AGE) are formed. You can tell when AGEs perform by the color of the cooked food. It turns brown. This browning effect imparts a tasty flavor. The “golden brown”is the result of AGEs. This browned coloration of cookies, bread crusts, roasted and barbecued meats is not good for our brains.
Studies have shown that AGEs are associated with Alzheimer’s as well as diabetes. Most of the AGEs in our body is from eating sugar, and refined carbohydrates, fructose. Fructose greatly damages cell membranes, because it cause AGE degeneration and makes insulin resistance worse. It does not matter if the fructose is from high-fructose corn syrup or Agave syrup.
Combating glycation is an important step in arresting and reversing Alzheimer’s. Glycolated proteins are higher in Alzheimer’s brains, and are also found in the plaques and tangles. Glycation occurs at the high-known level in diabetes, and diabetics have increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Excessive glycation also promotes more oxidative stress.
The inflammatory process appears to play a role in development of Alzheimer’s. When high levels of amyloid plaque accumulate in the brain, it activates the body’s immune system resulting in more inflammation.
Part of the inflammatory response to beta amyloid appears to be facilitated by tumor necrosis factor – alpha (TNF-alpha). TNF-alpha is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that is often found in high levels in the serum and cerebrospinal fluid of Alzheimer’s patients.
I feel that it represents a potential target for Alzheimer’s therapy. The inflammation is caused by all the known toxins such as metals, infections such as Lyme, labial herpes, Chlamydia, and others. For this reason, occult infections are looked for in my patients.
In the American Academy of Neurology there was an article where workers exposed to lead, such as smelters or factory workers, had double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. It has long been known that children exposed to lead can develop brain damage. Low-level to lead in children is characterized by low IQ. Lead exposure is also associated with ALS, Parkinson’s disease, as well as Alzheimer’s.
Aluminum has long-known to be toxic to living tissue. It causes changes in nerve tissue similar to that seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease. There is now a statistically significant positive relationship between Alzheimer’s and aluminum. Aluminum is found in processed cheese, baking powder, table salt, and antacids such as DiGel, Maalox, Gelusil, Mylanta, buffered aspirin, antiperspirants and deodorants, as well as in aluminum pots and pans. Aluminum cans can also transfer a significant amount of aluminum to beverages. Vaccines often contain aluminum as well as mercury.
Excess iron can also lead to Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases. Iron-induced free radical reactions have been shown to damage arteries and increase the risk of Alzheimer’s, causing destructive free radicals that contribute to the amyloid beta deposition and neurofibrillary tangles. One of the highest dietary sources of iron is white flour. Almost all white flour has been enriched with flour in the form of ferrous sulfate, so before you eat any of these products, please think about it. Almost all hot and cold cereals are fortified with additional iron; this includes some breakfast cereals, such as Total and Product 19.
Mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive metal known. Just inhaling the vapor can cause brain damage. Animal studies showed that mercury causes changes in the brain that are identical to that in Alzheimer’s.
I suggest you go to the University of Calgary’s web site and search “effect of mercury on the brain cells”. Chronic low-level exposure causes tremors, impair cognitive ability, memory disturbance, depression, and personality changes.
Be careful with fishes that have high mercury levels such as Tuna, Grouper, Chilean Sea Bass, and Mackerel. Avoid Tile Fish, Orange Roughy, and Marlin. Fish with the lowest include Salmon, White Fish, Sardines, Shrimp, Tilapia and many others. The other major source of mercury in this century is amalgam dental fillings.
Animal studies show that exposure to mercury vapor in concentrations known to be released by dental amalgams in people produce brain lesions identical to that seen in Alzheimer’s. Mercury erodes the myelin covering around nerves, also suggesting a link to multiple sclerosis. In the warm and acidic environment of the mouth, mercury vapor is released at much higher rates. When food is consumed, abrasions to fillings by chewing along with exposure to hotness of the foods, accelerates mercury vapor. Small doses of mercury tend to collect in the brain tissue.
It was also noted that the amount of mercury found in a baby’s hair is proportional to the number of fillings in the mother’s teeth. I feel that all mercury fillings should be replaced, as mine were replaced, and appropriate mercury testings performed.
You need to protect yourself against the damage that mercury does in your tissues and brain, and remove as much as possible. It is a difficult and slow process.
