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Brain Breakthroughs: Your Comments and Questions

16 | By Michael A. Robinson

Scientists are deeply fascinated by the human brain – and so are investors.

That’s why I sent you another report on September 21 about three new “brain breakthroughs” and how they are changing our view of this complex organ. And it drew quite a response. Dozens of you reached out to me with questions and comments.

I am always impressed with the quality of observations I get from you readers. This is a very smart group that is intrigued with the many advances that are changing the world around us every day, even if they’re not quite ripe for investment just yet.

Given the volume and caliber of comments, I thought I should take a moment today to respond.

But before I do, I want to thank you once again for your interest. I couldn’t possibly succeed in my quest to document this exciting new world without such great support from you.

A few of you shared deeply personal accounts. Thank you for that, too. I’ll do my best to address them.

First, here are two great questions from Al about brain disease …

Q: This is all very interesting Michael. I’m a member of the Futurist Society, and I haven’t seen them uncover anything like your brain advancement posts. Will diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s be minimized in the not-too-distant future? How far out would you guess that to be? ~ Al

A: Thanks for noting the unique slant that I’m taking here at the Era of Radical Change. I, too, am a member of the Futurist Society. I follow the group to help me keep abreast of key trends about the future.

As regards the two terrible brain diseases you mentioned, the short answer is yes, we are making a lot of progress on both. Each gets funding from several sources, such as foundations and federal agencies. So we do have research teams around the world trying to combat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

At the same time, we are rushing headlong toward mapping a complete view of the entire brain. And that may be even more important, in the long run.

These are two very different approaches. But to me, they are not mutually exclusive. I believe we will need to come up with a “bridge” technology that may not cure these kinds of ailments entirely but will greatly minimize them, as you say.

For instance, some Parkinson’s patients already receive neural implants. Researchers are looking for ways to make them last longer and work better. We could see major breakthroughs in both those metrics within a decade.

Q: Telemeters strand repair and infrared light therapy, coupled with these new findings, will let us cross the brain-blood barrier with drugs targeted to specific cells. That is a game changer. ~ Robert R.

A: Robert, you make a great point, and I want to make sure everyone understands it.

The blood-brain barrier is critical for the survival of the species. It’s there to let nutrients in but keep deadly agents and infections out. But it also presents major challenges when it comes to delivering medicines and other therapies that could treat brain disorders. It’s one of key things holding this field back.

Up to now, it’s been a Catch-22 – any drug strong enough to solve brain diseases is too big to cross the barrier, and anything small enough to make it through doesn’t do the trick.

The ability to cross the blood-brain barrier will prove crucial for a new generation of drugs.

And as I reported to you last May, we’re making big progress in this field. A Harvard team used the protein clathrin to cross the blood-brain barrier.

I believe this or a similar type of tech will someday lead us to a whole new class of nanotech drugs that can fight brain diseases.

Q: I had a stroke, and my vision is greatly impaired. I am told that the problem is the neurons that connect the pathway to the eyes from the brain. I am told science is 8 to 10 years away from solving this problem. [What work is] being done regarding the neurons of the brain? If you could point me in a direction to people that are working on neurons of the brain, I would really appreciate it. ~ Patrick K.

A: Yes, scientists around the world are doing what they can to gain a deeper knowledge of all the neurons in our brains. That includes seeing how each one works and how we can use drugs or implants to solve problems caused by defective brain cells or those attacked by a wide range of diseases.

So I am really quite optimistic that we will learn all we need to know about the complex interactions of neurons.

Having said that, I do believe it will take up to a decade before that translates into real-world “cures.”

It’s not just the science that will take that long. Any new compound or device we come up with would have to get approval from the regulators like the FDA. It would almost certainly require animal tests and then human trials. That alone takes several years. Still, I hope a cure comes soon for you, Patrick.

Next, Curtis wrote to ask for information that could help his wife, who sustained brain damage from a tumor and the related radiation treatment.

Q: After a period of decline, she now lays in a nursing home not able to talk, use her hands, or hardly any part of her body. I would be very pleased to have a specialist you mentioned to evaluate her. I have watched this progress the past 14 years. She is on a feeding tube. Please answer my request. ~ Curtis C.

A: First, let me offer my condolences for your wife’s condition. I hope that she recovers. Of course, I’m not a medical doctor and can’t comment on her specific needs.

But if I were in your shoes, I would contact the neuroscience departments of the all major universities in your area to see if there are any experimental trials going on in this field. You may be able to find a neurosurgeon who may want to conduct an exam or suggest a new therapy that hasn’t gotten wide publicity. Good luck to both you and your wife.

Q: Your message above certainly gives people like me some very optimistic hope. I pray that your work will be in every way quickly successful. May God bless you and your efforts. ~ David B.

A: Thanks so much for those kind words of encouragement, David. They are very much appreciated.

As I read through tons of reports about the latest advances in science, high tech, and medicine, I’m struck by two things.

First, the pace of change has hit warp speed. We are moving so fast in so many areas, no one person can hope to understand it all.

And second, America is still the world leader in innovation. I really do believe that in the Era of Radical Change technology can save the nation. And transform the human race.

