Archive | May 2018

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a disease associated with abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain. These deposits, called Lewy bodies, affect chemicals in the brain whose changes, in turn, can lead to problems with thinking, movement, behavior, and mood.”

NIH National Institute of Aging

Part II Lewy Body Dementia-How its diagnosed and more.

How to Diagnose for LBD:

1-Most important is getting an experienced clinician within the medical community who should perform a diagnostic evaluation. If one is not available, the neurology department of the nearest medical university should be able to recommend appropriate resources or may even provide an experienced diagnostic team skilled in Lewy body dementia.

A thorough dementia diagnostic evaluation includes physical and neurological examinations, patient and family interviews (including a detailed lifestyle and medical history), and neuro-psychological and mental status tests. The patient’s functional ability, attention, language, visuospatial skills, memory and executive functioning are assessed.

Than further diagnostic tooling to help diagnose LBD:

2- A brain imaging (CT or MRI scans)

3-Blood tests

4-Other laboratory studies may be performed.

The evaluation will provide a clinical diagnosis.   Unfortunately, currently, a conclusive diagnosis of LBD can be obtained only from a postmortem autopsy for which arrangements should be made in advance. Some research studies may offer brain autopsies as part of their protocols. Participating in research studies is a good way to benefit others with Lewy Body Dementia.  Though it is hard to do this if you only get diagnosed with this after you die being misdiagnosed previously when alive, like Robin Williams through a autopsy.  So the point is when symptoms resembling dementia or better Lewy Body Dementia go to an expert doctor in this

Medications

Medications are one of the most controversial subjects in dealing with LBD. A medication that doesn’t work for one person may work for another person. Become knowledgeable about LBD treatments and medication sensitivities.

Prescribing should only be done by a physician who is thoroughly knowledgeable about LBD. With new medications and even ‘over-the-counter,’ the patient should be closely monitored. At the first sign of an adverse reaction, consult with the patient’s physician. Consider joining the online caregiver support groups to see what others have observed with prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

Risk Factors

Advanced age is considered to be the greatest risk factor for Lewy Body Dementia, with onset typically, but not always, between the ages of 50 and 85. Some cases have been reported much earlier. It appears to affect slightly more men than women. Having a family member with Lewy Body Dementia may increase a person’s risk. Observational studies suggest that adopting a healthy lifestyle (exercise, mental stimulation, nutrition) might delay age-associated dementias.

Clinical Trials

The recruitment of LBD patients for participation in clinical trials for studies on LBD, other dementias and Parkinsonian studies is now steadily increasing.

Prognosis and Stages

Defining the stages of disease progression for LBD is difficult. The symptoms, medicine management and duration of LBD vary greatly from person to person. To further complicate the stages assessment, LBD has a progressive but vacillating clinical course, and one of its defining symptoms is fluctuating levels of cognitive abilities, alertness and attention. Sudden decline is often caused by medications, infections or other compromises to the immune system and usually the person with LBD returns to their baseline upon resolution of the problem.  But for some individuals, it may also be due to the natural course of the disease.

Come back tomorrow to learn treatments for LBD!

 

 

 

 

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is a type of progressive dementia that leads to a decline in thinking, reasoning and independent function because of abnormal microscopic deposits that damage brain cells over time.

Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org)

Part I Lewy Body Dementia – A type of dementia

Learn the S/S Robin Williams had,which where 3 of 4 of these:

“Who was Lewy? In the early 1900s, while researching Parkinson’s disease, the scientist Friederich H. Lewy discovered abnormal protein deposits that disrupt the brain’s normal functioning. These Lewy body proteins are found in an area of the brain stem where they deplete the neurotransmitter dopamine, causing Parkinsonian symptoms.

In Lewy Body Dementia [LBD], these abnormal proteins are diffuse throughout other areas of the brain, including the cerebral cortex. The brain chemical acetylcholine is depleted, causing disruption of perception, thinking and behavior. Lewy body disease exists either in pure form, or in conjunction with other brain changes, including those typically seen in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.”

