My body, my brain

Mar
4
2016
by
Lynne McTaggart
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If you’ve seen the movie Still Alice, you may come away with two takeaway messages. The first is that Julianne Moore deserved the Oscar she won for her masterful job of portraying a patient slowly succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease.

The second is that Alzheimer’s is entirely a genetically induced disease. If you’ve got it, resign yourself to a bad toss of the dice. Nothing you can do about it other than to wait for the long, forgetful goodbye.

If you’ve seen the movie Still Alice, you may come away with two takeaway messages. The first is that Julianne Moore deserved the Oscar she won for her masterful job of portraying a patient slowly succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease.

The second is that Alzheimer’s is entirely a genetically induced disease. If you’ve got it, resign yourself to a bad toss of the dice. Nothing you can do about it other than to wait for the long, forgetful goodbye.

Although the first statement may be true, the second is not. Alzheimer’s may have a genetic component, in terms of a familial tendency, but the evidence overwhelmingly supports the notion that brain fog of any variety is an environmentally induced disease, caused by lifestyle factors: too much sugar and processed food, too little fat, too many prescription drugs, too little exercise – in fact, too little of anything new in your life. And these effects can be largely reversed or at least improved by cleaning up these environmental factors.

One of the greatest environmental hazards are the numerous major classes of drugs that can bring on dementia. These include heart drugs, cholesterol-lowering drugs, sleeping pills, antidepressants, narcotics, stimulants, anticholinergic and antiepileptics.

Psycho-drugging

Psychologist Mike Dow cites statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that only 17 percent of American adults are considered to be in a state of “optimal mental health.”One American adult in ten takes some kind of medication to cope with depression - a figure that rises to one in four among American women in their 40s and 50s. A staggering one in five Americans take a prescription drug for a psychiatric illness. And Xanax, the drug of choice for anxiety, is the country’s most commonly prescribed drug.

As most people over the age of 50 are taking at least one prescription drug, and six or more a decade later, it’s small wonder that dementia is one of the world’s fastest-growing disorders, now absorbing one-third of the entire US Medicare bill. It’s now expected that one in four of us will have some form of dementia by the time we reach 80.

This giant problem, created in large part by the processed food and the pharmaceutical industries, is fundamentally a by-product of the refusal of our current medical system to consider the body a holistic entity or indeed to understand what actually makes for a healthy brain.

Knock-on effects

Consider the effects of statins and the entire ‘low-fat’ food industry on the workings of your grey matter. Although medicine used to believe that the master conductor of brain activity was the neurons, or nerve cells, that create and release neurotransmitters and electrical signals, this view needs to be revised by a more holistic view of the brain.

A more up-to-date view would appreciate that the brain works in its entirety through a web of activity between neurons and four varieties of glial cells. Glial cells, which surround the neurons, keep them in place, provide them with nutrients, and destroy and mop up pathogens. They also insulate one neuron from another and modulate the transmission of signals.

One major function of glial cells is to form myelin—the insulating sheath that covers every tentacle of a nerve cell—which is largely made up of lipid (fatty) tissue.

Yeon-Kyun Shin, a professor of biophysics at Iowa State University, recently went on record to say that high cholesterol is vital for good brain function, and a lack of cholesterol impairs the brain’s thinking ability and memory.

“If you deprive the brain of cholesterol, then you directly affect the machinery that triggers the release of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters affect the data-processing and memory functions; in other words, how smart you are and how well you remember things,” he said.

An interconnected whole

In 1970, the late German physicist Fritz-Albert Popp stumbled upon the fact that humans emit a tiny current of photons, or light, from the DNA of every cell. He also discovered something else remarkable.

If a medicine was applied to one part of the body, a massive change occurred in the amount of light emitted not only from where he’d applied the agent, but also from other, more distant parts of the body. Popp soon recognized that this light as a communication channel within a living organism – a means of instantaneous, or ‘non-local’ global signalling.

Popp’s pioneering work affords us a glimpse of the body at work as an exquisite, interconnected whole. What affects one part affects every other part simultaneously. Whatever we atomize anything such as our arteries or even our brain – treating it as separate from the rest of us – we invite calamity.

Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the worldwide international bestsellers The Power of Eight, The Field, The Intention Experiment and The Bond, all considered seminal books of the New Science and now translated into some 30 languages.

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