Health

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The Link Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Gut Microbiome

In a recent YouTube video, Dr. Misha Kogan from the GW Center for Integrative Medicine discussed an intriguing correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and disturbances in the gut microbiome. This article delves into the key points raised in the video, highlighting a study on the gut microbiome’s potential indicators for Alzheimer’s disease and a case study …

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GW Center for Integrative Medicine

Approaching tinnitus with a holistic, Ayurvedic approach: Conversation with Dr. Rioux

Dr. Kogan of GW Center for Integrated Medicine recently discussed Ayurvedic Approaches to Tinnitus with Dr. Rious of The Institute for the Study of Integrative Health Care. They explored the limitations of standard treatments and highlighted the potential benefits of an Ayurvedic approach in managing this condition.

Tinnitus affects 10% of the population in the United States. Luckily, it is possible to treat tinnitus by finding the root cause and offering Ayurvedic treatment, as one option for patients to consider.

Watch the video or read the full article for a summary of the main highlights.

Understanding tinnitus and Ayurvedic approaches

Ayurvedic Approaches to Tinnitus
Tinnitus is a condition characterized by a ringing or buzzing sensation in the ears.

Tinnitus is a condition characterized by a ringing or buzzing sensation in the ears. It can vary from mild to severe and often accompanies other symptoms. In Western medicine, treatments for tinnitus may focus on symptom management rather than addressing the root cause.

In Ayurveda, tinnitus is typically associated with a Vata dosha aggravation. Vata dosha is composed of cold, dry, light, and mobile qualities. When these qualities become imbalanced in the body and mind, conditions like tinnitus can arise.

Ayurveda takes a root cause-oriented approach to healing, aiming to balance the aggravated dosha and restore overall harmony in the body. The goal is to reduce Vata aggravation, allowing the inner ear tissue to recover and regain stability.

5 holistic approaches to relieve tinnitus

Dr. Kogan and Dr. Rioux discussed five options as holistic approaches that can help people experiencing tinnitus. For more details, learn about integrative medicine, including Ayurvedic medicine, and how people find relief and comfort with a holistic approach to healing.

We also recommend scheduling an appointment with a doctor if you have questions or concerns.

5 ways to address the root causes of tinnitus

1. Lubrication: Ayurveda emphasizes the use of oils to lubricate the ear. Place warm, sesame oil gently in the ear before sleeping to nourish and strengthen inner ear tissue.

2. Sensory Detox: Sensory organs may become overwhelmed and toxic due to constant stimuli. Create moments in your day for rest and silence which may help your auditory system recover.

3. Carminative Spices: Incorporate carminative spices like cumin and fennel into your diet. This helps detoxify the digestive tract and supports overall metabolic fire (Agni).

4. Dietary Modifications: For individuals with Vata imbalances, dietary changes involve reducing dry, cold, and light foods in favor of warm, nourishing, and grounding foods. Aim for meals like kale and cauliflower soup, spinach salad with sweet potatoes, rice, and lentils.

5. Emotional Well-being: Ayurveda acknowledges the connection between emotional states and physical health. For helping with tinnitus, this means that understanding the root issues of anxiety and fear can help improve Vata imbalances and related symptoms.

Treat your tinnitus by finding an Ayurvedic doctor

Treat your tinnitus by finding an Ayurvedic doctor

While tinnitus can be challenging to treat effectively in conventional medicine, Ayurveda offers a holistic approach that addresses the root cause of the condition. By balancing Vata dosha and promoting overall well-being, Ayurvedic treatments can lead to long-lasting improvements and better quality of life for individuals with tinnitus.

If you want a more holistic approach to managing tinnitus, schedule an appointment with us and ask about Ayurvedic consultations Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy in Washington, D.C.

Schedule an appointment at the GWCIM

Have more questions you want to discuss with a doctor? Receive the care you need and schedule an appointment with us.

Nutritional Benefits Of Currants

Exploring The Nutritional Benefits Of Currants: The Under-Appreciated Berry Superfood

In a recent YouTube video, Dr. Kogan, an expert in Integrative Medicine, shared his  visit to Larriland Farm, where he highlighted the exceptional qualities of currants. Often overlooked, currants are a type of berry that deserves more recognition for their nutritional value. Dr. Kogan shared some facts about currants, including their high omega-6 content, abundance of vitamin C, potential anti-aging properties, and even their association with cancer research. Let’s delve deeper into the benefits of these underappreciated berries.