We all know Robin Williams and initially he was presented in the news as committing suicide but in the past few years it has been presented by doctors that he died of LBD which makes more sense, for a man who had it all to many with Parkinson’s Disease.  Robin all his life wanted to make others smile and laugh, never did he come across as a depressed unhappy man.  We all have our ups and downs along our journey living, which is a part of life.  Killing yourself is a severe extreme and you know the news (jump at the first juicy article to make it big or and if we are wrong will admit it or possibly apologize later, sad).

LBD is not a rare disease. It affects an estimated 1.4 million individuals and their families in the United States. Because LBD symptoms can closely resemble other more commonly known diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, it is currently widely underdiagnosed. Many doctors or other medical professionals still are not familiar with LBD.

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a progressive brain disorder in which Lewy bodies (abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein) build up in areas of the brain that regulate behavior, cognition, and movement.

A complex disease, LBD can present with a range of symptoms including problems with thinking, memory, moving, sleep and/or changes in behavior, to name a few of the physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms.

LBD also affects autonomic body functions, such as blood pressure control, temperature regulation, and bladder and bowel function. Progressively debilitating, LBD can also cause people to experience visual hallucinations or act out their dreams.

What is the Difference Between LBD and Dementia with Lewy Bodies?

LBD is an umbrella term for two closely related clinical diagnoses: Parkinson’s disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).

What Causes LBD?

The causes of LBD are not yet well understood, but research is ongoing in this area. There are probably multiple factors involved, including genetic and environmental risk factors that combine with natural aging processes to make someone susceptible to LBD.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of LBD?

This condition impairs thinking, such as memory, executive function (planning, processing information), or the ability to understand visual information. Patients with LBD may have fluctuations in attention or alertness; problems with movement including tremors, stiffness, slowness and difficulty walking; hallucinations; and alterations in sleep and behavior.

Come back tomorrow for Part II!

 

 

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“We don’t have stems and we don’t flower, but our body parts, like those of plants, are controlled by circadian clocks,”. Clocks operate more or less the same way in all organisms, but some aspects of clock function are easier to study in plants.

Laurie Tompkins-NIH geneticist, (National Institute of General Medicine Sciences).

Part III How plants can enhance our lives!

Look at medical proof, in July 2011 by online publication of Nature, investigated why Arabidopsis does its major stem-growing in the dark—a pattern common to most plants.

Biologist Steve Kay and colleagues at the University of California, San Diego, report that a specific trio of proteins regulates the rhythm in Arabidopsis stems.  Arabidopsis thaliana helped scientists not very long ago too unearth new clues about the daily cycles of many organisms, including humans. This is the latest in a long line of research, much of it supported by the National Institutes of Health, that uses plants to solve puzzles in human health.  While other model organisms may seem to have more in common with us, greens like Arabidopsis provide an important view into genetics, cell division and especially light sensing, which drives 24-hour behavioral cycles called circadian rhythms.

Some human cells, including cancer cells, divide with a 24-hour rhythm. One of the main human circadian rhythm genes, cryptochrome, has been associated with diabetes and depression. Both of these discoveries grew from work with plants.

The Arabidopsis Thaliana Plant

T group of proteins, called the evening complex, interacts in the early evening to silence two genes that usually promote plant growth. When the evening complex’s activity trails off a few hours before dawn, proteins release the brakes on growth and plants enter their nightly phase of rapid stem elongation.

When Kay’s team mutated the three genes that code for the evening complex, they noticed that this made the Arabidopsis biological clock run out of sync—stems grew unusually long and flowered early.

Scientists aren’t yet certain why night is the best time for stems to grow, but Kay speculates it has to do with using resources efficiently. Plants pick up carbon and nitrogen during the day, then store these essential nutrients as starch and proteins. “In the later night, they can release these resources in a coordinated fashion to provide the building blocks for stem growth,” says Kay.  “

Our understanding of human health and the role of clocks in health and disease can greatly benefit from studying how clocks work in plants,” he adds.

