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Brain Health

  •  At present, drug "cocktails" are becoming popular for individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and the same may soon apply to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. However, such polytherapy (therapy involving several medications at once) can have negative side effects as well as benefits.
  • In ALS, many of the "medications" used in these cocktails are employed in alternative medicine. Therefore, they are readily obtained off-the-shelf, without a prescription. Each of these medications outlined below is thought to affect a different causative component of the disease.
  • Vitamin E (800 international units per day) or coenyzme Q10 (200 mg per day) are both good antioxidants, and coenzyme Q10 is also thought to have an effect on improving other nerve cell processes.
    Aspirin is thought to improve the inflammatory component of the disease.
    A class of medications, called caspases are being explored for their possible role in preventing a mechanism called apoptosis that causes neurons to die.
    The benefit of some of these approaches has been shown through genetics studies. A research breakthrough occurred when a mutation was found, which allows oxidation (and thus destruction) of neurons to occur by allowing oxygen "free radicals" to accumulate. This, therefore, supports the use of antioxidants in the treatment of ALS. However, inherited ALS is uncommon, accounting for only 5% to 10% of all cases. And, of these, the abnormal oxidation gene is present in only about 1 in 5 of individuals with inherited ALS. Nevertheless, the discovery of this abnormal gene is an exciting development.
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ale hoof (ground ivy, cat-foot, ground, turn hoof, hay maids, ale hoof)
alfalfa (alfalfa, lucerne)
all-heal (valerian, all-heal, garden heliotrope)
aloe (aloe vera, aloe, burn plant, lily of the desert, elephant's gall)
aloe vera (aloe vera, aloe, burn plant, lily of the desert, elephant's gall)
American coneflower (echinacea, purple coneflower, coneflower, American coneflower)
American cranberry (cranberry, American cranberry, bog cranberry)
American dwarf palm tree (saw palmetto, American dwarf palm tree, cabbage palm)
angelica (angelica, archangel, garden angelica, masterwort, wild angelica)
arborvitae (thuja, white cedar, arborvitae, hackmatack, tree of life)
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