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DNA - is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. DNA does not usually exist as a single molecule, but instead as a pair of molecules composed of two long strands entwined like vines, in the shape of a double helix.
Neuron- a neuron (also known as a nerve cell) is an electrically excitable cell that processes and transmits information by electrical and chemical signaling. Chemical signaling occurs via synapses, specialized connections with other cells. Neurons connect to each other to form networks. Neurons are the core components of the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord etc. The total number of synapses in the human brain is estimated to be more than 160 trillion. Neurotransmittersare endogenous chemicals which transmit signals from a neuron to a target cell across a synapse. In AD abnormal proteins coat the surfaces and disarm the celluar functioning.
Beta amyloids - protein fragments (amyloid plaques) that accumulate between nerve cells
and is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. They are always accompanied by neurofibrillary tangles, insoluble twisted fibers found inside the brain's cells. These tangles consist primarily of a protein called tau
Vascular dementia - is widely considered the second most common type (20%) of dementia. It develops when impaired blood flow to parts of the brain deprives cells of food and oxygen causing brain death and loss of tissue.
The diagnosis may be clearest when symptoms appear soon after a single major stroke blocks a large blood vessel and disrupts the blood supply to a significant portion of the brain. This situation is sometimes called “post-stroke dementia.” There is also a form in which a series of very small strokes, or infarcts, block small blood vessels. Individually, these strokes do not cause major symptoms, but over time their combined effect becomes noticeable. This type is referred to as vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) or multi-infarct dementia. .
Note shriveled brain (gray ares) on the right
PET (Scan) - "positron emission tomography" - a type of brain imaging that may be more sensitive and specific approach than CT or MRI. to show the progession of AD. New technology allows the imaging of early plaques depositionBEFORE symptoms of AD are manifested.
* Anthocyanidins – This group is commonly found in red and blue colored foods, such as berries, grapes and red wine. They may help to keep blood vessels healthy.
*Flavanols – This group can be further broken down into three classes: catechins,theaflavins, and proanthocyanidins.Catechins and theaflavins are found in teas.
Green tea is higher in catechin, while black teas are richer in theaflavins. One compound in particular, epicatechin, has been shown to improve blood flow and may be good for cardiac health.
Cocoa, the main ingredient of dark chocolate, contains high amounts of epicatechin.
* Flavonols – The most abundant and commonly known flavonoid in this group is quercetin, found in yellow onions, scallions, kale, broccoli, apples, berries and teas. Red wine is also high in quercetin.
* Flavanones – This group is found in citrus fruits and juices, such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons - This group also contains foods such as parsley, thyme, celery and hot pepper
* Isoflavones – This group is the most bioavailable of all flavonoids, and contains the soy flavonoid genistein. Legumes also contain isoflavones. Some studies have found that some soy flavonoids can reduce blood cholesterol, prevent osteoporosis, and may ease menopausal symptoms.
DRIs (Dietary Reference Intakes)- set by the USDA, the minimal amount of nutrients necessary to prevent a "deficiency disease"
EFAs - Essential Fatty Acids-basic nutrients our bodies need to function and like Essential Amino Acids, can only be obtained from our diet - omega 3s are mandatory for brain functioning
Enzymes- Any of numerous proteins or conjugated proteins produced by living organisms and functioning as biochemical catalysts (i.e., increase the rates of) chemical reactions. Our brain has thousands of chemical reactions ocurring every minute (as do other organs)
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors -medications that prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotranmiter brain chemical believed to be important for memory and thinking - often prescribed for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. These drugs may help delay or prevent symptoms from becoming worse for a limited time and may help control some behavioral symptoms. The medications include: Razadyne® (galantamine), Exelon® (rivastigmine), and Aricept® (donepezil) -usually have symptom and time limited effects and therefore not effective for long term management
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs)- proteins or lipids that become glycated after exposure to sugars. AGEs are prevalent in the diabetic vasculature and contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Scientists have found that foods cooked at high temps create AGEs that are an additional external source that are absorbed by the body.
To achieve a lower AGE diet, try the following:
* Limit the amount of grilled, broiled, fried and microwaved meats in your diet.
