What you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s | Lisa Genova

What you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s | Lisa Genova


How many people here would like to live
to be at least 80 years old? Yeah. I think we all have
this hopeful expectation of living into old age. Let’s project out into the future, to your future “you’s,” and let’s imagine that we’re all 85. Now, everyone look at two people. One of you probably has
Alzheimer’s disease. (Laughter) Alright, alright. And maybe you’re thinking,
“Well, it won’t be me.” Then, OK. You are a caregiver. So — (Laughter) so in some way, this terrifying disease
is likely to affect us all. Part of the fear around Alzheimer’s
stems from the sense that there’s nothing we can do about it. Despite decades of research, we still
have no disease-modifying treatment and no cure. So if we’re lucky enough
to live long enough, Alzheimer’s appears to be
our brain’s destiny. But maybe it doesn’t have to be. What if I told you we could
change these statistics, literally change our brain’s destiny, without relying on a cure
or advancements in medicine? Let’s begin by looking at
what we currently understand about the neuroscience of Alzheimer’s. Here’s a picture
of two neurons connecting. The point of connection,
this space circled in red, is called the synapse. The synapse is where
neurotransmitters are released. This is where signals are transmitted,
where communication happens. This is where we think,
feel, see, hear, desire … and remember. And the synapse
is where Alzheimer’s happens. Let’s zoom in on the synapse and look at a cartoon representation
of what’s going on. During the business
of communicating information, in addition to releasing neurotransmitters
like glutamate into the synapse, neurons also release a small peptide
called amyloid beta. Normally, amyloid beta is cleared away
metabolized by microglia, the janitor cells of our brains. While the molecular causes
of Alzheimer’s are still debated, most neuroscientists believe
that the disease begins when amyloid beta begins to accumulate. Too much is released,
or not enough is cleared away, and the synapse begins
to pile up with amyloid beta. And when this happens, it binds to itself, forming sticky aggregates
called amyloid plaques. How many people here
are 40 years old or older? You’re afraid to admit it now. This initial step into the disease, this presence of amyloid
plaques accumulating, can already be found in your brains. The only way we could be sure of this
would be through a PET scan, because at this point,
you are blissfully unaware. You’re not showing any impairments
in memory, language, or cognition … yet. We think it takes at least 15 to 20 years
of amyloid plaque accumulation before it reaches a tipping point, then triggering a molecular cascade that causes the clinical
symptoms of the disease. Prior to the tipping point, your lapses in memory
might include things like, “Why did I come in this room?” or “Oh … what’s his name?” or “Where did I put my keys?” Now, before you all
start freaking out again, because I know half of you did at least
one of those in the last 24 hours — these are all normal kinds of forgetting. In fact, I would argue that these examples might not even involve your memory, because you didn’t pay attention
to where you put your keys in the first place. After the tipping point, the glitches in memory,
language and cognition are different. Instead of eventually finding
your keys in your coat pocket or on the table by the door, you find them in the refrigerator, or you find them and you think, “What are these for?” So what happens when amyloid plaques
accumulate to this tipping point? Our microglia janitor cells
become hyper-activated, releasing chemicals that cause
inflammation and cellular damage. We think they might actually
start clearing away the synapses themselves. A crucial neural transport protein
called “tau” becomes hyperphosphorylated and twists itself
into something called “tangles,” which choke off the neurons
from the inside. By mid-stage Alzheimer’s,
we have massive inflammation and tangles and all-out war at the synapse and cell death. So if you were a scientist
trying to cure this disease, at what point would you ideally
want to intervene? Many scientists are betting big
on the simplest solution: keep amyloid plaques
from reaching that tipping point, which means that drug discovery is largely
focused on developing a compound that will prevent, eliminate, or reduce
amyloid plaque accumulation. So the cure for Alzheimer’s will likely be
a preventative medicine. We’re going to have to take this pill
before we reach that tipping point, before the cascade is triggered, before we start leaving
our keys in the refrigerator. We think this is why, to date,
these kinds of drugs have failed in clinical trials — not because the science wasn’t sound, but because the people in these trials
were already symptomatic. It was too late. Think of amyloid plaques as a lit match. At the tipping point, the match
sets fire to the forest. Once the forest is ablaze, it doesn’t do any good
to blow out the match. You have to blow out the match
before the forest catches fire. Even before scientists sort this out, this information is actually
really good news for us, because it turns out that the way we live
can influence the accumulation of amyloid plaques. And so there are things we can do to keep us from reaching
that tipping point. Let’s picture your risk
of Alzheimer’s as a see-saw scale. We’re going to pile
risk factors on one arm, and when that arm hits the floor,
you are symptomatic and diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Let’s imagine you’re 50 years old. You’re not a spring chicken anymore, so you’ve accumulated
some amyloid plaques with age. Your scale is tipped a little bit. Now let’s look at your DNA. We’ve all inherited our genes
from our moms and our dads. Some of these genes will increase our risk
and some will decrease it. If you’re like Alice in “Still Alice,” you’ve inherited a rare genetic mutation
that cranks out amyloid beta, and this alone will tip
your scale arm to the ground. But for most of us, the genes we inherit
