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Re: From Dr. Rammohan "Ram" Rao

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:43 am
by Juliegee
Dr. Rammohan Rao, PhD is a research associate professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. He prefers that we call him “Ram.” Ram holds a doctorate degree in Biochemistry and Neurosciences and works as a Research Associate Professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Novato, CA. His research focus is in the areas of chronic stress and neuronal cell death and mechanisms of age-associated neurodegenerative diseases with special emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease. Ram has more than 15 years of research and teaching experience and has published nearly 50 peer reviewed papers in scientific journals and chapters in a couple of text books. Ram has supervised, trained and mentored several high school students, college interns, research technicians and post-doctoral fellows. He is a scientific reviewer for several leading biological journals and has also presented his work at several institutions. Ram is also a certified Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and a faculty teacher at the California College of Ayurveda. Ram is a dedicated Yoga practitioner and is a registered yoga teacher from Yoga Alliance USA. In his spare time he offers consultations in YAMP techniques (Yoga, Ayurveda, Meditation & Pranayama).

Ram met with us at The Buck and provided a fascinating tour of his laboratory. In addition to being a brilliant neuroscientist, he's a kind and gentle man who wants to help us. He's offered to meet with any Bay area members several times a month for several hours to do some gentle meditation, gentle yoga inversions, challenge our brain with some mental exercises, discuss diet, herbs etc. I see that Dr. Rao has joined our community- Welcome! Please PM him if you are interested. He's known as rrao2015.

Re: From Dr. Rammohan "Ram" Rao

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:50 am
by Juliegee
Here are some tips from Ram:
1) Avoid Sodas and other fizzy cold beverages. Always drink warm water (warmer than room temp) throughout the day

2) Before Breakfast: To one glass of warm-hot water add 1-2 tsp Black Strap Molasses (Whole foods), 5 drops of turmeric extract (http://www.banyanbotanicals.com/shop/ca ... extract-10), 5 drops of Ashwagandha extract (http://www.banyanbotanicals.com/shop/ca ... extract-10) and local dark honey to taste. Mix well and drink the contents [black strap molasses is a blood purifier, turmeric, Ashwagandha and honey will improve immunity].

3) The last meal of the day needs to coincide with the setting sun (dinner by 7.00pm) and the 1st meal of the day should be one hour after sun-rise (anytime after 7.00am)

4) Breakfast: Cooked Oats/cream of Quinoa/ Flax grains (equal ratios), with warm milk. You may add almonds, cardamom, maple syrup, cinnamon, pomegranates to your Cereal bowl. (notice that all the ingredients are gluten free)

5) Snack: Anytime you feel like snacking, eat ripe fruits, roasted sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds and walnuts

6) Lunch and Dinner: Along with your favorite foods, please make sure to eat lot of Veggies. Please try to reduce wheat and meat from your regular meals. Try to eat gluten-free meals as far as possible.

7) Yoga: If you have a practice of Yoga, incorporate at least 30 mins of Yoga practice daily, with gentle inversions where the head is below the heart (under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher). If you are part of a Yoga group, let me know and I can come and conduct a practice session where I can demonstrate these poses.

8) HERBALS:

-Mental Clarity: http://www.banyanbotanicals.com/shop/ca ... tablets-10

Supports optimal performance of the brain and nervous system. 1 tablet (500mg) 2X/day after meals with warm water

-Tranquil Mind: http://www.banyanbotanicals.com/shop/ca ... tablets-10

Supports optimal performance of the brain and nervous system. 1 tablet (500mg) 2X/day after meals with warm water

-I Sleep Soundly: http://www.banyanbotanicals.com/shop/ca ... tablets-10

Promotes Sound, Restful Sleep. 2 tablets (500mg) after dinner with warm water.

9) OTHERS:

A) Vit D, Zn, B12: If levels are within mid-range, you do not need to take supplements.

B) No need to purchase Bacopa or Ashwagandha: Both Mental Clarity and I sleep soundly contain these two herbs.

C) One tsp of fish oil before lunch. One tsp of coconut oil before dinner

D) Sleep issues are common at this age. Melatonin, Ambien, 5HTP etc are not universal and provide benefits to some and not to everyone. I have recommended “I Sleep Soundly”. Try that and see if it helps.

E) Gentle physical exercise (swimming is the best), tutoring, music, art, knitting, sewing, quilting etc. These are all very helpful in keeping your mind active.

F) Make sure that you are do not suffer from constipation. Make sure you have a smooth bowel movement daily.

If these ideas generate questions for Dr. Rao, feel free to pose them here.

Re: From Dr. Rammohan "Ram" Rao

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:43 pm
by Juliegee
Ram, I shall break the ice and pose the first set of questions to you. THANK you for offering to help us. On behalf of all, we are very grateful for your attention.

