Probiotics…Wanted Dead or Alive

The “Wanted dead or alive?” debate rages on in the world of probiotics and microbiome research. Functional medicine MD’s like myself already apply microbiome principles in the care of our patients. On the other hand, many detractors in conventional medicine claim that the probiotics we swallow in capsules either cross the threshold of our mouths already dead or die in our stomachs.

Finding MEMO1, Autism and Cellular Train Tracks

Finding clues to the underlying mechanisms of autism would seem easier than finding a lost fish in the ocean at times. It turns out that one clue arises from cellular train tracks laid down early in development. These subcellular microtubular proteins serve as tracks on which the developing brain sends cells to differentiate into different brain areas.

Don’t Give your Inflammasomes any Matches

Anyone found to be unaware of the tight connection between inflammation and dementias like Alzheimer’s and Fronto-Temporal Dementia needs remedial neurology classes if they intend to practice medicine in the 21st century. Countless studies underscore the correlations between higher inflammatory states and dementia, but we need more studies like today’s spot-light on the role of inflammasomes in amyloid beta and tau pathology to explain how it works.

All Cholesterol is not the Same

We live in an age of heart disease and strokes where medicine often focuses solely on a patient’s LDL cholesterol number as the most important factor to prevent these deadly diseases. A functional MD like myself hopes to see that perspective shift as more research like this article comes to light. The researchers from Ohio University build upon the work of many others which again indicate that the LDL number in a standard cholesterol panel falls short of predicting who is at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Single Cell Genetics in Autism

Autism research has developed into a multidimensional scavenger hunt with every research tool possible being thrown at the growing epidemic. It benefits from new discoveries and new tools in other fields, particularly lab methods such as single cell transcriptomics. In this study, researchers evaluated single cells for genetic expression changes in different areas of autistic patients’ brains.

Inflamed Brains Move Slower

We don’t need scientific studies to tell us that our brains just don’t function as well when we are sick. Viruses, bacteria, and other inflammation triggers undoubtedly slow our thinking organs down and some call this a “brain fog”. What science can help us with is the “why”. Other studies have uncovered how long-term inflammatory damage occurs as cells die or change their activity in the brain.

Mitochondrial Canary System

In the early days, coal miners would use canaries deep in coal mines to monitor for dangerous gases which might kill the miners. The canaries were more sensitive and would show signs of distress at low gas levels before the miners would sense danger themselves. In our cells, something must sound the first alarm and set in motion defense mechanisms when viruses or toxic chemicals affect DNA within the cell.

When You Need More than One Test to Get an Answer

Individuals with multiple symptoms in multiple body systems over months and years without beneficial answers from conventional medicine need something more. Functional MD’s like myself strive to provide such patients with paths to restoration, not by abandoning conventional medicine, but by applying the best of medical research to our patients. We are often accused of ordering too many tests,