Archives for April 2016

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and Naturopathic Medicine

cte2

chronic traumatic encephalopathy

As of December 2012, 33 former NFL football players had been diagnosed post mortem with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). In October, 2010 17 year old Nathan Stiles, a high school football player died hours after a final hit  at his high school homecoming game. This was on top of the many subconcussive blows endured previously. He was diagnosed with CTE making him the youngest reported CTE case.

 

CTE is caused by repetitive concussive blows to the head. This is common in boxing, football, and soccer. The symptoms of CTE occur years after the traumatic events. Auto-anitbodies enter the brain through the damaged blood brain barrier and cause inflammatory proteins to build up. The build up of Tau proteins in certain areas of the brain is the consistent hallmark finding in the post mortem brains of CTE sufferers. Unfortunately to date there is no way to diagnose this disease in a living brain.

Symptoms include:

Forgetfulness
Depression
Irritability
Impulsiveness
Poor judgment
Disorientation
Bursts of anger

In addition to not being able to officially diagnose a living sufferer of the symptoms of CTE, there is no treatment. When suspected to have CTE, the patient is told to modify his activities and have a routine lifestyle. The medications used to treat the symptoms are your typical antidepressants and psychiatric medications. These of course come with their own physical and psychological side effects. The former players whose CTE symptoms caused their demise were on psychiatric meds for their long standing symptoms.

This is where naturopathic medicine has an advantage over conventional medicine. There are many options for those suspected to have CTE. Oxygen therapy and nutritional supplements can control the inflammation in the brain. Neurotransmitter therapy can replenish and balance out the friendly neurotransmitters such as GABA and serotonin to calm and stabilize the emotions. There are known nutritional supplements that have been used for years to heighten the brain’s function to allow for better focus and memory.

It is my hope that those who are suffering and confused as to why this is happening and what can be done, will know about naturopathic medicine and its many ways to improve the quality of life.

Jane Hendricks NMD

Scottsdale, AZ

 

 

Cholesterol and Statin Drugs

There have been trials done to prove that statins may protect against cancer, namely colorectal cancer.. However an article published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology sites errors in some of the trials. The cholesterol levels were measured in the patients 10 to over 30 years before the diagnoses of cancer. These patients might have had a lower risk of cancer mortality without having had taken the statins. Also in one trial, 75% of the patients had stopped taking the statin medication at the 2 year follow up. In contrast, statin use may increase the incidence of cancer.

In a study reported by Matsuzkai, 5 to 10mg of simvastatin was administered to over 47,000 patients. After 6 years, cancer mortality was higher in those patients who had cholesterol less than 160mg/dl compared to those patients who had normal to high cholesterol. Several cholesterol lowering drugs including statins have been found to be carcinogenic in rodents in doses that produce blood concentrations of the drugs similar to those achieved in treating patients.

Several studies have shown that patients treated with cancer have been treated with statins more frequently than the control group without cancer. Finally, a study done in 2013 showed that 10 years of statin use increased women’s risk of invasive ductal carcinoma by 83% and their risk of invasive lobular carcinoma by 97%.

Perhaps their adverse effect on cancer is not that statins are carcinogenic but that they lower LDL. Over a dozen research groups have documented that low density lipoproteins partake in the immune system by binding microorganisms. Because certain microorganisms have been implicated in the cause of cancer, especially colorectal, it is difficult to understand how lowering LDL could prevent cancer.

High cholesterol is easy to treat through much less invasive means. There are many supplements such as essential fatty acids and niacin that can help lower cholesterol along with a diet low in simple carbohydrates and animal protein. In the least, statins are hard on the liver so it’s better to try something that will not cause side effects or long term consequences.

1. Ravnskov M.D. Uffe (2015) Statins Do Not Protect Against Cancer, Quite The Opposite. Journal Of Clinical Oncology, Mar 1, 2015:812