Transcript: Alzheimer's: Cleaning Out the Attic | Mar 12, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and checked blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Alzheimer's disease: Cleaning out the attic."

Steve says RECENT RESEARCH INTO
THE LINK BETWEEN ALZHEIMER'S
DISEASE AND SLEEP HAS COME UP
WITH SOME PROMISING INSIGHTS,
ESPECIALLY RELATED TO THE ROLE
THAT DEEP SLEEP PLAYS IN
CLEANSING THE BRAIN.
HOW WELL WE SLEEP IS OFTEN
RELATED TO WHAT WE EAT, AND
THAT'S WHY AUTHOR AILEEN
BURFORD-MASON TAKES UP THE
SUBJECT IN HER NEW BOOK, "THE
HEALTHY BRAIN: OPTIMIZE BRAIN
POWER AT ANY AGE."
SHE IS A CELL BIOLOGIST AT DRS
CONSULTING IN TORONTO,
SPECIALIZING IN NUTRITION FOR
DISEASE PREVENTION, AND AILEEN
BURFORD-MASON JOINS US NOW FOR MORE.

Aileen is in her sixties, with short wavy blond hair. She's wearing glasses, a blue blazer, black turtleneck, and a silver pendant necklace.
A picture of her book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a stylized drawing of a brain resembling a cloud with a thunderbolt.

Steve continues GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

Aileen says NICE TO BE HERE.

Steve says CAN WE START WITH AN
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK?
HERE WE GO...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Nutritional timing." The quote reads "Remarkable as it may seem, whether or not we can make the right brain chemistry to focus, concentrate or sleep depends not on how we ate yesterday or the day before, but on how we ate our last meal."
Quoted from Aileen Burford-Mason, "The healthy brain." 2017.

Steve says THAT'S REALLY
GETTING DOWN TO BRASS TACKS
HERE.
BECAUSE A NUMBER OF STUDIES HAVE
SHOWN THAT A STRONG CONNECTION
BETWEEN ALZHEIMER'S AND POOR
SLEEP, I'D LIKE YOU TO START BY
TELLING US WHAT DIETARY CHOICES
WE CAN MAKE IN THAT LAST MEAL
BEFORE WE GO TO BED TO ENSURE
THAT WE SLEEP WELL?

The caption changes to "Aileen Burford-Mason. Author, 'The healthy brain.'"
Then, it changes again to "Timing is everything."

Aileen says WELL, IT'S WORK THAT GOES
BACK SOME 30 YEARS NOW, LARGELY
FROM RESEARCH AT M.I.T., THAT
SHOWED THAT THE LEVEL OF
NEUROTRANSMITTERS IN THE BRAIN
THAT INVOLVE SLEEP, SEROTONIN IN
PARTICULAR, AND FOCUS ON
CONCENTRATION WHICH WE NEED
DURING THE DAY, DOPAMINE,
DEPENDS ON THE ACTUAL
COMPOSITION OF THE MEAL WE EAT.
SO WITH REGARD TO DOPAMINE, YOU
NEED HIGH PROTEIN INTAKES TO GET
THE BUILDING BLOCKS, THE RAW
MATERIALS, TO MAKE DOPAMINE.
DOPAMINE SHOULD DOMINATE DURING
THE DAY, BUT OVER THE COURSE OF
THE DAY, IT SHOULD TAKE A BACK
SEAT, AND WE NEED TO BUILD UP
SEROTONIN.
SO SEROTONIN IS MANUFACTURED
FROM AN AMINO ACID CALLED
TRYPTOPHAN.
IT'S AN ESSENTIAL AMINO AS SID
BUT THE LEAST PLENTIFUL IN
PROTEIN FOODS.

Steve says SO HOW DO WE MAKE IT HAPPEN?

Aileen says HOW WE MAKE IT HAPPEN IS A
TRICK OUR MOTHERS AND
GRANDMOTHERS KNEW.
JUST BEFORE BED, WE EAT
SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT SWEET.

