Dr. Stephen Cunnane obtained his PhD in Physiology from McGill University in 1980, followed by post-doctoral research on nutrition and brain development in Aberdeen, London, and Nova Scotia. Dr. Cunnane recommends the keto diet for treating Alzheimer’s disease. In this video, he also explains how ketones work to heal this condition.
Stephen Cunnane - Can Ketones Slow Down Alzheimer’s?
This lecture is part of the IHMC Evening Lecture series.
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) strikes fear into everyone. But can AD be slowed down; can we do something to delay when it starts and how hard it strikes? There is growing evidence that a conscientious prevention approach can help one resist AD. The prevention approach to AD is the same as for what are called the ‘chronic Western diseases’ – hypertension, type 2 diabetes and obesity. The hormone insulin appears to play a key role in AD. Insulin tends to be less effective at controlling blood sugar (glucose) in older people, especially if they are sedentary. This in turn decreases the amount of fuel getting to the brain making it harder for brain cells to talk to each other so memories gradually slip away. Our research shows that it is difficult to increase glucose supply to the brain once it has declined in older people, even with exercise. Ketones are the brain’s back-up fuel and the brain of someone with AD can use ketones as well as the brain of a young adult. Moderate exercise helps get more ketones into the brain. Some older people may not be able to exercise but one can make a ketone drink made from medium chain triglyceride (MCT) in one’s kitchen. We are in the middle of a trial with an MCT drink in people at high risk of AD. The early results show a significant benefit for memory. There will be no miracle cures for AD but a prevention approach may delay and/or slow it down.