Huntington’s is not genetic

Even doctors admit that it’s hard to distinguish between Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Here’s an article saying that treatment for one of these diseases may work for the other two. 

Some researchers and physicians consider the differentiation between cortical and sub-cortical dementia important for patient diagnosis, but others remain skeptical that a significant difference exists. The major criticism of the studies that show variation between cortical and sub-cortical dementias is that there is pathological overlap between the sample groups that are used to model the two categories. These studies often assume that Alzheimer’s patients mostly have cortical dementia and HD or Parkinson’s patients preferentially exhibit subcortical dementia. Necropsies have shown, however, that the brains of both Alzheimer’s and HD patients exhibit a certain degree of both categories of dementia.

If in fact both cortical and subcortical dementia occur in Alzheimer’s, HD, and Parkinson’s patients, then these studies may be problematic. As a result, physicians are still trying to learn more about the differences between the pathologies of the diseases in hopes of finding a more reliable way of differentiating dementias. The ability to differentiate dementias may lead researchers and physicians to better diagnose and treat neurodegenerative diseases. [Source]

We’re going to go through the symptoms, but if you’ve been reading, you know how this goes.

So first, here are the symptoms:

Cognitive: amnesia, delusion, lack of concentration, memory loss, mental confusion, slowness in activity, or difficulty thinking and understanding

Muscular: abnormality walking, increased muscle activity, involuntary movements, problems with coordination, loss of muscle, or muscle spasms

Behavioral: compulsive behavior, fidgeting, irritability, or lack of restraint

Psychological: delirium, depression, hallucination, or paranoia

Mood: anxiety, apathy, or mood swings

Also common: tremor, weight loss, or impaired voice

Those look familiar. Are there any symptoms that aren’t covered between Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and schizophrenia? 

“For most diseases, symptoms will vary from person to person. People with the same disease may not have all the symptoms listed.” Wait…what? I thought the symptoms were the only things separating this from the other diseases?

And is it really genetic? It’s complicated, but the consensus is yes. Even though 10% of cases are “due to a new mutation.” But what about that field of epigenetics that basically says that your genes can change over time? Here’s the unabridged version.

HD is typically inherited from a person’s parents, although up to 10% of cases are due to a new mutation. The disease is caused by an autosomal dominant mutation in either of an individual’s two copies of a gene called Huntingtin. This means a child of an affected person typically has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease. The Huntingtin gene provides the genetic information for a protein that is also called “huntingtin”. Expansion of CAG (cytosine-adenine-guanine) triplet repeats in the gene coding for the Huntingtin protein results in an abnormal protein, which gradually damages cells in the brain, through mechanisms that are not fully understood. Diagnosis is by genetic testing, which can be carried out at any time, regardless of whether or not symptoms are present. This fact raises several ethical debates: the age at which an individual is considered mature enough to choose testing; whether parents have the right to have their children tested; and managing confidentiality and disclosure of test results.

This segment is made up of a series of three DNA building blocks (cytosine, adenine, and guanine) that appear multiple times in a row. Normally, the CAG segment is repeated 10 to 35 times within the gene. In people with Huntington disease, the CAG segment is repeated 36 to more than 120 times. People with 36 to 39 CAG repeats may or may not develop the signs and symptoms of Huntington disease, while people with 40 or more repeats almost always develop the disorder.

So if you have 27-39 repeats of this code you may or may not get the disease. But if you have 40 or more repeats, you almost always get the disorder. Wait…almost always? So you’re saying even the hard science isn’t foolproof.

The number of CAG repeats in an HD gene can be unstable when the gene is passed on to the next generation. That means the number of CAG repeats can increase or decrease when the gene is passed from parent to child. Wait, it varies from generation to generation? In the sole aspect that we’re using to call it genetic?

Older fathers are more likely to pass along the extended copy of this gene. We’ve talked about aging parents several times before. We know that the age of mothers closely correlates to Down Syndrome, while the age of fathers closely correlates to Dwarfism.

I have a question for you. How often do we test people with dementia for this CAG repeat? I’m guessing there is not much reason to test for Huntington’s when there is no family history. 