Steve says MILK AND COOKIES?

Aileen says ABSOLUTELY.
WARM MILK AND HONEY IS WHAT WE
WERE GIVEN.
SO WHAT HAPPENS IS TRYPTOPHAN
HAS DIFFICULTY GETTING TO THE
BRAIN.
IT'S OUTCOMPETED BY OTHER AMINO
ACIDS, UNLESS YOU SPIKE INSULIN.
AND YOU'LL DO THAT AFTER YOU EAT
SOMETHING SWEET.
INSULIN IS PROBABLY THE MOST
IMPORTANT HORMONE IN THE BODY.
IT'S OUR STORAGE HORMONE.
AND WHAT IT DOES IS NOT JUST
STORE GLUCOSE IN CELLS, IT
STORES ALL THE NUTRIENTS IN
CELLS, AND IT BINDS OTHER AMINO
ACIDS, APART FROM TRYPTOPHAN,
AND TAKES IT OFF TO MUSCLES,
ETC., FOR REPAIR AND
MAINTENANCE.
NOW TRYPTOPHAN HAS A FREE RUN AT
THE BRAIN.
IT CAN GET IN THERE.
AND WE DON'T CALL THOSE FOODS,
YOU KNOW, THAT ARE STARCHY OR
SUGARY COMFORT FOODS FOR
NOTHING, BECAUSE SEROTONIN
ACTUALLY IS CALMING, IS
COMFORTING.
BUT MORE TO THE POINT, IT IS THE
BUILDING BLOCK FOR MELATONIN,
WHICH GIVES US NOT ONLY A DEEP,
REFRESHING SLEEP, IT ALSO
REGULATES CIRCADIAN
RHYTHMS.

Steve says IT'S GOING TO COME
BACK TO THAT PARTICULARLY WITH
THE TIME CHANGE THAT WE'RE
UNDERGOING.
THIS IS CONTRARY TO SO MUCH OF
WHAT WE'VE HEARD LATELY, THOUGH,
WHICH IS NEVER EAT ANYTHING
AFTER 8:00 AT NIGHT BECAUSE IT
MAKES YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM DO
ALL THAT WORK AND WILL ACTUALLY
HARM YOUR POTENTIALLY GETTING A
GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP INSTEAD OF
HELPING, AND THIS NOTION WE
SHOULD BE HAVING ANY SUGAR AT
ALL, LET ALONE A COOKIE RIGHT
BEFORE BED, IS AGAIN CONTRARY TO
WHAT WE'VE BEEN TOLD.
SO HELP US OUT.

Aileen says OF COURSE, THE BRAIN CAN'T
WORK WITHOUT SUGAR.
THE BRAIN IS DEPENDENT ON IT.
IT NEEDS SUGAR GOING THROUGH IT,
GLUCOSE GOING THROUGH 24-7.

Steve says BUT PROCESSED SUGAR
JUST BEFORE BED?

Aileen says NO.
A LITTLE.
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT VERY SMALL
AMOUNTS.
YOU'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT LARGE
AMOUNTS AND YOU'RE NOT TALKING
ABOUT EATING SIX COOKIES, YOU'RE
TALKING ABOUT EATING ONE.

Steve says OKAY.

Aileen says AGAIN, WITH SOME BALANCE,
YOU'RE HAVING IT WITH A GLASS OF
MILK AND THAT HAS PROTEIN IN IT
AND IT WILL BALANCE YOUR
METABOLISM AND HELP YOU SLEEP.

Steve says OKAY.
WHAT IS THE GLYMPHATIC SYSTEM?

The caption changes to "The glymphatic system."

