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Newsletter© 2013 HealthCare Insights

HealthCare Insights, LLC Newsletter
In This Issue
Featured Article
Brain-Safe HalloweenTreats
Sleeps Clears A-Beta!
Frontline Football-Dementia? Documentary
Come See Dr. Emerson Lombardo!
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Joanne Koenig Coste


Eric Reardon, Nutritionist

Senior Living Residences


Anne Beecher, Massage & Stretching


WBUR Alzheimer’s Special


Ch 5 Boston Chronicle Brain Foods


Featured Article

Are you ready for a Brain Healthy Halloween this year!?

Issue: 35
October 2013
BH&W Logo

Halloween Night 2012: Brain Boosters Popular with Kids vs Candy as Brain Busters*
     Every Halloween I get dressed up (in my powwow-purchased blue dress as a Native American woman) and get ready for the kids to come knocking on my door. About 5 years ago, I started experimenting with handing out something different instead of usual candy.  I had been learning how toxic sugar is to the brain…so how could I knowingly harm the wonderful children in my neighborhood?  (Every year since then more studies reveal even more scary evidence about how sugar hurts our brains, hearts and bodies).

At first, I tried using dark chocolate with almonds as the candy I gave out, together with various fruit products and nuts.  I noted that most of the kids chose either a nice red apple, or the nuts or raisins. I was also relieved to have only left overs I could safely eat!

So for the past 3 years, I’ve handed out only brain healthy fruit or nut choices, and plan to do this again for 2013.

Wondering what the cost might be to go brain healthy? Here’s a breakdown of prices for Brain Healthy Halloween Treats:



Amount in Box/Bag

Price per Item

Number Taken

Total Cost



10 x 3 bags =30




Trader Joe’s Mixed Nuts in packets






Sunsweet “Ones” (individually wrapped prunes- scrumptious!)


20 x 2 boxes =40




SunMaid Raisins Minipacks


14 x 2 boxes =28




Full Circle Organic Real Fruit Roll-ups Strawberry, Pomegranate, Etc.**


10 x 5 boxes =50




** BEWARE most so called fruit roll-ups are up to 90% sugar or high fructose corn syrup.  Read the list of ingredients and avoid products with sugar in the list of ingredients.

Total Price for 130-140 kids: $44.94




Halloween 2011, I had 100 kids come to my door, all ages, from 2 to teenagers (and a few parents).  Only two girls, about age 8, challenged me with  “where’s the candy.” In 2012, we had 130 kids, and no one asked me “where’s the candy” and not a single child refused to take anything; of course several teenagers coming near the end of the 2 hour Trick and Treat time asked how many they could take and took a couple with permission. Several parents accompanying the smaller children said “thank you” to me for offering healthy options.

Apples were by far the more popular treat.  By 7:00 pm they were all gone. I gave out 30 and probably could have given out 40 or more. By the end of the night I still had some treats left over which I was able to use for my presentation at Methuen Village the next day. These treats can be for the everyday indulge, not just for Halloween.  That is another reason for going this route:  no leftover candy to create the guilts at home! Or to dump on people at work!  Of course just choose brain healthy foods YOU LIKE and nothing will go to waste…or to bloat your waistline.

So for a little bit more money I was able to make Halloween a brain healthy affair. If we want to start making this world a more brain and body healthy place we have to start instilling this idea and good habits in our children. I hope that by handing out brain healthy treats instead of candy, I’ll make the kids think twice about reaching for the candy.


And the fact that most of these kids seemed really happy about these offerings means that they have already been learning some good habits.

“Taking out the Trash”: Sleep Helps Clear Excess Beta Amyloid (A-beta) from Our Brains!
A new study reported yesterday in Science magazine and previewed by  NPR on October 17, 2013, highlights what happens during sleep to explain why sleep disorders increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.

In brief, during sleep our brain cells shrink a bit and allow additional cerebral spinal fluid to wash over our brain cells and remove toxins. We used to think just the cerebral blood circulation performed that service, but we find what really happens is even more fascinating. When awake, our cells resume their normal size.

The lead researcher, Dr Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc. described the mechanical action of cerebral spinal fluid during sleep similar to a dishwasher’s water washing the dishes!

One of the key toxins that is removed is excess beta amyloid (also known as A-beta), the protein that is implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. Beta amyloid in small amounts is a normal part of our natural immune system.   However, when excess amounts build up, the A-beta molecules can start clumping together (forming oligomers and fibrils which appear to be toxic to brain cells).  Many brain healthy lifestyle factors help keep the amount of A-beta at low levels: physical exercise, nutritious foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3’s (see our website for description of brain foods and our evidence-based Memory Preservation Nutrition® program),  as well as, sleep.


Another researcher/neurologist, Randall Bateman MD of   Washington University in St. Louis, MO, commented this new finding helps explain why his research showed that levels of Beta amyloid rise during waking hours and decrease during sleep.

Why we have to sleep!

Dr. Nedergarde also explained why the brain toxin cleansing process needs to occur during sleep, rather than when we are awake.  The cleansing process takes an enormous amount of brain energy, as does being conscious, aware and thinking/acting—each major activity takes too much energy to be done simultaneously.