Nutritional Benefits Of Currants
Currants are the highest food source of omega-6

Omega-6: A Vital Nutrient

Dr. Kogan emphasized that currants are the highest food source of omega-6 commercially available in the United States. While omega-6 fatty acids are often associated with inflammation, it is crucial to understand that not all omega-6s are pro-inflammatory. Certain omega-6 fatty acids, such as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) found in berries like currants, possess anti-inflammatory properties. The majority of the population in the United States is deficient in omega-6, making currants an excellent natural source to fulfill this essential nutrient requirement.

Vitamin C Powerhouse

Currants are also remarkably rich in vitamin C. They surpass many other berries in their vitamin C content, including popular choices like blackberries and raspberries. The higher vitamin C levels in currants contribute to their tangy flavor, making them less sweet compared to other berries. This unique characteristic can be attributed to the bitterness found in red currants, which may explain why they are often underrecognized.

Cancer Research Potential

Dr. Kogan mentioned intriguing research on the use of blackcurrant extracts for cancer treatment. While the evidence is not yet conclusive, several studies have indicated the potential benefits of blackcurrants in combating cancer. The specific compounds present in blackcurrants may possess anti-cancer properties, providing a promising area of exploration for future studies.

Anti-Aging and Longevity

Currants, particularly blackcurrants, are rich in pigments known for their ability to scavenge free radicals and promote longevity. These antioxidants help protect the body against oxidative stress, which is a significant factor in aging. By incorporating currants into your diet, you can provide your body with potent anti-aging compounds that support overall wellness.

Nutritional Benefits Of Currants
Dr. Kogan’s Larriland Farm allows viewers to see the currant bushes firsthand.

A Visit to Larriland Farm

Dr. Kogan’s visit to Larriland Farm allowed viewers to see the currant bushes firsthand. The red currants were showcased, distinguished by their small cluster-like growth pattern. The taste of red currants tends to be less sweet and slightly bitter, while black currants are closer to sweetness with a subtle sourness. The preference for black currants was evident, as more people were picking them compared to the red variety.

Choosing Currants for Your Health

While currants offer numerous health benefits, the decision to incorporate them into your diet ultimately depends on personal taste preferences. If you are looking to boost your omega-6 intake, increase your vitamin C levels, or explore the potential anti-aging effects of antioxidants, currants can be a valuable addition to your diet. You can find currants at select farms like Larriland Farm, where you have the opportunity to pick them yourself and enjoy their freshness.

Conclusion

Currants are a treasure trove of nutritional goodness that often goes unnoticed. Dr. Kogan’s visit to Larriland Farm highlighted the exceptional qualities of these berries, emphasizing their omega-6 content, high vitamin C levels, potential anti-aging properties, and connection to cancer research. By incorporating currants into your diet, you can reap the benefits of this underappreciated fruit and support your overall health and well-being.

Stay tuned for more YouTube videos from Dr. Misha Kogan. Try to prioritize your health and explore the wonders of nature’s nutritional offerings.

Long COVID Study On Neuropsychiatric Impairment

Investigating Neuropsychiatric Impairments In Long COVID: A Groundbreaking Study

Introduction

In a recent YouTube video, Dr. Misha Kogan, an expert in Integrative Medicine, introduced Dr. Alba Azola, Director of Long COVID at Johns Hopkins and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Azola shared exciting news about a new study she is leading, focusing on the neuropsychiatric effects of long COVID. The study aims to explore the role of blood-brain barrier disruption and its contribution to inflammatory states in patients experiencing lingering symptoms. Let’s dive into the details of this groundbreaking research.

Long Covid Symptoms Study photo of Dr. Misha Kogan and Dr. Alba.

Understanding the Study

Dr. Azola’s study is a collaborative effort between the Department of Neurology and Infectious Disease. The researchers are leveraging techniques previously employed to examine Neuropsychiatric impairments post-HIV and applying them to long COVID patients. The study focuses on individuals experiencing Neuropsychiatric sequelae, which includes cognitive impairments, depression, and anxiety. The primary hypothesis centers around the disruption of the blood-brain barrier, leading to the migration of immune cells into the brain and subsequent inflammation.

