welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

its that time again

this will be the fourth time i go through all these tests
i did them when i started 3 years ago
then i do them every year

i am a study subject in the early mild cognitive impairment
group in the largest alzheimers disease research study ever
its called the adni or alzheimers disease neuroimaging initiative
its a multicenter center study that takes the data it collects and
once its all entered each year it is readily available to researchers
all over the world
hundreds of research studies have been written from this data

much of the newer stuff thats known on alzheimers disease
comes from this study
the new treatment studies that are starting up now uses the
information from the adni study to guide their studies

today i will have done
blood work like you usually will get at a doctors visit like a cbc
and a metabolic profile and a urinalysis
as part of another study they will run a new alzheimers blood test
they are working on that will identify folks who will get alzheimers
looking at protein markers and inflammatory markers comparing
what they find with the other tests and scans i have done
right now the test is about 90% accurate

a full neuropsychological test that takes about 2 hours to do
its the hardest test to do for the study and the one i dread the
i jokenly call it the torturre test
i dont even mind the spinal tap
this will be the 6th neuropsychological test that i have done for
this study
so i know when i take them if i have gotten worse or just stayed
the same
so far my results have been fairly stable
i know that if i have alzheimers disease that there is a point in the
future when a drop off will start to occur
they dont even have to look at my results
i can tell them the results when i walk out of the room

this year i dont get an mri
i have had 5 mris so far in this study
they all have been normal
they are looking at the under surface of the brain at the hypothalamus
to see if it has shrunken at all
thats where alzheimers disease all starts
right there

i also dont get the glucose metabolism test pet scan or the
amyvid pet scan this year
both these will show abnormalities in glucose metabolism or
in beta amyloid accumulation in the brain if alzhiemers is present
i dont get these pet scan results as they are protected by the study

then i dont get the spinal tap this year
they check for beta amyloid and tau protein accumulation in the
spinal fluid
abnormal levels of these two proteins occur in alzheimers disease
i had my fluid tested three years ago and its abnormal
last year when i had my tap done i donated the fluid to an ms study
that they desperately needed fluid for
forgoing a 2 year followup at a private lab which would have
given me another point on the curve to look at

this year i will discuss with them
about trying to qualify for one of the new treatment studies that
are starting up using one of the new alzheimers vaccines
called solanezumab or one using nasal insulin or one using bace inhibitors

these are three of the new ways that if they work a patient could
be treated early on in the disease or even before symptoms start
a lot of hope is put into these studies

plus i will always continue doing those things we all should be
doing to stay healthy
and keep taking my aricept (donepezil)

the organicgreen doctor

Monday, July 21, 2014


what if you took two kid actors and then took two
adult actors and filmed a movie about a boy growing
you filmed them now then waited a few years
filmed more of the story showing them age
did this several times over 12 years
without doing all that makeup stuff they do
in hollywood
in this case it was in texas

the little 6 year was in elementary school
then in middle school
then in high school
then he graduated
then he went to college
it was the same actor who started the part when he was
just a kiddo

he changed overtime like what you can do on your
computer by taking a photo of yourself and letting
the computer age you over whatever years you want

thats what this movie called boyhood did
he aged naturally and you got to watch him do it
as well as his sister his parents their new spouses
their grandparents their friends
got to see their lives change
with all its ups and downs

why has someone not thought of this before
but richard linklater did
he of bernie fame and dazed and confused fame and
school of rock fame etc

my nephew who didnt fall in my rainwater tank worked on
the crew for some of the filming in the later scenes
yes he has credits on the end as being in the film crew
he was just an elementary student when all this started

heck the main character seemed like him a lot
maybe even the story somewhat

so my wife she calls this a
2 eyelids up recommendation for this movie
making fun of me for my knack of snoozing in the darkened
movie theater after a good meal and a glass of merlot
not this time
even during the 2 hrs 45 min it took for the movie

yes i cried some in the movie
but not necessarily what happened on the screen
but what it reminded me of things that have happened in
my life

when you see it be careful
as it may happen to you also
so dont laugh at me

maybe thats what mr linklater wanted to do when he
made this great movie

i see acadamy award nominations for this movie

well worth going to see
it makes you think
a lot

the organicgreen doctor

Friday, July 18, 2014

eye smell

no im not odoriferous

well sometimes i am after a good dose of beans
i read the other day that those who have to smell foul
flatulence may actually live longer

so there is hope for some of you wives

last year when i went in for my annual alzheimers center visit
for the alzheimers disease neuroimaging initiative
they asked me
would you like to do another study today
we need volunteers
i said yes
i always do

it was a scratch and sniff test
like those things in the magazines you scratch them smell the
perfume or cologne
they never smell good to me thats what i think

but this had all kinds of smells
like cedar coffee pine some stinky stuff flowers  licorice etc
it went on for a long time
some i would have to identify or say yes or no to

why the smell test
well it seems that thats the first to go in alzhiemers disease is the
sense of smell since
the olfactory nerve goes to the under surface of the brain
to the area in the brain where alzheimers starts

i wrote about the peanut butter smell test
this new scratch and sniff test works the same way
a defect in the ability to identify the odors or even smell them
means there could be memory problems down the road
it could be one of those screening tests
flunk it
maybe your need to get testing done

then the eye test
in alzheimers disease you get amyloid plaques that form in the brain
its thought to be the cause of alzheimers disease
several companies have developed retinal screens that use some
type of fluorescence to highlight the amyloid plaque that can be seen
in the back of the eye with these scans

the back of the eye is how doctors can sometimes peek into the brain

one company uses curcumin a product of turmeric acid which is
known for it use in indian food
its also taken by some people in hopes it may slow alzheimers disease
in this case its only staining the amyloid plaques in the retina

if you have beta amyloid accumulating in the back of your eye
then you are probably accumulating it in the brain
remember this accumulation starts years and years before
alzheimers disease symptoms show up

as we get closer to finding a treatment or cure
the earlier you know you may get alzheimers disease
the better your chance for treatment

this test appears to be extremely accurate
95-100% in the studies

so in the future maybe as soon as late 2015 you can go to
your eye doctor
get the scan
if its positive
get more definitive tests like memory tests
the biomarkers beta amyloid and tau in the spinal fluid
the amyvid pet scan which highlights amyloid in the brain
also coming soon will be the new alzheimers blood tests to add to
these tests
then treatment when it becomes available

because of the increased healthy living that folks are doing now
by eating correctly exercise controlling blood pressure cholesterol diabetes
their weight etc
the rate of alzheimers is actually declining finally
because of so many numbers of folks getting old the numbers
are increasing annually

these are exciting screening tests
after doing the smell test study i would think that the eye test
will be much more accurate and easier to do
my nose and smeller nerve were wore out
heck i see the ophthalmologist annually anyway

yep again
hope for the future

the organicgreen doctor