Part 2 of 5: Greg and Sally, and their positive research findings on Alzheimer’s disease at UCLA…
Greg Cole and Sally Frautschy are two professors who work at the Department of Medicine in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Greg and Sally have done some fantastic research. They have outlined how Alzheimer’s disease develops, and also how omega-3 fish oil slows the development of Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, their research was so impressive, that two prestigious medical journals published their research; those journals are Neurobiology of Aging, and The Journal of Nutrition.
First, let’s look at how the brain of a normal person works, versus the brain of someone with Alzheimer’s disease. When a normal person sees somebody they know, a signal is sent from their eyes to the part of the brain that is responsible for recognition. That signal passes through a series of connected nerve cells. Each nerve cell is connected to the next by a synapse. Synapses connect nerve cells to each other, and allow for signals to pass from one part of the brain to another. They are a crucial factor in the understanding of the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
The problem in the brain of someone developing Alzheimer’s disease is that these synapses start to deteriorate, and as a result become incapable of conducting a signal from one nerve cell to the next. So when a person with Alzheimer’s disease sees somebody that they should recognise, that visual signal doesn’t reach the part of the brain responsible for recognition, and they can’t recognise them. It doesn’t matter that they may have known that person for years prior to the development of their Alzheimer’s disease.
Greg and Sally highlight that the reason that synapses commonly start to deteriorate is because of inflammation and oxidative damage (which is our own bodies’ version of rusting).
The good news is that omega-3 fish oil has been found to limit much of this damage to synapses. This allows the signalling to continue working well in your brain, which limits many of the memory issues endemic in society today.
The component in omega-3 fish oil that has been found to limit the damage to synapses is called DHA. If you’re in the health food shop and you are unsure which brand of fish oil to get, simply check the back of the box and it will tell you how much DHA is in each capsule. Then you’re in a position to make a well-informed decision about which brand to get.
Greg and Sally’s conclusion was that fish oil was safe, without side-effects, and is a strong candidate in the primary prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
In the next blog post, you will read about the results of the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in three patients in a hospital in Japan. All three of the patients improved. Two patients, who couldn’t recognise their own family, started to recognise their family members again. The third patient had a 25% improvement in memory function score.
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Here are the links to all the blog posts in this series: