Give It A Boost: Your Immune System Will Thank You!
June 2020 Issue - Pink Prescriptions
Maintaining optimal brain health gives us lifelong cognitive power.
Not only does the human brain control bodily functions,
it is the most powerful “computer” on earth, which helps us to understand
and grasp the world around us with a full range of thoughts, feelings and emotions.
Keeping your brain in tip top condition is imperative for quality of life.
Think about it! Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to the brain.
Meet our panel of local brain health and wellness experts,
as they give us the facts on protecting our beautiful bustling brains and
discuss needed tools for maintaining optimal
levels of brain clarity and function.
Paul Mazzeo, M.D.
Beaufort Memorial Hospital
When should you seek medical attention for a headache?
Most adults will experience headache at some point in their lives.
Headaches are classified as primary or secondary types. Most headaches are benign, primary types, meaning there is no readily identifiable cause. These include migraine and tension type headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by illnesses such as meningitis, aneurysms, tumors, or head trauma.
Whether to seek medical evaluation depends upon the impact on your life which is dictated by headache frequency or severity. The person with a low level, near daily headache should be treated with preventative therapies. Someone who has a severe headache once every month, particularly if it results in a trip to the ER or threatens that person’s job, may also benefit from prevention or better acute pain relief. There are many new and very effective treatment options for both.
Sudden onset, the worst headache of your life, fever and neurological deficits, like being unable to move a limb, may indicate the need for immediate evaluation.
Paul Mazzeo, M.D., is a Beaufort Memorial neurologist who sees patients in both Bluffton and Port Royal. He is board certified in Neurology, Headache Medicine, Behavioral Neurology & Neuropsychiatry.
James F. Gigante, M.D.
I seem to be forgetting things more often,
could I be getting dementia?
As a person ages, it is perfectly normal to not have the same ability to recall facts in terms of speed and accuracy. This is age related cognitive decline. It is not considered a disease and can be, like almost all medical conditions, improved by physical and mental exercises. We all will have varying degrees of ‘forgetfulness’ as we age. Sometimes, however, this process can indicate the beginning of a more significant condition that is lumped into a basket of conditions called “Dementia.”
This is where a good relationship with a physician becomes essential, as only time and evaluation of one’s cognitive performance over time can ascertain if it is dementia versus normal aging. Your physician should do a detailed neurological examination, including various standardized assessments of your ability to think and recall facts. No matter what, if you are experiencing a change in mental status, all medical conditions need to be considered, including screenings for depression, cardiovascular issues like high blood pressure and of course, any other neurological conditions such as strokes , Parkinson’s disease, etc.
We have an invaluable resource in this community called Memory Matters. At no cost, they will administer an excellent 30 minute battery of such questions which can be extraordinarily helpful to give your physician. In addition, they have classes to keep one’s mind as sharp as possible whether the diagnosis is simple age related cognitive decline or Dementia, which can have several varieties. No matter what, you should consult with your primary care doctor about any mental decline.
James F. Gigante, MD is a Board Certified doctor of Internal Medicine and a fellow with the American College of Physicians. He has been practicing medicine for 25 years, the last 17 here in the Lowcountry. 843-681-2222; 35 Bill Fries Drive, Bldg H, HHI.
Kerri Dodson, MCHC, CNT — NuBodia
What are the best ways to stimulate my brain and every day memory?
Early onset dementia and Alzheimer’s are on the rise. One in ten Americans over the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s disease. Brain health has become very important with more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. The good news is, there are several things you can do on a daily basis to increase your brain health. Nutritionally, eating a diet that significantly limits and/or eliminates highly processed foods, foods high in trans fats, saturated fats and sugar is incredibly beneficial. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a diet that is high in flavonoids was protective against dementia. The study showed that those who had the highest total flavonoid intake from fruits, such as strawberries, oranges and pears, were 40 percent less likely to develop dementia. The study also showed that flavonoids increase blood flow, which can also be protective for future cognitive decline. Researchers have also found that blueberries increase the birth rate of brain cells in the hippocampus. This is the area of the brain responsible for memory. So eat your berries!
Another step towards brain health would be to engage in aerobic exercise. Studies show that one of the many benefits of aerobic exercise is that it increases the size and function of some regions of the brain such as the hippocampus. Engaging in aerobic exercise, such as swimming, walking, cycling, aerobic classes and running, increases heart rate, which in turn increases blood flow to the brain. But don’t discount weight training. If done correctly, it will also increase heart rate and blood flow and has other protective properties, too. Engaging in moderate to intense exercise 150 minutes per week showed the biggest improvement in brain health.
