Mushrooms contain compounds that boost brain nerves, increase gray matter, and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. 
That’s the conclusion of an exhaustive review of studies examining the effects of mushrooms on brain health. Scientists found that eating the fungi have a “preventive function against the development of Alzheimer’s disease.” 
The researchers say mushrooms contain antioxidant chemicals that protect against the inflammation that leads to cognitive decline.
Compounds in mushrooms increase gray matter by boosting production of a chemical called nerve growth factor. Nerve growth factor increases the lifespan of brain cells while helping them function better.
Researchers cited a small Japanese pilot study as an illustration of the powerful cognitive benefits mushrooms can have on Alzheimer’s patients. The study looked at seven dementia sufferers who ranged in age from 50 to 80. For six months, the patients ate 5 grams of dried lion’s mane mushrooms a day.
All patients were evaluated before and after the treatment period for their Functional Independence Measure (FIM). This is a barometer of physical and mental capabilities. It assesses how well a person performs ordinary functions like eating, dressing, walking, communicating, remembering, and learning.
Six of the seven showed dramatic improvement. All seven improved their FIM scores. 
A Chinese study showed that rats eating a mushroom extract displayed superior memory of mazes. And the mushroom diet caused increased neurite growth. This is a marker of brain health. The rats also experienced a 134% increase in CREB protein, a substance that is vital to brain cell health.
A human study published in the journal Preventive Nutrition and Food Science found that consuming reishi mushrooms improves cognitive function and learning. Mushrooms: The New Super Food
Professor Vikineswary Sabaratnam of Malaya University in Kuala Lumpur was one of the authors of the review. He said his research found “mushrooms contain diverse yet exclusive bioactive compounds” which “improve brain function.”
In addition to brain benefits, mushrooms: Detoxify your body. Mushrooms are high in niacin, also known as vitamin B3. This nutrient helps your body dispose of toxins.
Fight cancer. In a Japanese animal study, mice with sarcoma had complete tumor regression when fed a mushroom supplement.
Lower blood pressure. Mushrooms are loaded with potassium, which helps prevent high blood pressure.
Mushrooms also contain selenium, iron, and copper. All three minerals are vital for optimal health. [4 3 Healthiest Mushroom Varieties
All mushrooms have health benefits. But three varieties have particularly high concentrations of bioactive compounds:
Shitake. They protect your liver and relieve stomach ailments. They have shown promise against stomach cancer. Shitakes also have antiviral and antibacterial properties. They are used against the common cold in traditional Asian medicine.
Reishi. Asian cultures call it the “Mushroom of Immortality.” They promote prostate health, boost the immune system, lower blood pressure levels, and ease arthritis pain.
Himematsutake . This is a relative of the common white button mushroom. They help decrease insulin resistance in diabetics. They have shown promising anticancer properties as well.
Shitake mushrooms are widely available at supermarkets. You can find reishi and himematsutake mushrooms at Asian markets.
Add mushrooms to your diet to protect your brain—and improve your overall health and wellness.
Editor’s Note: Discover neurogenesis , the new science of brain cell creation that allows you to stay mentally sharp for the rest of your life. Get all the details in our monthly journal Independent Healing . It’s your best source for unbiased, science-based health information. Go HERE.
10/26/2020, New York // KISSPR //
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MANY of us do various ways to stay focused and active, especially when we are in the office to complete various tasks.
Apart from coffee which is a favorite of many people, it turns out that there are various other drinks that can keep your eyes fresh and energetic all day long.
> Green Tea
The caffeine content in green tea is lower than coffee but this drink has nootropics such as L-theanine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
Studies show that L-theanine can induce calmness and in combination with caffeine, it can increase a person’s awareness as well as focus, attention, and memory.
Many people find it strange to drink orange juice in the morning but in fact, orange juice is rich in vitamin C which can improve concentration, memory, and better communication skills.
However, orange juice is high in calories. The added sugar mixed in it can trigger diseases such as diabetes, heart problems, and even obesity.
Ideally, make your own orange juice to make it healthier.
Berries are rich in polyphenols which can improve brain function through their antioxidant anthocyanin content.
Several studies have found that blueberry juice can improve both short and long-term memory.
Turmeric contains curcumin which can increase the production of neurotrophic from the brain which can prevent mental and neurological disorders.
