Solutions for Vascular Disease
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Arterial Disease Center

Topics from the book
Heart and Arterial Disease

Author Stephen Gislason MD

The Problem
A Body Divided
Coronary Artery Disease
Cerebral Artery Disease
High Blood Pressure
Hypertension Update
Heart Attack
Men and Women Differences
Air Pollution Kills
Role of Inflammation
ASA for prevention
The Drug Bias in Medicine
Angioplasty Disappointments
Heart Failure

Exercise is Good for You

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Major diseases originate from eating too much of the wrong food and damage is done to many organs simultaneously. We suggest that a prudent person suffering early  vascular dysfunction symptoms would be wise to pursue vigorous, thorough diet revision at the earliest opportunity. 

Blood Circulation to the Brain

The brain is a unique organ in the body. The blood circulation in the brain is more complex, more regulated, and less understood than the circulation in any other tissue. The large arteries carrying blood to the brain are the internal carotids and the vertebral arteries. The condition of these arteries determines how much blood flow is available to the brain. The smaller cerebral (pial) arteries respond to changing demands from blood supply from cerebral tissues. This auto regulation tries to maintain stable cerebral blood flow even with unstable cerebral perfusion pressure.

Brain circulation responds in complex ways to a large number of stimuli.  Failure of autoregulation may be one of the most common sources of brain dysfunction especially in people with high blood pressure on medications.

Brain activity regulates brain circulation by controlling cardiac output and blood pressure. Emotions, especially anger, are strong events that act on the cardiovascular system; heart rate increases and blood pressure rises, often dramatically. Cognitive tasks increase blood flow and metabolic rate in the regions of the brain that process the task. Changes in localized blood flow are the basis of functional imaging studies that reveal the modules in the brain that are active during task processing.

Blood-brain barrier

Cerebral microvessels have a unique feature, the blood-brain barrier, which protects sensitive brain cells from disturbing elements circulating in the blood. Endothelial cells line blood vessel. Their behavior regulates permeability. In the brain, tight intercellular junctions limit endothelial permeability. A variety of chemical signals to and from endothelia cells control blood vessel transactions with glial cells and neurons. Cerebral vessels have nerves supplies -sympathetic, parasympathetic, and sensory nerve fibers. Gaseous transmitters such as nitric oxide (NO) dilate small blood vessels and participate in the regulation of blood flow

Syncope (fainting) is an expression of reduced cerebral blood flow. Prolonged standing, emotional arousal, blood pressure drugs, cardiac arrhythmias, and autonomic nervous system failure are common causes of syncope. Blood tends to pool in the legs with prolonged standing. Muscle activity is required to pump venous blood uphill back to the heart. With reduced venous return, cardiac output drops and humans faint.  A common symptom, the feeling of lightheadedness is an expression of reduced blood flow to the brain.  Since cerebral arterial disease increases with age, decreasing symptoms of limited blood flow become more common such as lightheadedness, fainting, personality changes and deteriorating cognitive ability.

Some of the disturbances will be regional with selectively compromised functions. Other disturbances will be global. The use of medications to reduce blood pressure may have adverse effects because lowering blood pressure can decrease cerebral perfusion in patients with chronic vascular brain pathology; they may develop focal hypoxia and even ischemia in poorly perfused regions of their brain.

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada and the third leading cause of adult death;  500,000 to 700,000 Canadians and Americans have strokes each year. 

We share the conviction with a growing number of experts in the field that simple, safe home remedies  especially diet revision and exercise can substantially reduce this destructive disease and save untold suffering and billions of health-care dollars. Smoking must stop. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterqol must be controlled to prevent stroke and, again, diet revision with weight loss and increased daily exercise can work wonders. Drugs are only required if risk factors are not controlled by changes in diet and lifestyle.

Well-known risk factors are

  • high blood pressure
  • smoking
  • high alcohol intake
  • diabetes
  • excess body fat
  • physical inactivity.

Stroke Prevention

  • Diet Revision -- Alpha Nutrition Program
  • Exercise and Weight Loss
  • Reduce blood pressure

Solving Cerebral Vascular  Disease

Vascular Diseases" of blood vessels are a major cause of premature disability and death. Heart attacks and strokes are the most obvious consequence of damaged arteries and increased clotting of blood. Thrombosis occurs in arteries narrowed by fatty lesions in the arterial walls, a process known as atherosclerosis. When the coronary or cerebral arteries are diseased, it is a matter of time before symptoms of reduced blood flow are felt or an "attack" occurs.

When the arteries to the brain are obstructed, a cerebral infarct occurs with loss of movement, sensory or cognitive abilities. Neither the heart nor the brain can repair the damage done so that the injury leaves behind a permanent disability.

Exercise is good for the brain. A physically active life tends to be more productive with better mental health.  The risk of stroke may be reduced by up to 40% with regular exercise alone. 

Regular exercise may delay the onset of dementia. Larson stated” “We learned that a modest amount of exercise would reduce a person's risk of dementia by about 40%."  His group followed 1,750 adults, 65 years or older. At 2-year intervals, participants reported their patterns of exercise, including walking, hiking, aerobics, calisthenics, swimming, water aerobics, weight training, and stretching: 158 developed dementia including 107 participants who were diagnosed as having Alzheimer Disease (AD). The rate of dementia was 13.0 per 1,000 person years for participants who exercised at least 3 times per week vs 19.7 per 1,000 person years for participants who exercised fewer than 3 times per week.

The Alpha Nutrition Program can be recommended, along with Alpha DMX, exercise and relaxation as a rational strategy of preventing and managing cerebrovascular disease.

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