A Multiprong Approach to Mild Cognitive Impairment – Prong One: Nutrients that Support Brain Function

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According to the Mayo Clinic, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is defined as:

“Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more serious decline of dementia. It can involve problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes. If you have mild cognitive impairment, you may be aware that your memory or mental function has “slipped.” Your family and close friends also may notice a change. But generally these changes aren’t severe enough to interfere with your day-to-day life and usual activities.”   (Mayo Clinic)

In evaluating whether a patient has MCI, a diagnostic tool known as the 3.0 Tesla MRI (3T MRI) scanner is often used.  A 3T MRI reveals four conditions that result in a diagnosis of MCI:

  1. Atrophy, or shrinkage, resulting from the loss of cells in the brain,
  2. Demyelination, the loss of the sheathing that surrounds neurons, which protects them as insulation does copper wiring. Myelination, or the development of the sheath around neurons, continues until age 30; thereafter, demyelination, or deterioration of the sheathing occurs,
  3. Ischemia, the restriction of blood flow, and
  4. Calcification, the hardening of tissue resulting from calcium deposits.

In order to prevent and treat MCI, a multipronged approach is often taken by health care professionals.  The first prong for the prevention and treatment of MCI is the use of specific nutraceuticals that address the four conditions of MCI. 

In addition, supporting the four main brain neurotransmitters with specific nutrients and precursors is also important in the prevention and treatment of MCI.

The four main neurotransmitters are:

  • Dopamine (Power)
  • Acetylcholine (Speed)
  • GABA (Rhythm)
  • Serotonin (Mood)

It is apparent from the Table below that the following nutraceuticals address more than one of the seven brain functions:

  • Gastrodin
  • EPA/DHA
  • Magnesium-L-Threonate
  • Tocotrienols (Vitamin E)

 Table: Nutrients that Support Brain Function

Brain Function

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Category

Nutrient

Neuro-genesis

Plasticity

Blood Circula-tion

Power

Speed

 

Rhythm

 

Mood

Amino Acids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L-Tyrosine

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Acetyl-L-Carnitine Arginate

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Acetyl-L-Carnitine

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

GABA

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

Tryptophan

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

5-Hydroxytrypto-

phan (5-HTP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

Foods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berry extract

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blueberry Extract

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Herbs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gastrodin

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

Huperzine A

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

Ashwagandha

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

Hormones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melatonin

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

Pregnenolone

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

Lipids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EPA/DHA

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

PhosphatidylSerine

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minerals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magnesium L-Threonate

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

Nootropics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vinpocetine

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Nucleic Acids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uridine-5’-Monophosphate

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polyphenols

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resveratrol

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Tea

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quercetin

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curcumin

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quinones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CoQ10

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vitamins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Folic Acid

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

Tocotrienols (Vitamin E)

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

Methylcobalamin

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

B Complex Vitamins

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

Inositol

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

Vitamin K

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Source:  Reverse Mild Cognitive Impairment,  By Eric Braverman, MD, and Bruce Scali  Life Extension Magazine March 2015


References:

Zhang N, Song X, Zhang Y, et al. Alzheimer’s disease neuroimaging initiative— an MRI brain atrophy and lesion index to assess the progression of structural changes in Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, and normal aging: a follow-up study. J Alzheimers Dis . 2011;26 Suppl 3:359-67.

Cherubini A, Péran P, Spoletini I, et al. Combined volumetry and DTI in subcortical structures of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease patients. J Alzheimers Dis . 2010;19(4):1273-82.

Van Dinteren R, Arns M, Jongsma M. et al. P300 development across the lifespan: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2014 Feb. 9(2):e87347.

Haeusler KG , Koch L, Herm J, et al. 3 Tesla MRI-detected brain lesions after pulmonary vein isolation for atrial fibrillation: results of the MACPAF study. J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2013 Jan;24(1):14-21.

Wu Z , Mittal S,Kish K,Yu Y,Hu J, Haacke EM. Identification of calcification with MRI using susceptibility-weighted imaging: a case study. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2009 Jan;29(1):177-82.


Informational References:

For more detailed information on this subject, read the Life Extension article:  Reverse Mild Cognitive Impairment,  By Eric Braverman, MD, and Bruce Scali  Life Extension Magazine March 2015