Alzheimer’s disease has a devastating effect on a person. While there is no known cure for the disease, there are things that can be done to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease has been associated with both decreased cerebral blood flow and cerebral spinal fluid flow.
Poor Cerebral Blood Flow Present in Alzheimer’s Patients
Studies show that poor cerebral blood flow (CBF) is present in Alzheimer’s patients. (2) When there is reduced blood flow it leads to toxic build-up of heavy metal plaquing in the brain. Reduced blood flow to the brain also causes dizziness and impacts cognitive function. The build-up of toxins may induce Alzheimer’s (or other neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s) in a patient. This regional decrease in blood flow can explain the lack of oxygen supply, glucose, and nutrients to the brain.
The Role of Cerebrospinal Fluid
Just like with cerebral blood flow, decreased cerebral spinal fluid flow is associated with many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
When cerebrospinal fluid is unencumbered, it cleans metal from the brain as well as the spinal cord. It contains low-molecular-weight chelating agents (binds with copper, lead, or iron in the blood) and removes metal atoms from areas of the body including:
- Spinal cord
- Cell membranes
If the cerebrospinal fluid is hindered, it will lead to a build-up of the toxins that are associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. When the cerebrospinal fluid is able to flow within the brain and spinal column, it can increase oxygen, glucose, and the nutrients the brain needs.
How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Adjustments May Help Improve or Even Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
We know that poor blood flow and cerebrospinal fluid flow are both associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Chiropractic care can help because it can normalize blood flow as well as cerebrospinal fluid flow.
Chiropractors normalizes blood flow and cerebrospinal fluid in two ways:
1. Adjusting the Atlas/C1 Vertebra
When the Atlas/C1 vertebra is misaligned, a chiropractor uses the correct application of force in a predetermined pathway that is calculated to re-align the vertebra. Normalizing the subluxated vertebra’s position will increase blood flow to the brain and normalize cerebral spinal fluid flow.
2. Restoring Proper Cervical Spine (Neck) Lordosis
When a spine is healthy, it will resemble a wide arc like an arch called a cervical lordosis. Loss of this normal curve is called spinal degeneration. When the spine isn’t curved the right way, it can decrease the vertebral artery hemodynamics (3), meaning, it restricts blood flow.
Patients that have an unstable cervical spine have blood flow dysfunction in the brain about 80% of the time. Adjusting the spine to the proper lordosis is key to increase blood flow.
As soon as the lordosis is restored, there is an immediate increase in the amount of cerebral blood flow in the brain, allowing for regeneration. However, it is important to note that when arteries are under prolonged stress, it will delay regeneration. This means that the longer this important cervical lordosis curve has been missing, the longer it will take for proper blood flow to be returned to the vertebral artery feeding blood to the brain.
When is the Right Time to Act?
Decrease in both cerebral blood flow and cerebral spinal fluid flow have been associated first with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). In fact, the more TBIs that a person sustains, the higher the risk of ultimately developing dementia.(1) As we unpack the specifics of improving cerebral blood flow and cerebral spinal fluid flow, it’s important to note that prevention is far superior to treating a disease that has already progressed. This is especially important in preventing neur-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s which shows promising prevention results by first treating the TBI at the time of the injury.
While there isn’t a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are things that can be done to both prevent and help Alzheimer’s disease, including upper cervical chiropractic care.
2. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2012; 8: 599–611. Published online 2012 Oct 23.