Thus Dr. Nedergarde’s research helps answer an age-old question of why we and other animals, birds and creatures need to sleep leaving us so vulnerable to predators.


Finally, the huge energy demands for the brain toxin cleaning process makes me wonder if there is also a connection to mitochondrial dysfunction that is another factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.   (See for instance Dr. Jon Valla and my paper, which showed how the broad based nutritional supplementation that I designed reversed mitochondrial damage in triple transgenic Alzheimer’s mice.)

Click on this PBS Frontline LINK to listen to my amazing colleagues
Ann McKee MD and Robert Stern Ph.D. at the Alzheimer’s
Ann McKee, MD
Disease Center at Boston University (BUADC), and others who are part of the unfolding story of the NLF’s “League of Denial.”    Dr. McKee, Director of the Neuropathology Core for the BUADC, is right in the middle of the NFL controversy. The controversy is about just how dangerous concussions, and non-concussive hits to the head may be, and how often they can lead to dementia…specifically, CTE – Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (a tau pathology).  These and other head trauma  also appear to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

As I wrote my twin brother yesterday, “now the researchers have to figure out whether some folks are more vulnerable than others because of genetics or other factors, to develop this problem.”  I’m referring to remarks by Bob Stern who leads the Clinical Core at the BU Alzheimer’s Disease Center and who co-founded and co-leads the new Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy

Co-Director of CTE Center
Bob Stern, Ph.D.
with Ann and Chris Nowinski, a former Harvard football player and pro wrestler who worries he may develop CTE.


Scary that 44 of the first 46 brains Dr. McKee examined of football players had this peculiar dementia/pathology.  Dr. McKee noted there was a selection bias in that these folks had problems.  But still that is a huge percentage, which is why Ann sometimes worries that every player has some CTE pathology (not necessarily developing symptoms).

By the way, Dr. McKee grew up in Wisconsin and loves football; her boys played it.  So she did not want to find these results.  She is an earnest, conscientious, unpretentious (her offices are at the VA Bedford where I used to work….very modest and sometimes challenging location), dedicated neuropathologist who just loves doing research on brains, discovering the truth, and sharing her findings.   I learned through the documentary that Dr McKee is also brave enough to speak her truth even when up against threatening situations.  Plus Ann is a wonderful human being.  As you can guess from my effusive words of praise here, Ann is now my super-heroine; before she was simply marvelous spunky brilliant beautiful heroic Ann.

newpaper article featured in documentary
I highly recommend you take the time to view this excellent pbs documentary on line video.  


For now you might want to take a quick look at CBS Sports on- line commentary about the documentary.  Start learning about some additional heroes besides our BUADC heros…such as the Nigerian American pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu MD who first uncovered and named CTE in a Pittsburgh Steeler, Mike Webster.   He was lambasted by the NFL, not realizing the implications of his autopsy report and the case history he published in a respected scientific journal.  As was pointed out to Omalu privately by an NFL doctor, and quoted in the documentary, “If 10 percent of mothers in this country would begin to perceive football as a dangerous sport,”  “that is the end of football.”


Public Invited to Presentations by Dr. Emerson Lombardo on Oct 23rd and 30th and Nov 12th and 20th 2013
Dr. Nancy
Dr. Nancy

See Dr. Emerson Lombardo in Person – check our website for more information on events

Oct 23rd, 2013: Brain Healthy Eating 

This free event will be held at the Quincy Council on Aging, 440 E Squantum St, Quincy, MA 02171.  This event will run from 12:00-1:30pm.  60 min presentation with time for Q & A.  Free lunch will be served. Sponsored by Standish Village and Compass on the Bay. Please RSVP directly to Quincy COA at (617) 376-1240.


Oct 30th 2013: Healthy Eating for a Healthy Brain

This free event will be held at Avita of Needham, 880 Greendale Ave, Needham MA 02492.  This event will run from 5:00-6:30pm with time for Q & A. Brain Healthy refreshments will be served. RSVP to Mary Jane McGill 781 444 2266 or


Nov 12th 2013: Brain Healthy Eating and the Mediterranean Diet: How Making Healthy Choices Benefits Your Brain

This free event will be held at Heywood Hospital, 242 Green St,  Gardner, MA 01440.  This event will run from 6:00-8:00pm with Brain Healthy Refreshments served at 5:30pm. Please RSVP by Nov 9th to or 508 799 2386.  Cosponsored by North Worcester County Alzheimer’s Partnership and the Alzheimer’s Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter.



Nov 20th 2013 Brain Healthy Eating

This free event will be held at Residences at Wingate at 63 Kendrick St, Needham MA 02492.  Event will run from 5:30-7:30pm.  RSVP to 781 707 9500.  Event details in process. Update to follow.

Nancy is available to answer your questions via e-mail or telephone.  

Look for her monthly column in the South Shore Senior News!

For brain health consultations for yourself, your family, or your organization contact Nancy for further information or to book an appointment. 978-621-1926 or email at


Nancy Emerson Lombardo, PhD
HealthCare Insights, LLC
P.O. Box 2683 , Acton , MA 01720

© 2013 HCI

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