Monday, February 19, 2018

Natural Weapons Against Head Trauma, Dementia, and Memory Issues

 Memory issues affect thousands of families every year. The patient and everyone around them is impacted by Alzheimer's, dementia, traumatic head injuries, and aging memory issues. Memory problems can affect us even in younger years and in women going through menopause. It is so very important to deal with memory issues in the beginning of the problem. The sooner you start, the better chance you have of preserving the memory you have.

 In our family we are dealing with my 93 year old father-in-law who is quickly slipping into confusion and end stage chronic leukemia, my husband who suffered a mild stroke and several TIA's and myself with a head injury sustained three years ago after smacking my head on our icy yard the first winter living in TN.

 I am writing on the issue today and the next several blogs to help others. It is hard to understand how this affects your life unless you have been through it. This blog is not just medical research but experience taking the path back to memory recovery and how it all impacts your life.You may have noticed that I have written much less in the past two years. There was a good reason.

For me, the head injury impacted my life in every aspect including writing and ability to focus. There are several herbal formulations which have brought me forward in my path back to writing. I still have to work at concentration and focus. With my 93 year old father-in-law ingrained  in standard medicine, it is a race to save him as he enters the last stage of chronic leukemia and dementia that is deteriorating with  each month.

My husband has lost some of his focus ability too after his health issues. He has ADD as well. The problems with caring for his dad have raised his blood pressure and stress level. I am gone now all but 5 hours a day taking care of his father. I would say that the problems with his dad has not helped his health much. The stress created into the surrounding family of a sick, aging parent is enormous. It affects every aspect of your life and marriage. It is rough.

I believe there is an answer to most health problems in alternative medicine. At times, it may take time and experimentation to find it. So recently I began more research into Lion's Mane for all of us. In a few weeks, I will write a blog on the results we see. It may not do anything for his dad at this late stage so this will be interesting in more than one way. He has chronic leukemia in the last stage. It wasn't diagnosed until the later part of last year. He does not like anything new and is not open to alternative medicine. After learning of his dangerous blood disease state, he is willing to try for me.

There are many natural remedies that can be employed against memory loss.  In the next few blogs, we will explore these natural weapons against memory loss.  Lions Mane is one I have only explored in the past three years. I just went in a different alternative medicine direction to begin with. It is difficult at times when undergoing severe stress to tell what is working and what is not. You may not be sure. I did not get better in days but in months gradually. There is no instant cure to memory problems or brain trauma but there is hope and sometimes total healing.

Acetyl L Carnitine is one of the top alternative therapies I will discuss today.

Taking Acetyl L Carnitine was the main alternative therapy I used until just recently. It did improve my memory problems very well but concentration and focus was still a big problem.

Head injuries cause an inability to concentrate and focus. You try to work through it but it is like hitting a wall. That does not work well when researching complex medical information and research data. My memory is pretty good now but the concentration did not improve to the degree needed to research and write articles.

How did I know that my brain was impacted by the fall? In the first  few months, I would have blanks on recalling pertinent information like the kids birthdays. Confusion in driving and directions. Pretty scary. I remember the first week after the head injury not being able to remember my birthday correctly for a form. That is when I knew the full extent on the injury sustained from that fall. After a week or two I tried to write and it caused a headache to concentrate. Conversations were too much as well. My husband would be discussing an issue and it just was not going through. It bothers you to think. I looked it up then and thought wow, I really did it this time. You look fine but you know you are not. Your immediate family can spot the effects too.  You have no idea how long it will last or if you will recover completely. The doctor who told me that I was probably fine right after the fall said well we can't do much. Time will tell. That was a big help.I figured a month and all would be fine again. Not so.

 I immediately begin to research brain trauma, the effects, solutions, and alternative medicine. My first supplement was Acetyl-l-Carnitine. I am adding this excerpt from the
EnCognitive.com  website on this subject. They are experts in natural therapy for brain trauma. I suggest you read the whole article there and the other articles on their website. For the record, I used the regular L-Carnitine mainly because of the cost. It is an expensive supplement. I took 2000 mg per day for two years. Looking back, I should have taken the more expensive version. I might have gotten results more quickly.

Why Acetyl-L-Carnitine?