will only tip the arm a bit. For example, APOE4 is a gene variant
that increases amyloid, but you can inherit a copy of APOE4
from mom and dad and still never get Alzheimer’s, which means that for most of us, our DNA alone does not determine
whether we get Alzheimer’s. So what does? We can’t do anything about getting older
or the genes we’ve inherited. So far, we haven’t changed
our brain’s destiny. What about sleep? In slow-wave deep sleep, our glial cells
rinse cerebral spinal fluid throughout our brains, clearing away metabolic waste
that accumulated in our synapses while we were awake. Deep sleep is like
a power cleanse for the brain. But what happens if you shortchange
yourself on sleep? Many scientists believe that poor sleep hygiene might actually
be a predictor of Alzheimer’s. A single night of sleep deprivation
leads to an increase in amyloid beta. And amyloid accumulation
has been shown to disrupt sleep, which in turn causes
more amyloid to accumulate. And so now we have
this positive feedback loop that’s going to accelerate
the tipping of that scale. What else? Cardiovascular health. High blood pressure, diabetes,
obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, have all been shown to increase our risk
of developing Alzheimer’s. Some autopsy studies have shown that as many as 80 percent
of people with Alzheimer’s also had cardiovascular disease. Aerobic exercise has been shown
in many studies to decrease amyloid beta in animal models of the disease. So a heart-healthy
Mediterranean lifestyle and diet can help to counter
the tipping of this scale. So there are many things we can do to prevent or delay
the onset of Alzheimer’s. But let’s say
you haven’t done any of them. Let’s say you’re 65; there’s Alzheimer’s in your family,
so you’ve likely inherited a gene or two that tips your scale arm a bit; you’ve been burning the candle
at both ends for years; you love bacon; and you don’t run unless
someone’s chasing you. (Laughter) Let’s imagine that your amyloid plaques
have reached that tipping point. Your scale arm has crashed to the floor. You’ve tripped the cascade, setting fire to the forest, causing inflammation, tangles,
and cell death. You should be symptomatic for Alzheimer’s. You should be having trouble
finding words and keys and remembering what I said
at the beginning of this talk. But you might not be. There’s one more thing you can do
to protect yourself from experiencing
the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, even if you have the full-blown disease
pathology ablaze in your brain. It has to do with neural plasticity
and cognitive reserve. Remember, the experience
of having Alzheimer’s is ultimately a result of losing synapses. The average brain has
over a hundred trillion synapses, which is fantastic;
we’ve got a lot to work with. And this isn’t a static number. We gain and lose synapses all the time, through a process
called neural plasticity. Every time we learn something new, we are creating and strengthening
new neural connections, new synapses. In the Nun Study, 678 nuns, all over the age of 75
when the study began, were followed for more than two decades. They were regularly given
physical checkups and cognitive tests, and when they died, their brains
were all donated for autopsy. In some of these brains, scientists
discovered something surprising. Despite the presence of plaques
and tangles and brain shrinkage — what appeared to be
unquestionable Alzheimer’s — the nuns who had belonged
to these brains showed no signs of having the disease
while they were alive. How can this be? We think it’s because these nuns
had a high level of cognitive reserve, which is a way of saying that they had
more functional synapses. People who have more years
of formal education, who have a high degree of literacy, who engage regularly
in mentally stimulating activities, all have more cognitive reserve. They have an abundance
and a redundancy in neural connections. So even if they have a disease
like Alzheimer’s compromising some of their synapses, they’ve got many extra backup connections, and this buffers them from noticing
that anything is amiss. Let’s imagine a simplified example. Let’s say you only know one thing
about a subject. Let’s say it’s about me. You know that Lisa Genova
wrote “Still Alice,” and that’s the only thing
you know about me. You have that single neural connection, that one synapse. Now imagine you have Alzheimer’s. You have plaques and tangles
and inflammation and microglia devouring that synapse. Now when someone asks you,
“Hey, who wrote ‘Still Alice?'” you can’t remember, because that synapse
is either failing or gone. You’ve forgotten me forever. But what if you had learned more about me? Let’s say you learned
four things about me. Now imagine you have Alzheimer’s, and three of those synapses
are damaged or destroyed. You still have a way
to detour the wreckage. You can still remember my name. So we can be resilient
to the presence of Alzheimer’s pathology through the recruitment
of yet-undamaged pathways. And we create these pathways,
this cognitive reserve, by learning new things. Ideally, we want these new things
to be as rich in meaning as possible, recruiting sight and sound
and associations and emotion. So this really doesn’t mean
doing crossword puzzles. You don’t want to simply retrieve
information you’ve already learned, because this is like traveling
down old, familiar streets, cruising neighborhoods you already know. You want to pave new neural roads. Building an Alzheimer’s-resistant brain means learning to speak Italian, meeting new friends, reading a book, or listening to a great TED Talk. And if, despite all of this, you are
someday diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, there are three lessons I’ve learned
from my grandmother and the dozens of people I’ve come to know
living with this disease. Diagnosis doesn’t mean
you’re dying tomorrow. Keep living. You won’t lose your emotional memory. You’ll still be able
to understand love and joy. You might not remember
what I said five minutes ago, but you’ll remember how I made you feel. And you are more than what
you can remember. Thank you. (Applause)

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  1. Is it for all types of demetia or for only alzheimer's because in next coming years i will develop lewy body demetia or mutiple system atrophy along with parkinson'e disease beacause i have REM sleep behaviour disorder and i ama 21 years old and it is said to be a strong predictor of parkinson's disease and lewy body dementia and multiple system atrophy , so she said that learning new things can help prevent alzheimer but can it be applied to all types of dementia??????????????????????????????????
    NOTE: any genius good person can reply me as fast a possible cause i am so much in fear as i am only 21 years old and i don't want to die from it as it cause person to live only for 5- 7 years.

  2. I never put my keys in the refrigerator…I left them somewhere else. When I had searched everywhere… But there. I figured I'd lost them. So, I called a locksmith who found my keys… in the lock. Time to go see the doctor.

  3. lol… Alzheimers disease also called type 3 diabetes appears to have a relationship with too much insulin. Can you do anything, yes, you can do things like fasting, removing sugars from your diet and moderate exercise to burn off some glycogen. This is a diet disease related to the food pyramid being complete bunk.

  4. First is not to trust medical drs. I never had a dr visit and I have a age a medical dr cannot dream.
    Medical life expectation in US is under 60 years . Why do you trust such parasites. They are happy when you are sick. They make a living from your misery .

  5. There is a theory that alzihimers is cause by silver fillings in teeth. The mercury over time seeps i to our brain and there u have it. Maybe remove ur silver fillings

  6. I'm convinced that if you prevent strokes and heart trouble and varicose veins and those ailments can be prevented, then those same formulas should be preventing alzheimer's as well, that sorta makes valid sense!

  7. You think this memory loss treatment method https://tinyurl.com/memorytreatment9 is simple in the beginning but it will help to improve your brain. I feel like it has really enhanced my memory and I enjoy implying it. My memory keeps me more aware as I observe its changes each day. No therapeutic claims..

  8. One day your life will flash before your eyes before the curtain closes.
    Do something worth watching.

  9. Take electronic brain probing out of the skull along with THIER artificial bioplasma plasma electronic FORCE FIELDS out of thier body implants from brain centers satellite and military neuroscience brain stimilating..viaimplants..are used as avatar45 to artificial souls…they control the brain by blocking senses…stripping away the natural shield of the brain.overlapping with bioplasma CONCIELED MODIFICATION IMPLANTS to control the brain. It's DANGEROUS operations.