Aileen says THAT'S VERY NEW AND VERY
INTERESTING, OR CERTAINLY THE
DISCOVERY.
ALL TISSUES IN THE BODY NEED TO
SELF-CLEANSE.
THEY'RE WORKING ALL THE TIME.
AND NO ORGAN IS WORKING HARDER
THAN THE BRAIN.
SO IT'S CHECKING OUT GARBAGE.
FOR OTHER ORGANS IN THE BODY,
THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM, WHICH IS A
SYSTEM THAT WILL DRAW OUT THE
GARBAGE AND TAKE IT OFF FOR
DESTRUCTION AND REMOVAL FROM THE
BODY THROUGH THE LIVER,
EVENTUALLY.
WHAT WE DIDN'T KNOW WAS HOW THE
BRAIN SELF-CLEANSED BECAUSE
THERE WERE NO LYMPH SYSTEMS
ENTERING THE BRAIN.
CLEVER RESEARCHERS SEVERAL YEARS
AGO DISCOVERED THAT WE DID IN
FACT HAVE A SYSTEM BUT IT WAS
SORT OF HIDDEN ALONG THE SIDES
OF VEINS.
SO THE GLYMPHATIC SYSTEM IS
RELATED TO THE GLIO CELLS OF THE
BRAIN.
WE KNOW ABOUT THE NEURONS.
THE GLEO CELLS ARE THE OTHER
BRAIN CELLS.
WE JOKE ABOUT THEM, THAT THE
NEURONS DO ALL THE THINKING AND
THE GLEO CELLS KEEP HOUSE.
SO THEY'RE THE HOUSE MATE CELLS.
THAT'S ANOTHER PET TERM FOR
THEM.
AT NIGHT THEY WILL SHRINK AND
ALLOW ALL OF THE GARBAGE BETWEEN
THE NEURONS TO BE FLUSHED OUT
THROUGH THIS LYMPHATIC SYSTEM
THAT LEADS INTO THE LYMPHATIC
SYSTEM.
SO WE DO KNOW NOW THIS VERY
ACTIVE CLEARING OF THE BRAIN
GARBAGE.

Steve says WHAT IS THE
CONNECTION THEREFORE BETWEEN THE
GLYMPHATIC SYSTEM AND DEMENTIA?

Aileen says WELL, BASICALLY IF YOU'RE NOT
CLEARING THE GARBAGE, THERE'S A
PROBLEM.
AND WHAT WE'VE DISCOVERED IS THE
GLYMPHATIC SYSTEM DOESN'T WORK
UNLESS WE'RE ASLEEP.
I CAN'T MAKE UP MY MIND FROM
READING THE RESEARCH IS WHETHER
WE HAVE TO BE ABSOLUTELY ASLEEP
OR WHETHER IT'S POSTURAL, LYING
DOWN.
BUT SOME OF THE RESEARCHERS WILL
SAY THAT, YOU KNOW, THE BRAIN
CAN'T DO TWO THINGS: IT CAN'T BE
AWAKE AND AWARE AND CLEANING
HOUSE.
SO BASICALLY IT IS ASLEEP AND
CLEANING HOUSE.
MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE IT'S GOT MORE
ENERGY BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT USING
UP ENERGY FOR MOVEMENT.
MAYBE IT'S GOT LESS DISTRACTION.
BUT BASICALLY THAT'S THE TIME
WHEN THE CLEARING IS DONE.
SO IF WE DON'T SLEEP, THERE CAN
BE A BUILDUP OF THIS DEBRIS IN
THE BRAIN.

Steve says SO WE PRESUME THEN
THAT THERE IS A CONNECTION
BETWEEN EITHER NO SLEEP OR POOR
SLEEP AND ALZHEIMER'S?

Aileen says THERE CERTAINLY DOES SEEM TO BE THAT, YES, FOR SURE.

Steve says DO WE KNOW IF IT'S
POOR SLEEP THAT LEADS TO
ALZHEIMER'S OR ALZHEIMER'S THAT
THEREFORE LEADS YOU TO SLEEP BADLY?

The caption changes to "A sleep and a forgetting."

