Zombie-Cells Removed From Brains, Dementia Gone. Holy Cortex, Batman!:
So aging presents all kinds of difficulties and reductions in abilities.
And Science doesn’t just ask “Why?”, but also “How can we fix it?”
The question is more stark for neurodegenerative-diseases like Alzheimer’s, where people lose their entire -Selves- as a result.
Recently, one avenue Science explores as a solution to many problems, is the existence of senescent or “Zombie”-cells.
And a research team out of the Mayo Clinic found a way to combine that promising frontier in health, with one of mental-aging’s biggest boogeymen…
Senescent Cells Aren’t Just Causing Gray Hair:
What they found as part of their research was that senescent cells aren’t just in your muscles or hair-pigment cells,
But they are also found in your freaking BRAIN, too!
And Yes, when they put the two ideas together, the results were very promising!
Read on to find out how…
How Do We Get These Zombie-Cells In The First Place?:
So here’s the thing, over the course of a cell’s life, it grows, gets nutrients, does its little job, divides through mitosis,
And then when the body decides it’s run its course, it dies.
But there is another state between living and dying: The Walking Dead.
Yes, you don’t have to go to AMC to find zombies.
Your body is full of them.
Because in rare-cases, when a cell starts screwing-up or becomes damaged in an irreparable way,
It can be shut-down
It still sits there, but it just doesn’t work the way a normal cell does.
Healthy-Isolation Still Doesn’t Make Senescent Cells Inert!:
But there’s the problem. It can shut-down or be shut-down out of normal function and division.
And some researchers think senescent cells may also be one of the body’s ways of avoiding cancer, too.
But the other problem is that they are not inert.
They sit there and produce chemicals. -Crappy ones.
These metabolites, hormones, or outright-toxins start screwing with other processes and nearby cells.
Sort-of like a weirdo on a park bench who doesn’t just keep to himself, but says all kinds of disturbing stuff to normal people who pass-by.
And yes, the immune-system does try to clean these guys up, like the cops, but it’s not perfect and doesn’t catch all of them.
Senescent-Cell Researcher Looks For Dementia Everywhere, Finds 1+1=5:
That’s where the team of senescence-researching wizards like DJ Baker comes in.
They thought, well it looks like people may get all kinds of problems in many parts of their bodies from senescent cells as they age.
What are some problems typical of older people?
How about Alzheimer’s and Dementia?
And guess what the researchers found when they examined the brains of mice that were engineered to get Alzheimer’s?
Bingo! Zombie Cells!
To be fair, these mice were only engineered to get the Tau-Protein part of Alzheimer’s and not the Amyloid-Beta part that is more well-known.
And next comes the best part, Special Enzymes…
Drano For Your Brain-O:
When the researchers injected the mice with a special type of enzyme specifically-designed to clear away senescent-cells,
Alzheimer’s symptoms vanished and the mice displayed the ability to form memories again!
Not only that, but the inflammation in the brain that comes along with that was erased.
The Size Remains The Same And 2 Weird Cells:
Even better than that, their brains didn’t show any strange side-effects,
And they also ended-up being normal size instead of the typical reduced-size associated with aging.
Curiouser and curiouser.
An interesting part of the research that also came out is that the cells with the most problems,
Were ironically also the cells from the brain’s self-cleaning system we talked about before.
And These Cells Spread Just Like Gray Hair:
You ever notice that once you get one gray hair,
You get another one right by it?
Well, that’s because the senescent-cell involved in the gray hair was kicking-out chemical compounds.
These cause Inflammation, like you hear about being associated with Alzheimer’s.
More-interestingly, they also secrete compounds that encourage cells around them to also become senescent; or even semi-senescent.
So because of this defense-mechanism, the body is probably ruining perfectly-good brain-cells in order to provide that “insulation” around the one potentially-bad one.
There Is More To Zombie-Cells Than Alzheimer’s:
An interesting piece of research came out a few years ago.
And what it had to say was amazing.
Researchers on anti-aging were able to proloing the lives of mice.
They didn’t do it with some fancy vitamin, supplement, or experimental-drug.
They just used a very similar formula to the current-study.
And injected mice with that agent so it would clear-out senescent-cells,
-In Their Whole Body!-
And their results were astounding. 30% Increase in Lifespan for mice with those zombie-cells removed!
Not only that, they didn’t just live longer, they also behaved more like Young mice, too!
So maybe, unlike “Florida Man”, the fountain of youth wasn’t in southern US after-all.
Either that, or it was a magical enzyme you get from eating oranges that does the same thing as these experiments.
Now, The $64,000 Question!: How Can I Get Rid Of My Own Senescent-Cells?:
Well, it’s bad-news, good-news.
Science does not yet have a tested-safe version of the drug from the first experiment on lifespan,
Or the enzyme from the current study.
-At least not currently approved for healthy people to only remove senescent-cells.
So it’s a good thing you came by HealthTrekker, then!
Here is the best info we have so far that may suggest mild-versions of the same effects, before those drugs come out.
1) Intermittent-Fasting/Time-Restricted Eating
There is a certain amount of literature & study out there on the strange effects of Intermittent-Fasting.
And it looks pretty miraculous.
The list is long with benefits that include:
1) Better Hormone Profile
2) Reduced Inflammation
3) Better Sleep
4) More Energy
5) Is this sounding familiar?
6) Almost-Magic Reduction in Body-Fat
7) And Lucky #7: Autophagy
1a) Autophagy May Be The Secret:
So back in the brain’s self-cleaning system post, we talked about the right conditions,
Mostly of sleep,
To get the brain to clean itself regularly & Stave-off Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
Well, Autophagy is very much like the same thing.
The body itself actually has a cleanup-routine.
And part of that includes your immune-system going around and actually, as the word “Phagy” might imply, digesting parts of you it thinks need cleaning-up.
And Intermittent-Fasting/Time-Restricted Eating Cycles of 8 hours on/16 hours off turns that cycle on for some reason.
1b) Basis For Old Traditions; Intermittent/Fasting May Change Metabolism:
Maybe we now have an explanation to the strange practice people used to do for thousands of years,
Of going on a Fast, and not taking-in anything but water for as-long as they could stand it.
Perhaps it wasn’t just for weight-loss after-all, and for the perceived benefits in overall health that the first few experimenters realized & passed-on.
And as the statement might-imply, the big theory about Autophagy’s benefits is that it clears-out senescent-cells.
Somehow, when your metabolism is given a long-break from eating,
It figures-out other things to do.
All the more-reason to get down to a healthy-weight + body-fat and learn how to control your eating.
2) Calorie Restriction, Another Way To Change How You Eat:
One of the few things we know for-sure will actually extend lifespan,
-Which is insane.
But what if you could find a way to keep or increase your fullness by eating high-bulk foods like fruit+veg,
And then lower your total-calorie-intake by something much more reasonable, like 10% instead?
2a) Calorie-Restriction Slows Aging In The Brain, Proof!:
Well wouldn’t you know it, another study previously showed that calorie-restriction Did in-fact have positive-effects on the brain!
Now the mice in that study only had their daily amount restricted by a Still-Insane 30%.
And if anyone does the same, they would have to Be Even More Careful to get a very-well-balanced diet and at least a multivitamin,
To make sure they didn’t run into some weird-deficiency that created all kinds of other problems.
But either way, the mice in that study had all kinds of different enzymes activated that would not have been otherwise, including 2 called SIRT-1 and CREB-1, so the theory seems to have legs and the results show it.
3) Sleep, Naps, And Weekends:
It’s been said over and over,
Sleep is maybe the King of a healthy-life.
Diet is close, but Sleep might be even more important.
And guess what? -Disrupted-Sleep & Bad Sleep are very-highly correlated with several kinds of problems.
One of which is: You guessed it, Alzheimer’s & Dementia!
So make sure you are BOTH a world-champion Sleeper & Napper; even on the weekends!
The duration and timing of each matter, too, so remember, you can’t just pick any old time.
And there is even an ideal time & duration of Naps, too, as told to us by the queen of sleep, science-cutie Sarah Mednick.
4) Exercise. Get Up & Get Moving!:
Yup, you guessed it again!
Study after study comes out & shows us that about 20-30 minutes of Cardiovascular-exercise, 5+ times a week, does all kinds of great things for us,
Including keeping our brains healthy.
Why wouldn’t it with all of that movement getting among other things, just our plain-old blood to keep circulating even better.
