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

Friday, August 23, 2019

alzheimers news-sleeper cells

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if you have followed this blog for awhile you know that i have problems with sleep and to compensate i take a nap each afternoon after i have lunch
this sort of compensates for the lack of sleep i get at night
it sort of gets programmed into my day

eg last night i only slept 5 hours
hopefully today i will nap an hour or so to compensate for that lack of sleep
the end result is most days i am able to get 7 hours of sleep
the body likes 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep so one can stay in a long deep sleep without interruption
the 7 hours i get is ok but not the best way to do it
i have learned to accept this way of getting sleep

i thought for awhile i had the nap gene
if you inherit this gene you have to have a nap everyday
its in your genetics
actually i made that one up

i take aricept (donepezil) for my mci due to alzheimers disease
it raises acetylcholine levels in the brain cells by stopping an enzyme that breaks down the acetylcholine allowing it to accumulate in the brain nerve endings
this is why i get leg cramps muscle fasciculations some visual focusing issues after taking my meds and my issues with sleep
if i stop the aricept (donepezil) the sleep issues go away
or did
i havent stopped the aricept (donepezil) in a while since i afraid to since i think its helping me some

we in medicine know that folks with alzheimers disease have sleep issues and have frequent daytime napping as an issue
in fact one of the early signs in early alzheimers may be frequent napping
ruh roh is all i can say about that

according to this scientific article and this news article about it there may be an explanation besides just the aricept (donepezil) causing my sleep issues and napping issues

there are three parts of the brain that handles wakefulness called the wakeful promotion network
these are listed in the articles
one is the hypothalamus which is in the area where alzheimers disease starts

they have found that in these three centers in alzheimers patients that there are tau proteins that unwind leading to tau tangles that have accumulated in these areas to destroy the cells there and to hinder wakefulness
75% of the brain cells were destroyed in these centers

in alzheimers disease tau proteins build up and slowly destroy brain cells and their connections
one of the areas it attacks and destroys is these wakeful centers

when they looked at folks who dont have alzheimers disease it was found these centers were in intact

the aricept (donepezil) hinders sleep at night
the three wakeful centers are slowly getting destroyed by the tau tangles
both lead to daytime sleepiness

so please accept and understand my early afternoon naps
those of your family also so affected

the organicgreen doctor

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