Brain Health and Function

Paul L. Reller L.Ac. / Last Updated: August 03, 2017

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Information Resources - Additional Information and Links to Scientific Studies

  1. An extensive 2015 study of traumatic brain injury and its implications, published as Frontiers in Neuroengineering, shows that postconcussion syndromes and syndromes related to repeated brain trauma, especially experienced by soldiers exposed to blasts, create health problems that need to be addressed with a thorough integrative approach. Damage and degeneration of the axons in the brain, and alterations of the dopaminergic pathway in memory impairment are emphasized. Often, mild concussion results in symptoms lingering or onset well after the injury, especially in women, with complaints of drowsiness and noise sensitivity prevalent. Multiple traumatic brain injury shows a chronic syndrome in 100 percent of cases, and result in somatic symptoms and neuropyyschiatric problems, with Major Depression disorders most prevalent. To address these conditions, a restorative holistic approach is needed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26269903
  2. A 2006 article by experts in the United Kingdom outlines the variety of syndromes of brain dysfunction that arise from surgery routinely, especially in older patients. While such risk and pathology is downplayed, of course, studies show that posteroperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) occurs in approximately 10 percent of patients over the age of 60, but that a variety of other disorders are frequently seen as well, ranging from temporary delirium, to dementia (e.g. Alzheimer's disease), and adverse effects of anesthesia, with a variety of causes for each of these syndromes. Use of benzodiazepines in premedication for surgery, inflammatory dysfunction, failure of cholinergic transmission, biochemical disturbances or imbalances, emboli, and other effects have been studied. Use of antcholinesterase inhibiting herbs such as Huperzine, antioxidants, and various herbal medicines could correct these problems and restore brain health: http://ceaccp.oxfordjournals.o...http://ceaccp.oxfordjournals.org/content/6/1/37.full
  3. A 2014 article in the Scientific American outlined the growing concern concerning the array of studied adverse effects that may occur with anesthesia, creating a health problem that is difficult to diagnose and understand, particularly as we still do not have a real understanding of how anesthesia works. It is clear that post-anesthesia cognitive decline could be due to toxicity, buildup of amyloid beta and tau proteins, disruption of cross-talk between key centers in the brain, and neuroinflammation. All of these problems could be treated with acupuncture, herbal and nutrient medicine, and both short courses before surgery as a preventive course, and postoperative treatment could provide much benefit: http://www.scientificamerican....http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-general-anesthesia-trigger-dementia/
  4. A study in 2007, at the University of Cambridge Brain Mapping Unit, Cambridge, England, United Kingdom, found that drugs that modulate the activity of GABA in the brain may cause cognitive impairment and dysfunction of the working memory: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17283283
  5. An article in 2006 by Carol A. Paronis of Harvard Medical College in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. shows that benzodiazepines are the most significant of the GABA-modulating drugs in common prescription: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1751305/
  6. An article in 2002, by scientists at the University of Paris, Paris, France, explains that considerable study of the effects of GABA, and the GABA-A receptor, the site of activity by benzodiazepines, on the memory, has shown that benzodiazepine anti-anxiety medications impair memory function: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12171575
  7. A report from Harvard Health Publications in 2015 notes that a study published in 2014 in the esteemed British Medical Journal (BMJ) showed that there is a direct causal relationship between the cumulative dosing with benzodiazepines and the risk of Alzheimer's disease onset. Large studies in both France and Canada linked the amount of benzodiazepine use to the risk of Alzhemimer's disease, and since benzodiazepines accumulate in fatty tissues, and affect older patients more due to slower metabolism, this also increases the risk of adverse health effects on the brain. Numerous studies have also shown that with repeated use, benzodiazepines have diminished effects in promoting sleep, and in 2012, the American Geriatric Society listed benzodiazepines as inappropriate medication for treating insomnia, agitation, or delirium: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/benzodiazepine-use-may-raise-risk-alzheimers-disease-201409107397
  8. An article in 1991 by Maharaj K. Ticku of the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. describes the main GABA-modulating drugs as anxiolytic (benzodiazepines), sedative-hypnotic (sleeping aids and antihistamines), and anticonvulsant (antiseizure medications such as Lyrica) : http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/104457659190018J
  9. A large restrospective study in Canada, led by Dr. Anick Berard of the University of Montreal, found that the use of any antidepressant medication during the second and third trimester of pregnancy increased the risk that the child would develop autism by age 7 by 87 percent. The study authors suggest that a more holistic and less risky treatment protocol should be utilized when possible: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/antidepressants-in-pregnancy-tied-to-autism/
