The first step to creating a personalized Brain Regneration Program is to run labs known to be assocciated with the root development of dementia and Alzheimers Disease.
One of the most valuable discoveries from research of Alzheimers and dementia, is the discovery of depletion of critical membrane lipids called plasmalogens. Plasmalogens are naturally occurring lipids incorporated within all cell membranes of our bodies, playing a particularly important role in the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, and eyes. A significant body of research indicates that brain plasmalogen levels decline decades before the development of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s, and are also correlated with the progression of these age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Prodrome labs now offer reliable measurements to evaluate an individual’s plasmalogen levels with a simple blood draw to be completed at the offices of EVND.
Research has revealed certain genes can increase the risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The most significant genetic risk factor of discovery, is a form of the apolipoprotein E gene called APOE4. About 25% of people carry one copy of APOE4, and 2 to 3% of individuals carry two copies. Though APOE4 is the strongest risk factor gene for Alzheimer’s disease, it is not absolute a person will develop the disease.
Because the APOE protein helps carry cholesterol and other fats in the bloodstream, studies suggest that problems with brain cells’ ability to process fats may play a key role in Alzheimer’s Disease. The APOE gene comes in several different forms, or alleles. APOE3 is the most common and not believed to affect Alzheimer’s risk. APOE2 is relatively rare and may provide some protection against Alzheimer’s disease.
Testing for APOE4 allows patients to be more proactive. Because we have been able to discover root causes and know because we know how to support many of the pathways which result in Alzheimers Disease even decades before its onset, we embrace knowing and are allowed to prevent or reverse AD.
Elevated levels of homocysteine can indicate inflammation and problems in optimal methylation and nutritional support. Homocysteine buildup in the brain can also damage blood vessels. Healthy levels of vitamins B12 and B6, folate, and betaine can insure that homocysteine is recycled and does not build up causing damage to the circulation.
High insulin and high glucose are known contributors to Alzheimer’s. Insulin supports neuronal survival but high levels of insulin blunt its ability to send survival signals. The other issue is that IDE (Insulin Degrading Enzyme) also degrades amyloid-beta plaques. High levels of insulin mean that IDE is too busy degrading insulin that it can’t help control the amyloid-beta plaques. They begin to slowly build up contributing to Alzheimer’s. Glucose can also alter proteins and create free radicals. These altered proteins and free radicals can damage neuro supporting molecules, DNA, and blood vessels which all contribute to the disease.
Inflammation is important in the body’s defense against harmful substances or infections. However, chronic infections, food allergies, toxic exposures, and a host of other things, can chronically activate the body’s inflammatory responses. Chronic inflammation can then lead to the body damaging its own tissues and cells and slowing the natural turn over of dying cells leading to premature or accelerated aging. Inflammation in the brain can damage neurons and leads to Alzheimer’s. Here are a few important markers that can tell us if the body’s inflammatory responses are activated.
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP): a protein made by the liver that is sent into the bloodstream in response to inflammation.
- Albumin/globulin ratio: high levels of albumin to globulin can be signs of infection or an inflammatory response
- Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio: both fatty acids are important for health, however omega-3s are anti-inflammatory while omega-6s are pro-inflammatory
- Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF𝜶): elevated levels of these cytokines can also indicate inflammation
- Hormones can contribute to cognitive function by supporting synapse formation and maintenance. We perform several tests to determine hormone status within the patient.
- Thyroid function: The thyroid controls the body’s metabolic processes. Suboptimal thyroid levels bring slower reflexes and lowered mental sharpness. Many people who suffer from dementia and cognitive issues also have lowered thyroid function.
- Estrogens and progesterone: There is strong evidence of the role
estrogens play in the prevention of dementia. The ratio between estrogen and progesterone is also associated with brain fog and memory problems.
- Testosterone: Present in both men and women, testosterone is important for neuronal survival.
- Cortisol, Pregnenolone, Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands in response to stress. This hormone, in high levels, can damage neurons, especially those associated with memory. Pregnenolone is converted into all other hormones. During periods of high stress, pregnenolone is converted into stress hormones instead of sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, etc.). This leads to decreased levels of sex hormones which are important for brain health and cognition. DHEA is a “neurosteroid” that supports brain health and the body’s response to stress. Low levels of DHEA can hurt cognition.
Some metals are necessary for metabolic processes and cellular function within the body. Other metals can cause inflammation and damage to tissues and cells. We can run tests to determine if a patient is deficient in beneficial metals or determine if they need to “detox” themselves from any harmful ones.
- Copper/zinc ratio: Levels of copper and zinc in the body are inversely related. High levels of copper mean low levels of zinc and vice versa. Higher levels of copper and lower levels of zinc are associated with dementia and other neurological issues. Copper can produce free radicals which can damage brain tissue. Zinc deficiency has been linked to increased autoantibodies and oxidative damage, reduced hormonal and neurotransmitter signaling, and enhanced sensitivity to toxins. These symptoms of zinc deficiency can all contribute to cognitive decline and dementia.
- Magnesium: an important micronutrient in brain function and health
- Selenium: This metal is critical in regenerating the peptide glutathione. Glutathione is needed to fight free radicals and inflammation. Low levels of either leads to inflammation, toxicity, and loss of neuronal support.
- Vitamin D: This vitamin is crucial for activating genes that affect a host of important things including creating and maintaining brain synapses. Suboptimal levels can be a hindrance for improving cognition and brain health in Alzheimer’s patients.
- Vitamin E: This vitamin is an important antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals. It is one of the few monotherapies, in clinical trials, to have shown any effect on cognitive decline.
- Vitamin B1: This vitamin has been linked to healthy memory formation. Sufficient levels are required to support healthy cognition.
Cholesterol and lipid particles
Low cholesterol is associated with cognitive decline. Cholesterol is an important part of cell membranes and lowered cholesterol can lead to brain shrinkage. We’ll test for lipid particles from damaged cholesterol molecules to determine if there are any issues.
Metals such as mercury, lead, aluminum, and cadmium are extremely harmful to the body. Along with being neurotoxic, they have been linked to a host of other health problems, including cancer. Tests can be run to determine heavy metal exposure and their levels within the body. Lead in particular is assocciated with cognitive decline in all ages, but most often presents in patients over the age of fifty.
Testing is completed with gathering non provoked baselines and often followed by a provoked test by adding a chelating agent to grab or “bind” toxic metals. A test result provides graphical and numerical values of the 20 most common toxic metals. Toxic metal evaluation is a must for any patient with any degree of cognitive decline.
Mycotoxins are metabolites produced by mold. Mold can be found in water damaged buildings as commonly occurring in the workplace or home environments. Mold reactivity is very likely to be a major detriment to health when HLA positive immune responses are present. This heightened reactivity to mold is known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome or CIRS. Mold can also be found in certain foods like coffee, grapes, spices, and corn for example. Specific genetics result in a greater struggle eliminating toxins from the body. HLA specific immune testing along with a urine Mycotoxin Panel are able to determine personal risk as well as recent and historical expousres that result in chronic inflammation.
Alzheimer’s LINX™ – Alzheimer’s-Associated Immune Reactivity
Decades of research has demonstrated that a particular set of cross-reactive antibodies are present in elevated levels in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The purpose of Alzheimer’s LINX™ test is to provide an analysis of various associated risk factors for AD
by testing for these antibodies. Alzheimer’s LINX™ test results are intended to identify the presence of elevated levels of antibodies to certain environmental triggers (foods, chemicals, and pathogens) that are known to be crossreactive with brain-related proteins and factors and are associated in the development of AD. Reducing these environmental triggers, calming the immune system’s production of these antibodies, and maintaining the health of the blood-brain barrier can reduce the risk of autoimmune reactivity, neuroautoimmunity, and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Brain mapping is the measurement of electrical patterns at the surface of the scalp which reflect cortical activity, or “brainwave” activity. Our brains consist of about 20 billion neurons which generate these electrical impulses, or brainwaves. Quantitative EEG, sometimes referred to as “brain mapping,” is a noninvasive assessment tool used to evaluate those brainwaves.
The procedure takes approximately one hour and consists of placing small sensors (sometimes using a snug cap for placement) to measure electrical patterns coming from the brain. This is done while the patient is resting quietly with his or her eyes closed as well as with the eyes open. Using 19 channels of EEG data, the computer is capable of recognizing more subtle patterns among the brainwaves than the eye can detect, making it easy to recognize significant deviations from normal patterns.
The QEEG can identify patterns associated with metabolic dysfunction, cellular degeneration, addiction, stress, worry, anxiety, insomnia, adrenal fatigue, neurotransmitter irregularity, inflammation, depression, memory deficits, attention deficits, brain injury, cognitive decline, and cortical perfusion.
THe brain mapping done in the clinic is used to evaluate the manner in which a particular person’s brain functions. It is widely recognized as being comparable to fMRI, SPECT or CT scan. Using the QEEG we gather information on brainwave patterns, relationships and interactions between different parts of the brain, and the efficiency of communication between different sides of the brain. This information is then put into a normative database to determine in a scientific and objective manner, whether there are abnormalities in brain function. With all labs previosuly described brain mapping assists in forming, in collaboration with the client, an individualized treatment plan.
Brain Regeneration Program
Once all the brain reports and specialty lab testing has returned, a targeted and very individual treatment plan can be created with your physician.