Video Presentations on the Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease and Ketogenic Diet

Cognitive Improvement with Ketones in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) - Dr. Stephen Cunnane, PhD

"Can Ketones Slow Down Alzheimer's?" - Dr. Stephen Cunnane, PhD

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) strikes fear into everyone. But can AD be slowed down; can we do something to delay when it starts and how hard it strikes? There is growing evidence that a conscientious prevention approach can help one resist AD. The prevention approach to AD is the same as for what are called the ‘chronic Western diseases’ – hypertension, type 2 diabetes and obesity. The hormone insulin appears to play a key role in AD. Insulin tends to be less effective at controlling blood sugar (glucose) in older people, especially if they are sedentary. This in turn decreases the amount of fuel getting to the brain making it harder for brain cells to talk to each other so memories gradually slip away. Our research shows that it is difficult to increase glucose supply to the brain once it has declined in older people, even with exercise. Ketones are the brain’s back-up fuel and the brain of someone with AD can use ketones as well as the brain of a young adult. Moderate exercise helps get more ketones into the brain. Some older people may not be able to exercise but one can make a ketone drink made from medium chain triglyceride (MCT) in one’s kitchen. We are in the middle of a trial with an MCT drink in people at high risk of AD. The early results show a significant benefit for memory. There will be no miracle cures for AD but a prevention approach may delay and/or slow it down.

A major focus of Dr. Cunnane’s research over the past 30 years has been to develop a better understanding of the role of omega-3 fatty acids and ketones in human brain development and function. His team uses PET and MR imaging to study the impact of aging on brain structure and fuel metabolism. This information is applied to the development of keto-neurotherapeutic strategies for reducing the risk and progression of aging-associated cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed research papers and five books. Two of his books highlight the concept that the key role of ketones for normal human brain development was of importance to overcoming the nutritional, metabolic and structural constraints on human brain evolution: Survival of the Fattest: The Key to Human Brain Evolution (World Scientific 2005), and Human Brain Evolution: Influence of Fresh and Coastal Food Resources (Wiley, 2010). Dr. Cunnane was elected to the French National Academy of Medicine in 2009. In Oct 2017, he received the Chevreul Medal from the French Society for the Study of Lipids for outstanding contributions in the area of omega-3 fatty acid metabolism and the role of ketones in optimal brain function during aging.

Brain Glucose and Ketone Metabolism - Dr. Stephen Cunnane, PhD

Filmed at the Emerging Science of Carbohydrate Restriction and Nutritional Ketosis, Scientific Sessions at The Ohio State University

An impressive body of scientific evidence over the last 15 years documents long term benefits of carbohydrate-restricted, especially ketogenic, diets. We now understand molecular mechanisms and why they work. Popular books and articles now challenge the advice ‘carbohydrates are good and fats are bad.’ Circa mid-19th century urinary ketones were identified in diabetics sealing their toxic label for the next 150 years. Despite work four decades ago showing ketones were highly functional metabolites, they are still misidentified as toxic byproducts of fat metabolism. The vilification of fat by regulatory and popular dogma perpetuates this myth. But the nutrition-metabolic landscape is improving dramatically.

A growing number of researchers have contributed to what is now a critical mass of science that provides compelling clinical evidence that ketogenic diets uniquely benefit weight loss, pre-diabetes, and type-2 diabetes. In the last five years, basic scientists have discovered that b-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), the primary circulating ketone, is a potent signaling molecule that decreases inflammation and oxidative stress. BHB has been suggested to be a longevity metabolite, with strong support from recently published mouse studies showing decreased midlife mortality and extended longevity and healthspan. Although type-2 diabetes is often described as a chronic progressive disease, emerging evidence indicates that sustained nutritional ketosis can reverses the disease. There is growing interest in studying potential therapeutic effects of ketosis on cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. There are even reasons certain athletes may benefit from nutritional ketosis and ketone supplements ─ debunking the long-standing dogma that high carbohydrate intake is required to perform optimally.

With the support of the well-established Ohio State Food Innovation Center, this conference will bring together the top experts in these fields to share what has been achieved and what remains to be done to advance this exciting field of scientific discovery.

Can You Prevent or Reverse Cognitive Impairment and Early Dementia? -with Dr. Stephen Cunnane, PhD

Dr. Stephen Cunnane PhD discusses the beginnings of cognitive impairment and early reversible Alzheimer's. He makes very valid recommendations as to what you can do to reduce or reverse your cognitive impairment risk. We also discuss the importance of physical activity as a way to reduce the risk of dementia and the role of micronutrients. His findings are incredible. From childhood to senescence, what nutrition is optimal for the healthiest brain growth and development and which nutrient imbalances contribute to more rapid brain deterioration and brain cell dysfunction and death? Dr Cunnane is an incredible scientist willing to talk about what he knows but not willing to speculate like so many on the internet.

