Alzheimer’s & Atherosclerosis of the Brain

Alzheimer’s & Atherosclerosis of the Brain
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Lack of adequate blood flow to the brain due to clogging of cerebral arteries may play a pivotal role in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s dementia.

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In 1901, Auguste was taken to an insane asylum in Frankfurt, Germany by her husband. She was described as a delusional, forgetful, disoriented woman who “could not carry out her homemaking duties.”  She was seen by a Dr. Alzheimer, and was to become the case that made his a household name.

On autopsy, he described the plaques and tangles in her brain that would go on to characterize the disease, but lost in the excitement of discovering a new entity, a clue may have been overlooked. He described arteriosclerotic changes—hardening of the arteries—within her brain.

We typically think of atherosclerosis in the heart, but atherosclerosis involves virtually the entire human organism—our entire vascular tree. And, one of the most poignant examples of this systemic nature is the link between coronary artery disease, degenerative brain disease, and dementia.

Back in the 70s, the concept of cardiogenic dementia was proposed: dementia generated from the cardiovascular system. Since the aging brain is highly sensitive to lack of oxygen, and since heart problems are so common, it was easy to imagine that’s how dementia could result.

And now, we have a substantial body of evidence that strongly associates atherosclerotic vascular disease with the #1 cause of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease. Autopsy studies, for example, have shown that individuals with AD have significantly more atherosclerotic narrowing of the arteries within their brain.

This is what our cerebral arteries should look like: open, clean, allowing blood to flow. This is what atherosclerosis in our brain arteries looks like. Clogged with fat and cholesterol, closing off the arteries, restricting blood flow to our brain. What kind of brain arteries do you want in your head?

Normal resting cerebral blood flow, the amount of blood flow circulating within our brains, is about a quart a minute. But we lose about half a percent a year, so by age 65 we may be down 15% to 20%. But this doesn’t necessarily affect brain function, as we have a built-in buffer. However, this age-related decline in cerebral blood flow can become critical to brain cell survival if an additional burden further lowers flow.

This reduction of blood flow can starve the brain of oxygen, cause silent little mini-strokes and brain atrophy—the cumulative effects of which appear to play a pivotal role in accelerating and augmenting the development and evolution of Alzheimer’s disease.

If you look at the amount of atherosclerosis in the arteries that specifically supply blood to critical memory and learning centers of the brain, this is the amount of severe atherosclerosis one sees in healthy non-demented controls compared to those with Alzheimer’s disease. In light of such findings, some have even suggested the disease be reclassified as a vascular disorder.

This is good news, though, because atherosclerosis is potentially reversible. These findings were confirmed in two larger studies—over 1,000 autopsies each, which found the same thing. Atherosclerosis in the brain is significantly more frequent and severe in those with Alzheimer’s disease.

This suggests that strategies proven to delay the progression of artery disease, like plant-based diets, may be useful for preventing or treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Of course, autopsy studies are a little late for that; so, to assess the impact of intracranial arterial narrowing on the progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease, researchers followed 400 folks with cognitive impairment for four years using CT angiography, special CAT scans to evaluate the amount of brain artery blockage. The cognition of those with the least atherosclerosis in their heads remained pretty stable over the years. But those with more cholesterol buildup got worse, and those with the most blockage rapidly declined. And, the same with the ability to carry on the activities of daily living. And, it doubled the progression to Alzheimer’s disease. An inefficient blood supply to the brain has very grave consequences on brain function.

But does treatment of vascular risk factors, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, actually make a difference? We didn’t know, until now. 300 patients with Alzheimer’s, and those with all their vascular risk factors treated showed significantly less decline, slower progression of their disease, than those who went untreated.

It is said that, “The goal of medicine is to provide patients with hope, and when there is no hope to offer understanding.” Well, for the first time in the history of this disorder, we have the chance to provide Alzheimer’s patients with hope.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

In 1901, Auguste was taken to an insane asylum in Frankfurt, Germany by her husband. She was described as a delusional, forgetful, disoriented woman who “could not carry out her homemaking duties.”  She was seen by a Dr. Alzheimer, and was to become the case that made his a household name.

On autopsy, he described the plaques and tangles in her brain that would go on to characterize the disease, but lost in the excitement of discovering a new entity, a clue may have been overlooked. He described arteriosclerotic changes—hardening of the arteries—within her brain.

We typically think of atherosclerosis in the heart, but atherosclerosis involves virtually the entire human organism—our entire vascular tree. And, one of the most poignant examples of this systemic nature is the link between coronary artery disease, degenerative brain disease, and dementia.

Back in the 70s, the concept of cardiogenic dementia was proposed: dementia generated from the cardiovascular system. Since the aging brain is highly sensitive to lack of oxygen, and since heart problems are so common, it was easy to imagine that’s how dementia could result.

And now, we have a substantial body of evidence that strongly associates atherosclerotic vascular disease with the #1 cause of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease. Autopsy studies, for example, have shown that individuals with AD have significantly more atherosclerotic narrowing of the arteries within their brain.

This is what our cerebral arteries should look like: open, clean, allowing blood to flow. This is what atherosclerosis in our brain arteries looks like. Clogged with fat and cholesterol, closing off the arteries, restricting blood flow to our brain. What kind of brain arteries do you want in your head?

Normal resting cerebral blood flow, the amount of blood flow circulating within our brains, is about a quart a minute. But we lose about half a percent a year, so by age 65 we may be down 15% to 20%. But this doesn’t necessarily affect brain function, as we have a built-in buffer. However, this age-related decline in cerebral blood flow can become critical to brain cell survival if an additional burden further lowers flow.

This reduction of blood flow can starve the brain of oxygen, cause silent little mini-strokes and brain atrophy—the cumulative effects of which appear to play a pivotal role in accelerating and augmenting the development and evolution of Alzheimer’s disease.

If you look at the amount of atherosclerosis in the arteries that specifically supply blood to critical memory and learning centers of the brain, this is the amount of severe atherosclerosis one sees in healthy non-demented controls compared to those with Alzheimer’s disease. In light of such findings, some have even suggested the disease be reclassified as a vascular disorder.

This is good news, though, because atherosclerosis is potentially reversible. These findings were confirmed in two larger studies—over 1,000 autopsies each, which found the same thing. Atherosclerosis in the brain is significantly more frequent and severe in those with Alzheimer’s disease.

This suggests that strategies proven to delay the progression of artery disease, like plant-based diets, may be useful for preventing or treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Of course, autopsy studies are a little late for that; so, to assess the impact of intracranial arterial narrowing on the progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease, researchers followed 400 folks with cognitive impairment for four years using CT angiography, special CAT scans to evaluate the amount of brain artery blockage. The cognition of those with the least atherosclerosis in their heads remained pretty stable over the years. But those with more cholesterol buildup got worse, and those with the most blockage rapidly declined. And, the same with the ability to carry on the activities of daily living. And, it doubled the progression to Alzheimer’s disease. An inefficient blood supply to the brain has very grave consequences on brain function.

But does treatment of vascular risk factors, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, actually make a difference? We didn’t know, until now. 300 patients with Alzheimer’s, and those with all their vascular risk factors treated showed significantly less decline, slower progression of their disease, than those who went untreated.

It is said that, “The goal of medicine is to provide patients with hope, and when there is no hope to offer understanding.” Well, for the first time in the history of this disorder, we have the chance to provide Alzheimer’s patients with hope.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

If this info sounds familiar, it’s because I featured it in my 2014 year-in-review presentation From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food.

As I explained in my last video, Alzheimer’s May Start Decades Before Diagnosis, it’s never too early to start eating and living a brain-healthy lifestyle.

Lifestyle medicine is critical for our body and mind:

Blood flow is also important for other critical organs: Cholesterol and Female Sexual Dysfunction and Survival of the Firmest: Erectile Dysfunction and Death.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

115 responses to “Alzheimer’s & Atherosclerosis of the Brain

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    1. Not convinced that cerebrovascular atherosclerosis plays a role in dementia? The article you posted is about obesity. I believe the message is that we can treat the vascular risk factors and slow dementia down. Now you can wait until we get that perfect study but I think I will consider the information promising and act accordingly.




      3
        1. Hi Willem. I am not an expect on these ideas. Sounds like it’s time to quit the alcohol and cigarettes. Good luck. Let me know how you do! Best.




          2
      1. I have Harding of the arteries just found out but my cholesterol is fine and b12 and. D is fine what is the percentage do I have to have an long heathy life or I’m going to die of demenga?




        0
    2. Atherosclerosis in our arteries are not only related to BMI or overweight people. That can occur in anyone, regardless of weight. And the study you reference doesn’t take into account those that die from a stroke before they can gain dementia, another issue related to atherosclerosis.




      3
        1. The question is, why are they underweight? If they are underweight, because they are alcoholic and undernourished, then that could certainly increase their risk of dementia, as alcoholism destroys brain cells. If they are underweight, because they are naturally thin and eat a plant-based diet, then they wouldn’t have the same risk factors. Correlation is not causation, a truism often overlooked in the scientific literature.




          4
      1. Well, it is clear that atherosclerosis is strongly correlated with large BMI. In this study, it is also shown that overall mortality is strongly correlated with BMI (that is, larger BMI is BAD). But, this study, which was done on a huge number of people (2M), shows an association between LOW BMI & dementia, so this raises questions.
        I personally eat WFPB diet, and my BMI is low, but I am saying that this study raise questions. Maybe fat is good for the brain?
        Ignoring this and picking only studies that show the opposite is not objective scientific approach.




        2
        1. I’m a low BMI (18.5-19) vegan too and this study gives me pause. I am wondering how many of the underweight people were deficient in various essential nutrients for long periods of time.