Turmeric milk is also good enough to improve brain function and intelligence.
Kefir (Fermented Milk)
Kefir is a fermented drink containing probiotics made from milk. Kefir is known to help brain function by encouraging the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.
Brahmi is a potent Ayurvedic herb that provides many health benefits. Here are some reasons why brahmi is good for mental health. If this coronavirus pandemic situation and home quarantine is taking a toll on your mental health, you must go the Ayurveda way to secure it. Admittedly, we are feeling under the blue, frustrated and agitated all these days due to the pandemic situation and restrictions. We aren’t taking breaks as we used to on normal days, no going on weekend brunches, no monthly road trips, nothing! This is making our mental health suffer the most. If you are looking to restore mental peace and sanity, Ayurveda has a solution in Brahmi or Bacopa Monneiri.
Brahmi is a powerful herb that can unlock the shackles of mental health woes including stress and anxiety. The Journal of Frontiers in Pharmacology published a study according to which Brahmi has therapeutic properties that can restore mental health. This Ayurvedic herb improves nerve transmission in the brain to boost cognitive functions.
Here are five mental health benefits of Bacopa Monneiri aka Brahmi. Stress and Anxiety Relief
The two most common issues that people are facing these days are stress and anxiety. Blame it on pandemic pressure or lockdown restrictions, our stress and anxiety levels have touched the seventh sky. From mood swings to unnecessary arguments to fights, we are facing it all due to stress. Consuming Brahmi herb can help. It has anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties to release stress and reduce anxiety.
Also Read: Ayurvedic Ashwagandha Essential Oil Is The Solution Of Most Health Problems Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s
Elderly people are at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s condition. This is a serious disease that cannot be treated by any means and older adults are at maximum risk. Not only do they suffer memory loss but also depression and hallucinations that are difficult to cope with. If you have older people living with you, give them Brahmi every day to prevent this risk . A study claimed that Brahmi has the power to prevent mental decline and avert forgetfulness issues. Improves memory, focus and concentration
Many people who are working from home are complaining about poor concentration, loss of focus and forgetfulness. They are unable to memorize things that may create complications in later life. You can boost your brain cells by consuming Brahmi daily. Get yourself a bottle of herbal capsules for ease of consumption. Brahmi helps with epilepsy condition
The Journal of Frontiers in Pharmacology published this study on Brahmi which finds that this herb has stroke therapy effects. It may help the patients of epilepsy in controlling inflammation, convulsions, nervous breakdown, strokes and seizures in the patients of epilepsy. Since seizures can get triggered at any time and may turn fatal, it is necessary to aid the problem with a proven natural solution like this Ayurvedic herb. Calms and relaxes the mind
At the end of the day, all we need is a calm and relaxed mind with no stress and worries. Brahmi has the power to do it as it effectively calms the nerves and relaxes the mind by boosting oxygenation. It makes us feel good even after a tiring day. It also keeps our heart and lungs healthy to promote holistic wellness.
This humble herb surely deserves to be in your daily routine.
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Related Research says that we are expanding our lifespan, but we are not expanding healthy lifespan. We live longer, but also have more diseases for longer.
If our goal is to live not just longer but with a maximum health then taking care of what we eat to optimise our risk of certain diseases can make all the difference. Always should be an essential part of your diet.
Foods that are high in fibre – like fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, nuts, and legumes — can help with constipation that becomes more common as you age.
They’re also able to help lower your cholesterol levels, manage your blood sugar, and keep you at a healthy weight. Women over 51 need around 21 grams daily, but men need more – around 30 grams a day.
They’re a great source of fibre and rich in B-vitamins, which you’ll need more of as you age. In particular B-6 and folate are key to keeping your brain healthy.
Even a small shortage can make a subtle difference. Whole grains could also cut your chances of getting heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Go for variety, not just wholemeal bread, though but Quinoa, wheat berries, and wholewheat couscous are tasty options, too.
Many women try to avoid having too many nuts because yes they can rack up the calories but nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, and pistachios have big anti-aging powers.
They contain special nutrients that can help delay or prevent age-related heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, nerve disease, and some types of cancer. Nuts also protect your brain as you age.
