Antidepressants vs Placebo

February 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

Some new scientific research is causing quite a stir in the medical community. The fight is over antidepressants, and whether they work any better than a simple placebo.

60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl spoke to the psychologist behind the study, Irving Kirsch, associate director of the Placebo Studies Program at Harvard Medical School.

In a culture where antidepressants are frequently handed out for multiple complaints like pain, sleep problems or depression, it becomes important to understand what the real criteria to start a serious medication would be. To read more on the efficacy of antidepressants in minor depression, click HERE.

Coconut oil could reverse Alzheimer’s Disease

February 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

Researchers say the ketones found in coconut oil have slowed the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in some people and may actually prevent it.

This picture is the “clock test” used to monitor Alzheimer progression in someone with the disease, as it relates to cognitive function. The video below is an Alzheimer case improving from one drawing to the next due to coconut oil.

Mary Newport, M.D. who wrote the book on ketones from coconut oil, describes Alzheimer’s Disease as diabetes of the brain: A lack of insulin preventing necessary glucose, the brain’s fuel, from entering its cells and subsequently they die. A large part of coconut oil is metabolised by the liver to form ketones, which then serve a similar function to insulin by transporting energy into cells.

It’s believed the ketone phenomenon could be applied to other cells throughout the body, and people with neurodegenerative diseases that involve decreased glucose uptake in neurons.

They could benefit by taking higher amounts of coconut and/or medium chain triglyceride oil to produce ketones, which may be used by brain cells as energy. These diseases include Alzheimer’s and other dementias, Parkinson’s, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s), multiple sclerosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, autism, Down’s syndrome, and Huntington’s chorea. Ketones can also serve as an alternative fuel for other cells in the body that are insulin resistant or cannot transport glucose, and could potentially lessen the effects of diabetes I or II on the brain and other organs.

Brain Fog

“I had not been sleeping well, suffered from headaches, and generally felt drained with a constant sense of doom and what I call ‘fogginess’ most of the time. I never thought for one moment that chiropractic work could be of help.”

Brain fog is an unofficial diagnosis for poor concentration, lack of mental clarity, inability to focus, indecision or forgetfulness. The term I like to use more is a sense of disconnectedness.

Disconnectedness implies a cognitive dissonance between thought and behaviour; and a dissonance between perception and reality. When perception of body or emotion is distorted, you may feel something, but that’s not what’s really going on.

There could be a hundred-and-one physiologic reasons for brain fog ranging from toxic, to neurologic, vascular, hormonal, infectious, traumatic or elemental deficiency. However, in context of “fogging of the brain” in relatively normal people – giving the definition of “normal people” a wide berth itself – all roads lead to brain. So we can look at the brain becoming fogged because of its inability to maintain normal cortical function.

The cortex is the outer layer of the brain that requires constant stimulation to keep us engaged in life. It’s where our higher “human” functions come from. The cerebral cortex is also the area that becomes damaged, shrinks and dies in the process of Alzheimer’s Disease, which would obviously be an extreme case of brain fog.

For optimal performance on a day to day basis, the cortex requires the appropriate amount of “arousal” to keep it stimulated in a positive fashion. This can also be called eustress: the right amount of stress which is healthy and promotes learning and growth. When the cortex becomes overstimulated, or over-stressed, this is called distress and has a negative impact on its function and performance. Finding balance is the key.

Arousal is a term that can be used to describe a level of physiological activity in the body leading to activation of the cortex, because all roads lead to brain. The inverted-U theory states that as arousal increases, so too does performance, up to a point where further increases in arousal cause performance to decrease (see graph).

The challenge with modern day society is that we’re over-stimulated, most of the time, beyond the point of optimum performance for the brain. Especially when we’re setting big challenges for ourselves with high expectations, or simply trying make ends meet. Either end of that challenge spectrum eventually ends in burn out unless managed properly. As the curve begins to dip over the other side, signs and symptoms of stress start to manifest in the form of pain, skin or gut problems, fatigue, moodiness or brain fog. And then if cortex is pushed too far, anxiety and panic set in.

The trouble with an “unofficial diagnosis” like brain fog is that it presents with “unofficial symptoms”, from “unofficial causes” like an over-stimulated cortex, which obviously won’t be detected in a blood test. So how do we figure it all out and correct the problem? As the Germans would say: We have ways and means. Read more

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