          1
        2. The studies are looking at large groups of people. Why is the common thought of vegans as underweight wimps? Because a lot of vegans, just like a lot of non-vegans, do almost nothing to ensure they are receiving proper nutrition. Being WFPB is not enough if to you being WFPB is eating white potatoes and beans and bananas, and you eat nothing else. But if you just at that you would be low BMI for sure, but you wouldn’t be healthy.
          Using what science knows today, and what it learns tomorrow, we should ensure we have a wide variety of plant base whole foods in our diet. If necessary use a tool like Cronometer to verify that your WFPB diet is giving all the nutrition you need and adjust if necessary.




          2
      2. some people perhaps have slowly degenerating cerebral bloodflow brains prior to getting strokes, you are making incorrect inferences here, MikeOnRaw. Atherosclerosis is not necessarily the only *potential* cause of stroke, but it may certainly be conducive – in regards being conduits of blood (..)
        Another thing that could potentiate stroke other than atherosclerosis would be platelet aggregation (thickening of the blood), which may happen to a person even with health arteries. Artherosclerosis however creates a bit of a ‘bull’s horn’, or spiral shell, which may readily lead the person to stroke should they fail to address the state of their arteries.




        0
      1. nice tongue-in-cheek :) –like,” not so fast now–better be aware of all the health risks of switching to a vegan diet”–look at all of the Dean Ornish patient’s, like Dr. Gregor’s grandma–who lived an extra 31 years after becoming vegan at 65 !




        0
  1. Many symptoms manifesting from one disease process. Restricting one’s blood flow due to the build up of dietary residues that find their way into blood serum and participate out onto the arterial epithelial tissues has become epidemic across all populations.




    1
      1. Sitting on one’s lumpy butt and watching the tube certainly doesn’t help matters much, although, more pernicious than the mind numbing programing and propaganda that spews forth to permeate the psyches of those who watch it are the advertisements for fast foods franchise restaurants, convenience foods, salty deep fried snacks and sugared drinks.




        1
        1. Hi Joe! I fully agree with you.
          TV is an “all-in-one” exploitation tool. Along with sedentarity and passivity, there’s another big danger: mind conditionning. It triggers envy, frustration, bad self-image, bad self-esteem, and it results in bad-for-you behaviors that conducts to a bad lifestyle in general and, in particular a pathogenic diet. SAD, so sad…




          0
  2. Recently has a carotid artery duplex scan done and the arteries are clean – no blockage of any kind – so eating meat hasn’t done me any harm – age 61




    1
    1. Lucky you, apparently your pre-historic ancestors were farther from the equator where they adapted better to seasonal scarcity of plant foods, but we aren’t ALL that lucky so probably a lot smarter to err on the side of caution when the overwhelming evidence shows that we are herbivores adapted to eating starches, and even though we can survive on other things, it isn’t the healthiest option. Nature just cares that we reach the age of reproduction, after that we’re…on borrowed time? I was already sick and diabetic in my 50’s, and after eliminating animal products back then, at 63 I feel better than I ever have. If I hadn’t played Russian roulette with the odds, I could have saved myself a ton of misery.




      0
        1. And it’s good for you to aid an industry that slaughters 1 billion animals a week. If we work real hard at it we can eat even more meat and bring about our extinction that much faster. Right?




          0
          1. Here’s the point – I DON’T CARE – I buy my meat from family farms – grass fed/finished – I haves NO MORAL reasons not to eat meat.




            0
            1. And why should you care? You’ll be dead in twenty-five years and you won’t see any real problems before that. Global warming is not your problem.

              What is important is that you come here to refute a physician who has devoted his life’s work to nutrition and helping people understand the advantage of eating whole plant foods and the problems with eating animal products.

              It’s more important that you get your point across and confuse people so they think there is some conflict between the facts presented here and the few doctors that take your point of view. That way folks won’t think meat is so bad.

              Right?




              4
              1. If I’m dead in 25 years I’ll have lived to 87 – not too shabby ya think?

                The good doctor – like everyone with an agenda – cherry picks studies to prove his point and ignores studies that disprove his point. He is a vegan for moral reason firstly and will NEVER change his point of view no matter what.

                “It’s more important that you get your point across and confuse people” SO – I’m confusing people by presenting alternative point of view backed by studies?

                Very, very closed minded of you.

                As to global warming – how is a family farm contributing to global warming in any meaningful way?




                1
                1. Our picture of health is incomplete without thinking also of those around us in our community/society, the health of our economy these days and the health of the planet too!

                  There’s a great talk from ecologist Dr.William Ripple on how our diet impacts the environment/planet. Pretty crazy what our love of meat and using animals is doing to the environment! From deforestation to CO2, methane and other emissions to ocean dead zones, over exploited fisheries to how much land, water and resources are required.. We’re in a mass species extinction because people are wiping every other species but the few we eat through our poor choices.. Family farms are contributing to this too by focusing on animals instead of plants. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnh9zT41wWo

                  What about the economic impact: these industries receive huge subsidies and don’t pay the true environmental or health cost of their products. They externalise this and we the public pay it… We the public don’t pay the true cost upfront while buying the product so artificially low prices lead to increased demand.. Let’s not forget the lobbying efforts and power of these industries! Great talk at Harvard Law School about all this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y0jvGnxUr4

                  Each dollar we spend is a vote for a better or worse world and for industries working hard to deceive you or to help you..