* Reduce the cooking temperature of meats and proteins. Steam fish and seafood, simmer chicken in a sauce and braise red meat in a cooking liquid (eat red meats rarely)
* Cut down on processed foods. Many prepared foods have been exposed to a high cooking temperature to lengthen shelf life, so they may have high AGE contents.
* Get more fruits and veggies in your diet. Cooked or raw, they’re naturally low in AGEs, and many contain compounds such as antioxidants that can decrease some of the damage done by AGEs - also take antioxidant supplements
Amino acids - make up 75% of the human body. A total of 20 different kinds of amino acids form proteins. The kinds of amino acids determine the shape of the proteins formed. Commonly recognized amino acids include glutamine, glycine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and valine. Three of those — phenylalanine, tryptophan, and valine — are essential amino acids for humans; the others are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, and threonine. The essential amino acids cannot be synthesized by the body; instead, they must be ingested through food. They are essential to nearly every bodily function. Every chemical reaction that takes place in your body depends on amino acids and the proteins that they build.
Antioxidants - substances that protect our cells against the effects of free radicals and inflammation - all antioxidants are not the same and some are specific against a particular oxidant (not all oxidants are bad either and some are critical to good health)
Anthocyanidins - compounds in fruits and vegetables including purple cabbage, beets, blueberries, cherries, raspberries and purple grapes that give it intense color and antioxidant protection - see Flavonoids
Atherosclerosis - a condition in which fatty materials (cholesterol etc.) collect along the walls of arteries. These fatty materials thickens, hardens (forms calcium deposits), and may eventually block arteries, leading to a possible heart attack, stroke or embolism.
Brain - illustrations of AD areas: Hippocampus -> controls learning, memory and behavior, the first part of brain to be noticeably affected and Parietal lobe
Proanthocyanidins are found in chocolate, apples, berries, red grapes and red wine. These nutrients can increase the vitamin C inside cells and may inhibit the destruction of collagen, the most abundant protein in the body
Flavonoids- classified as plant pigments, are plant nutrients (see phytonutrients) that when consumed in the form of fruits and vegetables are non-toxic as well as potentially beneficial to the human body/brain. Reported to mainain arterial elasticity. Anthocyanins and catechins are in the flavonoid family. There have been over 6,000 identified, and can be sub-divided into groups:
Phytonutrients- (phytochemicals) are chemical compounds, such as beta-carotene, that occur naturally in plants. The term is generally used to refer to those chemicals that may affect health, but are not yet established as essential nutrients.While there is abundant scientific and government support for recommending diets rich in fruits and vegetables, There is limited evidence that health benefits are due to specific phytochemicals.
Genotype the genetic constitution (the genome) of a cell, an individual or an organism. The genotype is distinct from its expressed features, or phenotype. The genotype of a person is her or his genetic makeup. It can pertain to all genes or to a specific gene. A gene for a particular character or trait may exist in two "allelic" forms; one is dominant (e.g. B) and the other is recessive (e.g. b). Based on this, there could be three possible genotypes for a particular character: BB (homozygous dominant), Bb (heterozygous), and bb (homozygous recessive).
By contrast, thephenotyperesults from the interaction between the genotype and the environment. It is the composite of the characteristics shown by the cell, individual or organism under a particular set of environmental conditions.
BB dominant, Bb heterozygous, bb recessive
Insulin degrading enzyme (IDE) - degrades insulin in the brain - degrades toxic amyloid plaque. Insulin has a very similar molecular structure to amyloid plaque and thus might compete for the benefits of IDE. Elevated insulin levels are implicated in the brain cells’ failure to clear beta-amyloid. lower IDE levels are found in patients with AD.
Glutathione - the "mother of all antioxidants, the Master Detoxifier" - helps regulate the immune system and controls inflammation - produced naturally all the time in your body but gets diluted by diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation - the GSTM1 gene which regulates creating and recycling glutathione is missing is half of the population, leading to a decrease in the ability to handle toxins - a defiency is common in AD and other chronic illnesses
Methylationa key biochemical process that is essential for the proper function of almost all of our body’s systems. It helps repair DNA on a daily basis; it controls homocysteine (an unhealthy compound that can damage blood vessels); it helps recycle molecules needed for detoxification; and it helps maintain mood and keep inflammation in check. To keep methylation running smoothly you need optimal levels of B vitamins.