One of the things that is most noticeable as we age is that not only does your body lose water, but your sense of thirst starts to fade. That means it will take you longer to know when you’re low on fluids and it is easy to become dehydrated.
Water is food for your health in lots of ways. It cushions your joints, helps control your body temperature, affects your mood and how well you focus. Make eight glasses of water each day your goal.
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, herring, and farmed trout should be on your menu twice a week because they’re high in DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that’s good for your brain.
Low levels of DHA have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, but get enough of it, and you may improve your memory and ability to learn new things.
If you don’t eat or like fish, algae, walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seeds are also good sources of DHA.
Protein-rich foods fight the natural muscle loss that happens as you get older. As much as you can, enjoy your protein in food like eggs, lean meat, and dairy products.
Although protein powders are popular as a weight loss alternative meal, that may not give you as many nutrients as the direct protein source.
The calcium in dairy keeps your bones healthy. As you get older, it can also lower your risk of osteoporosis, colon cancer, and high blood pressure.
After age 50, you’ll need around 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day, but remember your body also requires vitamin D to absorb calcium properly.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that women aged 50 or younger and men 70 or younger should get 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day. Men and women as they age may need more, up to 1,200 mg daily.
Good sources are not just milk and cheese aren’t your only options but you also get it through things like yoghurt, rice and soy drinks, fortified orange juice, and tofu. Blueberries Blueberries contain polyphenols — compounds that lower inflammation throughout your body and lessen damage to your DNA that can make some diseases more likely.They’re a good way to protect your brain as you age as they also improve how well your brain cells “talk” to each other.Fresh blueberries are best, since their polyphenol content goes down when you bake them into muffins, breads, or pies. Red/orange produce Watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes, red and orange bell peppers – all these are rich in a natural compound called lycopene. Studies show foods that have it could lower your risk of some types of cancer and may protect you against strokes, too. Cruciferous vegetables One of the things that happens as we age is that our immune system becomes weaker. That is the body’s first defence against germs and how we can protect ourselves.Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower all contain a chemical called sulforaphane that switches on your immune cells so they’re better able to attack toxins that damage your cells and cause disease over time.Eat them often, and you may lower your risk of some types of cancer. Dark leafy greens To keep your eyes healthy, eat more spinach, kale, and collard greens – members of the cabbage family that feature dark green leaves . The antioxidants they contain can lower your chances of getting cataracts and macular degeneration.Eat at least one serving a day, and you’ll also help stave off the slow-down in memory, thinking, and judgment that can happen as you get older. Avocado Studies show that the antioxidants in avocado could improve your memory and help you solve problems faster. Avocados may also lower your cholesterol, cut your chance of getting arthritis, help you stick to a healthy weight, and protect your skin from sun damage. Sweet potato These have plenty of beta carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. This vitamin is key for healthy eyesight and skin and keeps your immune system strong.You’d have to eat 23 cups of cooked broccoli to get as much vitamin A as you’ll find in one medium sweet potato. For an extra boost, choose a purple variety. The compounds that give it a bright color may slow down age-related changes in your brain. Spices They do more than give your food flavour. Spices have antioxidants that help you stay healthy through the years. […]
The phrase you are what you eat can also be applied to your mental health. With around 264 million people worldwide who are battling with anxiety, it’s important that they make the appropriate food choices as the wrong foods can serve to worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Granted, your diet cannot cure your mental health disorder, but there are foods that can either have a calming effect on the body or trigger anxiety symptoms. With that said, read on for foods that may be worsening your anxiety, as well as which foods you can start eating instead.
Firstly, while alcohol can help you fall asleep quicker, it can actually reduce REM sleep, which is a vital part of your sleep cycle that stimulates the areas of your brain responsible for cognitive learning and memory. Additionally, alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it dehydrates the body and a dehydrated body can cause stress and anxiety. 2. Coffee and caffeinated drinks
There are better ways to start off your morning than with a cup of coffee, especially if you battle with anxiety.
According to a review of eight studies , caffeine can aggravate symptoms of anxiety and panic disorder. This can be because caffeine not only causes you to be more jittery, but it also decreases the production of serotonin in the body, which can then leave you in an anxious and depressed mood.
According to a study in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, a diet high in sugars has been linked to emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression.
