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, May 12, 2023

alzheimers news-why i try to sleep better


if you asked me what one thing would you fix if you could about having alzheimers disease
no doubt
it would be sleeping

once i started on aricept or donepezil i started loosing 2 hours of sleep at night
i only sleep for about 5 hours

when i stop my aricept or donepezil my sleep gets better

stopping aricept or donepezil is not an option for me
its shown that by starting aricept or donepezil early in the disease it can prolong the onset of symptoms

once when i was sick with maybe covid 3 years ago i had to stop it for a couple of weeks
i noticed that it made a difference in my symptoms
i restarted it as soon as i could

my correction for my sleep issues is to take a nap each afternoon 
this gets me to 7-8 hours a day which works for me

i have noticed a change in my rem sleep where i am acting out more of my dreams
luckily i wake up before i doing anything real bad like get up and walk around and tear things up
i usually wake up before that happens

as the disease progresses sleep gets more disrupted

during sleep the garbage guys called microglia go into the brain and removes debris that has accumulated
without that sleep it accumulates in the brain
without that sleep the garbage guys cant do their jobs

now a recent study looked at the nonrem sleep 
it looked to see if having a deep sleep in nonrem sleep helps
it seems that folks who get good deep sleep have a lowering of ptau in the blood as compared to those who dont get good nonrem sleep or deep sleep

ptau in the blood correlates with the amount of tau proteins accumulating in the brain

amyloid plaques come first then tau proteins unwind and form tangles then inflammation sets it
all three destroy brain cells

getting a good deep sleep also improves your cognitive reserve as does having a higher education staying active socially physically mentally 

it would seem that a lifetime of good deep sleep might help slow down the changes we see in alzheimers

then you could add that to 
doing all the other healthy things one needs to do to slow down or prevent this disease
control blood pressure cholesterol weight diabetes stress anxiety 
avoid smoking and excessive alcohol

when you get a good nights sleep with that deep sleep well you just feel better the next day

when i think of good deep sleep its like when you take a good long nap and you wake up and youve slobbered all over you pillow and you wake up all dazed

if you lift weights or do a lot of manual labor your muscles get bigger
if you exercise your brain then you develop more brain cells
this is called cognitive reserve

you know you are preserving your cognitive reserve when you get a deep sleep and you may be fighting off alzheimers at the same time

the organicgreen doctor

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