Glutamate, ALS, and Cell Death
To understand the basis for the Deanna Protocol® Metabolic Plan, one must first consider the pathology in neurodegenerative conditions in general and ALS specifically. Death of motor neurons spreads throughout the body in individuals with ALS due to glutamate. When cells die, they burst and release intracellular glutamate into the extracellular space. This increase in extracellular glutamate causes neighboring healthy motor neurons to die, to burst, and to release more glutamate into extracellular space, which will kill even more neighboring cells. This so-called storm of glutamate in ALS causes cell death to happen at an exponential rate. (The spread of cell death via excess extracellular glutamate has already been proven in other neurodegenerative conditions, such as traumatic brain injury. It has not yet been proven in ALS research. However, we know that all cells release glutamate when they die and that excess extracellular glutamate kills neighboring cells, regardless of the disease/condition.)
Dr. Tedone, Winning the Fight’s Medical Liaison, hypothesizes that somehow, the exposure to excess extracellular glutamate in ALS kills neighboring healthy neurons by interrupting the Krebs Cycle in each of them. Dr. Tedone’s hypothesis holds that this Krebs Cycle interruption is a chief cause of cell death. After all, when cells cannot produce energy efficiently, they die.
How the Deanna Protocol® Metabolic Plan Stops Cell Death Caused by Extracellular Glutamate in ALS
Does the Deanna Protocol® Metabolic Plan (DP™ Plan) neutralize the excess extracellular glutamate in ALS? No. the DP Plan focuses on cell metabolism. the DP Plan delivers Alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) to the Krebs Cycle in the neurons. The increase in AKG enables their mitochondria to produce enough energy to keep cells alive, despite their exposure to an unhealthy amount of extracellular glutamate. AKG usually does not pass through the cell membranes in normal healthy cells. Based on our experience, we found that the permeability of the cell membrane in diseased or damaged cells changes and allows AKG to permeate the cells. Due to the fact that AKG only enters diseased cells, the substance only goes where it is needed.
Below is a list of the substances other than AKG that comprise the DP Plan, along with reasons why we included them.
GABA: PALS experience excitotoxicity. This causes uncontrollable muscle twitching and makes it nearly impossible for their muscles to function properly, even before those with ALS become paralyzed. GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, is used to reduce excitotoxicity. This in turn reduces twitching, and enables those with ALS to maintain control of the muscles and limbs.
CoQ10, Niacin, and 5HTP: These are the precursors to NADH. NADH is one of the ingredients necessary for cells to produce the energy. Winning the Fight suggests that individuals with ALS take these three substances, which will allow their bodies to make NADH. (Taking NADH orally will not suffice because the body cannot absorb it orally, which is why we recommend taking the precursors.)
Lab and Clinical Results in Individuals with ALS
The Deanna Protocol® Metabolic Plan has been proven effective in ALS research in anecdotal evidence in humans (ALSFRS scores and narrative reports from nearly 2,000 individuals following the DP Plan). Learn more about our results here. The DP™ Plan works differently in everyone. Those who benefit from the DP Plan usually live, walk, talk, breathe, speak, and function very well for years longer than expected, or even indefinitely. Based on reports, we have seen that roughly 70% of individuals see significant benefits and dramatic physical improvements. Roughly 30% see small benefits or none at all.
Deanna Protocol® Metabolic Plan in Beginning Versus Advanced Stages of ALS
Typically, those who begin following the DP Plan soon after diagnosis notice the best results. Those who begin in the advanced stages of ALS notice improvements such as decreased discomfort in the muscles, but do not notice dramatic reverse in paralysis or dramatic increase in the body’s ability to function. Dr. Tedone’s hypothesis is the following: In advanced stages of ALS, glutamate has already killed too many neurons for AKG to cause a dramatic difference in the physical condition of the individual, even if it does keep the remaining living neurons alive.
Those who follow the DP Plan report zero side effects or very minor ones. All side effects reported are related to the stomach and digestive system. The most severe we have heard of include diarrhea and indigestion. Sometimes, these can decrease with time, when the body becomes used to taking the supplements.
Further ALS Research
Optimizing the DP Plan & Human Testing: There are still many questions left unanswered about the Deanna Protocol® Metabolic Plan and the plan is not perfect. This is why we, at Winning the Fight, continue to research ALS and the DP Plan. Our goals for the future include conducting a variety of studies designed to optimize the DP Plan. We aim to conduct more studies in animals, in human nerve cells, and in humans (clinical trials).
Combining the DP Plan with GOT: Winning the Fight’s scientists and Medical Liaison, Dr. Tedone, are considering the possibility of conducting a different type of ALS research, combining the DP Plan with a substance called GOT. GOT (made at the Weizmann Institute for Research in Israel) neutralizes extracellular glutamate. The Weizmann scientists, Dr. Tedone, and the Winning the Fight scientists believe that a combination of the DP Plan and the GOT would probably deliver even better results than the DP Plan alone. The combination would keep dying cells alive in addition to removing the excess extracellular glutamate that is killing the cells in the first place. To conduct studies on the DP Plan/GOT combination approach, we must not only raise money to fund the ALS research, but we must also fund the manufacturing of GOT for human consumption. The GOT used today is only known to be safe for animal consumption.
Testing the Deanna Protocol® Metabolic Plan for Other Neurodegenerative Conditions
We also plan to begin researching the DP Plan and its effectiveness in conditions other than ALS. Why? Other neurodegenerative conditions (such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, concussion, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and more) may have different causes, but they all share one common denominator: Glutamate. Regardless of the disease/condition, all nerve cells release excess glutamate into the extracellular space when they die and this glutamate will kill neighboring cells. Therefore, nerve cell death probably spreads throughout the nervous system the same way in all of these conditions. Since the DP Plan manages the spread of neuron death, it could likely help manage all neurodegenerative conditions, regardless of their initial cause.
We have one case study showing That the DP Plan is extremely effective in dramatically reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease, even in the advanced stages of the disease. This further encourages us to test Dr. Tedone’s hypothesis that the DP Plan may manage many conditions aside from ALS. We plan to conduct research testing the DP Plan’s effectiveness in the neurodegenerative conditions mentioned above. We also plan to test the effectiveness of the combination of the DP Plan and GOT in each of the aforementioned conditions above. Lastly, we aim to customize the DP Plan and the DP Plan/ GOT combination for each distinct disease.