Cleaning up the brain's trash to reverse cognitive decline in Alzheimers dementia
|Scooped by Dr. Maud Nerman, DO., CSPOMM, CA|
Over 100 years ago, the founder of osteopathic medicine, Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, MD, had a remarkable insight about disease and the body's ability to get rid of its trash. He observed that when the body's trash removal system - the lymphatics - was working unimpeded, "we have no substance detained long enough to produce fermentation, disease, sickness, or death." That insight, once dismissed and ignored by medicine, is now being proved correct as researchers have rediscovered the power of the lymphatic system to amplify the body's healing powers.
Nowhere is this "revolution" in the understanding of the key role of the trash removal system more pronounced than in the study of neurological impairments of the brain. We now know that the brain's lymphatic system - known as the "glymphatic system" - is critical to the brain's health. One prominent researcher has even stated that "essentially, all neurodegenerative diseases are associated with the accumulation of cellular waste products." The brain's toxin removal system is impaired after traumatic brain injury. Unless it is repaired and fluid flow restored, inflammation will ravage the brain. When the system starts to work better, the brain can begin its journey towards healing.
This research study is fascinating because it explores another aspect of the brain's trash removal system in connection with Alzheimers' dementia. More and more studies are exploring the potent effects of cleaning out the amyloid beta trash that builds up in the brains of AD patients. In this study, the researchers used ultrasound to provoke immune cells in the brain, known as microglia, to ratchet up their trash removal activities. In 75% of the mice, the re-energized microglia removed enough of the amyloid beta plaque in the brain to result in improved performance in three memory tasks.
If this research is translatable to human beings, it represents a dramatic step in the conquest of this terrible disease and reinforces the principle that cleaning up the trash helps the brain heal. The next step would be to flush those activated immune cells and their trash burden out of the brain entirely. That will be the subject of another scoop! in the near future.