A brand-new study shows one key factor can double your risk of developing the most devastating brain condition of our time — Alzheimer’s disease. The study also supports my view about the importance of the mind-body connection for optimum health.
As I always report, your brain and body are closely connected. In fact, your brain “reaches” every part of your body through the brain stem, spinal cord, spinal nerves, and out to the peripheral nerves. Your brain also “controls” all your glands by releasing potent hormones that circulate through the blood to all parts of your body. And your brain even influences your immune system by ultimately sending a variety of disease-fighting white blood cells throughout your body.
Of course, this connection is a two-way street — your body influences your brain as well. In fact, it turns out your immune system significantly impacts your brain health.
Immune system health critical for brain health
For this new study, researchers at the University of California Institute for Memory Impairment and Neurological Disorders in Irvine wanted to explore the immune system’s role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers took mice genetically more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease and bred them so they lacked three types of vital immune cells — T cells, B cells, and NK (natural killer) cells.
By the time these immune-deficient mice were just six months old, the researchers observed they already had double the build-up of proteins associated with dementia in their brains. Plus, the mice lacking key immune cells were twice as likely to develop neuro-degeneration and dementia compared to normal mice.
The researchers believe this finding relates to a type of immune cell in the brain called microglia. With the help of antibodies created by B cells in the body’s immune system, microglia cells help clear the brain of beta-amyloid (a protein previously associated with cases of clinical dementia in humans).
To further test their findings, the researchers transplanted bone marrow stem cells into the mice with immune deficiency. T, B, and NK immune cells develop from bone marrow stem cells, so the transplant basically restored the mice’s immune system function.
Next, the researchers again tested the levels of harmful beta-amyloid in the mice and found they were substantially lower — thanks to the mice’s healthier immune systems.
Simple ways you can boost your immune system
The researchers noted that in humans, the immune system’s T and B cells naturally decline with age. There’s not much you can do about aging. But you can stop much of the wear and tear on your immune system and keep it healthy. Specifically, you must reduce chronic inflammation, which can flat-out ravage your immune system.
You can learn about many simple — and natural — approaches to slash chronic inflammation in your body and brain in my Complete Alzheimer’s Cure online learning protocol.
You can also discover how many mind-body techniques such as meditation and acupuncture can help with a dozen major conditions not well treated by mainstream medicine — including brain conditions.
Find the mind-body techniques that will work best for you by taking the “Your Emotional Type” quiz at www.drmicozzi.com. You can also read my two books with Mike Jawer: The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion and Your Emotional Type.
Bottom line: Just as with any other chronic disease, Alzheimer’s disease has an important mind-body connection. And that also means a healthy immune system is vital to substantially reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementia.
1 “The adaptive immune system restrains Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis by modulating microglial function.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016; 201525466.