Scientists like Kay are interested in answering basic biological questions, but others who work with plants have their eyes on future disease therapies. Plant-based molecules, for instance, are being used to target reservoirs of HIV that hide out in their hosts. At the University of California, Berkeley, chemist Jay Keasling is looking for simple ways to get microbes to produce greater quantities of these plant-based molecules at lower cost.

How plants like Arabidopsis suppress harmful genes may also help improve HIV therapies. A team of biologists led by Craig Pikaard at Washington University in St. Louis is investigating RNA polymerases, chemicals important in determining which genes get switched on, to learn how plants silence harmful virus-derived genes. Similar silencing pathways could be harnessed for HIV therapies.

More generally, scientists are looking toward plants as a medicinal source. Chemist Sarah O’Connor at MIT is genetically engineering periwinkle plants, the natural source of the anticancer drug vinblastine, to produce variations of the drug with halogens attached. Halogens make some medicines last longer in the body, meaning that probing periwinkle’s capabilities could make cancer treatments more effective.

Plant compounds present in carrots and parsley may one day support more effective delivery of chemotherapy treatments, new research has found. Specific plant compounds are able to inhibit transport mechanisms in the body that select what compounds are absorbed into the body, and eventually into cells. These same transport mechanisms are known to interfere with cancer chemotherapy treatment.

Some further examples of good compounds coming from plants for human lives are:

Flavonoids are one class of secondary plant metabolites that are also known as Vitamin P or citrin. These metabolites are mostly used in plants to produce yellow and other pigments which play a big role in coloring the plants. In addition, Flavonoids are readily ingested by humans and they seem to display important anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anti-cancer activities. Flavonoids are also found to be powerful anti-oxidants and researchers are looking into their ability to prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Flavonoids help prevent cancer by inducing certain mechanisms that may help to kill cancer cells, and researches believe that when the body processes extra flavonoid compounds, it triggers specific enzymes that fight carcinogens. Good dietary sources of Flavonoids are all citrus fruits, which contain the specific flavanoids hesperidins, quercitrin, rutin, berries, tea, dark chocolate and red wine that includes many of the health benefits attributed to these foods come from the Flavonoids they contain.

Phytic acid is the main method of phosphorus storage in plant seeds, but is not readily absorbed by many animals (only absorbed by ruminant animals). Not only is phytic acid a phosphorus storage unit, but it also is a source of energy and cations, a natural antioxidant for plants, and can be a source of mycoinositol which is one of the preliminary pieces for cell walls.

Phytic acid is also known to bond with many different minerals, and by doing so prevents those minerals from being absorbed; making phytic acid an anti-nutrient. There is a lot of concern with phytic acids in nuts and seeds because of its anti-nutrient characteristics. In preparing foods with high phytic acid concentrations, it is recommended they be soaked in after being ground to increase the surface area. Soaking allows the seed to undergo germination which increases the availability of vitamins and nutrient, while reducing phytic acid and protease inhibitors ultimately increasing the nutritional value. Cooking can also reduce the amount of phytic acid in food but soaking is much more effective.

Phytic acid is an antioxidant found in plant cells that most likely serves the purpose of preservation. This preservation is removed when soaked, reducing the phytic acid and allowing the germination and growth of the seed.

Atropine is a type of secondary metabolite called a tropane alkaloid.

Alkaloids contain nitrogens, frequently in a ring structure, and are derived from amino acids. Tropane is an organic compound containing nitrogen and it is from tropane that atropine is derived from. Atropine is synthesized by a reaction between tropine and tropate, catalyzed by atropinase. Within Atropa belladonna atropine synthesis has been found to take place primarily in the root of the plant. The concentration of synthetic sites within the plant is indicative of the nature of secondary metabolites.

Gossypol has a yellow pigment and is found in cotton plants. It occurs mainly in the root and/or seeds of different species of cotton plants.  Gossypol can have various chemical structures. It can exist in three forms: gossypol, gossypol acetic acid, and gossypol formic acid. All of these forms have very similar biological properties. Gossypol is a type of aldehyde, meaning that it has a formyl group. The formation of gossypol occurs through an isoprenoid pathway. Isoprenoid pathways are common among secondary metabolites.  3Gossypol’s main function in the cotton plant is to act as an enzyme inhibitor. An example of gossypol’s enzyme inhibition is its ability to inhibit nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-linked enzymes of Trypanosoma cruzi. Trypanosoma cruzi is a parasite which causes Chaga’s disease.

For some time it was believed that gossypol was merely a waste product produced during the processing of cottonseed products. Extensive studies have shown that gossypol has other functions. Many of the more popular studies on gossypol discuss how it can act as a male contraceptive. Gossypol has also been linked to causing hypokalemic paralysis. Hypokalemic paralysis is a disease characterized by muscle weakness or paralysis with a matching fall in potassium levels in the blood. Hypokalemic paralysis associated with gossypol in-take usually occurs in March, when vegetables are in short supply, and in September, when people are sweating a lot. This side effect of gossypol in-take is very rare however. Gossypol induced hypokalemic paralysis is easily treatable with potassium repletion.

Believe or not, plants enhanced our lives.

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“We don’t have stems and we don’t flower, but our body parts, like those of plants, are controlled by circadian clocks,”. Clocks operate more or less the same way in all organisms, but some aspects of clock function are easier to study in plants.

Laurie Tompkins-NIH geneticist, (National Institute of General Medicine Sciences).

Part II How Plants Enhance Our Lives!

          

Ginger:
Ginger is one spice that I recommend keeping on hand in your kitchen at all times. Not only is it a wonderful addition to your cooking (especially paired with garlic) but it also has enough medical properties to fill several books.
Ginger is best known for its anti-nausea effects but also has broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic properties, to name just several of its more than 40 scientifically confirmed pharmacological actions. It is anti-inflammatory, making it valuable for pain relief for joint pain, menstrual pain, headaches, and more.
The pain-relieving potential of ginger appears to be far-reaching. Along with help for muscle and joint pain, ginger has been found to reduce the severity of migraine headaches as well as the migraine medication Sumatriptan – with fewer side effects.4
Ginger also shows promise for fighting cancer, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, asthma, bacterial and fungal infections, and it is one of the best natural remedies available for motion sickness or nausea (from pregnancy or chemotherapy, for example).
Taking one gram of ginger daily may help reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women, or those with migraines and ginger has been shown to work better than a placebo in relieving morning sickness.5
Ginger is also a must-have if you struggle with indigestion, and it does more than simply relieve pain. Ginger contains powerful protein-digesting enzymes and helps to stimulate the emptying of your stomach without any negative effect, and it’s an antispasmodic agent, which may explain its beneficial effects on your intestinal tract.
Many people enjoy ginger tea on a regular basis, and this is one of the simplest ways to use it. Simply chop off a couple of inches of ginger root and let it steep in hot water for fresh ginger tea. I would advise against using it daily as it can lead to an allergy and is what happened to me about twenty years ago.
You can also peel the root using a paring knife and then slice it thinly (or grate it or mince it) to add to tea or cooked dishes. You can’t go wrong by adding ginger to stir fries or even your favorite homemade chicken soup. For serious issues, a natural health care provider can help you get the maximum therapeutic benefits of ginger.
Garlic:
Eating a clove or two of fresh garlic a day may indeed keep the doctor away, in part because it has immune-boosting, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal effects. Many of garlic’s therapeutic effects are derived from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, which are also what give it its characteristic smell. In general, garlic’s benefits fall into four main categories:
-Reducing inflammation (reduces the risk of osteoarthritis and other disease associated with inflammation).
-Boosting immune function (antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties).
-Improving cardiovascular health and circulation (protects against clotting, retards plaque, improves lipids, and reduces blood pressure).
-Toxic to at least 14 kinds of cancer cells (including brain, lung, breast, gastric, and pancreatic).
In addition, garlic may be effective against drug-resistant bacteria, and research has revealed that as allicin digests in your body, it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that reacts with dangerous free radicals faster than any other known compound. This is one of the reasons in my article garlic what listed as one of the top seven anti-aging foods you can consume.
In order to get the health benefits, the fresh clove must be crushed or chopped in order to stimulate the release of an enzyme called alliinase, which in turn catalyzes the formation of allicin.
Allicin, in turn, rapidly breaks down to form a number of different organosulfur compounds. So to “activate” garlic’s medicinal properties, compress a fresh clove with a spoon prior to swallowing it, or put it through your juicer to add to your vegetable juice.
A single medium-size clove or two is usually sufficient and is well-tolerated by most people. The active ingredient, allicin, is destroyed within one hour of smashing the garlic, so garlic pills are virtually worthless. Black garlic, which is basically fermented garlic, and sprouted garlic may contain even more antioxidants than regular garlic.
Peppermint:
Peppermint offers benefits to the respiratory system, including for coughs, colds, asthma, allergies, and tuberculosis. In terms of digestive health, peppermint oil capsules have been described as “the drug of first choice” in IBS patients,7 and peppermint oil is an effective alternative to drugs like Buscopan for reducing colonic spasms.8
It may also relax the muscles of your intestines, allowing gas to pass and easing abdominal pain. Try peppermint oil or leaves added to tea for gas relief. Inhaling the peppermint aroma may offer memory enhancement and stress relief, and peppermint oil acts as an expectorant and decongestant, and may help clear your respiratory tract.
Use peppermint essential oil as a cold rub on your chest or inhale it through a vaporizer to help clear nasal congestion and relieve cough and cold symptoms. Peppermint oil may also help relieve tension headache pain. For headache pain, try dabbing a few drops on your wrist or sprinkling a few drops on a cloth, then inhaling the aroma. You can also massage the oil directly onto your temples and forehead. Peppermint essential oil is ideal for muscle and chest rubs, headache pain, dental care, and aromatherapy. You can even add it to your homemade cleaning supplies for extra antimicrobial power and natural fragrance.
When selecting peppermint for your own use, the fresh leaves will impart a superior flavor to dried leaves (such as for use in tea). Look for fresh leaves that are green in color without any dark spots or yellowing. In addition to using fresh mint leaves in tea, you can add them to soups, fruit salad, or gazpacho. Additionally, it is really easy to grow peppermint yourself and the plant works as a highly effective deterrent to many insects that might invade your garden or your home.
Lavender:
Lavender oil is known for its calming and relaxing properties, and has been used aromatherapeutically for alleviating insomnia, anxiety, depression, restlessness, dental anxiety, and stress. It has also been proven effective for nearly all kinds of ailments, from pain to infections.
It is particularly fascinated by its oil potential in fighting antifungal-resistant skin and nail infections. Scientists from the University of Coimbra found that lavender oil is lethal to skin-pathogenic strains known as dermatophytes, as well as various Candida species. Lavender oil can also be used to:
Relieve pain. It can ease sore or tense muscles, joint pain and rheumatism, sprains, backache, and lumbago. Simply massage a small amount of lavender oil onto the affected area. Lavender oil may also help lessen pain following needle insertion.
Treat various skin disorders like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and wrinkles. It also helps form scar tissues, which may be essential in healing wounds, cuts, and burns. Lavender can also help soothe insect bites and itchy skin (lavender oil can help ward off mosquitoes and moths. It is actually used as an ingredient in some mosquito repellents).
Keep your hair healthy. It helps kill lice, lice eggs, and nits. The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCB) says that lavender is possibly effective for treating alopecia areata (hair loss), boosting hair growth by up to 44 percent after just seven months of treatment.11
Improve your digestion. This oil helps stimulate the mobility of your intestine and stimulates the production of bile and gastric juices, which may help treat stomach pain, indigestion, flatulence, colic, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Relieve respiratory disorders. Lavender oil can help alleviate respiratory problems like colds and flu, throat infections, cough, asthma, whooping cough, sinus congestion, bronchitis, tonsillitis, and laryngitis. It can be applied on your neck, chest, or back, or inhaled via steam inhalation or through a vaporizer.
Stimulate urine production, which helps restore hormonal balance, prevent cystitis (inflammation of the urinary bladder), and relieve cramps and other urinary disorders.
Improve your blood circulation. It helps lower elevated blood pressure levels and can be used for hypertension.
Thyme:
