How Neuroplasticity works

We know now that how we think or react to events or experiences are really the results of habits in the brain – habits created by neurons carving a familiar connection. As a result of this new knowledge, much of what we understand about mental health is new. Neuroplasticity is the process by which these habitual pathways can be changed.

Now we know how this works

“Our brains are famously flexible, or “plastic,” because neurons can do new things by forging new or stronger connections with other neurons. But if some connections strengthen, neuroscientists have reasoned, neurons must compensate lest they become overwhelmed with input. In a new study in Science, researchers at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT demonstrate for the first time how this balance is struck: when one connection, called a synapse, strengthens, immediately neighboring synapses weaken based on the action of a crucial protein called Arc.”

The full article is here

Vitamin K2 and Prostate Cancer

Fried Kidneys on Toast

Is there more you can do if you have or fear prostate cancer? The quick answer is consume more foods that contain vitamin K2.

“A study recently published by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) has revealed that increased intake of vitamin K2 may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 35 percent. The authors point out that the benefits of K2 were most pronounced for advanced prostate cancer, and, importantly, that vitamin K1 did not offer any prostate benefits.

The findings were based on data from more than 11,000 men taking part in the EPIC Heidelberg cohort. It adds to a small but fast-growing body of science supporting the potential health benefits of vitamin K2 for bone, cardiovascular, skin, brain, and now prostate health.”

The full article is here (Source Chris Kresser)

Foods that contain K2 include – most organ meats and

Foods high in vitamin K2
Natto
Hard cheese
Soft cheese
Egg yolk
Butter
Chicken liver
Salami
Chicken breast
Ground beef

Are potatoes “paleo”

In summary – yes.

Long article here that explores all aspects of the potato

Children’s Ear Aches

Most young children suffer now and then from an ear ache. Most of us take them off to the doctor who prescribes an antibiotic. But are these mainly infections really? 

Dr Lawrence B. Palevsky, MD suggests that we think more carefully about this snap diagnosis:

Inflammation occurs in the body as characterized by the following five observations–
redness, swelling, heat, pain and loss of function. When a young child has an ear ache, on
exam the ear drum is usually red (redness) with clear fluid or mucus buildup in the middle
ear (swelling) causing pain, often accompanied by fever (heat) and occasionally
accompanied by an acute loss of hearing; clearly a description of inflammation. Even if
there were an infection, most studies confirm that viruses are the main organisms
responsible for causing the development of these symptoms, not bacteria. When a
bacterium is isolated from the middle ear via tympanocentesis, we conclude that it must be
an infectious agent. It is possible, however, that the bacteria are merely colonizers in the
middle ear. Neither a viral infection, nor an inflammation in the ears improves when treated
with antibiotics. Only bacterial infections respond to antibiotic treatment. Therefore, in the
majority of cases, antibiotics do not help. And, in many cases, antibiotics, when used
inappropriately, may contribute to problems with intestinal and immune system health.

Palevsky points us in the direction of most ear ache being rooted in inflammation

Conventional pediatric practice focuses on prescribing treatment interventions once a
child’s symptoms have already appeared. Non-conventional medical approaches
concentrate on preventing the development of inflammation and infection and attempt to
evaluate the causes that contribute to their presentation. In addition, non-conventional
approaches use remedies and interventions that facilitate the body’s natural healing abilities
in a nourishing way in an attempt to avoid suppressing the inherent healing mechanisms
that are present in the body. Often, elimination of the factors that are known to contribute
to the development of the underlying symptoms is sufficient to treat the problem(s) without
introducing additional remedies. This is especially true when it comes to ear pain and ear
inflammation.

Here is the full text of a very helpful article on this topic 

https://www.northportwellnesscenter.com/palevsky/pdf/Alt_to_Ear_Pain.pdf

Hip and Knee replacements the comparative risks and results

 

As we get older, many of us begin to have problems with our knees and hips. What can we expect?

Dr. Donald T. Reilly is an orthopedic surgeon at New England Baptist Hospital and a long-time member of the Harvard Health Letter‘s editorial board. He recently answered some questions about joint pain and replacement for Harvard Health Publishing’ readers.

The full article is here

Bottom line:

“A hip replacement is a much less painful operation. People are on crutches for a while, and then their hips feel normal. But it takes six months to a year to recover from total knee surgery, and even then, the knee just doesn’t feel normal.”

What can people do to avoid needing your services?

Stay active, keep your muscles strong, don’t get obese, have good genes.

 

It’s not just what we eat but when we eat

Much new work is being done on how when we eat affects our health. Again, going back to first principles, for most of human existence, we did not eat three regular meals a day and we certainly did not snack. Athletes understand the concept of rest. High performance athletes do not train every day. They do rest the system. This concept of resting our digestive system is what is now being found to have many benefits.

