Inflammation Is a Precursor to Alzheimer’s

Inflammation Is a Precursor to Alzheimer’s
Throughout the years medical research has pointed a finger at inflammation as the root cause of many diseases as well as exacerbating existing symptoms. The cardiovascular system is especially sensitive to the inflammatory process. By now we all know that cardiovascular disease could trigger Alzheimer’s. This is why it is important to keep high blood pressure under control, reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels, and measure C-reactive protein levels which are markers for inflammation. What attracted my attention is that Dr. William Banks from St. Louis University has published two studies explaining how inflammation affects Alzheimer’s. Moreover, he claims that the anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin could hold promise as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

Inflammation is part of the body’s natural immune response. It occurs when the body activates white blood cells which release chemicals to fight infection and invading foreign substances. Dr. Banks explains how he tested his hypothesis about inflammation: “We induced inflammation in mice and found that it turned off the LRP pump (the blood barrier transporter) that lets amyloid beta protein exit the brain into the bloodstream. It also revved up an entrance pump that transports amyloid beta into the brain. Both of these actions would increase the amount of amyloid beta protein in the brain.”

Next Dr. Banks gave mice indomethacin. This prevented inflammation from turning off the LRP exit pump. This new research interprets what doctors are seeing in their clinical practice of using indomethacin to treat people with Alzheimer’s disease. “Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, especially indomethacin, have been associated with protection against Alzheimer’s disease. Our work could influence that debate and thinking at the patient-care level,” Banks said.

What does this mean to you in your daily life?
Reduce your stress. Stress is an inflammatory process and when chronic stress sets in, it does a great deal of physical and emotional damage. There are many things you can do to reduce stress:
  • While you might not be able to control the big stressors in your life, you can control the little ones. These small stressors build up and create a tipping point. The good news is that you manage each one and raise your stress threshold to meet the next challenge.
  • Exercise is the most efficient and effective way to shed stress. Exercise is the true brain balancer. Change up your exercise routine and wake up your brain for greater synergy.
  • Eat balanced meals and avoid junk food which is highly inflammatory.
  • Connect with friends and have fun. Laughter is free medicine.

For more information on caregiving read my book, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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