  10. How about skipping out on the flu shot. There is plenty of research out there that has shown increased rates of Alzheimer’s with every flu shoot a person receives.

  11. Alzheimer's is odd because sufferers have problems with short term memory but long ago memories are often quite clear.

  12. Must read!

    I am writing this testimony with the joy of the lord in my heart I was depressed and heart broken before I came in contact with prophet TB Joshua, I was diagnosed with Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and the doc said I was will die in less than a year, a friend told me about this man of God and how his prayers over the email has heal and cured so many of deadly disease I was mavel hearing this, she gave me his email address, [email protected], it is been a year and 6months now no sign of IPF, I decide to share the message so that people will benefit from this Amazing instrument of God, write him today and have faith you will be healed from your diseases.

  13. Except, it's not genetic at all. It looks now like none of this is applicable anymore. July 22, 2019. About a month ago, I read an article, (on Popular Science or Wired I think), that discussed the recent discovery of what causes Alzheimer's, and it's pretty out there! TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH! There is a bacterium that increases it's activity and numbers when you have gingivitis, this bacterium will migrate to your brain and settle in for the long haul, build colonies. What do you think keeps them alive? They eat our brain tissue. Can't remember if they favor that area or if they strictly go to it, but they are found in that area of the brain that she discussed that we know is responsible for the disease. …. Just passing it on… Peace

  14. I don't understand why they laughed in the beginning.  Is it really funny to realize you might have Alzeimer's, or be a care giver for someone who does, when you reach 85 years old?

  15. This speaker, as well as her followers, are undoubtedly all Flat-Earthers who refuse to have their home-schooled social misfit offspring vaccinated. One can follow certain steps in an attempt to stave off Alzheimer's (or any other genetically-induced neurological issue), but once one's body has taken the appropriate metabolic hits, the game is over, and Alheimer's has won.

  16. DRINK CLEAN WATER STAY AWAY FROM SUGAR and antyhing that turns into SUGAR , colas, rice, and candy and drinks that have 35 grams of sugar. clean food , excercise and no stress. no alzheimers. water drink water the brain needs clean water.

  17. Oh how I would love to believe this disease is cause by “not sleeping, exercising, eating well and no bad habits. My mother lived a very healthy life until her early 40’s when she started to smoke. It was her only vice. She still ate well. Made all her own food. Very little processed (can, boxed, etc). She golf, curled, knitted, petiti point, and loved to WALK. But she was a very shy timid person who was easy to control by her husband and others. Now my brother has same horrible disease and he never smoked, but exercise heavily. 40 km runs, marathons every couple of months, skiing in winter, golfing in summer, cut all his own wood to heat his house, teacher of math and physics, coached sports and adopted 2 children after age of 45. Super healthy eater. One common element of both my mother and brother….they slowing decreased there daily amount of protein (fish, beef chicken, beans) until there meals had NONE. They ate looked bird. My brother’s personality was very outgoing…had friends since elementary schools, easily made new friends. Without any DNA, my next statement cant be proven but clearly they both had a “GENE”….my dad is 91 yr. 2 other brother 70 yr who smoked, drank and did drugs all his life and 63 yr who also over consumed…. YET my mother and brother…. My parents both had no other family members who got dementia by early to mid 50’s like my mother and brother. It’s a disease that wont be solved…because every person’s case will be different. No 2 will be identifical. I turned 65 yr today and slowly watching 91 yr father move towards the end of his life… He got aging Alzheimer’s at age 87 after a stroke.. Many of his symptoms were closer to a “Lewy Alzheimer’s” like Ted Turner…but never diagnosis.

  18. I seen lots of videos with. fake people sitting jajajajaja 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣n fake laughing 😂 they R Dummy's they always look spooky 😱😱😱they never move 😱anyway what's the point ☝️ get thumbs up 👍. 😱😱😱yes it's good information 😱but why dummy's sitting on dark areas??????