So in summary, here’s why I don’t think Huntington’s disease is genetic:

  • 10% of cases are “random” mutations
  • Even the hard science is not absolute
  • It gets more probable with aging dad’s
  • Epigenetics. Our genes change over time.

So if it is not genetic, then it is practically indistinguishable from Alzheimers and Parkinson’s.

Did science get it wrong? Maybe so. I think that a bunch of guys spent their lives studying batches of symptoms, it was the least we could do to name these batches of symptoms after them. All the other fields of science do it. Here’s the problem, the more classifications did not lead to more knowledge in this case. Because the symptoms are indistinguishable.

Sources:

  1. https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/6677/huntington-disease
  2. https://en.hdbuzz.net/027
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140172/
  4. https://www.alz.org/dementia/huntingtons-disease-symptoms.asp
  5. http://hdsa.org/what-is-hd/
  6. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/huntingtons-disease/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20356122

High blood pressure starts in the brain

We’ve proven how the brain perceives time, and your blood pressure is a sign of this perception. How? The second derivative of time is a variable in pressure. And this pressure is in the closed system of your body.

Here’s some more detail for those who want it, from a physics nerd. Pressure equals force/area. Force equals mass times acceleration. Acceleration is the change in velocity over time. Time here is relative to the subject. Relative to their brain activity. 

We control our own time. Our time is represented in our blood pressure. So current blood pressure essentially equals current time perception. Thus, it would make sense that people with a history of high blood pressure would die the soonest. They are aging the fastest. Well, in theory. One blood pressure reading is really just the instantaneous time perception.

Have I done an adequate job getting to this point? Probably not. We experience time differently. We age differently. These things are related. Athletes age slowest, and use their brains the best. The more stress we have in our lives, the more we age, the faster our time accelerates, and the higher our blood pressure, and the worse athletes we become.

So next time you go to the doctor, and read 140/80, they may be right that you’re going to die early, but they have no idea why. How can the medications they give you solve your problem if they don’t understand the organ that’s effected first?

Sources:

  1. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/12/17/real-cause-heart-attacks.aspx
  2. https://www.medicinenet.com/high_blood_pressure_hypertension/article.htm#what_is_high_blood_pressure_what_is_normal_blood_pressure
  3. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/GettheFactsAboutHighBloodPressure/The-Facts-About-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_002050_Article.jsp#.WyhfqUgvzrc
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/blood-pressure-reading-explained#hypotension
  5. https://www.everydayhealth.com/hypertension/understanding/what-does-blood-pressure-measure.aspx
  6. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/blood-pressure-and-your-brain

 

Tourette’s is reversible

We’ll get there in a second. But first, is Tourette’s genetic? The majority of cases are inherited. Kinda. Here’s what Wikipedia says about it:

A person with Tourette’s has about a 50% chance of passing the gene(s) to one of his or her children, but Tourette’s is a condition of variable expression and incomplete penetrance. Thus, not everyone who inherits the genetic vulnerability will show symptoms; even close family members may show different severities of symptoms, or no symptoms at all. The gene(s) may express as Tourette’s, as a milder tic disorder (provisional or chronic tics), or as obsessive–compulsive symptoms without tics. Only a minority of the children who inherit the gene(s) have symptoms severe enough to require medical attention. Gender appears to have a role in the expression of the genetic vulnerability: males are more likely than females to express tics.

I have a science background, and looking at this type of explanation makes me cringe. Read it for yourself, but it seems like we’re trying to make a genetic model fit when it’s really something we just can’t explain. 

It’s associated with OCD, ADD, ADHD, and sleep disorders. This shouldn’t surprise you at this point. We’ve discussed the nature of these diseases and how they are more related than anyone knows. In my opinion, the brain is binary. It’s either working properly or it’s not. And if it’s not, there’s a host of different functions that will be impaired. [see There is only one brain disease]

It’s 3-4 times more likely in guys than girls. It’s the same reason that men are more likely to get skin cancer and on average live about six years less. Why? Because of their brain activity. They are further from their ground state, so time feels slower. Recovery takes longer.

White kids are twice as likely as black and Hispanic kids to get Tourette’s.  Why is that? Resting brain activity. It’s the same reason that black kids are more likely to play in the NFL. The closer their brains are to the delta state the faster they recover and better they operate.

Tics may remit with age. This is from Wikipedia. But it’s huge. Why? Because using my model of the human brain, this means that Tourette’s is a reversible condition. How do we reverse it? Same way we reverse other brain dysfunctions:

  1. Identify the loop. This is the repeated behavior. It should be pretty obvious.
  2. Identify the fears causing the loop. What are they afraid of? What makes them act like this?
  3. Identify the logic causing the fears. Why are they scared of this?
  4. Doubt the logic. Question their reasoning. If you can change their mind, you can change their brain.

 

Sources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourette_syndrome
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/tourette/data.html

How’s your memory?

What do we know about memory? We have practically unlimited memory, but seem to have trouble accessing it. If we use the same brain model, we have to assume that the brain is doing nothing wrong. Our recall or imprint ability may be hindered by some outside forces at play.

There’s a correlation between vision and cognitive function in the elderly. Here’s a study that compares vision to cognitive function in the elderly. Think about how this applies to Alzheimer’s. Refractive errors cloud memories.

If we improve eyesight, does memory improve as well? My memory is getting better with my vision. I can tell you that. Although I have know way of quantifying it at this point. So just count me in for another theory. Think about it though: if the brain is really just a perfect computer, and eyesight is a symptom of mental strain, would it be so unreasonable to suggested that it effected our memory recall as well?

Emotional intensity can help prioritize memories. Think about that bad break up or the funeral of a loved one. Think about where you were during the 911 attacks. Some events can be “buried” in your memory just the same.

Clarity of memories does not depend on the time since the event was experienced. Think about your clearest memories. It’s not just yesterday. There’s also that time when you were twenty-one, and your birthday…way back when.

What is the nature of memory? If there is no such thing as time, how does memory work? We can recall large amounts of information from all over our lives with relative ease. What’s the difference between long-term and short-term memory? Can you have one and not the other?

Short term memory is really just recall after 15-30 seconds. Long term memory is really what we call memory. Here’s another big simplification: there’s no short term memory. If we’re ignoring time [and I am] then they are the same anyways. 

False confessions have figured into 24% of the 289 cases overturned by DNA evidence. We know that memory is infamously unreliable in court cases. Witnesses just don’t always seem to get it right. False confessions may have other variables at play, but memory plays a role. If you clearly remember not committing a crime, why would you ever confess to doing it? This article says that people who are mentally ill are more susceptible to these false confessions.

Not all memory fades with age. This article basically says that there are different types of memory, and older people still have access to some of them. For instance, they can remember a name and a not a face or vice versa. I’d like to challenge this approach with the theory that memory is absolute. Recalling all you know about a given event or person would be your baseline. Anything less than that would be distortion.

So what are my takeaways here? Your memory can be improved, just like your eyesight. We know now why the elderly have problems seeing, and it effects their memory as well. So take back your sight, and take back your mind, and take back your memory.

 

Getting off Zoloft

Day 4

This has been a wild ride. I finally decided I had to take my own advice. We have a baby on the way, and I needed to be whole by the time she gets here. I was taking two different medicines (Zoloft and Lamictal) so we halved and eliminated the Lamictal first.

I honestly didn’t think the 12.5 mg of Zoloft was playing any role in my life. Man, I was wrong. It’s not completely out of my system yet, but I’m sleeping better, seeing better, and easily living in the moment. My senses are heightened. I feel more athletic. I know it was the right thing.

Always remember that there was a reason you started taking pills in the first place. Obviously, if you don’t address the fears that were plaguing you before you started your meds, you’re not going to be whole when you stop.

Weaning off is not fun or easy. I was legitimately having anxiety attacks the past couple days, but I’ve learned other ways to cope.

Zoloft effected how I felt emotion. I don’t know exactly how, but I felt a surge of emotions the past couple days. Fear, shame, guilt, and love. It masked all these for me and masked my moral compass.

I was my own god on Zoloft. There was never any ever true getting lost in the moment. I was filtering every word I said and everything I did through my own set of standards. It was exhausting, and caused a delay in my brain’s processing.

I haven’t felt as happy as I do now since I was a teenager. It’s just great. Like for the first time in years, I’m doing streaks of the right things. And for the right reasons

I’m sure there’s more to go through, but now I have the tools to cope.

Depending on the psychiatrist that saw me, I think you realistically could’ve diagnosed me with any of these conditions over different times in the past decade: bipolarism, depression, schizophrenia, ADD, ADHD, OCD, and probably others. My psychiatrist didn’t even want me to get off everything, but I knew it was what I had to do. I had to be purely me-no brain altering drugs-and be happy when the baby gets here. I knew I didn’t need another variable thrown in the mix before I started the weaning process.

So if you’re starting to think about weaning off, here’s what you need to know:

  • You’ll know when and if you’re ready. My process involved eliminating caffeine from my diet and improving my vision.
  • It’s going to be unpleasant.
  • Have coping mechanisms prepared. Prayer, meditation, whatever, you’re going to need it.
  • Lean on your friends and family. You cannot do this alone.
  • Be honest about the way you feel but make no big decisions.
  • You’re going to feel an irrational surge of emotion. Be ready.

It’s all worth it. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Asperger’s is Autism is curable

Yeah I know. Just bear with me a moment.

Symptoms:

  • Behavioral: inappropriate social interaction, poor eye contact, compulsive behavior, impulsivity, repetitive movements, self harm, or persistent repetition of words or actions
  • Developmental: learning disability or speech delay in a child
  • Cognitive: intense interest in a limited number of things or problem paying attention
  • Psychological: unaware of other’s emotions or depression
  • Also common: anxiety, change in voice, sensitivity to sound, or tic
  • Treatment: therapy and antipsychotics
  • Onset age: 3-60

Today, I want to take a look at Autism. It has a surprising amount of similarities to schizophrenia, including filling in the gap in our onset age timeline. Last time we proved that Alzheimer’s was curable by first proving it was schizophrenia, then showing that it was curable.

Well here’s your next simplification. Autism and Asperger’s are the same disease. In this article, the main differences are IQ, speech, and age of onset.

We say that people with Asperger’s have higher IQ’s than those with Autism. Wait…what? Isn’t that something we most people measure differently anyways? I’m not going to numb your mind with proof that IQ varies from person to person.

Speech is a real, distinguishable difference. People with Autism do not develop normal speaking patterns. People with Asperger’s typically do. The loops that effect these kids are different, but they need to all be approached the same way. Obviously If the nature of their loop involves self perception, you can imagine why they may have strange or delayed speech patterns.

The brain does not perceive time. We do. So now is the same for your brain as when you were fifteen. You and your brain are completely independent. What in the world does this mean for Autism? It means that it’s the same as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s.

  • They have the same symptoms.
  • They are treated the same.
  • The major difference is time. But we know that the mind does not process time.

This disease needs to be lumped in with the others. I know what you’re going to say: that’s an oversimplification. Maybe so. I’m not saying it’s not a very real disease with serious symptoms. What I’m saying is we need to take an entirely different approach to the human brain to start making progress.

There are major disparities in these diseases among different racesThis is no coincidence. In other research, we’ve seen disparities, in aging, eyesight, and athleticism.

The brain is a perfect, complex computer that we do not fully understand. Some people don’t know how to operate it properly, and some have logical errors in their syntax. The only way out of our loops is reprogramming. Otherwise we are just treating symptoms.

Autism is curable. Find your own case studies. People have made full recoveries. And if you believe my basic assumptionsAll cases are curable. We were all given the same opportunity.

So how do we cure it exactly? I wish I could give you an answer to that. I’m still working on it. So far, here’s what I’ve got. Identify the loop. Identify the fear causing the loop. Identify the logic causing the fear. Rework the logic so it aligns with the proper order of things. These don’t just apply to people with these disorders. They are simple but very powerful tools that can change your life.

 

 

Alzheimer’s is curable

Let’s start somewhere else. With a disease that we’ve made some progress on: schizophrenia.

