Functional Neurology: Sugar and Brain Health | El Paso, TX Doctor Of Chiropractic
Dr. Alex Jimenez, El Paso's Chiropractor
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Functional Neurology: Sugar and Brain Health

Do you often feel low brain endurance for focus and concentration? Do you often crave sugar and sweets in the afternoon? Or do you feel energized after meals? Glucose, or sugar, is the main source of energy in the human body. And, because the human brain has so many nerve cells or neurons, it is one of the most energy-demanding organs, which utilizes about one-half of all the energy from glucose in the human body. Sugar is important but too much of it can also have its downsides.  

 

Brain functions, such as memory, thinking, and learning, are relatively associated with glucose levels and how efficiently the brain utilizes this essential energy fuel source. If there isn’t enough glucose, or sugar, in the brain, by way of instance, neurotransmitters, or the human brain’s chemical messengers, don’t develop properly and the communications between neurons can ultimately break down. Additionally, dysglycemia, a common health issue caused by abnormal blood glucose levels, can cause loss of energy for brain function and has also been associated with poor attention and cognitive function.  

 

“The human brain is dependent on sugar or glucose as its main energy fuel source,” stated Vera Novak, MD, Ph.D., an HMS associate professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “It just simply cannot be without it.”  

 

What is Dysglycemia?

As previously mentioned, brain structure and function, such as cognition, can be affected by dysglycemia, or blood glucose abnormalities, in older adults. Researchers conducted a cross-sectional and longitudinal cohort research study, analyzing the association of dysglycemia with brain health. The researchers found that dysglycemia is associated with an increased number of brain infarcts, white matter hyperintensities volume, and decreased total white matter, gray matter, and hippocampus volume cross-sectionally. According to the research study, there was also a decrease in gray matter volume longitudinally. Dysglycemia was ultimately associated with reduced language performance, speed, and visuospatial function.  

 

“Our results suggest that dysglycemia affects brain health in elderly survivors, evidenced by higher cerebrovascular disease, lower white, and gray matter volume as well as language, visuospatial function, and cognitive speed,” stated the authors.

 

Dysglycemia can cause changes in blood glucose levels which may cause a variety of health issues. Dysglycemia is also not necessarily defined by specific blood sugar levels. Instead, having an abnormally low, high, or unstable blood glucose levels suggests an underlying health issue that requires further investigation. Moreover, while type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the most common causes of dysglycemia, other examples of blood sugar level abnormalities can include gestational diabetes and pre-diabetic conditions as well as drug-related and genetically related abnormalities of the blood sugar levels.  

 

Furthermore, dysglycemia can be a result of hereditary or environmental factors, or it can even be a combination of both. Genes can predispose a person to ultimately develop dysglycemia over time, just as much as several lifestyle habits can, too. A poor diet high in unhealthy fats, sugars, and processed foods can commonly cause a person to develop dysglycemia. Lacking certain vitamins and minerals that enhance the human body’s sensitivity to insulin can also cause dysglycemia.  

 

Dysglycemia and Brain Health

Although the brain needs glucose or sugar, too much of this energy fuel source can also have several side-effects. A 2012 research study on animals conducted by researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles demonstrated a positive relationship between the consumption of fructose, another form of sugar, and the aging of cells. A 2009 research study, also utilizing animal models and conducted by a team of scientists at the University of Montreal and Boston College, connected excess glucose consumption to memory and cognitive deficiencies. Further research studies are still required.  

 

The effects of glucose and other forms of sugar on the human brain may be the most profound in diabetes, a group of health issues in which high blood glucose levels persist over a prolonged period of time. Type 1 diabetes is a health issue in which the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, a hormone utilized by the human body to maintain and regulate blood glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes, caused by dietary and other environmental factors, is a health issue in which cells become overwhelmed by insulin and fail to properly respond and they ultimately become insulin resistant.  

 

Long-term diabetes, either type 1 or type 2, can have many consequences for the brain cells, or neurons, as well as the brain. High blood glucose levels can affect the brain’s functional connectivity which connects brain regions that share functional properties and brain matter. It can also cause the brain to atrophy or shrink and it can lead to small-vessel disease, which restricts blood flow in the brain, causing cognitive difficulties and it can cause the development of vascular dementia.  

 

In her laboratory, Novak evaluated several ways to prevent these effects in people with type 2 diabetes. One of these ways involves a nasal spray known as intranasal insulin (INI). When used, INI enters the brain and binds to receptors in its memory networks, including the hippocampus, hypothalamus, and insular cortex. As signaling within these memory networks become more efficient, cognitive functions in these areas, such as learning and visual perceptions of spatial relationships, improve.  

