Thursday, October 31, 2013

Alzheimer’s Disease: What Causes It And How Do We Treat It?

There is some new work by the Rush University Medical Center (October 2013) that begins to inform us about Alzheimer’s disease. They say that experiencing traumatic events in mid life can lead to later Alzheimer’s. They recruited 800 middle aged women and followed them for 40 years, checking in to see if they had a trauma and when and what kind. This would include the death of spouse, caring for a sick relative or unemployment. For each of these events there was an increased risk of later Alzheimer’s disease By 20%. This was despite how well they seemed to cope with it. (see

The researches claim that this is the best evidence by far to date linking psychological stressors with dementia. They go on to state that previous studies showed that stress hormones could help increase the build-up of proteins that are found in the brains of people with dementia. This means that serious disease such as dementia is related to stress. Not surprising. But wait! They have not touched the critical source of stress; the traumas during gestation and birth. In our clinical work we have found that as patients start to relive these early events the vital signs skyrocket, brain waves are increased in amplitude and frequency and other signs of severe stress.

We need to imagine what happens to a fetus fighting for her life because of lack of oxygen or of the carrying mother ingesting alcohol or serious pain medication.
There is terror and panic; her life is at stake, not the same as losing a job later on. The fetus cannot scream or talk or explain her agony but we see it in her biologic signs. And unlike the current research, the scientists, when discussing what to do about all this, believe the person needs stress reduction techniques to help eliminate the problem. I am not sure. I am very not sure.

The point is that these very early traumas are imprinted and are locked into the system for a lifetime. They form the basis for how later stress will be reacted to. That should be the next study; to see how the imprint plays into all this. I think it does in a big way; that primal stress is important in the later advent of Alzheimer’s disease. So if middle age stress can lead to disease think about how traumas on a naïve and vulnerable being can affect later illness. Just because the fetus cannot scream does not mean that she is not suffering. And that suffering continues on and on.

What we are planning to do soon is study the imprint and how to reverse it; that is the ultimate reduction of stress. We want to see if we can reverse history through reliving traumas. For if we can do that we may well help patients to avoid serious disease later on. We will measure the methylation process by which traumas are stamped into the brain. If we reverse methylation we may stop historical traumas from going on to do damage later on. We will reverse history. Think of that; stopping an imprint from going on to cause damage. That is mind-blowing.


  1. I can see how early birth trauma can damage one's life. Sure a lot of things work out, but a lot of things one has to constantly "struggle" with; feelings of "barely making it"; the frustration seems , at times, almost constant. Would be great if someone could relieve this feeling of "barely making it" Gotta be strong, if one cannot get primal therapy right away, or if the methylation process cannot be reversed any time too soon. It would be great if what Dr. Janov says can happen, does happen. It's important.

  2. When love is... needs explain the missing!

    We need something that is not seen to become visible . Although it is visible for does who can se... it will not help the " blind " to catch sight of it. To do that... own eyes are needed... own eyes to experiencing what they can see.

    We have a problem... although it has been visible long since... it has received other sentences for what it is! The problem is not the sentences... they are seen for what they are... the problem is they who formulate the sentences!

    We are now facing the door to break through for what hitherto been an established order... and that is... they can no longer hide behind an sheltered workshop... an academic order that reigns supreme gets to decide for what it is or not! Aida has been behind these doors so she knows how crazy it is!

    We need to get all these professionals at a round table and show them what they need to see... where sentences for own business no longer is enough... or do it without them!

    Aida is at where no one can convince her of anything other than what she is experiencing of her disease... there's no sentences that go past her as explain her anxiety and depression to be something she is not familiar with.

    Aida is aware and and can not in any way be hoodwinked for what others have an opinion about. She knows today... and knowing something that caused so much suffering to her is something they don't moving aourand without explaining themselves.

    Knowing and experience it... it's like being the wind that drives the boat who knows where to sail!


    1. Frank: None are so blind as to not see what is there; none is so blind as to refuse to see what is there. art

    2. I know... but the consequence of our suffering confuses the state to the point that the fog is so dense that it can be likened to being blind... if we do not get help to see it through!


  3. We can loosely see that some people are more intellectual and some are more feeling. Few are both. Its not fair to suggest that feeling people are more human. Feeling people who lack intellectual understanding tend to feel their own private twisted world... they cry but they dont really understand you... they dont know you. Perhaps they understand you better than an intellectual can... but it's not enough. They leave me feeling alone. Intellectuals are in tune with many of the subtle details in my thoughts.... they follow my ideas and contribute to them. There is a sort of partnership; two people working together to form a useful intellectual understanding.... I think that is a very important part of what makes us human. Humanness is very much a combination of the complex subtleties of intellectual understanding, and powerful emotions and sensations of reality. We need both halves. When one half is missing, we lose contact with reality and each other. When we are drunk we become more compassionate and more determined and aggressive as we feel more reality but we also lose that complex contact with our friends. Drunk people can't keep up with their friends' thoughts. Perhaps this is why people feel so sad when they watch a close relative developing alzheimers. They see the intellectual part of the person disappearing... like watching a friend getting drunk... disappearing into a private world of emotions that are only partially realistic. The intellect is part of the person. We dont want to lose it... we just want it to be connected to feelings. We need to understand our own feelings and we need to feel what our thoughts represent.

  4. My granny had alzheimers, it took her 8 years to die. Must have been 1st line trauma as she smoked through her life to push it down. Smoked through 5 pregnancies. 2 died shortly after being born, my mother and my aunt fight with pyschosis and very bad leaky gates. So I have very bad birth trauma, which totally floors me if I go near it. Who knows, maybe I will be able to resolve it and I can dance and cackle my way through my old age. I wanted to do it before I had my kids and break the generational shit but we will see. It seems more of a task than I bargained for.

    1. Emma: You will be watched over as best we can. But you made it through the first time so you will make it the second time. Same pain, a different time. art

    2. Hi Emma,

      My Mum is deteriorating in a home for dementia sufferers. They've put her down the end of a long corridor far away from all the other crazies because her behaviour is just too provocative.
      I don't know if it's fortunate or unfortunate that the woman I go to visit there isn't the mother I grieve the loss of (45 years ago).

      Paul G.

  5. Art!

    As the physiological process of ”only” beeing aware of feeling love is possible… need becomes the effect when it’s missing!

    A childs who not confronts the physiological impact of the feeling for missing love must be different to what a child who confronts the feeling of missing love? I mean... if the electrochemical device is "flourishing" then will the need of negative effect become conscious... a feeling... because it can be transferred emotionally from the limbic system to the neocortex and the need is no more... no more pain... it is then a feeling for what need was the cause of... a human being consciously aware!?

    And you will say "we feel need"... yes... but to feel is on to what... and need is not... why we go through primal therapy! Our vocabulary confuses us... we may have to come closer to the physiological process!?

    Feelings that are satisfied through the process as the evolutionary scheme caused is yet for the sorry of it... a cause to form need… but that is a question we have to solve in the future... it will show what emotions were meant!?


  6. not off topic:
    Art, is it too expensive to send a carefully or randomly selected number of patients to some sleep disorder clinic for periodical recommended monitoring of whatever they can measure there?

    1. Vuko: I will try to make an announcement about our coming research soon and will answer your question. Exciting art

  7. Alzheimer's disease the most common form of dementia.About 70% of the risk is believed to be genetic with many genes usually involved. Other risk factors include a history of head injuries, depression, or hypertension. Necessary to take therapy and alzheimer's treatment


Review of "Beyond Belief"

This thought-provoking and important book shows how people are drawn toward dangerous beliefs.
“Belief can manifest itself in world-changing ways—and did, in some of history’s ugliest moments, from the rise of Adolf Hitler to the Jonestown mass suicide in 1979. Arthur Janov, a renowned psychologist who penned The Primal Scream, fearlessly tackles the subject of why and how strong believers willingly embrace even the most deranged leaders.
Beyond Belief begins with a lucid explanation of belief systems that, writes Janov, “are maps, something to help us navigate through life more effectively.” While belief systems are not presented as inherently bad, the author concentrates not just on why people adopt belief systems, but why “alienated individuals” in particular seek out “belief systems on the fringes.” The result is a book that is both illuminating and sobering. It explores, for example, how a strongly-held belief can lead radical Islamist jihadists to murder others in suicide acts. Janov writes, “I believe if people had more love in this life, they would not be so anxious to end it in favor of some imaginary existence.”
One of the most compelling aspects of Beyond Belief is the author’s liberal use of case studies, most of which are related in the first person by individuals whose lives were dramatically affected by their involvement in cults. These stories offer an exceptional perspective on the manner in which belief systems can take hold and shape one’s experiences. Joan’s tale, for instance, both engaging and disturbing, describes what it was like to join the Hare Krishnas. Even though she left the sect, observing that participants “are stunted in spiritual awareness,” Joan considers returning someday because “there’s a certain protection there.”
Janov’s great insight into cultish leaders is particularly interesting; he believes such people have had childhoods in which they were “rejected and unloved,” because “only unloved people want to become the wise man or woman (although it is usually male) imparting words of wisdom to others.” This is just one reason why Beyond Belief is such a thought-provoking, important book.”
Barry Silverstein, Freelance Writer

Quotes for "Life Before Birth"

“Life Before Birth is a thrilling journey of discovery, a real joy to read. Janov writes like no one else on the human mind—engaging, brilliant, passionate, and honest.
He is the best writer today on what makes us human—he shows us how the mind works, how it goes wrong, and how to put it right . . . He presents a brand-new approach to dealing with depression, emotional pain, anxiety, and addiction.”
Paul Thompson, PhD, Professor of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine

Art Janov, one of the pioneers of fetal and early infant experiences and future mental health issues, offers a robust vision of how the earliest traumas of life can percolate through the brains, minds and lives of individuals. He focuses on both the shifting tides of brain emotional systems and the life-long consequences that can result, as well as the novel interventions, and clinical understanding, that need to be implemented in order to bring about the brain-mind changes that can restore affective equanimity. The transitions from feelings of persistent affective turmoil to psychological wholeness, requires both an understanding of the brain changes and a therapist that can work with the affective mind at primary-process levels. Life Before Birth, is a manifesto that provides a robust argument for increasing attention to the neuro-mental lives of fetuses and infants, and the widespread ramifications on mental health if we do not. Without an accurate developmental history of troubled minds, coordinated with a recognition of the primal emotional powers of the lowest ancestral regions of the human brain, therapists will be lost in their attempt to restore psychological balance.
Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D.
Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science
Washington State University

Dr. Janov’s essential insight—that our earliest experiences strongly influence later well being—is no longer in doubt. Thanks to advances in neuroscience, immunology, and epigenetics, we can now see some of the mechanisms of action at the heart of these developmental processes. His long-held belief that the brain, human development, and psychological well being need to studied in the context of evolution—from the brainstem up—now lies at the heart of the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy.
Grounded in these two principles, Dr. Janov continues to explore the lifelong impact of prenatal, birth, and early experiences on our brains and minds. Simultaneously “old school” and revolutionary, he synthesizes traditional psychodynamic theories with cutting-edge science while consistently highlighting the limitations of a strict, “top-down” talking cure. Whether or not you agree with his philosophical assumptions, therapeutic practices, or theoretical conclusions, I promise you an interesting and thought-provoking journey.
Lou Cozolino, PsyD, Professor of Psychology, Pepperdine University

In Life Before Birth Dr. Arthur Janov illuminates the sources of much that happens during life after birth. Lucidly, the pioneer of primal therapy provides the scientific rationale for treatments that take us through our original, non-verbal memories—to essential depths of experience that the superficial cognitive-behavioral modalities currently in fashion cannot possibly touch, let alone transform.
Gabor Maté MD, author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

An expansive analysis! This book attempts to explain the impact of critical developmental windows in the past, implores us to improve the lives of pregnant women in the present, and has implications for understanding our children, ourselves, and our collective future. I’m not sure whether primal therapy works or not, but it certainly deserves systematic testing in well-designed, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled clinical trials.
K.J.S. Anand, MBBS, D. Phil, FAACP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Senior Scholar, Center for Excellence in Faith and Health, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System

A baby's brain grows more while in the womb than at any time in a child's life. Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script That Rules Our Lives is a valuable guide to creating healthier babies and offers insight into healing our early primal wounds. Dr. Janov integrates the most recent scientific research about prenatal development with the psychobiological reality that these early experiences do cast a long shadow over our entire lifespan. With a wealth of experience and a history of successful psychotherapeutic treatment, Dr. Janov is well positioned to speak with clarity and precision on a topic that remains critically important.
Paula Thomson, PsyD, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge & Professor Emeritus, York University

"I am enthralled.
Dr. Janov has crafted a compelling and prophetic opus that could rightly dictate
PhD thesis topics for decades to come. Devoid of any "New Age" pseudoscience,
this work never strays from scientific orthodoxy and yet is perfectly accessible and
downright fascinating to any lay person interested in the mysteries of the human psyche."
Dr. Bernard Park, MD, MPH

His new book “Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” shows that primal therapy, the lower-brain therapeutic method popularized in the 1970’s international bestseller “Primal Scream” and his early work with John Lennon, may help alleviate depression and anxiety disorders, normalize blood pressure and serotonin levels, and improve the functioning of the immune system.
One of the book’s most intriguing theories is that fetal imprinting, an evolutionary strategy to prepare children to cope with life, establishes a permanent set-point in a child's physiology. Baby's born to mothers highly anxious during pregnancy, whether from war, natural disasters, failed marriages, or other stressful life conditions, may thus be prone to mental illness and brain dysfunction later in life. Early traumatic events such as low oxygen at birth, painkillers and antidepressants administered to the mother during pregnancy, poor maternal nutrition, and a lack of parental affection in the first years of life may compound the effect.
In making the case for a brand-new, unified field theory of psychotherapy, Dr. Janov weaves together the evolutionary theories of Jean Baptiste Larmarck, the fetal development studies of Vivette Glover and K.J.S. Anand, and fascinating new research by the psychiatrist Elissa Epel suggesting that telomeres—a region of repetitive DNA critical in predicting life expectancy—may be significantly altered during pregnancy.
After explaining how hormonal and neurologic processes in the womb provide a blueprint for later mental illness and disease, Dr. Janov charts a revolutionary new course for psychotherapy. He provides a sharp critique of cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, and other popular “talk therapy” models for treating addiction and mental illness, which he argues do not reach the limbic system and brainstem, where the effects of early trauma are registered in the nervous system.
“Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” is scheduled to be published by NTI Upstream in October 2011, and has tremendous implications for the future of modern psychology, pediatrics, pregnancy, and women’s health.