  10. An article in the April 3, 2013 issue of Science magazine describes how most drugs prescribed to aid sleep act indiscriminately on the GABA receptors, which may impair cognition, memory function, mood, and lead to sleep disorder mechanisms such as sleep-walking and even complex behaviors during sleep, such as cooking, driving and sex: http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2013/04/a-sleep-drug-without-the-side-ef.html
  11. A 2004 randomized, controlled study, at the Federal University of Sao Paolo (UNIFESP), Sao Paolo, Brazil, of the effects of Ambien (zolpidem) on cognitive dysfunction found that Zolpidem use led to cognitive dysfunction similar to benzodiazepines in healthy young female subjects: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14985932
  12. Study in 2014 by experts at the University of California in San Diego found that dysfunction in the glutamate metabolism in the brain and brainstem could explain many of the symptoms of schizophrenia. The subject of glutamate neurotransmission, types of glutamates and receptor balance, and the relationship between glutamate metabolism, dopamine receptor expressions, and the GABA metabolism and function, is complex: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25093480
  13. A 2015 study at the Sichuan University School of Medicine, in Chengdu, China, found that gray matter degeneration and loss of cell volume is seen in deficit schizophrenia but not nondeficit schizophrenia. The loss of tissue volume in the insula would need to be restored with a persistent protocol stimulating neural growth factors and improved function, as well as a decrease in the oxidative stress and inflammatory problems associated with this neurodegeneration. Obviously, a holistic and persistent protocol with restorative medicine, not just a drug to block a symptom pathway, is needed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26409573
  14. A 2011 study by experts at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine showed that since finally acknowledging that brain cells do regenerate, realized a century ago but not actually acknowledged in medical literature until a 1998 article in the journal Nature, that we have learned much about the constant cell regeneration, particularly in the hippocampus, a section of the brain partly in the limbic system that encircles the brainstem and thalamus and forms a unit with the amygdala. Many factors contribute to this constant regeneration of the brain cells, including growth factors, immune cytokines, and hormones, the balance of neurotransmitters, healthy circulation, bioavailability of stem cell prescursors, and many factors contribute to the regulation of this neuroregeneration, especially bioavailability of acetylcholine and GABA, or glutamate. It is believed that SSRI and SSNRI medications achieve some success by helping to stimulate cell regeneration, as the belief that they increase serotonin and norepinephrine (adrenaline) in the brain has been discounted by study. Acupuncture has also been shown to stimulate and modulate hippocampus cell regeneration, and much of the effects of acupuncture are attributed to modulating and stimulating effects on the hippocampus and amygdala: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3106107/
  15. A 2003 study at the Wallenberg Neuroscience Center, in Sweden, showed that not only neurons in the hippocampus regenerate, but that dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, the focus of Parkinsonism, regenerate in a constant daily manner from progenitor stem cells, and need a prolonged process to regrow the proper functional and health axons and pathways to insure brain function. A number of factors is involved in this complex neural growth and regrowth, and a more holistic approach is needed to make therapy work for patients with neurodegenerative disease: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC164602/
  16. A study in 2009, at the University of Kentucky, showed that endurance exercise reversed damage to the brain-blood barrier induced by methamphetamines in laboratory animals: http://esciencenews.com/articles/2009/04/21/exercise.protects.against.damage.causing.leakage.blood.brain.barrier
  17. Organophosphate pesticides are well studied and found to create neurotoxicity affecting both the peripheral and central nervous system, mainly affecting aceytlcholine and cholinergic nerve transmission. While acute severe toxicity is the subject of study and thus lower levels in the environment are deemed safe, we see that accumulation both in the environment and in body tissues are a serious threat: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu...http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15521192
  18. A study in 2005, at the Nagoya University School of Health Sciences and the Okayama and Aichi Medical Universities, noted that viral and low-grade bacterial infections and endotoxins elevate the chronic levels of inflammatory cytokines in both the blood and cerebrospinal fluid, altering the integrity of the blood brain barrier. This study proved that such alteration of the BBB affected the transport of pharmaceuticals into the brain, and that chronic inflammatory cytokines could possibly increase the risk of side effects of many medications by altering the transport across the blood brain barrier: http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jphs/97/4/97_525/_article