 

“Type 2 diabetes accelerates brain aging,” says Novak, “which, in turn, accelerates the progression of functional decline. With intranasal insulin, we’re hoping to find a new avenue for treatment to slow down these effects or prevent them altogether.”  

 

In a pilot research study, Novak and her colleagues found that a single dose of INI had a positive effect on memory, verbal learning, and spatial orientation. She is now planning the first clinical trial of INI in older adults with type 2 diabetes. The results of the clinical trial are especially relevant because of the high prevalence of dementia and significant cognitive decline among older adults with diabetes. Sugar, or glucose, is fundamental, however, it must be controlled for overall brain health.  

 

Dr. Alex Jimenez Insights Image

Glucose, or sugar, is an important source of energy fuel for every cell in the human body, especially the brain. However, excess amounts of blood glucose, or sugar, levels can be more harmful than beneficial and it can ultimately cause a variety of brain health issues, including neurological diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Dysglycemia, or abnormal blood glucose, or sugar, levels, is a common condition in diabetes. Managing and regulating glucose, or sugar, in patients with diabetes is essential to promote overall brain health and wellness, according to research studies. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 


 

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The following Neurotransmitter Assessment Form can be filled out and presented to Dr. Alex Jimenez. Symptoms listed on this form are not intended to be utilized as a diagnosis of any type of disease, condition, or any other type of health issue.  

 


 

Do you often feel low brain endurance for focus and concentration? Do you often crave sugar and sweets in the afternoon? Or do you feel energized after meals? Glucose, or sugar, is the main source of energy in the human body. And, because the human brain has so many nerve cells or neurons, it is one of the most energy-demanding organs, which utilizes about one-half of all the energy from glucose in the human body. Sugar is important but too much of it can also have its downsides.  

 

Brain functions, such as memory, thinking, and learning, are relatively associated with glucose levels and how efficiently the brain utilizes this essential energy fuel source. If there isn’t enough glucose, or sugar, in the brain, by way of instance, neurotransmitters, or the human brain’s chemical messengers, don’t develop properly and the communications between neurons can ultimately break down. Additionally, dysglycemia, a common health issue caused by abnormal blood glucose levels, can cause loss of energy for brain function and has also been associated with poor attention and cognitive function.  

 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez  

 

References:

  • Marchione, Victor. “Cognition and Brain Structure Affected by Dysglycemia in Older Adults: Study.” Bel Marra Health – Breaking Health News and Health Information, Bel Marra Health, 10 Jan. 2017, www.belmarrahealth.com/cognition-brain-structure-affected-dysglycemia-older-adults-study/.
  • Edwards, Scott. “Sugar and the Brain.” Sugar and the Brain | Department of Neurobiology, neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/sugar-and-brain.

 


 

Additional Topic Discussion: Chronic Pain

Sudden pain is a natural response of the nervous system which helps to demonstrate possible injury. By way of instance, pain signals travel from an injured region through the nerves and spinal cord to the brain. Pain is generally less severe as the injury heals, however, chronic pain is different than the average type of pain. With chronic pain, the human body will continue sending pain signals to the brain, regardless if the injury has healed. Chronic pain can last for several weeks to even several years. Chronic pain can tremendously affect a patient’s mobility and it can reduce flexibility, strength, and endurance.

 

 


 

Neural Zoomer Plus for Neurological Disease

Neural Zoomer Plus | El Paso, TX Chiropractor  

Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate neurological diseases. The Neural ZoomerTM Plus is an array of neurological autoantibodies which offers specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus is designed to assess an individual’s reactivity to 48 neurological antigens with connections to a variety of neurologically related diseases. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus aims to reduce neurological conditions by empowering patients and physicians with a vital resource for early risk detection and an enhanced focus on personalized primary prevention.  

 

Food Sensitivity for the IgG & IgA Immune Response

Food Sensitivity Zoomer | El Paso, TX Chiropractor  

Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate health issues associated with food sensitivities. The Food Sensitivity ZoomerTM is an array of 180 commonly consumed food antigens that offers very specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. This panel measures an individual’s IgG and IgA sensitivity to food antigens. Being able to test IgA antibodies provides additional information to foods that may be causing mucosal damage. Additionally, this test is ideal for patients who might be suffering from delayed reactions to certain foods. Utilizing an antibody-based food sensitivity test can help prioritize the necessary foods to eliminate and create a customized diet plan around the patient’s specific needs.  

 

Formulas for Methylation Support

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