That said, it’s not only desserts and sweet treats that contain added sugars. In fact, foods such as salad dressings, flavored yogurt, granola bars, and breakfast cereal each contain hidden added sugars.
Soy-based foods are touted as meat alternatives for those following a plant-based diet. However, you may want to seek other milk alternatives as soy might not be great for anxiety. In fact, one animal study found that soy supplements were linked to more anxious behavior in male rats.
In addition, soybeans also contain copper, and research has indicated that in large amounts, copper can trigger symptoms of anxiety.
Chips, cereal, biscuits, noodles – eating anything processed can be one of the worst things for your health, as well as your anxiety.
Canned foods may be triggering your anxiety symptoms due to the fact that they might also contain Bisphenol A (BPA). According to a study , boys who were exposed prenatally to BPA may be more likely to develop symptoms of anxiety and depression at age 10-12.
Tryptophan is an amino acid found in turkey and the body uses it to produce the brain chemical serotonin, which helps regulate sleep and mood. According to researchers, tryptophan may help reduce anxious feelings.
Fatty fish, which include salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, and herring, are each high in omega-3 . Eating these foods won’t only help to reduce your risk of heart disease, but it could also help you better manage your anxiety.
A study published in Nutrients found a positive association between omega 3 consumption and anxiety disorders. Additionally, a separate study published in the same journal found that men who ate salmon three times a week reduced their self-reported anxiety.
There’s a reason why dark chocolate ups your mood when you’re feeling down.
Chocolate has a high tryptophan content, which we know can help to ease anxiety feelings but it’s also rich in magnesium, which has been found to have anti-anxiety effects.
When buying dark chocolate, go for 70 percent or more and try to stay clear of brands that contain added sugars.
Green tea lovers unite!
For those who regularly enjoy a cup of green tea or matcha tea , you’re in luck. Green tea contains the amino acid theanine, which research has found may contain anti-anxiety properties ( 1 ).
Instead of indulging in sodas, coffee, or alcohol, try incorporating more green tea into your day.
Probiotic foods include pickles, sauerkraut, and kefir , and being rich in probiotics, these foods can help to boost gut health. As we know, the state of our gut influences our health, and this includes our mental health.
For one, research published in the journal Psychiatry Research suggested a correlation between probiotic foods and a lowering of social anxiety.
If you’re looking to improve your gut health, there’s how to do it.
Boyle, N. B., Lawton, C., & Dye, L. (2017). The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review. Nutrients , 9 (5), 429. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9050429
Choudhary, A. K., & Lee, Y. Y. (2018). Neurophysiological symptoms and aspartame: What is the connection?. Nutritional neuroscience , 21 (5), 306–316. https://doi.org/10.1080/1028415X.2017.1288340
Dietz, C., & Dekker, M. (2017). Effect of Green Tea Phytochemicals on Mood and Cognition. Current pharmaceutical design , 23 (19), 2876–2905. https://doi.org/10.2174/1381612823666170105151800Hansen, A. L., Olson, G., Dahl, L., Thornton, D., Grung, B., Graff, I. E., Frøyland, L., & Thayer, J. F. (2014). Reduced anxiety in forensic inpatients after a long-term intervention with Atlantic salmon. Nutrients , 6 (12), 5405–5418. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu6125405Holmes, A., Fitzgerald, P., MacPherson, K. et al. (2012). Chronic alcohol remodels prefrontal neurons and disrupts NMDAR-mediated fear extinction encoding. Nat Neurosci 15, 1359–1361. https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.3204Jacques, A., Chaaya, N., Beecher, K., Ali, S. A., Belmer, A., & Bartlett, S. (2019). The impact of sugar consumption on stress driven, emotional and addictive behaviors. Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews , 103 , 178–199. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.05.021Lee, J. B., & Kim, T. W. (2019). Ingestion of caffeine links dopamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine release during half immersion in 42°C hot water in a humans. Journal of exercise rehabilitation , 15 (4), 571–575. https://doi.org/10.12965/jer.1938236.118Lindseth, G., Helland, B., & Caspers, J. (2015). The effects of dietary tryptophan on affective disorders. Archives of psychiatric nursing , 29 (2), 102–107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apnu.2014.11.008Natacci, L., M Marchioni, D., C Goulart, A., Nunes, M. A., B Moreno, A., O Cardoso, L., Giatti, L., B Molina, M., S Santos, I., Brunoni, A. R., A Lotufo, P., & M Bensenor, I. (2018). Omega 3 Consumption and Anxiety Disorders: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil). Nutrients , 10 (6), 663. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10060663Patisaul, H. B., Blum, A., […]
There’s nothing that a nice cup of tea can’t fix. From providing a boost of energy in the morning to relaxing our nerves at night – a hot cup of tea that is brewed to perfection offers oodles of benefits.