It has long been known that infections are associated with Alzheimer’s as well as Parkinson’s disease.
We now know that patients with Alzheimer’s have been found to have increased number of spirochetes such as Lyme (Borrelia) and co-infections.
There is also increase in herpes virus (HSV-1), Chlamydia pneumonia, Epstein-Barre virus, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), picornavirus, Borna disease virus, Helicobacter pylori, and Cytomegalovirus.
These viruses have now been shown to set up a chronic autoimmune response with chronic inflammation and chronic free radicals. There is a persistent low-grade infection that can persist indefinitely.
Of interest, when the body is infected with these organisms, the body responds by producing amyloid plaque in its defense. Amyloid plaque is not just restricted to infection; it is also produced in response to traumatic brain injury, stroke, and chemical toxins.
We now know that people suffering from systemic infections have an overactive immune system, and I perform a tumor necrosis factor – alpha test if I suspect inflammation.
We now know that TNF-alpha crosses the blood-brain barrier and stimulates microglia, triggering inflammatory response in the brain.
Neuro inflammation triggered by systemic infection or trauma can cause a rapid decline in cognition and motor function.
Recent studies suggest this is a autoimmune disease. I do extensive testing for this.
The Dental Connection: Oral Health in the Brain:
The health of our teeth and gums has long been known to affect the health of the rest of our body. The most common organisms associated with Alzheimer’s are also associated with poor oral hygiene. Poor oral health has been linked to a number of heath problems, of which Alzheimer’s has now been added to the list.
The mouth is a breeding ground of 600 species of bacteria alone, and other viruses and spirochetes. Periodontal or gum disease starts with plaque, and an overgrowth of these can become problematic in many patients.
Several species of oral spirochetes known to cause periodontal disease area also seen in the DISEASE.
ROOT CANALS, AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION
For those of you who want to save yourselves from ever encountering or experiencing an affliction such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, we like that these diseases take decades to develop. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, approximately 70% of the brain cells responsible for memory are destroyed before symptoms become noticeable.
Once symptoms surface, the brain is already in an advanced stage of degeneration. You do not want to wait until most of your brain is dead before you start to do about it. The old saying “An ounce of prevention with worth a pound of cure” is definitely true when it comes to Alzheimer’s. You can stop Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s before they take over your life, but you must start now.
Keeping what you have now is far easier than trying to recapture what has been lost. From the preceding literature, you now realize that Alzheimer’s and all neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis is multifactorial and multifaceted.
The amyloid beta plaques as well as neurofibrillary tangles are a consequence of the inflammation as well as oxidative stress seen with free radicals. There is excitotoxicity secondary to glutamate and over-activation of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptors) and modulation of this receptor is a way to lessen some of the damaging effects of excess glutamate signaling.
The FDA has approved Memantine (Namenda) for the treatment of mild to moderate-severe Alzheimer’s.
There is also a noted correlation between infections as well as low levels of certain sex hormones namely: Testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, DHEA and pregnenolone.
My program is multifaceted, and is aimed towards decreasing amyloid plaque formation as well as limiting inflammation, free radicals, infection, mitochondrial dysfunction, and hormone imbalances.
I have been involved with Alzheimer’s research for many years.
My father just died at 91 with Alzheimer’s. I think that there is much to do in prevention and slowing the progress of the disease. You can see that it is multifactorial, and one prescription drug will not cure this nor prevent this.
I think that rebuilding the brain with essential micronutrients as well as killing infections, eliminating heavy metals, and improving oral hygiene is paramount. New brain cells can be grown, and SPECT brain scanning can show dramatic increases in brain viability after treatment.
I DO TESTING OF YOUR MITOCHONDRIA, HEAVY METALS, INFECTIONS, FREE RADICALS, AUTOIMMUNITY
I use HYPERBARIC OXYGEN, PHOTON THERAPY WITH THE LIGHT BEAM GENERATOR, MICROCURRENT, PEMF( HIGH GAUSS MAGNET) , IV THERAPY, IV OZONE , CHELATION AND OTHER TREATMENTS.
ASK DR. SILVER IF YOU ARE A CANDIDATE FOR STEM CELLS.
PLEASE SEE ALZHEIMER’S PART 2 AND PART 3 FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you wish to learn further, please call my office for an appointment. Do it now, to help protect your brain, it is never too early.
Dean Silver, M.D.