16 Responses to Brain Breakthroughs: Your Comments and Questions

  1. Judith Curran says:

    I have Dystonia that effect my eyes and neck. I get Botox, which is very costly. My insurance coves most of it but I still have to pay almost 900.00 per year. We don’t get in money for reshearch from goverment. All we get is privite donations. Now that getting older I am expecting them to tell me soon, It cost to much to support me taking Botox. With it I would be totally blind. What’s a better answer, I sure like to know. If you have it let me know.

    • ELISSA JUNG says:

      HI PILAR,
      MIGHT I SUGGEST YOU READ ” THE WOMAN WHO CHANGED HER BRAIN” BY BARBARA ARROWSMITH-YOUNG.IT IS A GOOD READ AND FOR ME IT SHOWED ME JUST HOW LEARNING DISABLED I AM. YET I HAVE FUNCTIONED IN THIS BUSNESS/FAMILY/ARTIST WORLD FOR 80 YEARS.WHEN I WAS VERY YOUNG I FOUND PEOPLES WORDS DID NOT MATCH THEIR FACIAL EXPRESSIONS, SO I DECIDED TO FOLLOW MY OWN WAY. I DID NOT ACCEPT THE RULES/COMMENTS/LAUGHTER AND ‘MARCHED ON TO MY OWN DRUM’. MY BRAIN HAS BEEN MY EXPERMENTIAL LAB. MY CONCLUSIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS: I AM A RIGHT BRAINED FUNCTIONING FEMALE, RUNNING ON GUT LEVEL THINKING. I TOO, HAD GREAT DIFFICULTY WITH MATH, COULDN’T REMEMBER THEORMS, GOT ABSOLUTELY LOST IN GEOMETRY. AND THEN DISCOVERED THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF MATH. THE FIRST, THE ONE THAT SCHOOL TEACHES IS ‘ ABSTRACT”. THEN THERE IS CONCRETE MATH…HOW MANY YARDS OF CARPETING DO YOU ORDER FOR A ROOM THAT IS 10 X 10? THE ONE THING TO LEARN IS THERE ARE 9 SQ.FT. IN 1 SQ.YD. SO 10 X 10= 100. 100 DIVIDED BY 9 = 11 1/9. ORDER 11 1/2 DS. THE EXTRA COVERS MISTAKES!! TO GET THE LEFT BRAIN (LOGIC) TO FUNCTION MORE, TAKE YOUR GUT LEVEL ANSWERS ( KEEP A RECORD ) AND FORCEABLE PUSH LEFT BRAIN THINKING TO GET STEP ONE, STEP TWO TYPE ANSWERS. IN THE BEGINNING THIS WILL BE TIME CONSUMING AND DIFFICULT TO STAY ON TASK. BUT STICK TO IT AND EVENTUALLY THAT SLEEPY OLE LEFTY WILL CATCH ON. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME. I GIVE FULL PERMISSION TO GIVE OUT MY E-MAIL ADDRESS. ELISSA

  2. Carlos L. Vera Cristo says:

    Thank you for sharing this information with the non-specialized persons. I trhink the “bridge” technology will be helping people within a decade. The real curative meassures will take probably another two or three. Let us hope America keeps an interested pace in it.

  3. Dr. Donald E. Adams says:

    Michael – Your insightful investigation is exemplary!
    I have followed the progress of Provectus Pharmaceuticals for ten years in immuno-chemoablation of metastatic melanoma and virtually ALL hard tumors in the human body. The use of Rose Bengal is unique in that no healthy cells are affected. This is a paradyme shift in cancer treatment, which is more broadly effective and more cost effective than anything available. Also, the common is mispriced due to failed PR. Pfizer, J&J are close to a commitment. Any ? 805-547-1331

  4. Jeremy Hass says:

    I am a 76yr old retired attorney . In law school, in 1956, I had a nervous breakdown, diagnosed as “Classic Schizophrenia ” , followed by recovery and repeating breakdown and resulting hospitalizations. The state of the art doctors told my parents it was a permanent brain disability, that would increase to permanent hospitalization. That was an incentive to seek an alternative and for the next several years I explored a number of solutions, yoga, exercise, etc, until I decided I was deficient in some way and came across Linus Pauling and his “Vitamins would cure everything” I began to take a multiple Vitamin my then psychiatrist recommended, at double strength. I began to function much better, returned to law school, passed the bar , and practiced for thirty years,(without having a break, going broke or getting disbarred!!!) and I retired ten years ago. I now have a weekly radio show on local history. ——-Yes, I still take the vitamins

    The last psychiatrist I spoke with said” Obviously , I was wrongly diagnosed” The one before said “natural remissions were wonderful”
    hmm. ‘right…’

    The present change of attitude, that the brain can heal and that mental illness is often related to a physical/chemical problem is refreshing to say the least. I now also take modern brain supplements, find them to be a help, and am delighted to hear more about any research on blood chemistry and the brain. It has great promise and you are doing a fine service in your information on this field. I do wonder if anyone is in the narrow field of vitamin supplements.