And with the addition of some medicinal herbs and spices in the right proportions, tea becomes an antidote to many health ailments and does wonders for boosting our immunity. Anubha Jhawar, Founder/CEO, Celes te tells more about it. In fact, several health experts often recommend tea (including the herbal variants) for enhancing the body’s defence mechanism against various infections and diseases.
There are certain people who are absolute tea lovers and cannot start their day without it. However, premium teas offer more than just good taste. They contribute massively to improving one’s well-being and overall health. The presence of certain important herbs and natural ingredients in these tea variants makes it a soothing and therapeutic drink.
These components help alleviate stress and exhaustion. They also prevent diseases by improving the body’s immune system. Some healthier varieties of tea also help strengthen bones.
Apart from its savoury taste, drinking premium tea is good for improving the overall digestive health of the body.
Some of its major advantages are:
1) Improves Functioning of the Brain
Presence of the chemical L-Theanine in premium teas proves immensely beneficial for brain health. It improves the functionality of the brain and helps eliminate stress and anxiety, thus allowing one to relax. In addition to theanine, the minimum caffeine content also helps improve cognitive functions. They enhance attention span, memory, judgment and evaluation powers, reasoning, comprehension, problem-solving and decision-making.
2) Improves Heart Health
There is strong evidence to suggest that the antioxidants in tea work to enhance heart health. Flavonoids, present in both black and green tea, prevent oxidation of LDL (known as ‘bad’ cholesterol), cause a reduction in blood clotting and help improve widening of blood vessels of the heart. Studies that examined the relationship between black tea intake and heart health reported declining incidences of heart attack, low cholesterol levels and markedly lower blood pressure.
3) Boosts Immunity
The natural, bioactive compounds found in premium teas like green tea and black tea are useful for keeping our immune systems healthy so that we can stay young and active for a long time. Studies have shown that tea can facilitate immune cells to make them reach their targets quickly. For centuries together, Ayurveda practitioners have been consuming Tulsi tea to strengthen the immune system against illnesses and injuries, thanks to its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.
4) Boosts Digestion
Tea also boosts digestive processes in the body. Many people tend to have tea subsequent to their meal for better digestion. Herbal teas, specifically chamomile, can be good for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome as it is an antispasmodic. While ginger teas can help calm nausea in many cases.
5) Helps in Weight Loss
Tea can significantly aid in weight loss as well. Evidence that supports this thesis is derived from studies conducted using tea extracts such as ECGC and other flavanols, catechins, polyphenols and caffeine. Consuming tea catechins for long can prove beneficial against obesity and type 2 diabetes as well as decrease the risk of coronary disease.
6) Helps Prevent Loss of Teeth
Studies have suggested that at least one cup of green tea daily could significantly lessen the odds of tooth loss. Other studies have reported that tea can also lower the pH balance of the tooth surface, suppressing the development of harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay. The fluoride content in tea works to help keep teeth healthy. The fluoride levels in green, black, and oolong teas are usually comparable to the ones recommended for preventing cavities.
Summing It Up
From green tea to black tea, from chamomile tea to oolong tea, all kinds of teas are full of flavonoids and many healthy goodies. Although more in-depth research is required to pinpoint its benefits in entirety, still tea can be made a part of a healthy eating pattern. For a powerful punch, one should steep their own tea and be careful about how sweetened it is to avoid excess sugars.
Sonus Complete is filled with natural ingredients such as Vitamins, Berries, and Oil. All these three elements work together to help you fight against tinnitus. Sonus Complete is filled with natural ingredients such as Vitamins, Berries, and Oil. All these three elements work together to help you fight against tinnitus.
Studies showed that Sonus Complete is an all-natural solution for tinnitus. Studies showed that Sonus Complete is an all-natural solution for tinnitus.