Thyme is a fragrant herb that makes a wonderful addition to your cooking, in part because it is rich in antioxidants. Thyme contains health-boosting flavonoids including apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin, and has been shown to protect and increase the percentage of healthy fats found in cell membranes. As reported by the George Mateljan Foundation:12 “In particular, the amount of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) in brain, kidney, and heart cell membranes was increased after dietary supplementation with thyme.”
Thyme is also nutrient dense, containing vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, manganese, copper, and dietary fiber. When used in cooked dishes, thyme may also help inhibit glycation and the formation of dangerous advanced glycation (meaning glucose broken down) end products (AGEs) in your food, making thyme a potential preventer of heart disease and premature aging. Due to thyme oil’s antibacterial, antispasmodic, anti-rheumatic, expectorant, hypertensive, and calming properties, it also has a long list of topical uses, including:
Home remedy – Thyme oil is used to relieve and treat problems like gout, arthritis, wounds, bites, and sores, water retention, menstrual and menopausal problems, nausea and fatigue, respiratory problems (like colds), skin conditions (oily skin and scars), athlete’s foot, hangovers, and even depression.
Aromatherapy oil – The oil can be used to stimulate the mind, strengthen memory and concentration, and calm the nerves.
Hair product – It is said that thyme oil can prevent hair loss. It is used as a treatment for the scalp and is added to shampoos and other hair products.
Skin product – Thyme oil can help tone aged skin and prevent acne outbreaks.
Mouthwashes and herbal rinses – Like peppermint, wintergreen, and eucalyptus oils, thyme oil is used to improve oral health.
Insecticide/insect repellent – Thyme oil can keep insects and parasites like mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and moths away.
Chamomile:
Chamomile is most popular in tea form for use to calm upset stomach and help support restful sleep. Germany’s Commission E (a government organization) has even approved the use of chamomile for reducing swelling on your skin and fighting bacteria. Chamomile is a powerful anti-inflammatory that also has antibacterial, anti-spasmodic, anti-allergenic, muscle relaxant, and sedative properties. It is used to treat psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox, diaper rash, slow-healing wounds, abscesses, and gum inflammation, and according to Herb Wisdom may also be useful for the following conditions:
The oil serves many medicinal purposes, but one of the best-documented uses is for relaxation. The oil has a calming effect on people, and can be used to help induce sleep, ease frayed nerves, and promote a general sense of calmness and well being. It is great for those with nervousness or anxiety problems.
Aside from having mental calming properties, chamomile is also good at relaxing sore muscles and tight joints.
It can ease menstrual cramps and back aches, as well as relax the digestive system to ease upset stomach or indigestion issues.
When applied topically to the skin, it soothes redness and irritation. For this reason, it is a common ingredient in skincare. It also eliminates itchiness and is good for those with allergic reactions. Sometimes chamomile is used on rashes. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it can work to take down swelling caused by rashes or skin irritants.
Dandelion:

Dandelion, a plant, has traditionally been used as a liver tonic, useful for detoxification and improving liver function. Dandelion is known as a stimulant that is typically used for kidney and liver disorders. It is also traditionally used to reduce the side effects of prescription drugs, as well as to treat infections, gallbladder problems, water retention and swelling.15 Dandelion greens, which you can prepare simply by blanching them in boiling water for 20 seconds to help remove their bitter flavor (they can also be added to vegetable juice), contain many nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese. They are a particularly good source of vitamin A and may also have cancer fighting properties.
So believe it or not plants enhance our lives and with technology it will further expand in helping human lives.

 

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“People who train to be cooperative extension Master Gardeners report that they stay with the program because it improves self-esteem, offers continued learning opportunities, the chance to help and feel a connection to other people, to feel a sense of purpose, and a way to develop skills for employment .”

Schrock, D.S., M. Meyer, P.Ascher-Reasons for becoming involved as a Master Gardener. HortTechnology.