Know the scientific truth about how your body works. Ask and answer the right questions to optimize your health!

"Ketogenic Diets for Alzheimer's Prevention: Don't Push the ApoE4 Boulder" - Dr. Nicholas Norwitz, PhD

Dr. Nicholas Norwitz obtained his PhD in ketogenics and neurodegenerative diseases at Oxford University in just two years and is now pursing his MD at Harvard Medical School. His research expertise is ketosis and brain aging; however, he has published scientific papers on topics ranging from neuroscience to heart disease to gastrointestinal health to genetics to bone health to diabetes.

Nick’s passion for Food as Medicine is founded a personal history. At eighteen years old, he developed severe osteoporosis, a bone disease that crippled his promising running career. Next, Nick developed ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease so severe as to cause him to lose twenty percent of his body weight in weeks and end up in the palliative care ward of a hospital with a heart rate in the twenties.

Through scientific self-study, Nick discovered his salvation in a ketogenic diet. He reversed his osteoporosis and colitis and is thriving! But Nick is grateful for his apparent misfortunes. In his words, “The most remarkable part of my story is that it’s not unique. The healthcare system isn’t built to address metabolic diseases. For that, we need metabolic medicine rooted in nutrition. My lifelong goal is to help reform the system and educate people. Plus, I’d like to think being a patient has made me a more compassionate person.”

"Treating and Preventing Dementia - How Diet Can Work When Drugs Fail" - Dr. Paul Mason

Dr Paul Mason obtained his medical degree with honours from the University of Sydney, and also holds degrees in Physiotherapy and Occupational Health. He is a Specialist Sports Medicine and Exercise Physician.

Dr Mason developed an interest in low carbohydrate diets in 2011. Since then he has spent hundreds of hours reading and analysing the scientific literature.

For a number of years, Dr. Mason has been applying this knowledge in treating metabolic and arthritis patients who have achieved dramatic and sustained weight loss and reductions in joint pain.

This presentation was recorded for 'Low Carb International All Stars – Online Conference' held in June 2020.

"Ketone Effects on the Brain: ApoE4, Vascular Dementia, Ischemia and Epilepsy" - Dr. Dominic D'Agostino

Elevated levels of ketone bodies, such as beta-hydroxybutyrate, can have beneficial effects on several brain-related diseases. Research suggests that ketone bodies can increase blood flow in the brain by 30 to 40 percent, which may have profound effects for patients with brain injury or vascular dementia. By studying ischemic wounds, which are analogous to an aged brain or clogged arteries, researchers observed increased blood flow when ketone levels were elevated. Nutritional ketosis may also reduce neural inflammation which may be a predictor of seizure in epilepsy. In this clip, Dr. Dominic D'Agostino describes the positive effects that ketones can have on the brain.

"The Ketogenic Diet in Neurology and Psychiatry" - Dr. Chris Palmer

Christopher Palmer, MD received his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine. He did his internship and psychiatry residency at McLean Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School. He is currently the Director of the Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education at McLean Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. For the past 25 years, he has been an academic physician with administrative, research, educational, and clinical roles.

Dr. Palmer leads McLean Hospital’s Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education. In this role, he has developed hundreds of educational conferences, workshops, Grand Rounds, and other professional educational activities, most of them under the aegis of Harvard Medical School. He has also held numerous leadership positions in the continuing education field beyond McLean Hospital’s program, including serving on leadership, advisory, and strategic planning committees of Harvard Medical School, Partners Healthcare, the Massachusetts Medical Society, and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).

Dr. Palmer’s clinical practice has focused on helping people suffering from treatment-resistant mental illnesses, including mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and personality disorders. Most recently, his research interests have turned to the areas of metabolism, metabolic disorders, and their connection to mental disorders. He is focused on combining and understanding epidemiological data, basic science research, and clinical studies in order to better understand what role metabolism plays in mental illness.

Dr. Palmer has been pioneering the use of the ketogenic diet and its applications in psychiatry. He has published case studies, pilot clinical trials, and is actively conducting research in this area. He is also working with researchers from around the world to further explore this treatment in clinical populations as well as pursuing more basic science research.

Keto Helps with Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

Could a ketogenic diet be the solution for Alzheimer's we have been waiting for? A new study shows that a ketogenic diet is better than a low-fat diet for quality of life and activities for daily living in those with Alzheimer's disease. For a devastating condition with few if any helpful treatments, this could be the start of a revolution in Alzheimer's care.

Can Alzheimer's Be Treated with the Keto Diet? - Dr. Mary Newport, MD

Does a keto diet help with Alzheimer's? Alzheimer's Disease expert Dr. Mary Newport discusses her personal discovery of the ketogenic diet as an effective treatment for her husband's Alzheimer's symptoms.

