October 24th, 2023 | Rebecca Anderson, Editor-in-Chief
Dr. Jack and Sarah L. have been happily married for 23 years. They had always longed for a baby, and one day their prayers were answered when God granted them the blessing of a child. Both of them were filled with joy and anticipation as they eagerly awaited the arrival of their little one. However, on the day of delivery, Sarah tragically lost her life due to complications.
Now a single father, he had to gather his strength as he now had the sole responsibility of raising their baby. Their son, Neil, seemed to be doing well until one fateful night when Dr. Jack witnessed him having a convulsion on the floor. It was then that Neil was diagnosed with Sanfilippo syndrome, a condition that made him quite different from other children. He was unable to speak and became reliant on his bed for support.
Dr. Jack embarked on a research journey in Japan. After his return, a remarkable transformation took place. Neil started to regain his physical abilities, engaging in play and even showcasing exceptional mathematical talents. He earned the title "The Math Wizard" for his remarkable achievements in math competitions.
What life-changing revelation did Dr. Jack uncover during his research journey in Japan that not only helped his son overcome his condition but also transformed him into a true genius?
Figure: Brain Power: Fron neurons to network
Brain damage can result from various factors like traumatic injury, stroke, infection, degenerative diseases, and rare conditions like Sanfilippo syndrome. Its effects vary based on the extent and location of the injury or disease.
Physical disabilities such as paralysis, movement difficulties, balance issues, and loss of sensation can occur with brain damage. Cognitive function can also be affected, leading to memory loss, attention and concentration difficulties, and personality changes.
Traumatic injury, often caused by accidents, falls, or violent assaults, is a common cause of brain damage. The severity of traumatic brain injury (TBI) determines the range of effects. Mild TBI causes temporary symptoms like headaches, confusion, and dizziness, while severe cases result in long-term cognitive and physical disabilities
Figure: Rupture blood vessel.
Stroke, caused by interrupted blood flow to the brain, either from a blockage or burst blood vessel, is another prevalent cause of brain damage. The effects depend on the damage's severity and location. Stroke can lead to permanent physical disabilities like paralysis or weakness on one side of the body and impact cognitive function, affecting memory, language, and perception.
Degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's contribute to brain damage by progressively losing brain cells, causing cognitive decline and physical disability. Alzheimer's often begins in the hippocampus, important for memory formation. Additionally, rare conditions like Sanfilippo syndrome cause severe neurological deterioration in children, leading to brain damage.
Melissa officinalis, commonly known as lemon balm, has been found to have potential benefits for brain function. The plant contains several chemical compounds that contribute to its therapeutic properties, which can help address specific pain points related to brain health.
One important chemical compound found in Melissa officinalis is rosmarinic acid. Rosmarinic acid is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties can help protect brain cells from oxidative stress and inflammation, which are believed to play a role in neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline.
Another compound found in lemon balm is caffeic acid. Caffeic acid has been found to have neuroprotective effects. It may help enhance the production of certain neurotransmitters involved in cognitive function, such as acetylcholine, which is important for memory and learning.
Figure: Olfactory bulb
Furthermore, lemon balm contains essential oils, including citronellal, geranial, and neral. These essential oils have been shown to have calming and anti-anxiety effects. Anxiety and stress can have a negative impact on cognitive function, including memory and attention. The calming properties of these essential oils may help improve overall brain function and reduce cognitive impairments related to stress and anxiety.
Meet Emily J., 89, a warm-hearted and loving grandmother who has been joyfully caring for her family for many years. However, in recent times, Emily's family has noticed some concerning changes in her behavior and memory. After a series of medical evaluations, it was confirmed that Emily has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, a progressive form of dementia. As Emily's Alzheimer's disease progresses, she experiences episodes of confusion and disorientation. There are moments when she wakes up in her own home, unsure of where she is or how she got there. During these episodes, Emily becomes frightened and disoriented, leading to episodes of screaming and panic. These distressing episodes deeply affect Emily's grandchildren who has always looked up to her grandmother as a source of love and security.
Then a family friend suggested to bring lemon balm in Emily’s room every night during bedtime.
On the fourth day of introducing lemon balm into Emily's room during bedtime, her family noticed some positive changes in her overall well-being. Emily's episodes of confusion and disorientation seemed to be less intense, and she appeared to be more at ease during the night. The calming scent of the lemon balm seemed to have a soothing effect on her, creating a serene environment in her room.
As the days passed, the positive impact of lemon balm on Emily's well-being continued to unfold. On the ninth day of incorporating it into her bedtime routine, Emily's family noticed a further reduction in the frequency and intensity of her episodes of confusion and disorientation. She seemed to be more present and engaged during the day, displaying moments of clarity that had become rare.
The lemon balm had created a nurturing atmosphere in Emily's room, serving as a comforting presence as she navigated the challenges of Alzheimer's disease. Its gentle aroma seemed to envelop her, guiding her towards a calmer state of mind and mitigating the confusion that often plagued her.
By the fourteenth day of using lemon balm in Emily's room every night, her family witnessed a remarkable transformation in her overall well-being. Emily's moments of confusion and disorientation had significantly reduced, and she now woke up with a greater sense of familiarity in her surroundings.
The episodes of screaming and panic had become infrequent, allowing for more peaceful nights. Emily's grandchildren were overjoyed to witness these improvements. The fear and distress that had gripped them when their grandmother experienced her episodes of panic had begun to subside.
“I used to cook for my family, but then Alzheimer's came along and messed things up. But you know what? I'm so grateful for the amazing person who introduced us to lemon balm. It's like a little magic helper. I surprised my kids and grandkids by making our traditional cookies. Seeing the tears of joy on their faces reminded me of how happy I am to be a loving grandma and mom again.”
-Emily J., 89, Grandmother