                  Check out the book “Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health”.. It’s fascinating & horrifying to see how industries create doubt & confusion amongst the public to delay public action & regulations so they can sell their products for a few more years & make money while people continue to die or the environmental destruction continues for example.
                  This is his talk I watched: https://youtu.be/h4taQxZ1zg8 -> David Michaels: “Doubt is Their Product” | Talks at Google




                  2
    2. That’s odd, artery plaque can be detected in all carnist children starting at age 10 and any carnist above that age. Yet you have none. The only logical explanation is that your doctor switched the results with those of a vegan. Consider sueing him.




      4
    3. There’s no blockage in my carotid arteries either, but I have aortic atherosclerosis, as do most people my age. I’m 75. The real question is: how clean are the small arteries in your brain? Is there a test for that?




      0
        1. Yup, lets see it. So no blockage of any kind what so ever, even though you eat more meat than Brock Lesnar huh? Sure thing buddy, whatever you say.




          0
          1. I eat a maximum of 8 ounces of grass fed/finished ground beef per day.

            As to the test results

            Test was done on 2/17/14

            Technique – Real time transverse and sagittal images of the carotid and vertebral vessels were obtained as well as Doppler. Measurement of carotid stenosis is based on velocity parameters that correlate the residual internal carotid diameter with North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET) – based stenosis levels

            Findings – Pulse Doppler Peak Systolic (PSV) and End Diastolic Velocities (EDV)

            Right

            CCA 72 cm/sec PSV
            ICA 68 cm/sec PSV
            ECA 66 cm/sec EDV
            ICA 22 cm/sec EDV

            LEFT
            CCA 100 cm/sec PSV
            ICA 68 cm/sec PSV
            ECA 67 cm/sec PSV
            CCA 27 cm/sec EDV
            ICA 25 cm/sec EDV

            Right
            ICA/CCA PSV Ratio – 0.9
            ICA/CCA EDV Ratio – 2.0

            Left
            ICA/CCA PSV Ratio – 0.7
            ICA/CCA EDV Ratio – 0.9

            Impression – No hemodynamically significant stenosis

            http://www.asecho.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Noninvasive-Vascular-Lab-Testing.pdf

            Degree of stenosis, %
            Normal

            ICA/PSV, cm/s
            <125

            Plaque Estimate, %
            0

            ICA EDV, cm/s
            <40

            ICA CCA PSV ratio
            <2




            0
            1. “Plaque Estimate” – I think you added in the “Plaque Estimate” thing and fudged the numbers. Or you took the phase “Plaque Estimate” to mean “No Blockage what so ever anywhere in my whole body” to bolster your perceived argument. I’m still not convinced, even if the cow was grass fed, finished, organic and slept on a waterbed.It doesn’t matter, meat is still degenerative as a whole. I bet you got plenty of plaque up in the brain arteries like this video talks about.




              1
              1. I posted the results of a scan I took that shows NO carotid arterial plaque. If you choose not to believe it that’s your problem not mine.




                0
        1. Because you’re notorious for posting unfavorable things about Dr Greger and his work. Are you surprised you have a bad rep around here? Are you even interested in a plant based diet? If not why aren’t you over at the primal/paleo blogs where your cholesterol denial-ism posts would be more appreciated. Oh yeah, that’s right, you get a charge out of messing with vegans. I especially liked the “plants have feeling” dig. Well played.




          0
    4. So glad you are healthy! One note is that AICR recommends less than 18 oz of red meat per week and says NO amount of processed meat is safe. Dr. Greger did not write these guidelines. Your thoughts are encouraged and you are free to post any studies. I believe we’ve had this conversation before, yes? Perhaps you can make a list of studies that you feel we’re avoiding and we can discuss?

      We’re all learning together and I am not sure what kind of agenda or cherry picking you believe Dr. Greger has, but I am not here to defend the site. As you’ve stated many times you are not convinced avoiding meat is for you, which is totally fine! Have you seen the flexitarian video? Regardless, I am just glad you still watch our vidoes and are willing to have discussions, but please lets not turn the comment section into a pissing match of who is “right” or “wrong” – let’s stick to the research! Thanks, Charles.




      2
      1. Dr Greger became a vegan/vegetarian for moral/ethical reasons. As such he will cherry pick studies to prove that his dietary choice is best. All people with agendas do – be it low carb, paleo, fruitarian, etc.

        The one thing I think we can all agree on is the the SAD is as bad a diet as can be.