  19. Did you know you are using only 10% of your brain? Why or how is that? It's is because you do not get enough oxygen and it's not at enough pressure you need at least 30% and @ 28 psi. to get the brain to run 100% , that's twice as much pressure  as sea level and it's proven in the hyperbaric chambers for divers as the call them. Wwwhhhhhhyyyy don't they tell you this fact? Don't worry they will sell a drug latter!!! There ARE (many) L.S.D.'s that do work and, AND YOU WILL NEVER BE PRIVY TO THEM, and  they are controlled by the D.O.D., AND THEY ARE, WHO CARES NOTHING OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH!!!!

  20. If you have found Lisa Genova, TED – – I hope you will also listen to Dr Mary, Alzheimers, TED. – – I am 76 years old. I am using Coconut oil and have re-bounded to a useful life. Learn everything you can from both Dr. Mary and Lisa Genova. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Coconut oil and very low carb food will help you regain your life…

  21. To prevent Alzheimer's, you also need to protect your brain from concussion. Don't play sports that involve direct contact. The link between trauma to the head and dementia is pretty well proven, I believe.

  22. Lots of trendy words, but it is all crap, there is no direct correlation between education and avoiding alzeimers. If anything people like teachers and bookworms are great candidates.

  23. My aged grandmother came up with a sure fire cure for Alzheimer's and dementia

    but she forgot to write it down and it was lost forever when she wandered off and got run over wandering aimlessly down the middle of a busy highway

  24. In a nation that marijuana is about to go nationally legal, i'm not sure she is addressing the looming cause of short-term memory loss, opening in a mini-mall near you very soon.

  25. I also discuss and research Alzheimer's Disease on my channel. This will become an epidemic worldwide if we don't find a cure.

  26. A Hopeful talk presentation. Interested to know the sample Lisa spoke about the nuns who donated their brains to the autopsy, Were these nuns subjected to the stresses of society or were they isolated for decades within a monastery setting? I think this variable would change the outcome possibly? Peace, tranquility, and prayer vs chaos, people and changeable environments.

  27. My mother worked different puzzles and read for hours prior to getting Alzheimer. Betty White is 94 with only 3 hours sleep every night. Odd thing about my mom was that she ate a lot of fat free and frozen food. She did not eat much. If our brains are 60% fat, was her brain being deprived of nutrients and fat to keep moving? When they started the low-fat high-carb movement, she took that to heart and I do not believe it did her any good.

  28. I have a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and was given Aricept (Donezepil) and saw a huge improvement in my memory and cognitive problems. I had to stop taking it after 10 years due to the muscle spasm side effects. Because I have had severe head injury I am prone (2x) to having Alzheimer's as I get older. Gotta say, I'm in my 60's and my TBI was in 1990 – and I think I am improving each day. Never give up, never give up hope.

  29. She fails to mention flu shots which increase the likelihood of Alzheimers as well as drug use, alcoholism, even anesthetics. What did the nuns have in common? ..a prayer life and no venereal diseases.

  30. we call these… exercise your brain every day … read…create new ideas through arts, culinary, sports and etc… and write words …poems…reflections… and etc my grandmother at 95 still remembered her past… she died at 96 …

  31. Darn. I don't eat well, sleep well, or exercise, and my dad and Grandma had Alzheimer's. Sigh Guess Ill just go ahead and start stockpiling adult diapers..

  32. Re: learning new things, how about watching a film with challenging content? I recently watched the series Sharp Objects, which was emotionally and visually rich, and took a bit of effort to make sense of. There are plenty of films that challenge us in this way — even fun ones.

  33. Although Lisa, you incorrectly advised an unhealthy diet concept as good, you should by now know about fasted ketonic autophagy as 2nd after deep sleep repair as the top methods for reversing synapse disfunction. Cholesterol has been demonized similarly to amyloid-b simply because its a component of arterial plaques rather than why the liver made and sent too much to the artery. A plethora of new studies out today.