  19. A study in 2009. at the University of Iowa, showed that each brain disease may alter the blood brain barrier in unique ways related to which peptides targeted the blood vessels in the barrier, and that altered viruses may be used to carry deficient protein peptides past the blood brain barrier vessels to produce enzymes that were deficient in the brain cells, which caused lysosomal disease, a relatively rare disorder now discovered to affect blood vessels throughout the brain in unique ways associated with individual characteristics of the blood brain barrier. Lysosomes are small organs within cells that contain and produce enzymes that clean up the cell, digesting worn out cell components as well as invading viruses, bacteria and other microbes, and dysfunctional lysosomes would lead to neural degeneration. A variety of means are being discovered to improve the function of the brain blood barrier, as well as the health of brain cells: http://esciencenews.com/articles/2009/09/21/university.iowa.scientists.use.blood.brain.barrier.therapy.delivery.system
  20. A study in 2010. at the University of Minnesota, sponsored by the NIH Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, found that addressing the amyloid beta protein peptide transport through the blood brain barrier presents a promising way to stop neurodegenerative cognitive dysfunction at an early stage: http://esciencenews.com/articles/2010/04/12/targeting.blood.brain.barrier.may.delay.progression.alzheimers.disease
  21. An article from 2007, from researchers at the University of Rochester, New York, describes how research now supports a comprehensive strategy to stop cerebrovascular dysfunction and cognitive decline, by reducing advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) and their receptors, LRP1 receptors, improve membrane transport through the blood brain barrier, improve cerebral blood flow, and reduce neuroinflammation: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/car/2007/00000004/00000002/art00018
  22. An article in 2010, from researchers at Brown University Medical School, in Rhode Island, USA, describes how amyloid beta peptides may be inhibited to reduce the progression of cognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer's disease by addressing transport mechanisms in the blood brain barrier. Research has found that the receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGEs) are responsible for influx transport, while the P-glycoprotein and low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) are responsible for efflux transport, or clearing of the amyloid beta peptides: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20838242
  23. A 2014 paper by the British Psychological Society noted that with the advent of advanced imaging techniques in recent years, experts were surprised to find that White Matter Disease (WMD), or small vessel vascular disease of the brain, was apparent in a significant percentage of the aging population, contributing to about 20 percent of all strokes and 45 percent of all dementias: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224204806.htm
  24. Research in 2009 by Dr. Lekha Pandit of the KS Hegde Medical Academy in Mangalore, India, shows that White Matter Disease may involve a large array of factors and be very difficult to diagnose. Various chronic inflammatory diseases, nutritional and metabolic disorders, and mitochondrial disorders are linked, as well as leukodystrophies and collagen vascular disease, and these describe only the more severe manifestations: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2811971/
  25. Research in 2014 at the The General Hospital of the Peoples Liberation Army, Beijing, China, exploring fetal brain development (e.g. Autism), found that in laboratory animals the nutrient taurine was highly correlated with intrauterine growth restriction and poor brain development - making this a promising adjunct therapy to prevent these mounting problems in infants: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24676564
  26. Research in 2014 at Harvard Medical School revealed how the neurohormone Leptin, once thought to be related only to appetite control, is actually found integral to neurodegeneration, psychiatric disorders, brain development, and cognitive behavior dysfunction. By taking a more holistic approach to brain health, and working to improve metabolic concerns, as well as neurohormonal health, patients may experience greater improvements in treatment of a variety of diseases, and prevention of these problems: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25092133
  27. A review of current scientific studies on Gingko biloba extract from the University of Maryland: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/ginkgo-biloba-000247.htm
  28. A 2005 study at the Oregon Health and Science University, Department of Neurology, found that the herb Gotu kola (Centella asiatica), in alcohol tincture, may be useful for accelerating repair of damaged neurons: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16105244
  29. A 2002 study at the Buck Institute for Age Research in Novato, California, found that pre-treatment with R-lipoic acid alleviated the effects of glutathione depletion from oxidative stress: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12428720
  30. A 2004 study at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, showed that L-carnosine reduces telomere damage and shortening, a key aspect of aging and neurodegeneration. The telomere is the end of the DNA strand that communicates with other membranes and molecules, and a repeated telomere is thought to protect DNA integrity: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15474517
  31. A 2009 study at the University of Kentucky found that selenium was shown to both increase glutathione antioxidant capacity and reduce amyloid beta peptide burden, as well as minimize DNA and RNA oxidation, to treat neurodegenative disorders: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2683469/