Aileen says THAT'S ALWAYS THE 64 dollar
QUESTION.
ONE THING WE DO KNOW IS THE
OLDER PEOPLE GET, THE LESS THEY
SLEEP.
BUT THEY NEED THE SAME AMOUNT OF
SLEEP THEY HAD WHEN THEY WERE
YOUNGER, AND IN MY OPINION, WE
COULD EASILY MAKE A CASE FOR THE
FACT THAT AS WE GROW OLDER
DEFICIENCIES BUILD UP,
DEFICIENCIES OF THE NUTRIENTS.
TO MAKE SEROTONIN, WE DON'T JUST
NEED TRYPTOPHAN TO GET INTO THE
BRAIN.
ONCE IT'S THERE, IT NEEDS
MAGNESIUM, IT NEEDS B-6, B-12,
IT NEEDS ZINC, IT NEEDS VITAMIN
C.
SO ALL OF THOSE NUTRIENTS NEED
TO BE PRESENT AND CIRCULATING AS
WELL.

Steve says SO YOU'RE AN
ADVOCATE OF THE MULTIVITAMIN?

Aileen says I THINK IT'S A CORE
SUPPLEMENT THAT ONE WOULD DO.
YOU KNOW, AS OPPOSED TO TAKING
SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS LIKE VITAMIN
D.
THERE WILL BE SOME VITAMIN D
THERE.
IT'S A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING.
IT'S TWEAKING EVERYTHING.
SO I'D SAY IT'S THE FIRST THING
TO THINK ABOUT TAKING.

Steve says YOU MENTIONED
CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS EARLIER AND I
WANT TO FINISH UP ON THAT.
BECAUSE EVERY TIME YOU CHANGE
THE CLOCKS, SOME PEOPLE HAVE...
EVEN IF IT'S JUST AN HOUR TIME
DIFFERENCE, SOME PEOPLE HAVE A
BIT OF AN ADJUSTMENT.
THE FIRST DAY OF WORK AFTERWARDS
JUST FEELS A LITTLE BIT ODD.
CAN EVEN ONE HOUR SMALL
DISRUPTION TO OUR SLEEP PATTERN
HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE
BRAIN?

The caption changes to "Aileen Burford-Mason, @AburfordMason"

Aileen says WE DO KNOW THAT.
WE DO KNOW IT FROM STUDIES WHERE
THEY'VE JUST LOOKED AT PEOPLE
WHO ARE SHORT SLEEPING, AND
SHORT SLEEPING IS A MAJOR
PROBLEM NOW, INTENTIONAL SHORT
SLEEPING.
I DON'T MEAN... THERE ARE PEOPLE
WHO WORK LATE IN THE OFFICE.
THEY COME HOME, THEY EAT DINNER
LATE, THEN THEY FEEL THEY SHOULD
HAVE A BIT OF R and R, GO TO BED
LATE, BUT THEY'RE UP AT 5:00 TO
GO TO THE GYM.
SO WE KNOW... MOST OF THE
STUDIES HAVE LOOKED AT SIX HOURS
OR LESS AND MORE THAN SIX HOURS,
AND THAT SEEMS TO BE A BREAK
POINT.
ALL PERFORMANCE IS OFF THE NEXT
DAY.
MOSTLY SORT OF SMALL THINGS.
BIG THINGS, MAYBE DRIVING YOUR
CAR, YOU'RE PERFECTLY SAFE.
MAYBE IT MIGHT BE THE DAY THAT
YOU SCRATCH THE CAR GOING INTO
YOUR SPACE IN THE GARAGE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Gregg Thurlbeck, @GreggThurlbeck."

Steve says GOTCHA.
THAT'S AILEEN BURFORD-MASON, SHE
IS THE AUTHOR OF "THE HEALTHY
BRAIN: OPTIMIZE BRAIN POWER AT
ANY AGE" THANKS FOR MAKING TIME
FOR US AT TVO TONIGHT.

Aileen says THANKS FOR INVITING ME.

Watch: Alzheimer's: Cleaning Out the Attic