        I eat no processed meat of any kind and the meat I eat is grass fed/finished raised on local farms




        0
        1. MacSmiley is right. When Dr Greger was a young boy his grandmother came out to California and stayed at the Pritikin center in a wheelchair. He was so influenced by her success story that he became a doctor. (I went to one of his lectures. I believe I got the story right.) And I haven’t met a WFPB person who hasn’t becomes more interested in animal welfare with time. I think it is a natural progression. And saving the planet. That’s a big thing!

          Charles you aren’t old enough to be my fathers age (had he lived past 51) but he ate meat and veggies. That was a common diet after surviving the depression. There were a lot of sick people before junk food entered the picture. 8 oz of meat daily is a lot. But to each his own.




          0
  3. the author of grain brain , himself is a Doctor is especially lucid in explaining should avoid grains and eat more cholesterol !!

    This is mass confusion !




    0
    1. Without even looking at the evidence you can presume that the precursors that cause atherosclerosis (eg. Cholesterol, Sautrated fat, trans fat) sets up the conditions to form these entities. And indeed that is what seems to be happening. . .

      Acyl-coenzyme A: cholesterol acyltransferase modulates the generation of the amyloid beta-peptide.


      Eeven though we don’t have all the answers here are the current guidelines to prevent Alzheimer’s thanks to Neal Barnard, MD, et. al.

      Dietary and lifestyle guidelines for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease




      1
  4. DR. Greger, thank you for these informative articles and videos. I must say, of all possible helth ailments, loosing my mind would be one of the greatest concerns. Although I have a very clean lifestyle – whatever that means these days – it seems all these exports cannot agree on the ideal diet, or even right amount of exercise. Nevertheless, I am physically active and my diet is plant based (rearly am I drawn to junk food. Even when I ate animal products, I never ate it that much of it. I was always drawn to fresh fruits and vegetables.
    So in your previous video, we learn that peoplele with low BMI are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disorder. Further research on this disabilating disorder, I find that people with low blood pressure are, as well, more likely do develop Alzheimer’s… I am 68 years old woman with BMI of 18.5, and blood pressure around 90/60 and sometimes 90/55.
    So, the question is, should people with similar conditions be concerned of developing this “old age mental disease”?
    Thanks,

    Here is one of the articles I am refering to.
    “High blood pressure associated with lower risk for Alzheimer’s”
    Cambridge, University of Washington and BYU collaborate on massive study




    0
    1. As I understand it, the authors of this particular blood pressure study suggest it’s not high blood pressure as such that is protective but that …
      “It’s likely that this protective effect is coming from antihypertensive drugs. These drugs are already FDA [Food and Drug Administration] approved. We need to take a serious look at them for Alzheimer’s prevention.”
      http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/296028.php

      With BMI, it’s entirely possible that this association is reverse causation. That is, the low BMI in older people is an early indication or symptom of Alzheimer’s rather than a causal factor. This would seem to be the logical explanation because research has shown that higher BMI in middle aged people is associated with greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s. This ABC news report provides a quick summary of the issue:
      http://abcnews.go.com/Health/alzheimers-surgery-success-affected-body-mass-index/story?id=14999842




      0
  5. Something I’ve known for about 5 years and you have summed it up nicely!
    You know their is an overwhelming amount of supporting evidence in the medical literature when a disease needs to be reclassified.
    Great work!




    0
          1. lol!! So true, Charles is another keto lemming who comes here to fight with vegans. He gets some kind of smug childish satisfaction attacking Dr. Gregers work and simultaneously stumps for bogus psudo-science keto profiteers like This Perlmutter nutjob. He’s a Gary Taubes and Jimmy Moore fan boy so take what he posts with a grain of salt. or bacon grease.




            1
            1. FYI – I think Jimmy Moore is a total moron who will probably die from his diet. Gary Taubes is another idiot who knows NOTHING! Don’t try to pigeon hole me – it will not work




              0
    1. Half way down that page was this little clip.

      Dr. Perlmutter – “In this week’s video, I had the pleasure of interviewing medical
      researcher and journalist Gary Taubes. Notably, Gary wrote both “Why We
      Get Fat” and “Good Calories/Bad Calories”, and is a pioneer of the idea
      that it isn’t fat that makes us fat, but simple sugars and
      carbohydrates.”

      bunch of poo.




      0
        1. We can reduce plant suffering by being vegan, as plants are murdered to fatten up animals for people who don’t care about sentient beings.




          2
  6. Perhaps a link to human-type mad cow disease (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease variant), the higher consumption of animal products leading to higher levels of atherosclerosis, and increasing the probability of one of those mis-folded protein prions getting established? Would like to see a discussion on C-J/mad cow here, as I don’t think the problem has gone away…we just don’t hear much about it anymore. Since the mad cow outbreaks over a decade ago, neurological tissue is supposedly not fed back to cows anymore but it is fed to pigs and other non-bovine meat animals, probably in fish food and pet food too. Anyone know more about this?