  32. A 2015 study at the Central South University School of Medicine, in Changsha, China, showed that herbal acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, such as Huperzine A, relieves oxidative glutamate toxicity in key areas of the brain associated with disease, such as epilepsy and stroke. This study targeted key areas and functions in the hippocampus associated with these pathologies and found that this herbal chemical, standardized, provided significant benefits. This Huperzine A is available with other synergistic herbal chemicals in the formula Vinpurazine from Health Concerns: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26440805
  33. A 2011 study in Japan found that both iron overload toxicity and oxidative stress correlated with cognitive dysfunction in the elderly: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/
  34. A 2005 study in Israel, at the Eve Topf and US National Parkinson Foundation Centers of Excellence for Neurodegenerative Diseases Research, found that an iron chelator and MAO-B inhibitor were perhaps the most effective chemicals found to treat neurodegeneration and brain aging. Iron chelation and MAO-B (monoamine oxidase B) inhbition or modulation has been found to be achieved with herbal and nutrient medicine as well as pharmaceutical drugs, and offers a choice of a treatment protocol with less side effects: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15621213
  35. A 2009 study at the University of Massachusetts found that the herbal chemical baicalein, found in Scutellaria baicalensis (Huang qin) has a strong chelating effect on iron accumulation. A combination of chelators such as EDTA with chelating nutrient and herbal chemicals may significantly clear iron overload toxicity to benefit brain function: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19108897
  36. A 2003 study in Taiwan examined 25 species of Chinese herbal medicines for MAO-B inhibitory or regulatory effects, and found that three species exhibited significant effects and benefits in the treatment or delay of progressive neurodegeneration, Arisaema amurense (Tian nan xing), Lilium brownie (Bai he), and Uncaria rhyncophylla (Gou teng): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14692725
  37. A 2012 study at the Catholic University of Korea, in Seoul, South Korea, found that the Chinese herb Tremella fuciformis (Bai mu er) significantly improved cognitive function via the CREB signaling pathway and cholinergic effects in the hippocampus. This herbal tree fungus also has been found to decrease iron toxicity in other studies: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22185695
  38. A 2000 study at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, found that the herb St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) exerted significant modulating effects on the serotonin metabolism, but did not act like a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, and had weak effects as an MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitor. The widely repeated warnings that St. John's Wort is contraindicated with SSRI and MAOI drugs is simply not supported by such studies: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10761821
  39. A 2002 study at the University of Munster, one of the largest teaching universities in Germany, showed that St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) extract is a weak inhibitor of MOA-A and B (monoamine oxidases), an inhibitor of the synaptic uptake of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, with equal affinity for all three of these at the receptors, with significant affinity of GABA, glutamate and adenosine receptors, downregulates beta-adrenergic receptors and upregulates serotonin 5-HT receptors, and modulates neurotransmitter levels in areas of the brain associated with depression. It was also shown to protect against stress (adaptogenic herb) and that most of the antidepressant effects could be attributable to hypericin, hyperforin and several flavonoids, which may be extracted better in alcohol tinctures - many commercial St. John's Wort extracts were shown to be absent of hyperforin, leading to the popularity of standardized extracts: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12775192
  40. A 2005 study at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. found that a chemical in the Chinese herb Rhizoma acori graminei (Shi chang pu) inhibits monoamine oxidases A (MOA-A) preferentially over MOA-B, and has been found to be neuroprotective and potentially helpful in the treatment of depression and Alzheimer's disease: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15936201
  41. Huperzine, an active chemical from a Chinese herb, was shown to be an effective acetylcholinesterase inhibitor as well as a potent antioxidant aid to treat Alzheimer's disease as early as 2000: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10996445
  42. A 2003 review of clinical trials of Huperzine A by the Cognitive Drug Research House in the United Kingdom found that this herbal chemical has demonstrated significant benefits to enhance memory, improve cognitive function and quality of life with Alzheimer's patients, exert potent neuroprotective effets, and is devoid of unexpected toxicity.: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12895686
  43. A 2009 study by experts at the University of Pittsburgh showed that the nutrient medicine CDP choline could significantly improve the neurotransmitter acetylcholine bioavailability in key areas of the brain associated with cognitive function, whether drug induced, in this case by muscarinic inhibitors (commonly used to treat such disorders as neurogenic bladder) or from brain trauma. This effect improved the memory deficits in study animals: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/neu.1997.14.161