Denver, Colorad, Oct. 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sonus Complete is a health supplement that contains natural ingredients and is used to silence and prevent tinnitus symptoms. This supplement is a United States of America based product that helps you with the unbearable sound from the ear by reducing the cochlear nerve inflammation and at the same time strengthening the brain cells. Sonus Complete is a product that contained herbs and natural elements that give required nutrients to your body, complying with its nutritional needs and treating this complication from the roots, which provides you with permanent relief. You will also find many positive customer reviews on the official website. That is why we will try to do this review and see if the reviews are real.
Ingredients in Sonus Complete
Sonus Complete is filled with natural ingredients such as Vitamins, Berries, and Oil. All these three elements work together to help you fight against tinnitus. VitaminB3: This helps you to improve your blood flow and circulation to those parts that have been affected by tinnitus. It will relieve insomnia pains that you feel in your ear and help you build your muscles.
Hibiscus and Hawthorn Berries: is a famous plant used all over the world for medicinal purposes. It contains antioxidant elements that prevent liver damages, aids in weight loss, and improves the health of your nervous system. These two ingredients combined well to relieve you of stress and anxiety. Also, they work to soothe your brain to accelerate recoveries from the constant ringing and sounds in your ear.
Bearberries: Bearberries are natural ingredients that help boost your inflammation and bring improvement to your immunity to tinnitus. To see a significant result, you can combine this with other ingredients like Juniper berry, Green tea, and Vitamin C. It also prevents heart problems, reduces blood fats, lowers blood pressure, and, significantly, contains an anti-inflammatory formula that treats primary causes leading to tinnitus.
Green Tea Extract: This works well in helping you to fix brain disorders that accompany tinnitus. Also, it includes antioxidants that allow you to improve your neural connections in your central nervous system.
Vitamin B6 and B12: These two ingredients can not be overlooked because they work together to improve your hearing quality.
Garlic Extract: One of this ingredient’s principal functions is to improve and enhance the sleeping condition. The inability to sleep at night is the biggest threat to people suffering from tinnitus. It also helps to prevent dizziness, which comes as a result of untreated tinnitus.
Olive Oil: Olive oil also contains antioxidants that help fight against symptoms of tinnitus. It allows you to prevent memory loss and reduces the magnitude of the ringing and buzzing sounds in your ear.
Vitamin C: This works well in strengthening your bone and aids smooth absorption of iron to your body. It is also believed that it increases the count of erythrocytes in the blood.
All these ingredients are natural, and they are what made Sonus Complete a must-use supplement for you to help you prevent the constant buzzing and ringing in your ear.
White mouse getty For humans, a drug made from a plant compound that has anti-inflammatory properties represents a possibility for prenatal treatments that are personalized to meet the needs and metabolisms of individual babies.
In humans, Down Syndrome is also called Trisomy 21 — with “trisomy” meaning a third instance of any paired chromosome, and “21” referring specifically to the human chromosome number 21 (of 46). Quite literally, all of the neurological, muscular, cardiac, dental, endocrine, gastrointestinal, sensory, oncological, and fertility symptoms that can manifest with Down Syndrome are caused by the extra chromosome 21 in the genetic makeup of a baby.
Not all of these physiological systems are disordered in everyone with Down, though common to the syndrome is some degree of developmental delay and intellectual disability. Historically, treatments in humans have had disappointing results, perhaps because most have been applied during the late teen years or during adulthood. Newborn with Down Syndrome. getty As Diana Bianchi, Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and a senior researcher at the National Human Genome Research Institute, explained in a phone call, “The brains of teens and adults may be less flexible (and therefore potentially less responsive to interventions) than the brains of fetuses. Amniocentesis and other prenatal screenings that reveal fairly early in a pregnancy if a fetus has Trisomy 21 are almost universally available to women in the United States. This presents an opportunity; before birth may be the ideal time to try to intervene.”
Bianchi acknowledged that medical interventions on fetuses are fraught with ethical complications because of the potential for further damaging a baby before it is even born. “Safety, she said, “is paramount.”
Bianchi is senior author of a paper published today in the American Journal of Human Genetics . It details a trial conducted on mice that were bred to have Down Syndrome characteristics. The trial is of the prenatal use of apigenin, a plant compound found in chamomile, celery, parsley, peppermint, and citrus fruits.