How Insulin Resistance Destroys Your Brain and Causes Alzheimer's Dementia - Dr. Ben Bikman, PhD

Nearly six million individuals live with Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S., and the numbers continue to rise. After 30 years of encountering dead ends while addressing Alzheimer’s disease as a problem of brain plaques, researchers are looking at other contributing factors. 

There is a growing body of evidence that indicates a strong correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and a disrupted metabolic state, where the brain can’t get enough energy.

On today’s episode of The Dhru Purohit Podcast, Dhru sits down with Dr. Benjamin Bikman, a renowned metabolic research scientist, and a popular speaker on human metabolism and nutrition. Backed by years of research, Dr. Bikman’s mission is to help the world appreciate the prevalence and relevance of insulin resistance. He is the author of, Why We Get Sick, which offers a thought-provoking yet real solution to insulin resistance and how to reverse pre-diabetes, improve brain function, shed fat, and prevent diabetes. Dr. Bikman has a Doctor of Philosophy in Bioenergetics from East Carolina University, a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, and a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Brigham Young University.

In this episode, we dive into:  

 - Why Alzheimer’s disease is increasingly being referred to as insulin resistance of the brain or Type 3 diabetes (7:30)

 - How the brain runs on different fuel sources (10:24)

 - Why insulin prevents the production of ketones (15:59)

 - Early signs of potential cognitive decline (27:02)

 - Common foods that drive insulin resistance (37:50)

 - The role insulin resistance plays in migraine headaches and epilepsy (52:22)

 - Where to get your carbohydrates from (1:02:25)

 - Foods that fuel your body and brain (1:05:40)

 - How seed oils wreak havoc on our health (1:13:43)

 - What you can do today to reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease (1:24:19)

Could Fructose Be Driving Alzheimer's Disease? - Dr. Richard Johnson & Dr. Robert Lustig

Fructose and its byproduct uric acid may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s, thanks to an evolutionary adaptation hijacked by the modern diet. Fructose can be directly consumed, or the body can convert high-glycemic carbohydrates and other foods to fructose. Fructose suppresses some cognitive functions. Dr. Richard Johnson and Dr. Rob Lustig discuss a new study, of which Johnson was an author, on how fructose may be a potential driver in Alzheimer’s, and they hypothesize about fructose’s potential connection to the development of other conditions.

Scholarly Articles on Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease and Ketogenic Diet

Insulin Resistance in Brain and Possible Therapeutic ApproachesAlthough the brain has long been considered an insulin-independent organ, recent research has shown that insulin has significant effects on the brain, where it plays a role in maintaining glucose and energy homeostasis. To avoid peripheral insulin resistance, the brain may act via hypoinsulinemic responses, maintaining glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity within its own confines; however, brain insulin resistance may develop due to environmental factors. Insulin has two important functions in the brain: controlling food intake and regulating cognitive functions, particularly memory. Notably, defects in insulin signaling in the brain may contribute to neurodegenerative disorders. Insulin resistance may damage the cognitive system and lead to dementia states. Furthermore, inflammatory processes in the hypothalamus, where insulin receptors are expressed at high density, impair local signaling systems and cause glucose and energy metabolism disorders. Excessive caloric intake and high-fat diets initiate insulin and leptin resistance by inducing mitochondrial dysfunction and endoplasmic reticulum stress in the hypothalamus. This may lead to obesity and diabetes mellitus (DM). Exercise can enhance brain and hypothalamic insulin sensitivity, but it is the option least preferred and/or continuously practiced by the general population. Pharmacological treatments that increase brain and hypothalamic insulin sensitivity may provide new insights into the prevention of dementia disorders, obesity, and type 2 DM in the future.
Insulin Resistance in Peripheral Tissues and the Brain: A Tale of Two SitesThe concept of insulin resistance has been around since a few decades after the discovery of insulin itself. To allude to the classic Charles Dicken’s novel published 62 years before the discovery of insulin, in some ways, this is the best of times, as the concept of insulin resistance has expanded to include the brain, with the realization that insulin has a life beyond the regulation of glucose. In other ways, it is the worst of times as insulin resistance is implicated in devastating diseases, including diabetes mellitus, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that affect the brain. Peripheral insulin resistance affects nearly a quarter of the United States population in adults over age 20. More recently, it has been implicated in AD, with the degree of brain insulin resistance correlating with cognitive decline. This has led to the investigation of brain or central nervous system (CNS) insulin resistance and the question of the relation between CNS and peripheral insulin resistance. While both may involve dysregulated insulin signaling, the two conditions are not identical and not always interlinked. In this review, we compare and contrast the similarities and differences between peripheral and CNS insulin resistance. We also discuss how an apolipoprotein involved in insulin signaling and related to AD, apolipoprotein E (apoE), has distinct pools in the periphery and CNS and can indirectly affect each system. As these systems are both separated but also linked via the blood–brain barrier (BBB), we discuss the role of the BBB in mediating some of the connections between insulin resistance in the brain and in the peripheral tissues.