  44. A 2013 study at Boston University School of Medicine found that pregnenelone, a ubiquitous steroid hormone that may be enhanced with a bioidentical hormone topical cream, stimulates improved neuron cell function, enhancing memory and cognitive function, by stimulating increased NMDA receptor expression on neural membranes that is linked to improved G-protein and calcium ion signaling: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23716622
  45. Berberine, an active chemical in Coptis chinensis (Huang lian) and other Chinese herbs, has demonstrated neuroprotective effects and potential as a treatment for symptoms of Parkinson's disease, by the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20804776
  46. Berberine, an active chemical in Coptis chinensis (Huang lian) and other Chinese herbs, has demonstrated neuroprotective effects and potential as a treatment for symptoms of Parkinson's disease, by the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Berberine has proven to provide a variety of important health benefits, reducing excess cholesterol, aiding heart and cardiovascular health, and countering chronic inflammation in the body, and is thus a valuable preventive medicine in aging: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20804776
  47. Coptis chinensis (Huang lian) has also demonstrated significant antioxidant effects, and the ability to inhibit beta-amyloid plaque formation, in a 2009 study at Pukyong National University in South Korea: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19652386
  48. A 2012 study at Shahid Beheshti University, in Tehran, Iran, found that curcumin, an active chemical in 3 common Chinese herbs, significantly increases nerve growth factor and resulted in sustained elevation with a 4 week treatment, and elevated endocannibinoids as well, showing promise as a part of treatment for neurodegeneration, depressive and anxiety mood disorders: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22311129
  49. Uncaria rhynchophylla (Gou teng), which is related to the species Uncaria tomentosa (Cat's claw), was shown to improve cognitive functions, and exert antioxidant benefits in the brain, as well as increase acetylcholine neurotransmitter and glutathione levels. These herbal chemicals also cleared malondialdehyde accumulation and acted as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21858756
  50. A 2014 study at the Pusan National University School of Medicine, in Yangsan, South Korea, showed that the Chinese herb Gastrodia elata, or Tian ma, long used to treat disorders of the central nervous system, exerted significant effects via a number of pathways, including the PI3K and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), showing that it could be beneficial for healthy regrowth of neurodegenerative areas, as well as the antioxidant and neuroprotective effects long studied. This study found that an alcohol extract of Gastrodia combined with the nutrient medicine N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) produced an enhanced effect for this pathway: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25004888
  51. The neuroprotective effects of adaptogenic Chinese herbs, such as Eleuthorococcus (Siberian ginseng), Rhodiola rosea (Hong jin tian), and ginseng have been documented at the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in 2010: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21165417
  52. This review in 2008 of the numerous scientific studies of the herb Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) by the University of Toyama in Japan found that chemicals in this herb exert profound neuroprotective effects and stimulate regrowth of both neurons and support glia, as well as improving brain function: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18670181
  53. This review in 2010 of the numerous scientific studies of the herbal chemical Resveratrol from the Chinese herb Polygonum cuspidatum (Hu zhang), conducted at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Italy, found that Resveratrol has significant neuroprotective features, and activates sirtuin enzymes which beneficially regulate cell apoptosis, and other aspects of neurodegeneration, making Resveratrol a potentially significant adjunct therapy in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's disease: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20848560
  54. A 2014 study at Taipei Medical University, in Taipei, Taiwan, found that the herbal chemical resveratrol can increase cell survival after brain trauma via the suppression of the GSK/3beta pathway of cell aptoptosis, cell death, and mitochondrial dysfunction: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24675465
  55. A study in 2010 at the Chungnam National University in South Korea found that a chemical constituent of ginseng, ginsenoside (a phytohormonal) exerts significant antioxidant and neuroprotective effects on dopaminergic neurons in the brain, and acts via the estrogen receptors: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19781563
  56. A study in 2011 at the Institute for Functional Neurosurgery PLA and the Institute for Functional Brain Disorders in Xi'an, China, found that laboratory animals with induced hypoperfusion of the cerebrum and neurodegeneration, in a controlled study, benefited significantly from a saponin extract of the Chinese herb Jiao gu lan, or Gynostemma pentaphylum, called gypenoside. These study animals showed remarkable improvement in cognitive function with antioxidant effects and decreases in lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage, and decrease in inflammatory astrocytes (brain glia support cells). These effects were dose-dependent, though, with 100 mg/kg of body weight for 2 months ineffective, but 200 mg/kg effective: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21897202
  57. A study in 2011, at Kyung Hee University in South Korea, found that the Chinese herb Rou cong rong (Cistanches deserticola) significantly enhanced memory and cognitive function by increasing nerve growth factor induction in C6 cells, and secretion in the cortex and hippocampus: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20849880
  58. A 2005 study funded by the Canadian health services and conducted by experts at the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Maryland, and the Fourth Military Medical University in Xi'an, China, explained how both endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids promote neurogenesis in the hippocampus and thus achieve relief of anxiety and depressive mood disorders over time. It turns out that our scientists were not only wrong in stating that brain cells could not regenerate, but that the common statement that marijuana use destroyed that brain cells was also completely opposite of the truth: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/25509
  59. A study in 1999, published in the journal of the Radiological Society of North America, Radiology, concluded from functional MRI studies that acupuncture stimulation was proven to affect the seats of neuroendocrine and autonomic regulation in the body, as well as the seat of the cognitive and emotional associations, the hypothalamus, limbic system, et al: http://radiology.rsna.org/content/212/1/133.full
  60. The original fMRI study at the University of California, Irvine, Department of Radiological Sciences, Psychiatry and Human Behavior, in conjunction with Kyung Yee University in Seoul, South Korea, demonstrated that with acupuncture stimulation at points specific to the visual pathologies, that specific manual stimulations of the points produced different functional effects in the brain nuclei, as measured by both fMRI and visual light stimulation combined: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC19456/
  61. A 2000 study with fMRI on human subjects at Harvard Medical School demonstrated that acupuncture stimulation affects deep regulatory centers in the brain in a modulatory manner consistent with the patient pathology and symptoms, and also consistent with manual manipulations of the needle by the physician and subsequent sensations and reactions: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10643726?dopt=Abstract
  62. A National Institutes of Health article in 2010 outlines how the research conducted on acupuncture effects on the brain, utilizing fMRI, PET scan, and MEG (magnetoencephalography), is being used to further map the genetic changes, and molecular changes in the nervous and immune systems: http://nccam.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2010_february/acu.htm
  63. A 2010 study at the Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in China, showed that electroacupuncture applied at just 2 common points, SP6 and ST40, and manual stimulation at DU20 and DU26, stimulated proliferation of stem cells in the brain following injury from ischemic stroke. This demonstrates the amazing restorative effects of acupuncture, even in stem cell therapy: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20848891
  64. A 2011 study at Zhongshan School of Medicine at Sun Yat-sen University, in Guangzhou, China, found that electroacupuncture at points on the extraordinary Du channel, called the Governor Meridian, located on the skull and spine, provided a number of benefits to the spinal cord and brain related to recovery from spinal cord injury, as well as brain injury. The measurable effects included stimulation of generation of stem cells, synthesis of neurotrophic factors, by activating cellular metabolism: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22050762
  65. A 2009 study at the department of neuroscience at Sun Yat-sen University, in Guangzhou, China, found that electroacupuncture could stimulate and modulate mesenchymal stem cells of the bone marrow, and could significantly aid in transplant of these bone marrow-derived stem cells into injured areas of the spinal cord, improving stem cell survival, as well as differentiation. While many in standard medicine are, of course, skeptical that electroacupuncture stimulation could achieve these goals, such studies as this provide proof: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19374777
  66. A 2015 study at Capital Medical University, in Beijing, China, demonstrated that acupuncture stimulation helps resolve neurodegeneration in the hippocampus by stimulating the Nrf2 pathway that regulates cellular antioxidant defenses, contributing to repair and protection of vascular dementia in laboratory animals:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26546103
  67. A 2015 randomized controlled study at Zhengzhou University and the Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in Henan, China, found that acupuncture stimulation significantly promotes brain cell growth and developent, and decreases cellular apoptosis (programmed cell death) in the hippocampus, via GDNF and BDNF (neuron growth factors) pathways of expression: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26116163
  68. A 2014 large retrospective cohort study of acupuncture integrated into treatment for traumatic brain injury, at Taipei Medical University, I-Shou University and China Medical University in Taiwan, using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, showed that patients whose treatment integrated acupuncture had a significantly lower risk of future stroke following traumatic brain injury over a period of 6 yo 14 years: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24586597
  69. A large randomized controlled human clinical trial of integration of acupuncture in the treatment of persistent cognitive impairment after traumatic brain injury in earthquake victims in China showed that adding acupuncture to hyperbaric oxygen therapy and cognitive rehabilitation significantly improved outcome measures:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24796041