One other step towards brain health is to keep yourself mentally sharp by playing games. Studies show that action video games help improve cognition since the brain learns and adapts. We tend to fall into habits. However, learning new things, playing games, doing puzzles, or any other actions that are new or different from the everyday, help the brain to develop different neuropath ways. This is beneficial for keeping the brain sharp.
Eat well, move and change up your everyday to keep your brain healthy.
Kerri Dodson is a Certified Nutrition Therapist and Master Certified Health and Wellness Coach for NuBodia, LLC. Kerri specializes in nutritional counseling and nutritional protocols to help her clients overcome chronic diseases, such as high cholesterol, high A1c, Type II Diabetes and all autoimmune diseases. Call today: 843-816-3733.
Anthony Williamson, M.D. – Hilton Head Regional
First aid for head injuries: I hit my head what should I do if I have a 1) bump or lump 2) am seeing stars 3) can’t think straight.
Concussion: A concussion is an injury to the brain that can affect brain function and is usually caused by blow to, or violent shaking of, the head. Concussions are most commonly caused by falls and may also be caused by head impact in contact sports, such as football or soccer. They may or may not be associated with loss of consciousness.
While concussion symptoms typically occur immediately, they can be delayed for up to 72 hours. They can include, but are not limited to, headaches, dizziness, cognitive impairment, discoordination, imbalance, difficulty sleeping and changes in mood. They are usually temporary, and most people recover fully within 10 to 14 days of suffering a concussion. Recovery time is often prolonged in pediatric and geriatric populations and, as a rule, the longer the symptoms last, the more severe the concussion.
As in all illnesses, with concussions an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and the best way to treat a concussion is to avoid one altogether. As such, engaging in activities and/or sports that may be associated with dangerous contact should be avoided without protective head gear.
Should head impact or violent shaking occur during sports or other activities that results in a “bump or lump”, “seeing stars”, or “not being able to think straight” and raise concern that a concussion may have occurred, prompt evaluation by a medical professional is indicated. In this setting, anticipate recommendations to resume day-to-day activities at a slower pace, avoid viewing screened objects such as TVs, cell phones, tablets, and computers, and avoidance of over stimulating environments and any activities that might result in further head injury.
Of note, management of pediatric concussion is also distinctive and individualized given the cognitive demands and sports involvement of children in school. As such, the treatment of pediatric concussion includes immediate removal from play, a brief period of cognitive and physical rest, evaluation by a provider trained in concussion management, an individualized return to learning with appropriate academic accommodations, and a supervised, gradual return to physical activity.
Dr. Anthony Williamson is a board-certified neurologist in Bluffton, SC. His additional training includes a PhD in pharmacology. He is trained to treat all neurologic disorders but specializes in stroke, headaches, tremors and disorders of balance. Dr. Williamson advocates for his patients, empowering them through education and recommending diagnostic/treatment plans to overall OPTIMIZE care.
David Burke, RPh - Burke’s Main Street Pharmacy
Tell us about the product Prevagen
and how it can help the brain.
Step into the Cognitive Classroom!
It is never too early to start taking care of your brain, and we know you want the BEST supplement to get the job done. So, what is next?
The first steps will include ensuring you are getting the right nutrition, hydration and exercise for you! Next, talk to your doctor about what supplements can help you reach your goals.
Have you heard of Prevagen? The unique ingredient, apoaequorin, makes this product different than others currently available. Researchers think that apoaequorin can protect message pathways in the brain. Studies show that patients who received Prevagen experienced statistically significant improvements in verbal learning, memory and cognition. In other studies, Prevagen did not have any significant risk of allergic reactivity or harmfulness. As with any supplement, which means no prescription required, check with your doctor before starting any new products!
The staff at Burke’s Pharmacy will be happy to answer your questions about brain health!
David Burke, RPh is a registered pharmacist and partner of Burke’s Main Street Pharmacy, Chairman of the HH Hospital Board of Governors and a member of the Cardinal Health National Advisory Board. Burke’s Pharmacy prides itself on being large enough to serve you and small enough to know you. Located at 1101 Main Street, HHI; 843-681-2622.