Alzheimer’s: Too Common, and So Mysterious | Dr. Verna Porter
by Anthony Effinger
The Think Neuro podcast from Pacific Neuroscience Institute takes you into the clinic, operating room and laboratory with doctors and surgeons who are tackling the most challenging brain diseases and disorders. Host: Anthony Effinger
Episode 12: Show Notes
One in ten Americans who are 65 and older suffer from Alzheimer’s dementia. It’s the 6th leading cause of death in the country, and it is a scourge worldwide.
But little is known about what causes Alzheimer’s, and cures have been elusive. Dr. Verna Porter specializes in treating people with Alzheimer’s, and she remains optimistic. Until we have a remedy, she advises people to eat well and get plenty of sleep.
Patients with Alzheimer’s often have abnormal levels of a gummy plaque called amyloid protein crowded around the neurons of the brain. No one knows for sure what causes it to accumulate.
What we know for sure is that sleep clears toxins from the brain, amyloid protein among them. Yet, so few of us get enough of it. Eating a diet that’s low in sugar, and intermittent fasting also may clear toxins. Even when we do invent a cure for Alzheimer’s, prevention will still be the best medicine, Dr. Porter says. Listen now for more on the mysterious origins of Alzheimer’s and what you can do to live with it if it strikes you or a relative.
About Dr. Porter
Verna R. Porter, MD FANA, is an adult and geriatric neurologist with board certification by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and subspecialty certification from the United Council for Neurological Subspecialties in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry. She is also distinguished as a Fellow of the American Neurological Association (FANA).
Dr. Porter is the Director of Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Neurocognitive Disorders at the Pacific Brain Health Center at Pacific Neuroscience Institute (PNI) located at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA. In addition, she is a Professor of Neurosciences, Department of Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics at Saint John’s Cancer Institute.
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About the Author
Think Neuro's host is Anthony Effinger, an award-winning journalist who is fascinated with neuroscience and the workings of the brain. Anthony spent 24 years at Bloomberg News, where he covered all aspects of finance, with forays into science and health. In 2006, the Association of Health Care Journalists awarded him first prize for Playing the Odds, an in-depth piece on the changing strategies used to treat prostate cancer. These days, he is a staff writer at Willamette Week, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and two children.
Last updated: May 19th, 2023