  34. Mainstream medicine does not offer cures. As for this presentation, Alzheimer's was not known 40 years ago and so the lack of sleep has nothing to do with it. Nothing is said about detox. Nothing is said about the toxic food we consume today. Thumb down

  35. My grandmother had parkinson. At the end, she was rarely lucid, like an hour or two per week, but at one point , she was rambling and wandering … she didn't know who I was, where she was , what she was doing …
    I remember that moment I found her in the bathroom.. she said she was expecting someone for dinner and she was setting the table …it really scared me- I was like 12 at the time …

    Then it broke my hart .I've started talking to her " who is comming? can I help ? tell me more about these friends of yours "…after like 30 minutes of talking , she STARTED TO MAKE SENSE " oh, that girl was nice … but I haven't seen her for ages … she must be 70 now…"-so i knew she knew when we were .. and then she called me by my name … she remembered me …." Maybe we can visit her .. but right now let's go to the kitchen ." .. she knew where we were …

    So yeah. SOME of her brain could be reactivated.. just by talking to her …

  36. With high altitude aerosol dispersal evidence suggests geoengineering plumes contain a myriad of toxic substances, they contain aluminum, barium, and strontium nanoparticles. Evidence is emerging that geoengineering plumes may also contain highly-toxic mercury, mold spores, and exotic disease-causing substances such as those related to Morgellon's disease..NASA are spraying nanoparticles of lithium to track air currants… Is it any wonder why there has been a spike in alzheimer's and ADHD in children. The first trials of geoengineering high altitude aerosol dispersal was in November 1997, coincidently on that same weekend here and in America there were record number of deaths across the midlands and parts of the UK of our old people (difficulty breathing) , health spokesman said it was due to cold weather. We have had comparable and worse weather since and no record numbers of deaths, maybe just a coincidence that the deaths occurred on the very same week end they started tries ??

  37. The National Center for Biotechnology Information
    Intermittent fasting protects against the deterioration of cognitive function, energy metabolism and dyslipidemia in Alzheimer's disease-induced estrogen deficient rats.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29307281/

  38. It is a devastating disease, robbing the individual of their memories and ability to recognize their loved ones or care even to complete simple tasks for themselves, @amazon store https://amzn.to/2O5CgeE helps there are guide & treatments available to help slow the course of Alzheimers disease

  39. Nun study. Mmm, probably to do with less stress, having set bed times and simple food. . I’ve worked with several highly intelligent , busy doctors who got horrendous dementia.

  40. My mom died at 79 with Alzheimer's. My dad made it to 95 with general dementia and was fairly cognitive until about 93 before he started to seriously deteriorate. My goal is to make to 100 with my wits about me. I'd rather die with physical issues and know what's going on around me rather than being in basically a comatose state for any length of time. I found this TED talk to be one of the most interesting I've watched in a while.

  41. Use, Upcspine or Thespesific or Upper cervical health Centers or NUCCA. Wait 4 – 5 days after an accident. Follow their instructions, when you leave the office.

  42. I believe Insulin is the underlying problem in all the inflammation in the body causing diabetes, heart disease, cancer etc. etc.  You can have a low A1C and still have High Insulin in your body causing all the problems.  Do low carb and have a good brain, sleep well, and exercise.  I am 80 yrs. old and go to the gym regularly do Silver and Fit three days a week and do walking, lift weights and do some cardio on the elliptical.  I take no meds at all, no over the counter drugs.  Eat lots of green veggies and sleep well. My blood pressure is in the normal range, my A1C is 5.3, I have no aches or pains and I feel like I am in my 40's.  Should I say more….

  43. My brother-in-law is nearing 80 and his wife, my sister, who is a psychiatrist, told me that he was beginning to show signs of dementia or maybe Alzheimer's. He kept repeating things he was saying to no end. I suggested she should try the Dr. Bob Beck little instrument called "the blood zapper" as a TACS (trans-cranium alternating current stimulation) on his forehead. After 3 days my sister told me all the dementia signs disappeared. I also use it regularly for prevention (I am 70), and my memory has been getting better in such a way it is scary. I would recommend it to every one.

  44. High cholesterol causes Alzheimer's when statin drugs which lower your cholesterol are known to cause Alzheimer's? I don't get it you can't have one and the other, that would be inconsistent with what's already known to occur. High lipids might be an issue?

    I will beg to differ with you on the Mediterranean diet, it has not been shown to be particularly healthy about most other diets as long as there is enough fat in the diet to properly feed the human body.

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