The following excerpt is from the article at Encognitive.com

"Acetyl-L-carnitine is a special form of carnitine that has the particular ability to optimize brain function. Acetyl-L-carnitine is able to cross into the brain more effectively than regular carnitine. It therefore enhances brain cell function much better than regular carnitine. As we age, acetyl-L-carnitine levels in our brains go down and for optimal brain function, supplements of acetyl-L-carnitine become mandatory. Particularly for those over 40, acetyl-L-carnitine is the preferred form of carnitine.

The research on acetyl-L-carnitine shows it to be nothing short of extraordinary. Acetyl-L-carnitine prevents the deterioration of the brain during stress and it helps the aging brain function better. Acetyl-L-carnitine also helps prevent damage that can occur to nerve cells when there is a lack of oxygen in the brain. It is therefore of no surprise that acetyl-L-carnitine is very helpful for stroke victims, who have been found to recover better on 1500 mg of acetyl-L-carnitine per day.

Acetyl-L-carnitine acts in many ways to prevent the deterioration of brain cells that normally happens with age. It does this in many ways. It acts as a powerful antioxidant, provides the brain with healing energy and increases levels of a very important messenger molecule called acetylcholine. It is acetylcholine which becomes deficient in the brains of Alzheimer's patients and that is why these patients have such poor memory function. So by increasing levels of acetylcholine, acetyl-L-carnitine helps the memory work better and may help prevent Alzheimer's as well.

Animal studies have shown that acetyl-L-carnitine can greatly improve the body's ability to recover and repair nerves after physical trauma. Acetyl-L-carnitine is an exciting nutrient for application in any kind of nerve damage because it is a real "Renaissance nutrient" when it comes to healing nerves.

 The many roles acetyl-L-carnitine plays in promoting nerve healing include:

promoting the growth and health of nerve cells in many ways
accelerating the maturation of nerve cells
protecting nerve cells from free radicals
activating nerve growth factor, an important nerve cell healing compound made by the body
speeding the healing of damaged nerves in peripheral neuropathies" end of excerpt

Here are several websites on this supplement:

http://aminoacidinformation.com/l-carnitine-brain-injury/

 https://www.emedicinehealth.com/head_injury/article_em.htm#head_injury_guidelines_and_assessment_glasgow_coma_scale

https://journals.lww.com/ccmjournal/Abstract/2012/12001/189___ACETYL_L_CARNITINE__ALCAR__PROVIDES.156.aspxhttps://journals.lww.com/ccmjournal/Abstract/2012/12001

 http://www.doctorsaputo.com/a/acetyl-l-carnitine-speeds-spinal-cord-injury-recovery


Did L-carnitine work for me?  L-Carnitine is the less expensive version of this amino acid.

L-Carnitine at 2000 mg per day did work to restore 80% of my memory functions over many months. I must point out that this was the second head injury. The first one being years ago from a car accident. That accident caused severe short term memory loss for over a year. My memory was not the same after that accident. One reason I stopped teaching live classes was because of the inability to recall at times.  Even though that got better as time went on, it never was completely perfect. So this was the second major head injury which makes it worse for recovery. With each fall, your risk for permanent memory loss goes up.

I no longer have trouble remembering birthdays and important information.  After two years though, my ability to concentrate was still impacted. I could not do the intense research needed for my kind of writing.  It is apparent to my husband and family that L-Carnitine did do quite a job on restoring the memory brain damage from the fall.  The excessive stress taking care of my father-in-law slowed down the recovery I feel.  I still have not been able to concentrate enough to really write again. That part of brain damage is not apparent to most of your family. It is something you know and it is exceptionally frustrating.

So a month ago, I went back to research to see what I could find or add to help.  I went back to further research on Lion's Mane mushrooms.  They are a weird looking mushroom that looks like a mane or white beard.  The more research I did, the more I felt it was perhaps the therapy to restore the remaining problems. I also found out that it has been shown to be a weapon against leukemia, which my father-in-law is in the last stages of suffering. Since they are giving him no options for treatment, his oncologist has told me to go ahead and see what happens. Lion's Mane works on additional problems such as high blood pressure, clotting issues, mood, depression, and leukemia according to some published research papers.It is not just a therapy for memory and brain issues.

 I put all of us on it for a full trial of Lion's Mane with three different kinds of memory issues between us. It is interesting after months of not being able to sit down and write that one week on Lion's Mane, I sat down today and wrote this. It was not a struggle to sit down and write or nor do the research on the subject. I am excited to continue this treatment with my husband and father-in-law.  I will report more on this as we go along. So all of us are now taking the supplement. I want to take you all with us on this path so you can see how it might help your health issues.  

God Bless You All 
Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin