First, where have I been? Missing in action, and back for the new year with commitment to two? three? news items a month, just to keep things current.
Second, I have problems, just as some of you do, with research that relies on cute little mice, like the guy above. The research better be important, because, hey these guys are doing us a real service, I value their lives: no stupid research. And secondly, we have to know that the research in a little mouse is applicable to what we want to know about humans.
It turns out that mice are pretty good stand-ins for several different aspects of Alzheimer's disease. "Science" (sic) has been disappointed because even though mice have shown us how to remove amyloid plaque, that hasn't netted a profitable drug for pharmaceutical researchers. (This is not the fault of the mice, of course, but rather a misapprehension about the nature of the disease... but you know that.)
So it was very interesting to learn that one of my favorite areas of interest for cognitive health (namely molds, fungi, and their toxins) has shown up in recent research. Researchers from Baylor University identified inflammation in the brain as part of a systemic fungal infection by Candida. You may have heard of Candida, it's the same organism that causes "yeast infections" and serious complications in hospitalized patients. Candida induces brain inflammation, and can impair memory, cause deposits that resemble amyloid, and interfere with the normal function of APP.
APP stands for amyloid precursor protein and is incredibly important to your brain's health. APP is constantly reading the brain's environment and controlling brain cells' activity. When there are adequate nutrients and no toxins, your brain can make no brain cells. Toxins? Inadequate B12? D? Estradiol? Forget about those brain cells' growing, shut them down.
So, great research that will open the door to more people looking at the intersection of cognitive decline and fungal or mold problems.
On another note, I learned about this research from Dr. Rhonda Patrick who hosts a great website and podcast, called Found My Fitness. She recently interviewed Dr. Bredesen, a wide-ranging and thorough interview, which you can listen to through her website here. If you enjoy this interview, she has lots more!