More in this video

Inflammation – The deep cause of so much chronic illness and even dementia

It is becoming increasingly accepted that most chronic illness – no matter how different in its expression – has causal roots in inflammation. Much of the early work on this has involved diet. But recently many more aspects of how we live have entered the mix – stress, sleep, relationships, when we eat as well as what we eat.

This post, By James P Watson, with contributions and editorial assistance by Vince Giuliano, is the most comprehensive that I have seen yet and stands as a benchmark for advice on the process and for what each of us can do to reduce our chances of developing chronic illness and dementia.

INTRODUCTION AND OVERALL PRINCIPLES

This is the first of a pair of blog entries concerned with dementias – neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and its cousins.  This Part 1 write-up was inspired by a recent small, non-randomized clinical trial done by Dr. Dale Bredesen that showed true “Reversal of Cognitive Decline” in 9 out of 10 patients with documented cognitive decline (Bredesen, 2014).  Not all of these patients had AD, but all had cognitive decline.  Five had AD, two had SCI (subjective cognitive impairment), and two had MCI (mild cognitive impairment).  Although this study was too small to allow any statistical conclusions, it is the most positive report in a series of disappointing reports on the recent failures of Big Pharma’s monoclonal antibodies against amyloid-beta.  Dale Bredesen’s approach was a multifactorial one – utilizing 24 different approaches to halt or reverse cognitive decline.  We explore those 25 interventions here, focusing on the first 19.  They do not depend on drugs.   The focus of this blog entry is “What can be done about dementias now?”

The forthcoming Part 2 blog entry will provides a detailed discussion of some of the key science related to AD and dementias.  This is the “What is science telling us about dementias?” part which gets quite complex.  We review major theories related to AD there including the Hardy Hypothesis related to amloid beta, the GSK3 theory and more detail on the neuroinflammation theory which we introduce in this Part 1 blog entry.  We expect to emphasize the emerging importance APP (Amloid Precursor Protein).  And we will describe some very recent research that appears to establish that a basic cause of AD is the proliferation in aging of vestigal DNA segments in our genomes (known as LINEs which are long interspersed nuclear elements and SINEs which are short interspersed nuclear elements) with encode over and over again for the production of APP and for the failure of its clearance.  This could well finally explain the role of beta amyloid in AD.

We have published a number of earlier blog entries relating to AD and dementias.  For example, you might want to review my August 2014 blog entry The Amyloid Beta face of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The full post continues here

 

Practical ways to affect how your brain works – Neuroplasticity

Brain plasticity, also known as “Neuroplasticity”, is a term used by neuroscientists that refers to the brain’s ability to change and grow at any age. This flexibility is critically important during our brain development and in shaping personalities.

Prior to the 1960s, scientists believed that changes in the brain only took place during infancy and childhood. Most believed that the brain’s physical structure was permanent by adulthood. Modern research has concluded that the brain creates new neural pathways and alters existing ones to adapt to new experiences, create new memories, and learn new information, right up until the day we die.

Find out what you can do here

Here is an extract from an earlier post that looks into the related science

Our brains and our bodies are not machines made up of parts but are instead complex organisms that interact both internally and externally. Every part of us is interacting in complex ways.

This dynamic and complex interactive system – that is us – includes even our thoughts and how they interact with the structure of our brain. How we think and what we think shapes our brain so it shapes our view of reality. It therefore governs much of our health. For recall, our social status and how much power and control, we have has a major influence on our health.

Many of us have little control, or power or status in the industrial culture we inhabit  today. A reason why so many of us are ill or depressed. In this post we can see the mechanism that will enable us to think differently about this predicament and so heal. Remember Viktor Frankl knew that his captors could kill him like a fly. That they could torture him at will. But he also knew that they could never kill his spirit. In this, he had control and power and this knowledge enabled him to endure the unendurable and live.

The process is called Neuroplasticity. It is based on how the brain is shaped by thought. Here is a quick video introduction that showcases the work of Dr Norman Doidge.

You can go deeper here into the science

 

 

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What is the Missing Human Manual All About?

Do you want to age well? Most of us do. If you are my age, 60, this is more important a question that if you are 30. But most of us would not wish to have heart disease, cancer, dementia when we get old.

Most of us think it is normal that we will get ill like this.

But science today tells us that this is not "Normal". Our evolutionary past designed us to be active and fit until we drop dead. Why? Because raising human children takes so long. Mature adults had to do most of the hard work enable us to invest up to 25 years in our kids.

We are designed by our evolution to reach a plateau of fitness in mid life. So why do most of us not live like this?

We don't because, we have strayed away from the best way of living that fits our evolution best. Our culture has got too far ahead of our biology. We eat foods that make us ill. We have lost our social identity and power and that makes us ill. And we have lost touch with the circadian rhythms of the Natural World, and that has made us ill too.

We have lost our fit with our true nature.

This site will be a Manual. It will show you what the best fit is. It will show you the science behind this. It will share with you some methods for getting your fit back with your true human nature.

So welcome to the "Missing Human Manual" . I hope that we can help you and I hope that you can help others as a result.

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