Table of contents:
Video: “I Began To Forget The Most Ordinary Words” - Quality Of Life, Self-development
2023 Author: Oswald Adamson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 20:18
Recently I noticed that the names of people, names of streets and … the most common words that I used every day for many years began to fall out of my memory. I wonder what could be the cause of such changes and how to restore the full functioning of the brain?
Elena, 45 years old
Everyone knows that our cognitive functions decline with age. And sometimes it can happen unexpectedly. We suggest asking yourself 24 test questions, the answers to which will help determine the cause of memory impairment. After all, as you know, a correctly asked question is already half of the solution to the problem.
Dale Bredesen, a renowned scientist, neuroscientist and neurologist, author of The Ageless Brain, believes that not so long ago reliable laboratory tests have emerged to identify biochemical and genetic factors that contribute to the deterioration of cognitive functions. But more on that later. First, let's look at the reasons that can affect memory impairment.
24 questions to keep your mind and memory clear
Your life story will tell you what caused your memory impairment, so it's important to know the following.
- Have you been injured? (Have you ever passed out? Have a car accident? Play contact sports?)
- Have you been given general anesthesia (anesthesia) and how many times? Anesthesia can adversely affect the functioning of the brain, since it combines the toxicity of anesthetics and what is called poor oxygenation - hypoxia.
- Have / have you had any amalgam fillings that are a source of inorganic mercury?
- Have you eaten mercury-contaminated fish, which is a source of organic mercury?
- Have you taken certain medications? Especially those that affect the brain, such as benzodiazepines: Valium, antidepressants, pressure pills, statins, proton pump inhibitors, or antihistamines.
- Have you used drugs?
- Have you consumed alcohol (and how much)?
- Have you smoked cigarettes?
- Do you maintain oral hygiene? Poor hygiene can lead to inflammation.
- Do you have implants such as an artificial hip joint or breast implants?
- Have / have you had liver, kidney, lung or heart disease?
- Do you snore? Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea.
- Do you use hot-pressed oils (like palm oil)? When heated, vegetable oils lose vitamin E and can therefore damage the brain.
- Do you eat foods high in trans fats and simple carbohydrates? They are hazardous to health and, among other things, cause vascular damage and insulin resistance.
- Do you have chronic sinus diseases? If so, are you exposed to mold and other mycotoxins?
- Do you have gastrointestinal problems such as bloating or recurring diarrhea? This could be a sign of leaky gut syndrome.
- Have you noticed mold in your apartment, car or workplace? Many people do not even suspect that such exposure is a risk factor for the development of dementia.
- Do you eat industrial or non-organic foods? They are a source of toxicity and cause insulin resistance.
- Did a tick bite you? Ticks carry more than 70 different pathogens, such as Borrelia, which causes Lyme disease. Inflammation triggered by these pathogens can cause cognitive impairment.
- Have you / are you taking proton pump inhibitors for gastroesophageal reflux? They reduce the level of acid required for digestion, thereby interfering with the absorption of nutrients, including zinc and vitamin B12.
- Do you use cosmetics, hairspray, and antiperspirants? All these are sources of toxic effects.
- Do you sweat a little? Sweating helps cleanse the body of toxins.
- Are you constipated? Emptying your bowels is another way to get rid of toxins.
- Drinking a little plain water? The toxins are excreted in the urine.
Here they are - potential culprits for cognitive decline. When your roof has 36 holes - 36 factors that shift the delicate balance towards the destruction of synapses - you need to decide what to focus on first. Your lifestyle and medical history, coupled with laboratory tests, will help you do this.
Next-generation tests to assess cognitive decline
Now let's take a closer look at the modern tests that neuroscientist Dale Bredesen estimates are the most effective. He described these tests in detail in his new book, The Ageless Brain.
1. Exosomes of neurons
Exosomes of neurons - tiny fragments of cells and cellular material - have taken a step towards creating a new generation of tests aimed at detecting Alzheimer's disease, its risk of development and response to treatment. It's a kind of neurological holy grail: an easy way to assess brain chemistry and neural signaling through a blood test.
How can this be? How can a blood test tell you about brain signaling? Imagine that you are a private investigator and you need to find out what is happening in an impregnable mansion. There is no way to go inside. What to do? Go check the trash cans, right?
It turns out that the brain - the very inaccessible mansion under the skull - “throws out” the exosomes of neurons: fragments and secretions from cells that enter the blood. The diameter of these tiny cell fragments and materials is about one-seventh the diameter of a red blood cell. For every ounce of blood, there are billions of exosomes! It turns out to be a great thing: you take a blood sample, isolate exosomes, and identify the most important parameters of brain chemistry - exactly what makes it possible to determine the risk of developing dementia.
Professor Edward Goatzl, along with colleagues from the University of California, San Francisco and the National Institutes of Health, were able to identify markers of Alzheimer's in neuronal exosomes, as well as traces of insulin resistance in Alzheimer's patients, finding that they can occur ten years before diagnosis. Apparently, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
2. Scanning the retina
Retinal scans are another amazing method for early diagnosis of the risk of developing dementia. An amyloid PET scan gives us the ability to see deposits in the brain, but this is only part of the picture.
The inner part of the eyeball, or retina, is an extension of the brain, so it reflects everything that happens in it. Retina testing for amyloidosis is a promising method. In this way, many (often hundreds) of plaques can be identified, their exact localization can be established, and then whether treatment has led to a reduction in their number.
Moreover, the innovative method allows us to identify the smallest plaques, which can serve as an accurate marker of the effectiveness of treatment, as well as help us answer the main question: does amyloidosis affect retinal blood vessels (and also the brain). This is extremely important as sometimes amyloid deposits in blood vessels cause hemorrhage (bleeding). In such cases, the patient should avoid blood thinning agents such as fish oil and aspirin.
3. NOR test (new object recognition)
One of the most effective tests for assessing memory loss in laboratory rodents is the NOR (New Object Recognition) test. Imagine waking up in the morning, opening the garage, and there is a shiny new car. Most likely, you will consider it, touch it, sit behind the wheel, because something completely new and unexpected has appeared in your little world. An old car would hardly have earned such close attention.
However, in the absence of memory, it is impossible to distinguish the old from the new, in which case absolutely everything seems new. So it is with rodents. Those who have a good memory devote extra time to the new object, while those with a poor memory do not. NOR is used to assess dementive brain changes in rodents and test potential treatments. For example, research has shown that damage to the medial temporal lobes of the brain (observed in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease) leads to a loss of the ability to remember and recognize new things.
Memory-based reactions to everything new can be traced back to humans. In 2016, Neurotrack developed a five-minute online visual test for assessing cognitive abilities (Imprint Cognitive Assessment Test), which determines by eye movement which objects and other stimuli a person perceives as new. Thus, the test reveals disruptions in the functioning of the hippocampus and adjacent structures, identifying people with dysfunction of these brain regions and, possibly, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Now you can not only ask yourself important questions, but also do everything so that negative reasons do not affect your brain. And perhaps this is the first step that will help preserve cognitive abilities for a long time
More about this: D. Bredesen. The Ageless Brain. M.: Bombora, 2019.
Prepared by Alexandra Fateeva