According to Bianchi, prenatal imaging studies of human fetuses with Down Syndrome show neurological abnormalities. Typically with Down, over the course of a pregnancy production of new brain cells is slowed, as is production of the nerve fibers connecting the cells, the myelin (or cellular insulation) that protects nerve fibers, and the synapses that permit nerve cells to pass electrical and chemical signals to each other.
The evidence of these early impairments suggests that Down Syndrome is not a neurodegenerative disorder but a developmental one. Baby girl with Down Syndrome. getty Suspecting that inflammation during brain development might be to blame, Bianchi and her team of investigators set out to address neurological inflammation in mice fetuses. Mice have a vastly different genome from humans. In mice the rough equivalent of Down doesn’t result from a trisomy of chromosome 21. The mice model used in Bianchi’s trial (it is called Ts1Cje), represents a partial triplication of the mouse chromosome numbered MMU16.
Bianchi’s team hopes that, within several years, they can run trials of treatments for human fetuses. Because of this, in their mouse trial they took extra care to do no harm to the Ts1Cje mice. Additionally, they were diligent about creating an intervention that could be delivered humanely to mouse mothers. They knew that any medicine or compound they used would need to infuse into fetuses from placenta. It would also need to cross the fetus’ blood-brain barrier, which is the cellular layer that protects the brain by allowing only certain substances to cross into it.
Bianchi’s team used publicly available software to help them select apigenin from a range of nine possible compounds. “We had no intention of limiting ourselves to a natural substance approach,” Bianchi explained. “Our goal was simply to find a compound that had genetic markers that met all of our chemical and functional criteria. The software identified for us which of the nine compounds to use in our trail.”
Bianchi did note in the call that, in other studies, apigenin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
The research team incorporated apigenin into the chow of the pregnant and nursing Ts1Cje mothers. They later fed it to the weaned Ts1Cje pups. The mice that were given apigenin scored better in tests of spatial and olfactory memory than did control-group mice. The team also found that apigenin-treated mice had benefitted from more blood vessel and nervous system growth and that they had less inflammation overall.
Importantly, apigenin appeared to do no harm. The investigators found no significant increase in birth defects or deaths among Ts1Cje pups treated prenatally and postnatally with apigenin. Amniocentesis. (Photo by: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images) According to Bianchi, the trial depicted in today’s issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics was a proof-of-principle trial for an approach that ultimately could provide interventions that are personalized for individual human fetuses. To explore this possibility, the researchers tested the effect of apigenin on cells sloughed off by human fetuses and harvested during routine amniocentesis. They found that, in the lab, apigenin had anti-inflammatory effects on those cells.
Bianchi says that, ultimately, she hopes to identify several compounds that can work safely and effectively to calm inflammation in human Down Syndrome fetuses. “Not everyone metabolizes any given drug or food in the same way,” she pointed out in the phone interview. “Ideally we can eventually know of several compounds that have a moderating effect on Down. We can test each one on sloughed-off cells gathered during routine prenatal screening, and then select the single approach most appropriate for any given fetus.”
A lot of preclinical work remains to be done, even with apigenin, before that scenario can become a reality. Bianchi specified that she and her researchers still want to test different doses of apigenin. They want to identify any measures in which mouse fetuses treated with apigenin do more poorly than fetuses who aren’t treated. They want to supplement their work with the Ts1Cje mice with trials conducted on other models of Down Syndrome in mice. They want […]
Pfizer and IBM researchers claim to have developed a machine learning technique that can predict Alzheimer’s disease years before symptoms develop. By analyzing small samples of language data obtained from clinical verbal tests, the team says their approach achieved 71% accuracy when tested against a group of cognitively healthy people.