    0
    1. There’s long been speculation that some Alzheimer’s is infectious. Inoculation with misfolded amyloid-β accelerates deposition of Aβ aggregates, much like the better known prion protein transmitted spongiform encephalopathies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). Remarkably, its not only possible to induce Alzheimer’s-like amyloid deposits in transgenic mice (carrying human Aβ) by inoculating from the brains of human Alzheimer’s patients, but different strains of human Alzheimer’s misfoldings lead to distinguishable kinds of Aβ misfolding in the mice. A main open question is whether meaningful amounts of misfolded Aβ from the diet can be absorbed in its misfolded state through the intestinal lining, as is the case with the prion protein diseases.




      0
  7. This truly offers hope – Your risk of Alzheimer may be diminished by eating a healthy – mainly plant based – diet. This a terrible disease, losing your memory, personality, dignity and in the end your life. Medical treatment of Alzheimer is a complete – and expensive – failure. Preventing is the most important thing – and there are only positive side effects.




    0
  8. My father died from this last year and his mother also passed on with this. Granny was type 2 diabetic and probably had high blood pressure plus artherosclerosis. Dad didn’t have diabetes, but was under the care of a cardiologist for decades due to narrowing of arteries. I have witnessed how devastating this disease is for not only the patient, but also the family. After doing quite a bit of research I am convinced the best strategy at this time is to eat plant based. While everyone waits for the miracle pill(s) to cure dementia (probably not going to happen) instead we could be encouraging people to eat healthier and save billions in end of life care. When we used to visit Granny dad would say to me “I don’t want to die with this disease. Take me out to pasture and shoot me if I get it.” Of course we did what we could to make him comfortable and happy, but once the delusions took over he had to be moved to a memory care unit. A few weeks into living there he had just enough cognitive function to figure out what was going on and decided to starve himself to death. And that’s how he ended his life. My message is simple – eat plants and try to get them as unprocessed as possible. Do this not only for your own health but to save your loved ones from making painful end of life decisions.




    1
  9. After reading the comments you can say what you want but, since I started listening and reading on this site, and putting to use what I have learned, I’ve dropped 12lbs. that I sorely needed to lose (38 more to go) and I can hardly wait for my next A1c test b/c my bg’s have been within target nearly all the time (20% decrease in my insulin usage), I’ve even dropped one of my bp meds … I’ve tried keto diets and calorie restriction to no avail … but this is what the doctor ordered .. easily understood and easily followed, I just need more excersice, I love the “take 1/2 cup broccoli/day and repeat as necessary” ……… so with that …. a big thank-you Dr. Greger and everyone else here.




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  10. Very scary to me at age 68 when my mother, her only sibling sister, and THEIR mother all died from Alzheimer’s. I read “The China Study” several years back, was incensed, and became plant-based, but it was hard, growing up on meat, chicken, and some fish as I did. This topic is really important to me. Thank you, Dr. Greger and all the rest of you folks who post your opinions!




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    1. Johanna Martin.. yup same problem .. raised a meat eater and I slip up many times .. mom is 94 and sharp as a tack .. her sister is 93 and in full Alzheimers .. I dunno maybe genetics are a factor .. but based on my personal results I believe diet is also.




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  11. I am probably not the only academic physician who is a silent acolyte of Dr. Gregor, and I often pause one of his enlightening talks to jot down the journal reference he is citing to allow me to research in more depth. I was therefore disappointed when I attempted to review the study entitled ”
    “Treatment of vascular risk factors is associated with slower decline in Alzheimer disease” said to be from 2014 issue of the journal Neurology and could not find it at all until I searched more broadly using the lead author’s name and found a study with the identical title and identical authors in the same journal but in 2009—different pages, but the same number of pages. Was the citation in error, or is there indeed a more up to date paper by the same authors in the same journal?




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  12. My husband has had strokes with vascular dementia and my mother has advanced Alzheimers. I have long thought they were largely one and the same illness. Different symptoms but then different parts of the brain were affected. I am responsible for the care of both in their own homes. We have slowed down the progression of both diseases with plants. My husband has faired better as he lives with me and eats largely my diet whereas some of the carers at mum’s house did not want to feed her green foods! I now have my neighbour with dementia. Surrounded! :)
    Thank you for this video. Su




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  13. So…if you are not young and a perfect veggie person with likely clogged arteries…other than going full veggie…what are other remedial options?

    * hyperbaric O2?

    * flushing the arteries? * Pycnogenol or pomegranate?

    * MCT oils or other cognitive enhancing supplements?

    http://www.lifeextension.com/protocols/neurological/age-related-cognitive-decline/page-01

    I take Cognitex…not cheap…but I may end up in a powered wheel chair with just a brain to keep me going? Also carnitine…taurine…etc.




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    1. There is no need for hysterics. Simply eat more plants and your body does the cleanup work. Your body is and EXPERT at keeping you alive. Feeding it properly and a bit of activity/exercise is all that we need to give it. I hope you and others learn more about this so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by “how to repair” and waste time/effort on things that don’t matter or are not necessary, OR EVEN give up because you think it’s too late. It is never too late.