Here are your symptoms:

Behavioral: social isolation, disorganized behavior, aggression, agitation, compulsive behavior, excitability, hostility, repetitive movements, self-harm, or lack of restraint

Cognitive: thought disorder, delusion, amnesia, belief that an ordinary event has special and personal meaning, belief that thoughts aren’t one’s own, disorientation, memory loss, mental confusion, slowness in activity, or false belief of superiority

Mood: anger, anxiety, apathy, feeling detached from self, general discontent, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, elevated mood, or inappropriate emotional response

Psychological: hallucination, paranoia, hearing voices, depression, fear, persecutory delusion, or religious delusion

Speech: circumstantial speech, incoherent speech, rapid and frenzied speaking, or speech disorder

Also common: fatigue, impaired motor coordination, or lack of emotional response

Onset Age: 12-40 [source]

Treatment: Antipsychotics. They seem to help alleviate symptoms, both positive and negative.

Wow. I thought I was reading an article about Alzheimer’s. You are. Bear with me.

Alzheimer’s symptoms:

Behavioral: aggression, agitation, difficulty with self care, irritability, meaningless repetition of own words, personality changes, restlessness, lack of restraint, or wandering and getting lost

Cognitive: mental decline, difficulty thinking and understanding, confusion in the evening hours, delusion, disorientation, forgetfulness, making things up, mental confusion, difficulty concentrating, inability to create new memories, inability to do simple math, or inability to recognize common things

Mood: anger, apathy, general discontent, loneliness, or mood swings
Psychological: depression, hallucination, or paranoia
Also common: inability to combine muscle movements, jumbled speech, or loss of
appetite

Onset Age: 41+

Treatment: Cholinesterase inhibitors and. Memantine. The inhibitors slow the process that breaks down a key neurotransmitter. Memantine regulates the neurotransmitter responsible for learning and memory.

The main difference in this article is memory loss. That’s the main symptom difference that we can’t explain between schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. You know what else changes in those onset ages? The subjects ages. And while I have my own theories for why, I think it’s save to say that people start losing their memory as they get older. These diseases effect the same areas of the brain.

Here are some results from an exhaustive study comparing symptoms of Elderly Schizophrenics [ED] to those with Alzheimer’s in the annesiac mild cognitive impairment stage [AD-aMCI]. Take a look at the data here, and read the entire study if you dare. The point is these numbers are practically indistinguishable.

Test/subtest ES group AD-aMCI group p value
WMS-R
GM index 80.0 ± 16.2 77.8 ± 10.5 0.58
AC index 91.0 ± 14.7 98.6 ± 11.7 0.046
DR index 76.3 ± 17.2 58.8 ± 8.6 <0.001
GM-DR 3.6 ± 10.7 19.9 ± 8.6 <0.001

WAIS-R
Information 10.1 ± 3.7 11.2 ± 2.8 0.37
Digit symbol substitution 8.0 ± 2.7 11.6 ± 2.3 <0.001
Similarity 9.9 ± 3.2 12.5 ± 2.2 0.024
Picture completion 8.5 ± 4.0 11.2 ± 1.8 0.037
Block design 8.4 ± 2.7 11.5 ± 1.9 0.0018

We don’t know much about the brain. And the nature of science is to broaden fields. To specify. This is about simplification. 

We’ve even used the same treatment and gotten similar results. 

Here’s the theory: these are the same disease. We call schizophrenia Alzheimer’s after you turn forty. Assume for a moment that I’m right. That these are the same disease.

We’ve made progress on schizophrenia. Some people with schizophrenia have made full recoveries. So if Alzheimer’s is schizophrenia, then Alzheimer’s is curable.

There is hope after all.

So how do we cure schizophrenia? We don’t treat symptoms. Some people say that theirs is in “remission” but they only say that because of how we convey the nature of the disease.

So, if for whatever reason, you’re still with me. Alzheimer’s and Schizophrenia are the same disease. How can I say that they are curable? It’s the nature of the human mind. It has all the same hardware it had when you were born. It’s perfectly designed and capable of a full recovery. 

Here is the brain model that lead me to these solutions.