The study involves two visits. During the first visit, participants undergo blood work, including specific tests for cytokines not commercially available. These tests help identify biomarkers associated with blood-brain barrier permeability and inflammatory states. Additionally, a psychologist administers an extensive cognitive assessment to assess cognitive function, depression, and anxiety levels. The second visit involves an MRI study at the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) to quantify the disruption of the blood-brain barrier.

Comparing Patient Groups

The study aims to compare two groups of patients: those with long COVID symptoms and those who have recovered from COVID-19 and do not exhibit lingering Neuropsychiatric impairments. By examining these two groups, researchers can better understand the specific role of blood-brain barrier disruption in long COVID patients.

Inflammatory Marker Testing

To assess blood-brain barrier permeability and inflammation, the study measures various inflammatory markers. These markers include CCL2, CXCL12, VEGF, TNF-Alpha, IL-6, CCL19, Mig, and CXCL9. The extensive list of tests provides a comprehensive understanding of the biomarkers associated with long COVID and its Neuropsychiatric sequelae.

Patient Participation and Sponsorship

Patient participation is crucial for the success of this study. The study is fully sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), ensuring that patients do not incur any costs associated with the blood work, MRI, or other assessments. By participating, patients contribute to expanding knowledge and understanding of long COVID, ultimately paving the way for targeted treatments and improved patient care.

Study Logistics and Progress

The study visits take place at the Main Campus and KKI. Patients receive comprehensive neuropsychological assessments and MRI scans to evaluate brain health. The research team has already begun recruiting patients and anticipates enrolling three to four patients per week. Although the study was funded in May, the research timeline was delayed, but efforts are underway to accelerate recruitment and progress.

Conclusion

Dr. Alba Azola’s study investigating the neuropsychiatric impairments in long COVID patients marks an important step towards understanding the underlying mechanisms and potential treatments for these lingering symptoms. By exploring the disruption of the blood-brain barrier and its role in inflammatory states, researchers aim to provide insights into the pathophysiology of long COVID. Patient participation is vital to the success of the study, and those involved will contribute to advancing medical knowledge and improving patient outcomes.

If you or your loved one is interested in learning more or joining the study please contact study team at 443-447-5312 or BHP@jhmi.edu.

GW Center for Integrative Medicine offers a Long COVID program which meets Thursdays.  The Long COVID group is composed of supportive peers and led by GWCIM providers.

Find more information on Long COVID from John Hopkins Post Acute COVID resource website: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/coronavirus/pact

What Are Anti-Depressants? Dr. Kogan’s Interview On OTC Meds

What Are Anti-Depressants? Dr. Kogan’s Interview On OTC Meds

Dr. Mikail Kogan was recently featured in the article, “What are Anti-Depressants?”  One in five adults experiences mental illness each year, and during the pandemic a quarter more people were affected by anxiety and depression. The article explains that men are much less likely than women to seek help for mental illness and to use prescription medication. Reasons include shame and stigma, but for males, the fear of erectile dysfunction is also a deterrent. For these reasons, the use of over-the-counter medications can be a more appealing option for some people.

What Are Anti-Depressants
St. John’s wort has been used for mood regulation for centuries.

Dr. Kogan notes, “Over-the-counter (OTC) medications aren’t backed by the same research, but they can help ease mild to moderate symptoms of depression.” While not recommended for those with severe depression or as a substitute for SSRIs or other prescribed meds, Dr. Kogan states, “St. John’s wort has been used for mood regulation for centuries, and St. John’s wort and valerian, as well as supplements like omega-3 fatty acids and 5-hydroxytryptophan (or 5-HTP), can treat some mild depression symptoms.” Read more about over-the-counter treatments for depression and anxiety.

Stay tuned for Dr. Misha’s next GW podcast featuring Dr. Noshene Ranjbar of University of Arizona who was also interviewed in the linked article.

Dr. Mikhail Kogan is the medical director of George Washington University’s Center for Integrative Medicine and is a Director of George Washington Center for Integrative Medicine

Lancet Study shows that natural COVID immunity might be better than vaccines

New Lancet Study On Natural COVID Immunity

Dr. Misha Kogan, director of the GW Center for Integrative Medicine (GWCIM), summarized the insight from an article published in The Lancet about the COVID-19 pandemic and boosters. 

