Alzheimer’s is a progressive mental disease that destroys memory and other cognitive functions. Brain connections degenerate and die. Memory loss, confusion, impaired reasoning, and judgment are common symptoms.
Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-causes-alzheimers-disease. One would think the National Institute on Aging (NIA) would have the most up-to-date information regarding the causes of AD. The opening statement from their website says that scientists do not fully understand the causes of AD. They know that amyloid plaque and neurofibrillary tangles characterize it.
The number of people with AD doubles roughly every five years after age 65. Approximately one-third of all people over 85 years of age have AD. Genes might cause AD in some people.
The researchers believe there is a relationship between cognitive decline and vascular issues – heart disease, stroke, hypertension, etc. In addition, some believe that diabetes and obesity might be part of the equation.
However, the NIA cannot identify a risk factor but states that social engagement, sleep, mental stimulation, diet, and physical activity might help prevent AD. However, all agree that there is no cure.
Inflammation and AD
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3887148/. Inflammation is the genesis of nearly every disease. Is Alzheimer’s a disease that is exempt from inflammation? NO! The National Institute for Health states that AD contains a virtual textbook of inflammatory mediators.
Oxidative Stress and AD
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5409043/. The National Institute for Health recognizes oxidative stress as a contributing factor in aging and the progression of multiple neurodegenerative diseases, including AD. Oxidative stress occurs when inflammation cannot be contained with antioxidants.
Acetylcholine and AD
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4787279/. Acetylcholine is a major neurotransmitter in the brain. According to the National Institute for Health, loss of acetylcholine appears to be an important factor contributing to AD memory deficit.
Excitotoxicity and AD
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23481689/. This link discusses several pathways in which excitotoxicity can influence the progression of AD. Nerve damage and death occur when neurotransmitter receptors are overstimulated. Studies show a close correlation between the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and AD, dopamine and Parkinson’s, glutamate and epilepsy, GABA and seizures, and serotonin and significant depression.
Neurotransmitters over stimulated can result in many neuropsychiatric conditions like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS – Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Huntington’s disease – and more. In addition, some scientists believe there is a connection to multiple sclerosis, which is considered an autoimmune disease.
Glutamate and AD
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5791143/. The NIH states that excessive excitotoxicity of glutamate causes cell death and is an underlying potential mechanism in AD. Glutamate is used for normal brain development, memory, and muscle function.
This neurotransmitter excites neurons and is countered by GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which calms. Both are needed to keep brain chemistry in balance. Glutamate begins the chemical process to create GABA.
Causes of Excessive Glutamate
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4679930/. The NIH has found several toxins that directly bind to glutamate receptors and create excitotoxicity that leads to neurological problems over time. However, stroke, head injury, and traumatic stress release glutamate in massive amounts – likened to a dam bursting. The area around the stroke or injury is flooded so quickly that normal brain operations cannot address the excess resulting in dead neurons.
https://www.naturalmentalhealth.com/blog/balancing-GABA-deficiencies-excess-glutamate-supplements-herbs. Curcumin, quercetin, green tea, resveratrol, omega-3 fatty acid, taurine, ginger, vitamin C, Co-Q010, theanine, valerian, magnesium, zinc, NAC (N-acetylcysteine), and PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinone) have been found to reduce glutamate levels.
When GABA levels are low, additional supplementation helps. Foods that naturally increase GABA are shellfish, fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, yogurt), beans, lentils, sprouted whole grains, potatoes, tomatoes, and seaweed.
There are many causes of AD—the earlier in the progression of AD, the better response and outcome. I am not a doctor, never worked in the medical field, and am not associated with any pharmaceutical company. I am a researcher. I write about cause-and-effect relationships and the progression of the disease.
Do not make any arbitrary changes to your or any other person’s daily regimen until you have talked to a physician. I provide awareness and education so that proper action can be discussed professionally with those involved. That is the main reason why I provide links to my sources.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com