The Neurochemical Cascade

Several years ago I read a paper by Dr. Robert Friedlander from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, published in Annals of Neurology, February 2003. What impressed me was that he used a “cocktail” of chemicals to treat a disease process. The disease was Lou Gehrig’s or ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a universally fatal degenerative neurologic disease. Once diagnosed the average survival is only 3 to 5 years. The only treatment as of this writing is riluzole which only extends the life of these patients by 3 months. Dr. Friedlander used a species of rats who are genetically engineered to develop this disease. I haven’t seen this multi-chemical or cocktail approach before, except in research papers of yesteryear. The idea, of course, is to help the patient rather than to find “the one drug” that will cure them.

He found that when he administered to these rats a combination or cocktail of minocycline and creatine, (read more about minocycline and how it might work in the Alzheimer’s and the Neurogenesis sections of this website) the onset of the disease was delayed and the rats lived 25% longer. His logic was that if one chemical helped, then two might be additive. He showed that in fact that was the case. It is this approach that I am using to find a NEW PROTOCOL for treatment of strokes.  It is known in my local hospitals as Clarke’s protocol, or folly, depending on whom you talk to.

Read on and I’ll explain the logic and the science behind the protocol. Then read the section on Neurogenesis and put it together for your patients with CVA,  traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury. I know you’ll see remarkable improvements in the patient outcomes. Eventually I’ll add sections on similar protocols for multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases as well as autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and polymyositis. Remember as you’re reading this that ALL CELLS WORK THE SAME WAY.  That means that biochemical manipulations that heal neurologic lesions will also heal skin wounds and injured areas in cardiac muscle, and even fractures in bones.

  The emergent treatment plan should focus on the following:


            Stop the Cascade

❖    Increase Beneficial Tissue Perfusion

❖    Reduce Membrane Oxidative Potential

❖    Decrease Inflammation and Cytokine Production (IL-6, TNF-alpha)

❖    Block NMDA Receptors

❖    Block Platelet Activation Caused by Inflammation

The subacute treatment during the rehabilitation phase should include the following:

Restore Normal Metabolism & Repair

❖    Increase Intracellular Metabolic Rate and Efficiency

❖    Restore Normal Nutrition and Protein Substrates

❖    Promote Anabolic Functions

❖    Protect Cell Membranes from Hyperglycemia

❖    Initiate Neurogenesis by Activation of Adult Stem Cells

It seems intuitive and straightforward, doesn’t it?   IT IS…if you understand the mechanisms involved.