If your blood is circulating better, you’re improving all kinds of hormones, you’re almost guaranteeing yourself some kind of improved-sleep,
And perhaps because of the temporary energy-deficit, you’re tricking your metabolism to even do a little bit of non-fasting Autophagy as a hypothesis?
You just might be making your brain healthier in more ways than just one.
Pro-Tip: Several of the brain-booster pills out there all focus around 1 thing. Improved-Circulation! -Boom!
5) Listen To Dr. Neal Barnard And Eat Right:
So one of the interesting things Neal Barnard had to say in his TED Talk,
Was that Dementia might be modulated by Diet!
-Specifically by trying to get less than a certain amount of Saturated-Fat every single day.
And in that talk, he demonstrates the statistical-results in the small study he conducted to back that up.
You can also eat more of better things in your diet, like Blueberries that help other parts of your circulatory-system,
And also have such a concentration of antioxidants, that they might actually work.
And again, his results suggest they just might.
6) And Finally, A Long Shot On An Old Cousin Of A Drug You Know:
The pharmaceutical biz hasn’t really caught-up to new research just yet.
Because let’s face it the research & approval phases for most drugs are $1 Billion at the minimum.
And they have to make at-least some money on it, especially with a patentable-monopoly.
But that doesn’t mean Only new drugs can help.
In-fact, right now it technically looks like just another anti-inflammatory but…
Dr. Li Gan’s team did tests on this strange cousin of Aspirin.
It’s a safe-but-forgotten drug called Salsalate.
And they found that it not only Stopped,
But also reversed all the damaged done by Tau-Proteins in mice brains afflicted with Alzheimer’s-like symptoms.
Which is a miracle. -Because stopping is one thing, reversing is another.
6a) PS: Another Weird Anti-Inflammatory To The Rescue:
Ok, one more.
In a similar set of experiments by researchers at the University of Manchester,
Scientists were looking again at weird anti-inflammatories to see if they could help Dementia’d brains.
And they crapped-out with mad-crazy Advil.
So they looked up this other really weird one for weapons-grade menstrual-cramps.
And the unique thing about this particular drug named Mefenamic Acid, sold under the brand-name Ponstel,
Is that it stops ALL the inflammation!
I don’t know how the drugco got it to do that but according to the tests, Ponstel is one of the few drugs that does.
And wouldn’t you know it, memory-symptoms from Alzheimer’s-like conditions in test-mice,..
Just like Salsalate, were both stopped and then Reversed!
6b) Those Two Long-Shot Drugs Are Probably Guesses, Or Band-Aids:
Now to be clear, these last two research-ideas are just guesses.
Though they look like they’re helping and the data shows it,
They are probably just helping the afflicted brains by Reducing Inflammation.
It seems an unlikely-scenario that they are clearing Senescent-Cells.
And the research done by Gan and Manchester did not test for that.
Autophagy Still Looks Best For Now:
But honestly, anything that looks even remotely-like Autophagy or something related to it,
Seems like the best thing we have right now,
Other than risky-drug-treatments that were almost all used to treat cancer,
And may have serious potential side-effects for many people.
Those are usually the compounds-given to clear the zombie-cells.
And even though the brains of the test-mice appeared normal in at-least weight,
We can not yet tell what clearing those cells out will do to a real-live human.
We Don’t Know If The Brain Will Fix Itself After Treatment:
And we don’t know if the brain will fix itself, grow new Glial-Cells & Astracytes,
-Or will it just be left with big holes,
That will just result in other bigger problems & complications down the road?
Like a compromised brain-cleaning-system for one.
-That’s why it would appear for now that the best way to clear them out yourself,
What If Our Biological Code Is Ancient, But Plentiful-Food Is New?:
Is also the most natural-seeming-way,
Because it makes sense that ancient-man on whom this routine was based,
May not have had food around 24/7/365 like we do.
So it’s entirely-possible that ancient-metabolism would have set-up the “Digest Senescent-Cells” routine for the time when it wasn’t digesting food.
And besides, who doesn’t want to get a little slimmer with some Intermittent-Fasting?
After you get-over the initial horrorshow-cravings around hour 14 of the first day, clearing out those zombie-cells from your brain should be a breeze in-comparison!
Photo Credits: “chess pawn king”, by sv klimkin
• Source: Mayo
• Source Study: Nature – Clearance of senescent glial cells prevents tau-dependent pathology and cognitive decline