I'm intrigued with your suggestion of using inversion postures. It makes sense that improving blood flow to the brain would be helpful. Could you share the names of those that you recommend so we can look up pictures on the internet? Also, does the brand new information from the University of Virginia re. the connection between the brain & immune system via the lymphatic system affect that advice? Lastly, given this new information, is there anyway that we can up-regulate our lymphatic system to possibly improve immune function and glean neuroprotection? Thanks in advance for your help.

Re: From Dr. Rammohan "Ram" Rao

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:27 pm
by rrao2015
Juliegee,

There is no research let alone pilot studies to confirm my claim about inversions helping reverse cognitive decline. I did submit a protocol for a small pilot study to NIH which got turned down. In general people showing memory decline have reduced cerebral blood flow (CBF). We do not know why? There is no medication to increase the CBF. My rationale is that gentle inversions will stimulate the baroreceptors that in turn will lead to increase in CBF. I feel the difference when I do inversions. So I thought why not have others do them as well?

Go to google images and type yoga inversions. You will see several different poses. But I would caution that if someone has a regular practice, it can be done unsupervised. Otherwise it would be better to do these poses under strict supervision as it may require modifying the pose to suit the individual.

Q2: Does the brand new information from the University of Virginia re. the connection between the brain & immune system via the lymphatic system affect that advice?
-No it actually complements my gut feeling about inversions helping the flow (blood flow and lymphatic flow) into the brain and helping to drain out efficiently (in the course of efficient drain some of the soluble gunk may also be cleared out.

Q3: Lastly, given this new information, is there anyway that we can up-regulate our lymphatic system to possibly improve immune function and glean neuroprotection?

Pranayama exercises (Breathing deeply), Exercises, Walking, Swimming all these ensures the lymph system flows properly. Drink plenty of water, avoid sodas and sweetened juices, eat fruits that have more fluids (watermelon, cantaloupe, all other ripe fruits), herbal teas like astragalus, echinacea, green tea. Most importantly: Massage the entire body with the massage oil. Wait for 30 mins before having a shower. If you do not like oil on the body, do a dry massage. Massage helps stimulate the lymphatic system.

Re: Re: From Dr. Rammohan "Ram" Rao

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:52 pm
by Stavia
Dr Ram, thank you for your thoughtful and comprehensive answer.
Have you any thoughts on the influence of the gut biome on AD?

Re: From Dr. Rammohan "Ram" Rao

Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:03 pm
by GeorgeN
Dr. Ram,

So a routine of daily abhyanga (self-massage), yoga including inversion & Surya Namaskara, pranyama (Nadi Shodhana, Ujjayi), and meditation would be appropriate, I gather. Ama (white coating) on the tongue would indicate gut biome out of whack and bad digestion?

Re: From Dr. Rammohan "Ram" Rao

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 6:53 am
by KatieS
Ram, interestingly my mom, who's between a 3/4 and 4/4, did yoga for decades, even her favorite, the plough into her late 80s. Now at 97, she has weekly massages as she can't get off the floor easily. So this practice is consistent with increasing CSF and lymphatic drainage.Time to get start on a practice my mom has nagged me to do for years! Just this year, I began the tongue brushing, another routine she's done for decades.

Re: From Dr. Rammohan "Ram" Rao

Posted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 12:43 pm
by Silverlining
Dr. Ram,

Thank you for your participation and comments. I am 50 years, very fit and slim, exercising 5 or more days a week (racquetball, power walking, light weights). I've been thinking of purchasing an inversion table for a couple of years now and since reading your thoughts on the possible benefits of increased cerebral blood flow, this idea is gaining traction (pun intended!). I have considerable joint pain due to defective collagen and I think the inversion table would be of tremendous benefit to my neck, back AND brain. Is there any reason for me NOT to use an inversion table? Thank you!

Re: From Dr. Rammohan "Ram" Rao

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:58 am
by Kim
I am interested in why it is best to drink warm water. I know that it is common in some cultures (China comes to mind). Also, does drinking green tea in warm water "count."

Re: Re: From Dr. Rammohan "Ram" Rao

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:47 am
by rrao2015
Dr Ram, thank you for your thoughtful and comprehensive answer. Have you any thoughts on the influence of the gut biome on AD?

There are lot of interesting reports (not very comprehensive though) on the gut bacteria and its influence on the brain in general. People may have gone as far as suggesting the use "capsules containing healthy feces"!!! I would not suggest that intervention. My suggestions:
1- Check your B12 status
2- Your digestion and elimination need to be optimal
3- If your intake is fermented foods (rich sources of bacteria) is minimal, you may use a probiotic supplement.