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      1. I don’t particularly have cognitive issues…maybe some typical memory issues and so forth. I understand that the “theme” of this site is VEGGIES. I eat a lot of them. I also use some supplements….as I hedge my bets. What you see as hysterics is the result of research on my part. I don’t push supplements…I occasionally mention them. But as they say…”we makes our choices and we takes our chances”. Remember…time waits for no man? Expand your horizons.




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        1. Don’t forget about the necessity for sufficient exercise. Current recommendations strike me as too low (moderate exercise ~30 minutes per day for most days) but I realize it is hard for many to get even this very low amount.




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  14. Atherosclerosis is caused by myco-toxins. World Health organization Prof.A V Costantini MD, Antibiotics, beer, wine, yeast bread, fungi and mushrooms, moldy cheeses all contribute to atherosclerosis. Mycotoxins damage arteries and the cholesterol is a band aid that just gets thicker because people dont change their fundamental lifestyles and expose themselves to too many yeast/fungi/antibiotics on a daily yearly basis. Atherosclerosis and mycotoxins also cause consequential cardiac issues too, and not to mention cancer.




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    1. This sounds like a pet theory that is heavily structured by the either-or fallacy. For the sake of discussion, let’s just grant that most mycotoxins ’cause’ all these problems in the sense that they contribute to the problems. Why are serum cholesterol, blood pressure, and non-mycotoxin inflammatory factors in diet not also causes now? What justifies the rather extravagant claim that plaque is a bandaid?




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    1. Can’t answer that directly but do know that folks my age grew up thinking that genetics were absolutes. Turns out that they are not. The are only a framework nearly always subject to environmental conditions and other external factors. In other words Genetic Expression is often a result of what we do to ourselves.




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      1. That’s good news in a way, i.e. we can control it to a certain degree if we choose to.
        My grandmother who was on an extremely healthy traditional diet lived independently well into her 90s with no disability (also never drove and walked everyday) but her daughter who is now in her mid 80s has Alzheimer’s.
        My aunt had a more ‘modern’ diet , with processed food, fat/oil , animal protein and dairy, and was less active.
        So the lifestyle paradigm does make sense.




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  15. This is fascinating, and it may explain why chocolate flavanols improve people’s memories. They improve blood flow to the brain. Reversing
    atherosclerosis would do the same thing.




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  16. Question: Given these studies, would it be prudent to take statins if the WFPB diet did not reduce LDL below 100? (all other numbers excellent, just high LDL).




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  17. I just saw a commercial touting the benefits of a newly discovered protein called Prevagen (sp?) that the advertiser claims improves mental acuity and may protect your brain as it ages. Obviously I am skeptical, and was wondering what this Protein is and what food it would be found in? Thanks.




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  18. Research on Alzheimer’s frequently points to accumulation of beta-amyloid– whether as a cause or by-product of the disease process. Some suggest beta-amyloid may be produced by healthy brains, as well, but is cleared normally, in contrast to patients prone to, or suffering dementia.

    Wonder what relation can be established between reduced intracranial circulation and the beta-amyloid indicator in presumed failure to provide (1) adequate nutrition to the brain for normal metabolic functions, including reducing output of beta-amyloid and (2) adequate clearance of beta-amyloid and other metabolic by-products from the brain.




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  19. a Question. Are you familiar with calcium channel blockers? Apparently there is a fruit in china called cnidium, that contains osthols, calcium channel blockers. This relaxes long term spasms in the arachnid mater (looking to find ther reference link), I’m just curious if it could reduce hardening of arteries? To answer my own question what I just found (with reference to pubmed):

    I just found this link http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11345705 mentioning the vasorelaxing coumarins (osthols, imperatonins, xanthotoxin (3), and isopimpinellin ) found in cnidium monnieri fruit, perhaps they are responsible also for the relaxing of spasms within the arachnid mater (due to calcium channel blocking) while concurrently being a vasorelaxing agent, increasing or relaxing bloodvessels rather than increasing bloodflow necessarily to the brain and genitalia (et al… lol) which is why cnidium is used as a aphoridisiac apparently comparable and not to be used in conjunction with, Viagra. It has many other effects reputed by TCM including longevity, and other claims I don’t recall now. I thought the article might be of interest to you, especially this fruit.




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    1. http://www.chineseherbshealing.com/cnidium-monnier/

      I can’t find the website related to its effects on treating spasms within the arachnoid mater (I must presume through calcium channel blocking)… however its vasorelaxing effects may be of value to brain degeneration related to arteriosclerosis or its effects due to vasorelaxing effects. As a side note, Dr. Sometimes I drink a looot of alcohol, and I become very agitated, constant headaches, but it feels the torpor in my brain is from turbulent bloodflow – also the confused mental state) because if I take sufficient paracetamol, somewhat more noticeably so than aspirin, this emotion quixotic disturbance goes away, there is not the strained ‘rush of blood’ in my ears, but seemingly laminar bloodflow.