  70. A 2011 study at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) shows that the hippocampus is an important center of memory function in the brain, and bursts of bioelectrical replay of memory data, especially during the waking state, are very important to memory function: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215304/
  71. A 2010 study at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, in China, found that electroacupuncture at SP6 and ST40, and DU20 and DU26, significantly benefited expression of CA 3 hippocampus expression and cell function in laboratory studies: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20458902
  72. A 2011 study at Kyung Hee University in South Korea showed how acupuncture stimulation at the point HT7 significantly resolved memory deficits and cognitive dysfunction induced by corticosteroids in laboratory animals by recovery of the acetylcholinergic system, and that such neurodegeneration was very similar to neurodegenerative disease and memory impairment: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3246768/?tool=pmcentrez
  73. A 2012 study at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, showed that deep acupuncture stimulation, as opposed to superficial needling depth, resulted in significantly enhanced effects in regions of the brain related to memory. The type of acupuncture utilized is important: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22459434
  74. A 2013 study at Xi'an Jiao Tong University, in China, found that electroacupuncture stimulation at SP6, GB34 and ST36, at 100 Hz, effectively enhanced survival of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, reduced motor deficits, and increased dopamine transport protein 254 percent in the striatum. This treatment also increased dopamine receptor type 1 (D1) and suppressed dopamine receptor type 2 (D2) expression in laboratory animals with induce Parkinson-like lesions. This type of therapy is thus shown potentially very helpful in the treatment and prevention of Parkinson's disease, as well as other diseases associated with depressed levels of dopamine and imbalance of D2 over D1 receptors, such as ADHD: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23036843
  75. A 2014 study at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, in Beijing, China, showed that electroacupuncture stimulation at DU20 and Yingtang downregulated the expression of the immune pro-infalmmatory cytokines IL-1beta, IL-6 and the growth factor TGF-beta in the hippocampus of laboratory animals exposed to chronic restraint stress, which elevated these chemicals associated with depressive mood disorder. Such study clearly shows how acupuncture treatments can profoundly affect the brain in a positive and modulatory manner, restoring homeostatic balance to relieve symptoms and reverse CNS disease: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24795767
  76. A 2014 randomized controlled human clinical study at the Southern Medical University School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in Guangzhou, China, found with functional MRI study that the commonly used acupuncture point LV3 specifically activated or deactivated function in brain centers related to vision, movement, sensation, emotion and analgesia, affecting primarily the cingulate gyrus, thalamus and cerebellar posterior lobe, and the point used as the sham control affected other areas of the brain. Such study demonstrates that indeed the traditional uses for this point are correct, and that a point prescription in acupuncture could coordinate a variety of specific effects in the brain to help with a control of symptoms and restoration of homeostatic function: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24963329
  77. A conservative but informative article from the American Heart Association explains some of the pharmacodynamics of prescription drugs and the effect on the liver, with drug-drug contraindications and explanation of ill effects on the liver metabolism with statin drugs to lower cholesterol: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/109/23_suppl_1/III-50
  78. A 2000 FDA labeling approval for a synthetic estradiol oral contraceptive reveals that concentrations of drugs in the body vary considerable from person to person depending on the individual health of the liver metabolism and competition for detox pathways: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ogd/rld/19190s34.pdf
  79. A 2011 audit by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found alarming data on the overprescription of antipsychotic medications in nursing care facilities and the harmful effects on brain function and health caused by these drugs: http://www.californiahealthline.org
  80. A 2008 study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention showed that a percentage of the population is born with genetic polymorphisms, or tendency to express misshapen protein enzymes, related to alleles expressing P450, glutathione S-transferase and N-acetyl transferase. In the population with deficient expression of both the glutathione and acetyl transferase enzymes, risk of acquiring acute myeloid leukemia, or bone marrow cancer, increased nearly 12%: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18287869. Another study in 2000 found a significant relationship between deficient expression of P450 and glutathione transferase enzymes and esophageal cancers: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10868687. These studies were a follow-up to a 1997 study of glutathione deficiency genotypes and the relationship to cancer susceptibility by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9298582?
