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Aging Brain
By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH

Table of Contents

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For fast reading, scan through the topic headings in BOLD BLACK, important conclusions in BOLD BLUE, and "Must Know" in BOLD RED. To jump to specific sections in this article, click on the respective LINKS in the Table of Contents.

Information presented here is for general educational purposes only. Each one of us is biochemically and metabolically different. If you have a specific health concern and wish my personalized nutritional recommendation, write to me by clicking here.


A deteriorating and aging brain brings into focus the very essence of the meaning of life and for many, the definition of "quality of life". The older you get, the greater your chance of getting dementia and Alzheimer's Disease. Successful preventive and palliative strategy involve:

Taking nutritional supplements for brain health

  1. Phosphatidylserine: 30 - 120 mg a day for nerve call membrane stabilization.
  2. Ginkgo Biloba: 80 - 300 mg a day (do not take if already on blood thinner such as aspirin therapy or coumadin).
  3. Cat's Claw: 100 - 400 mg a day.
  4. Tyrosine: 100 - 400 mg a day.
  5. Bilberry Extract: 10 - 40 mg a day.
  6. High Potency Multivitamin formula and mineral complex with extra Vitamin B6 and B12 (500 - 1,000 mcg), Boron (3 mg), Zinc (50 - 100 mg a day), and Selenium (200 mcg).
  7. Complete antioxidant program including Vitamin C (1,000 - 3,000 mg), Vitamin E (400 - 800 IU), Grape Seed Extract (30 - 200 mg), Coenzyme Q10 (30 - 120 mg), and Green Tea Extract (30 - 150 mg).


Because of tremendous individual variation, the use of nutritionals should therefore be personalized for your body. One person's nutrient can be another person's toxin. If you have a specific health concern and wish my personalized nutritional recommendation, write to me by clicking here.

Lifestyle modifications that enhance brain health

  1. Eat a well-balanced diet of unprocessed foods, high in fruits and vegetables.
  2. Drink filtered water only.
  3. Avoid alcohol, smoke, processed food, environmental toxins such as aluminum and mercury.
  4. Keep the mind active with activities such as reading, chess, puzzles.
  5. Keep physically fit with aerobics and weight training exercises.
  6. Practice stress reduction techniques

Consult a physician to consider the following

  1. Aricept (which promotes neurotransmitter function at nerve junctions).
  2. Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs.
  3. Estrogen Replacement Therapy.
  4. Rule out metal toxicity as a cause of dementia.
  5. Treatment for chronic depression.
  6. Stress therapy.

Promising Treatments

New treatments that are on the horizon, but still years away, include vaccines and gene therapy.

Many studies have suggested that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, are associated with reduced risk of AD, but other results have been contradictory. The jury is still out and it may take years to hear the results of the various clinical trials that are underway.

Production of beta-amyloid (a hallmark feature of AD) can be inhibited by protease-inhibiting drugs. Such drugs are entering clinical trials. It is hoped that cutting back amyloid production will prevent AD. Similar medicines have met with great success in the past, including the protease inhibitors that have recently revolutionized HIV treatment. It remains to be proven whether protease-inhibition is enough to beat dementia and AD.


Allain H et al. Effect of two doses of Ginkgo biloba extract (Egb 761) on dual-coding test in elderly subjects. Clin Ther 1993 May-Jun; 15(3): 549-58.

Balch J., Balch P. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing Group, New York, 1997.

Breitner JC et al. Familial aggregation in Alzheimer's disease: comparison of risk among relatives of early- and late-onset cases, and among male and female relatives in successive generations. Neurology 1988 Feb; 38(2): 207-12.

Cavanaugh JC et al. Forgetting and use of memory aids in 20 to 70 years olds everyday life. Int J Aging Hum Dev 1983; 17(2): 113-22.

Crook T et al. Effects of phosphatidlyserine in Alzheimer's disease. Psychopharmacol Bull 1992; 28(1): 61-6

Deijen JB et al. Vitamin B6 supplementation in elderly men: effects on mood, memory, performance and mental effort.

Elias PK et al. Blood pressure, hypertension, and age as risk factors for poor cognitive performance. Exp Aging Res 1995 Oct-Dec; 21(4): 393-417.

Grassel E. Effect of Ginkgo biloba extract on mental performance. Double-blind study using computerized measurement conditions in patients with cerebral insufficiency. Fortschr Med 1992 Feb 20; 110(5): 73-6.

Maggioni, M et al. Effects of phosphatidylserine therapy in geriatric patients with depressive disorders. Acta Psychiatr Scand 1990 Mar; 81(3): 265-70.

Masuda Y, et al. EGG phosphatidylcholine combined with vitamin B12 improved memory impairment following lesioning of nucleus basalis in rats. Life-Sci. 1998; 62(9): 813-22.

Meneses A et al. Effects of aging and hypertension on learning, memory, and activity in rats. Physiol Behav 1996 Aug; 60(2): 341-5.

Oken BS et al. The efficacy of Ginkgo biloba on cognitive function in Alzheimer's disease.

Perrig WJ. The relationship between antioxidants and memory performance in the old and very old. J Am Geriatr Soc 1997 June; 45(6): 718-24.

Powell LS et al. Alzheimer's Disease: A Guide for Families. Perseus Press, 1993.

Resnick SM et al. Estrogen replacement therapy and longitudinal decline in visual memory. Neurology 1997 Dec; 49(6): 1491-7.

Satoh T et al. Walking exercise and improved neuropsychological functioning in elderly patients with cardiac disease. J Intern Med 1995 Nov; 238(5): 423-28.

Socci DJ et al. Chronic antioxidant treatment improves cognitive performance of aged rats.

Winter JC. The effects of an extract of Ginkgo biloba Egb761, on cognitive behavior and longevity in the rat. Pysiol Behav 1998 Feb 1; 63(3): 425-33.

Warren Tom. Beating Alzheimer's. Avery Publishing Group, 1991.

Message from Dr. Lam

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article. If you have areas you don't understand,
or if you have a specific health concern, feel free to write to me by clicking here.

About The Author

Michael Lam, M.D., M.P.H., A.B.A.A.M., is a western trained physician specializing in nutritional and anti-aging medicine. Dr. Lam received his Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California. He also holds a Master’s degree in Public Health. He is board certified by the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine where he has also served as a board examiner. Dr. Lam is a pioneer in using nontoxic, natural compounds to promote the healing of many age-related degenerative conditions. He utilizes optimum blends of nutritional supplementation that manipulate food, vitamins, natural hormones, herbs, enzymes, and minerals into specific protocols to rejuvenate cellular function.

Dr. Lam was first to coin the term, ovarian-adrenal-thyroid (OAT) hormone axis, and to describe its imbalances. He was first to scientifically tie in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) as part of the overall neuroendocrine stress response continuum of the body. He systematized the clinical significance and coined the various phases of Adrenal Exhaustion. He has written five books: Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome - Reclaim Your Energy and Vitality with Clinically Proven Natural Programs, The Five Proven Secrets to Longevity, Beating Cancer with Natural Medicine (Free PDF version), How to Stay Young and Live Longer, and Estrogen Dominance. In 2001, Dr. Lam established as a free, educational website on evidence-based alternative medicine for the public and for health professionals. It featured the world’s most comprehensive library on AFS. Provided free as a public service, he has answered countless questions through the website on alternative health and AFS. His personal, telephone-based nutritional coaching services have enabled many around the world to regain control of their health using natural therapies.

For More Information

For the latest Anti-Aging and Adrenal Fatigue related health issues, visit Dr. Lam at
Feel free to email Dr. Lam by clicking here if you have any questions.

© 2001  Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

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