Dr. Weeks’ Comment: We all know that one secret of staying sharp cognitively is the “use it or lose it” strategy. But that is not always enough – we need to feed our brains well and that requires seed oils (NOT fish oil since the brain needs omega 6 seed oils over omega 3 oils at a ration of 100:1 and Prof. Peskin warns on page 20 that fish oil damages brain of infants) and it requires targeted nutrition supplements like FMC and Lithate and SOUL. Here below are three studies which anyone seeking to optimize brain function should remember….. (OK. you can write it down.)
Reversing brain damage in former NFL players: implications for traumatic brain injury and substance abuse rehabilitation.
Brain injuries are common in professional American football players. Finding effective rehabilitation strategies can have widespread implications not only for retired players but also for patients with traumatic brain injury and substance abuse problems. An open label pragmatic clinical intervention was conducted in an outpatient neuropsychiatric clinic with 30 retired NFL players who demonstrated brain damage and cognitive impairment. The study included weight loss (if appropriate); fish oil (5.6 grams a day); a high-potency multiple vitamin; and a formulated brain enhancement supplement that included nutrients to enhance blood flow (ginkgo and vinpocetine), acetylcholine (acetyl-l-carnitine and huperzine A), and antioxidant activity (alpha-lipoic acid and n-acetyl-cysteine). The trial average was six months. Outcome measures were Microcog Assessment of Cognitive Functioning and brain SPECT imaging. In the retest situation, corrected for practice effect, there were statistically significant increases in scores of attention, memory, reasoning, information processing speed and accuracy on the Microcog. The brain SPECT scans, as a group, showed increased brain perfusion, especially in the prefrontal cortex, parietal lobes, occipital lobes, anterior cingulate gyrus and cerebellum. This study demonstrates that cognitive and cerebral blood flow improvements are possible in this group with multiple interventions.
The effect of acetyl-L-carnitine and R-alpha-lipoic acid treatment in ApoE4 mouse as a model of human Alzheimer’s disease.
We measured age-dependent effects of human ApoE4 on cerebral blood flow (CBF) using ApoE4 transgenic mice compared to age-matched wild-type (WT) mice by use of [(14)C] iodoantipyrene autoradiography. ApoE4 associated factors reduce CBF gradually to create brain hypoperfusion when compared to WT, and the differences in CBF are greatest as animals age from 6-weeks to 12-months. Transmission electron microscopy with colloidal gold immunocytochemistry showed structural damage in young and aged microvessel endothelium of ApoE4 animals extended to the cytoplasm of perivascular cells, perivascular nerve terminals and hippocampal neurons and glial cells. These abnormalities coexist with mitochondrial structural alteration and mitochondrial DNA overproliferation and/or deletion in all brain cellular compartments. Spatial memory and temporal memory tests showed a trend in improving cognitive function in ApoE4 mice fed selective mitochondrial antioxidants acetyl-l-carnitine and R-alpha-lipoic acid. Our findings indicate that ApoE4 genotype-induced mitochondrial changes and associated structural damage may explain age-dependent pathology seen in AD, indicating potential for novel treatment strategies in the near future.
Acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid supplementation of aged beagle dogs improves learning in two landmark discrimination tests.
Beagle dogs between 7.6 and 8.8 years of age administered a twice daily supplement of alpha-lipoic acid (LA) and acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) over approximately 2 months made significantly fewer errors in reaching the learning criterion on two landmark discrimination tasks compared to controls administered a methylcellulose placebo. Testing started after a 5 day wash-in. The dogs were also tested on a variable delay version of a previously acquired spatial memory task; results were not significant. The improved performance on the landmark task of dogs supplemented with LA + ALC provides evidence of the effectiveness of this supplement in improving discrimination and allocentric spatial learning. We suggest that long-term maintenance on LA and ALC may be effective in attenuating age-associated cognitive decline by slowing the rate of mitochondrial decay and cellular aging.