  81. A 2013 study at Brown University in the United States and King's College in London, using MRI neuroimaging of the brain, found that babies that were breastfed a minimum of 3 months had significantly improved development of white matter in the brain and higher IQ and cognitive function: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053811913005922
  82. A 2005 study at the University of Saskatchewan, and the University of Calgary, in Canada, found that cannibinoids, either in cannabis (marijuana), or synthetic, reacted at cannibinoid receptors in the brain to stimulate neuron regrowth: http://www.medpagetoday.com/
  83. A 2013 study at the G. d'Annunzio University, Chieti, Italy found that the nutritional supplement acetyl-L-carnitine, a molecule naturally produced in the mitochondria of cells, which enables Coenzyme A and antioxidant effects to occur, also induces neuroprotective, neurotrophic (growing new neural cells), and analgesic (pain relieving) effects in the peripheral nervous system. The effects of acetyl-L-carnitine in the central nervous system, or brain, have long been noted, with clinical trials demonstrating positive effects on memory and cognitive impairment, but now a number of sound studies demonstrate the effectiveness of acetyl-L-carnitine on various peripheral neuropathies as well. The analgesic effects were dependent on epigenetic changes and controls, suggesting a more holistic therapy is needed as well for significant relief of neuralgia : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23965166
  84. A 2001 study of the differences in brain function between the left and right brain, coordinated by the brainstem and thalamus, conducted by Lawrence M. Parsons of the National Science Foundation Cognitive Neuroscience Program, Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A., showed that the left brain is specialized for language-based probabilistic reasoning in problem solving, whereas the right brain is specialized for non-language-based deductive reasoning. The left brain appears to be able to be able to fine tune the deductions of the right brain and evaluate by fitting these logic-based deductions into a big picture, or world-view. Subsequent studies have shown that in general there are no left brain or right brain dominant persons, but that these sides of the brain are used more for specific tasks. Other studies have shown, for instance, that patients with a chronic anxiety disorder tend to rely on the left brain activity more, with a big picture perhaps dominated by expectations that cause anxiety and dread dominating the view of daily activities: http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/content/11/10/954.full
  85. A 2006 study at the National Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea, confirmed that contralateral meridian acupuncture stimulation affected the side of the brain with dysfunction more than ipsilateral (same side of the body), and that this contralateral stimulation improved function in 40 human subjects that were diagnosed with degeneration in the visual cortex creating a larger blind spot in the field of vision. ST36 was used in this randomized controlled trial. Other studies with acupuncture have shown benefits to the thalamus and improved coordination between left and right side of the brain: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17034288
  86. A 2013 article in The Week interviewed Medical Doctors who were involved in and studied reviving the dead, from 1 to 6 hours after the declaration of legal death, in Australia, the U.S, and Japan - using a constant CPR machine and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation device, the brain can be reanimated. Biotech companies in 2016 are exploring the use of stem cells and other stimulating techniques to make this more common, as well as to perhaps revive frozen patients in the future. Techniques in the distant past described by alchemists such as Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa were met with a death sentence for religious heresy: http://theweek.com/articles/464406/how-australian-hospital-bringing-clinically-dead-people-back-life
  87. By 2016, human clinical trials were underway in the U.K. to explore the revival of the dead using a more holistic integrated protocol, with stem cells, peptides, laser stimulation and other nerve stimulation techniques: http://www.seeker.com/dead-could-be-brought-back-to-life-in-medical-trial-1774071945.html