      I think the turbulence and movement of bloodflow as opposed to smooth, laminar flow of blood in constricted capillaries may lead to psychic degeneration due to causes ‘flight disturbances’ of thought patterns due to the underlying turbulence in the currents of blood which may cause vibrations agitating the brain. its just a theory based on personal experience… taking paracetamol calms me down greatly… I wonder if this idea has been investigated?




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  20. i agree that there is definitely much to be learned about causes of dementia. As a Lyme disease sufferer, research I read discussed that borrellia is frequently found in “Alzheimer’ patient’s brains upon autopsy. Comments? In addition to making the patient healthier, what can Lyme disease sufferers gain from a vegan diet?




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  21. You wayyyy outdid yourself! The topping/filling just looks out of this world good! I love German Chocoalte, or German Pumpkin http://jelygamatgoldg.web.id/manfaat-qnc-jelly-gamat-untuk-kulit/ very usefull i’ill borkmark this page and share your post in my facebook. Thanks for sharing brother :) your website is very goood
    Hello Holly!! Glad to see you back.
    Oh… change can be hard. Poor chaps. As parents we make sacrifices for our babies, big and small , I still call mine babies even though they are young men now.
    Your bedroom is luvly! I luv all the light. I MUST have light during the day. Both for my work, the artist me, and as the person who suffers from SAD. I’d luv your amazing windows and view!!
    Praying things get easier for the boys.
    Hugs, Gee
    http://goo.gl/pgUW24
    http://bit.ly/2c5CeAB
    http://ow.ly/sYH6303OX4C




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  22. This seems like a no-brainer to me (no pun intended!). Narrowing of the cerebral vasculature would slow blood flow and, thereby delivery of oxygen and other critical life-supporting nutrients to neural cells and restrict removal of metal deposits, other toxic environmental substances and waste materials that buildup over time, comprising the neural tangles tfound in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients at autopsy..Makes sense to me.




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  23. It does not appear that anyone knows whether it can be treated without surgery. The only way to determine this would be to experiment on humans with non-surgical treatment, but that would place the patient at extreme risk of stroke. We might find out someday if a patient with Moyamoya comes along that cannot have surgery due to other reasons. Then non-surgical treatment could be attempted.

    Dr. Ben




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  24. Thanks! There are still so many if’s and maybe’s. Treatment is mentioned. What treatment, other than statins for high cholesterol, themselves linked to Alzheimer’s, is being talked about? As a vegan physician how would you treat artherosclerosis Dr. Greger? How sure is reversal if a WFPB diet is followed scrupulously? There are so many people around me suffering from various forms of dementia. It’s terrifying to watch these once vital and smart people slide into oblivion.




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  25. Hello Charmaine,
    Thank you for your question. I am a family doctor with a private practice in lifestyle medicine and also a volunteer moderator for this website. I agree that Alzheimer’s is a terrifying illness. The above video presents evidence that Alzheimer’s can be thought of as a type of atherosclerosis of the brain. Dr. G has also done a series of videos about atherosclerosis — mostly about coronary atherosclerosis. Here is an article you might want to read about it, which includes lots of references: https://nutritionfacts.org/2017/10/12/what-a-single-fatty-meal-can-do-to-our-arteries/?utm_source=NutritionFacts.org&utm_campaign=305306e8c6-RSS_BLOG_WEEKLY&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_40f9e497d1-305306e8c6-23843473&mc_cid=305306e8c6&mc_eid=8486225ff4

    However, narrowing/dysfunction of the arteries to the brain is not the whole story in Alzheimer’s disease. Genetics also plays a large role. Here is a summary about Alzheimer’s genetics by the National Institutes of Health: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers-disease-genetics-fact-sheet.

    These will at least get you started. Good luck.

    Dr. Jon
    PhysicianAssistedWellness.com
    Volunteer moderator for NutritionFacts.org




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    1. Hi Dr. Jon,
      Dr. Dale Bredesen,M.D. in his recent book titled The End Of Alzheimer’s recommends eating wild caught salmon and olive oil to prevent or reverse dementia as part of a ReCode process he has developed to reverse dementia. He also believes total cholesterol should be at or above 150. Dr. Bredesen in the majority of cases believes that Alzheimers is not a disease but rather a condition caused by lifestyle. The Apoe4 gene variant plays a role but is not conclusive if the right lifestyle is adopted, according to Dr. Bredesen. I believe Dr. Greger in one of his videos agreed with that finding. These recommendations run contrary to Drs. Greger, Esselstyn, Campbell, McDougall, etc. who believe a WFPB SOS life style are keys to optimizing our heart and brain health. Dr. Bredesen appears to be a very credible researcher and medical doctor in the dementia field. If you or any of the other moderators have read Dr. Bredesen’s book please provide some guidance on the optimum diet to prevent or reverse dementia given his recommendations. Dementia and Alzheimers are rapidly growing as conditions/diseases in our society and their reversal and prevention are important subjects that impact millions of lives. Thanks very much for any thoughts you can offer.




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