    • Joe Boylan says:

      I’m two years younger than you Jeremy and you seem to have suffered. I only came into the field of supplements about 15 years ago through meeting Dr Joel D Wallach personally in London, of who I am sure you will have learned. He is known as the Mineral Doctor and he claims that we need over 60 minerals on a daily basis to maintain our body’s correct function. He has identified over 600 minor and major diseases all linked to a shortage or in some cases a surfeit of one mineral or another. Each mineral deficiency is responsible for an average of 10 to 12 problems, whilst some shortages, e.g calcium and magnesium can run up a score or more. Interesting how these minerals we need in our bodies have a direct relationship to the occurrence of the same minerals in our environment IF it has not been adversely affected by mankind
      I also recommend Dr Russell Blaylock, a retired neuro surgeon, who is very outspoken on the causes of brain damage due to such excito-toxins as aspartame, fluoride and GMOs actually allowed by the FDA in foods and medicines and responsible for very many of the neuro diseases we may be concerned with e.g. Alzheimers, MS, heavy metal toxicity, Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s, Autism amongst children and GWS. I recommend his websites.
      Another doctor worth following is Dr Al Sears who is deep into telomere research and longevity, which is not without a heavy connection to alternative supplements.
      If you want a very wide ranging website on alternative approaches to health control look no further than Dr Mercola.com
      Good hunting.

    • John Brown says:

      I also have had good experience with high vitamin doses. I had a short period of diabetes about 8 years ago after losing 3.5 stone in weight, but dropping my protein intake too much.

      My doctor has done glucose load tests on two spaced-out occasions since, and I am nowhere near the diabetic threshold on blood-glucose.

      I had a routine retinal scan photograph taken 18 months ago, and was referred to the opthalmologist who diagnosed “Stage 1 diabetic retinopathy with microaneurisms and hemorrhage in the left eye”.

      So I lost a further 1.5 stone, walked after breakfast and dinner for 20 minutes and took a 35 minute vigorous walk each day. I dropped my carbohydrate intake down to 70gm. initially, and then 40gm. on my doctor’s suggestion.
      I also took 2000IU of vitamin E a day, and 2gm. of vitamin C in 5 doses since high doses saturate out and the half-life in the body is 2 hours. I took 4mg. of astaxanthin, 200 mcg. of selenium, and my usual 2gm. fish oil and vitamine B100 and B12, vitamine D3 and vitamin A. Researchers refer to all these generically now as “antixidants”..

      After 9 months the opthalmologist discharged me, saying “There is just one microaneurism on one small vessel, and no hemorrhage at all”.

      Research on animals in the Tchernobyl exclusion zone indicates that rises in body-produced levels of antioxidants even give almost complete immunity against ingested radioactive isotopes. In another area of research, two sub-species of mouse differ in that as one ages it produces less anioxidants whilst the other is constant, and the lifetimes are 2 years and 8 years respectively.

      Body repair processes in general seem to go much better in the presence of antioxidants. I also eat lightly steamed green vegetables in 400 gm. quantities with my evening meal.

      So we do not have to wait for new drugs. We can help ourselves right now, even if degenerative diseases have already started to appear.

  5. Thomas Hall says:

    It is a very known fact that our body systems (brain included) are designed for and have self-repair capabilities built in to fix any disorder; the only condition our body asks for is to let it cure itself (i.e. let a wound seal and cure itself) without the overload we most of the times impose to it. It has been proved that fasting lets the body fix a lot of internal problems including neurological disorders; John Hopckins Hospital treats epilepsy with fasting among other means. Question: What is being done or researched on the effects of fasting on the brain functions?

  6. Norma McDonald says:

    I am fascinated by all the innovations in the process of being discovered., Most won’t come to full fruition in my lifetime but I have great hopes for my grandchildren. I read all of your stuff. But I am also really fascinated with “Through the Wormhole” on the Discovery channel. Do you watch it? A lot of the science is far ahead of practical application but a wealth of inspiration for those will make it practical.

  7. bob archer says:

    I read with interest the items on brain chemistry. I am suffering anxiety/depression, and consequently get prescribed anti-depressants some of which are as bad,or worse than the original problem and create other problems. Any suggestions?

    • George Smith says:

      Bob,

      I do Quantum touch healing and I have had a couple of successes helping people with depression.

      QT is just a form of hands-on energy healing, something like Reiki, but stronger.

      I just placed my hand on the persons head and ran energy into them for about an hour. The change was very rapid and very visible. In one case the person started giggling, then laughing and then lost it completely, laughing uncontrolably.

      On her last follow-up, there had been no relapse since the session eight months ago.

      Check the Quanum touch website for someone in your area if you want to try it.

  8. Gerald Lawson says:

    Reguarding Brain Blood Barrier:
    A company called Nuvilex ‘NVLX’ has obtained a new way to introduce medicine for cancer patients. It has a capsule that applied directly to the tumor releases small amounts of medicine directly to the area and retreats when something comes to fight it. Therefore allowing much less medicine to do the trick of what normally takes much more and makes the patient sick.(Chemo). Do you think it would be possible for this type of delivery system would solve the problem you were talking about? Just a thought that crossed my mind.

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