This study was a systematic review meaning that researchers synthesized insight from several different studies. It is also a meta-analysis study. This means that the paper looks at prior controlled trials and assesses the quality of data to ensure “you’re comparing apples and apples.” 

Here are the key takeaways.

Lancet Study shows that natural COVID immunity might be better than vaccines

New Lancet Study On Natural COVID Immunity
Scientists reviewed 65 studies from 19 different countries for the article

Scientists reviewed 65 studies from 19 different countries for their article, “SARS-CoV-2 infection protection against re-infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis” (2023). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded this study and The Lancet is considered to be one of the top medical journals in the world.

People have been wondering how long they will be protected against getting a symptomatic infection of COVID-19. Dr. Kogan expects that this question–and this study–may trigger a few controversies around when people should get boosted. Until more data is available, “young and healthy people who have been infected before with COVID should not get the Pfizer booster,” right now, Dr. Kogan shares. 

Researchers will also need to re-do this data over and over again as new strains appear. 

When Should People Get Boosted for COVID-19?

“It’s highly individualized,” Dr. Kogan explains after reviewing this paper. This can make some people confused about whether they should get boosters and how frequently to get them. “It’s still reasonable to get boosted every 12 months,” Dr. Kogan states, “unless you have a preexisting condition or illness. Everyone over 65 years old should talk to their doctor and likely get boosted.” People may still get reinfected after a booster, but they are more likely to be protected against severe illness. 

“If you’re relatively healthy and have no problems, I’d say no boosters at all, none–until I have more data,” Dr. Kogan reflects toward the end of his review. “This will be critiqued” he adds. Questions may include, “How do we know that you have included all the data?” 

For now, this is a robust study until there is more data to review. It’s also worth noting that many of the studies in the article cited were done in Europe, though there are studies in Africa and Asia in the paper.

When Should People Get Boosted for COVID-19

Schedule an appointment at the GWCIM

Have more questions you want to discuss your health with a functional medicine, integrative medicine, or chronic illness doctor? Receive the care you need and schedule an appointment with us.

GW Center, located in Washington, D.C., hosts an weekly online Long COVID program for members.

Dr. Kogan Medical Marijuna book

Medical Marijuana Book – Soft Cover Edition

Medical Marijuana Book, Dr. Misha Kogan’s Updates on Soft Cover Edition

Dr. Misha Kogan announced an update to his Medical Marijuana book. Dr. Kogan is the medical director GW Center for Integrative Medicine and a social professor of medicine at George Washington University. The original hardcopy Medical Marijuna book was released in 2021.The soft cover which was recently released in 2023, is largely the5564 same, although it contains some updates on COVID and CBDV.  You can purchase the book on Amazon.

Watch Dr. Misha Kogan’s Video Update on the Medical Marijuana Book

What is CBDV?

CBDV is a minor cannabinoid that is gaining momentum.  In this hour-long virtual open house Dr. Kogan and guests discuss what is known about CBDV, how it is applied in clinical practice, where you can obtain it and how to dose it.

Watch Dr. Kogan’s CBDV video 

Tinnitus

Dr. Kogan and Dr. Rioux: Ayurvedic approach to tinnitus

Ayurvedic approach to Tinnitus: 30 min discussion: Dr. Misha Kogan and Dr. Jennifer Rioux

https://gwcim.com/people/jennifer-rioux-phd-ad-c-iayt-rg-ahg-cca-iii/
More about Jennifer:
Effects Of Mistletoe On Cancer

Effects of Mistletoe On Cancer

Effects of Mistletoe on Cancer, Dr. Misha Weighs in on New Study Dr. Misha Kogan, director of GW center for Integrative Medicine, discusses the brand new study on the effects of Mistletoe on cancer: “Phase 1 Trial of Intravenous Mistletoe Extract In Advanced Cancer” which has been published in The American Association for Cancer Research …

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Dr. Kogan is featured on Science Friday

Dr. Kogan is trying to bring the use of Medical Marijuana into the mainstream, and he was featured by Science Friday discussing how he wants to help others become more informed so that people can safely and confidently use Medical Marijuana to treat their medial issues and better their lives.