Alzheimer’s disease begins with vague, often misinterpreted signs of mild memory loss followed by a slow, progressively serious decline in cognitive ability and quality of life. According to the nonprofit Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s, and every state is expected to see at least a 14% rise in the prevalence of Alzheimer’s between 2017 and 2025. Due to the nature of Alzheimer’s disease and how it takes hold in the brain, it’s likely that the best way to delay its onset is through early intervention. But the disease is often detected too late to prevent it from accelerating. IBM previously explored using AI to identify proteins that can predict the concentration of amyloid-beta, a peptide that changes before Alzheimer’s-related memory issues are apparent. And beyond IBM, others have investigated AI’s ability to spot the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s and dementia. For example, researchers at Unlearn.AI , a startup that designs software tools for clinical research, recently published a paper laying out a system that can anticipate the disease’s progression, projecting the symptoms that patients will experience. Another paper coauthored by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, describes an AI system that can ostensibly predict Alzheimer’s disease from brain scans up to six years before clinical diagnosis.
But IBM and Pfizer claim this latest work differs “significantly” from previous research and the application of AI to aid in predicting Alzheimer’s. In contrast to studies predicting onset that focus on subjects showing signs of cognitive impairment, the researchers worked with samples that were collected before subjects in the study experienced the first signs of impairment. They also assessed the risk of Alzheimer’s in the general population instead of solely targeting high-risk groups, capturing a spectrum of people including those without a family history of the disease or other risk factors.
The study included 703 samples from 270 participants, half of whom developed Alzheimer’s symptoms before the age of 85. (The mean time to diagnosis of mild Alzheimer’s was about seven-and-a-half years.) From a language perspective, the researchers considered over 87 variables including misspellings, use of punctuation, uppercasing, verbosity, lexical richness, and repetitiveness. Beyond this, they looked at age, gender, education, visuospatial and executive reasoning, object naming, memory, attention, abstraction, and test results from the Montreal cognitive assessment MoCA .
The IBM and Pfizer team analyzed the transcriptions of participants’ samples with natural language processing, which allowed them to tap into AI to pick up subtleties and changes in discourse they might have otherwise missed. And after obtaining consent and approval from the Institutional Review Board of Boston University, they drew on data from original subjects (and their offspring and spouses) in the Framingham Heart Study, a population-based study overseen by the U.S. Public Health Service to investigate the epidemiology and risks for cardiovascular disease. In the Framingham study, enrolled people are assessed with the two-minute Mini-Mental State Examination speech test every four years and neuropsychological exams every year when possible cognitive decline is reported by a family member.
These steps resulted in a larger dataset than those used in other studies and made it possible to verify projections with real-life results. For example, if the model developed by the IBM and Pfizer coauthors predicted a 65-year-old Framingham subject would develop Alzheimer’s by age 85, they could check that person’s records to find out whether the subject had been diagnosed with the disease and when the diagnosis occurred.
It should be noted that Framingham only canvassed thousands of adults in the city of Framingham, Massachusetts. Research has shown that much of the data used to train algorithms for diagnosing diseases may perpetuate inequalities. Recently, a team of U.K. scientists found that almost all eye disease datasets come from patients in North America, Europe, and China, meaning eye disease-diagnosing algorithms are less certain to work well for racial groups from underrepresented countries. In another study, Stanford University researchers claimed that most of the U.S. data for studies involving medical uses of AI come from California, New York, and Massachusetts.
Indeed, the researchers found evidence of bias within their own model, which predicted Alzheimer’s onset for participants without a college degree more accurately than for those with (76% versus 70%). It also attained higher accuracy with women compared with men (83% versus 64%), performing on average 2.61 times better for female subjects compared with males.
Cognizant of this, the IBM and Pfizer researchers say they plan to use datasets that expand on the geographic, socioeconomic, and racial diversity of subjects as their work continues. “This breadth of data is often very difficult to come by in terms of disease prediction, and access to it allowed us to train these models with precision,” they wrote in a blog post. “We [will] continue to train our algorithms while always respecting core principles of privacy, transparency, and consent.”
The team believes that if their work — which is published in The Lancet eClinicalMedicine — were to eventually reach production systems, it could help doctors determine the need for more complex and demanding psychiatric assessments, testing, and monitoring. It might also open up the door to more successful clinical trials, as those deemed at a high likelihood of developing the disease could enter trials for preventative therapies.
“Our vision is that one day clinicians will have multiple AI and machine learning tools to help identify if an individual is at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. [Our model’s accuracy] is a significant increase over predictions based on clinical scales (59%), which is a prediction based on other available biomedical data from a patient,” the team continued. “One day, doctors might be able to use speech and blood tests in conjunction with each other, leveraging AI to help them predict the risk of […]