The patient: “Samuel” a 65-year-old retired Marine Master Sergeant.

Why he came to see me: Although Samuel was in “perfect health” according to his VA doctors, his memory was declining. Samuel had heard about me from another veteran who had great success in treating his issues and was hopeful that I could help him too.

How I evaluated him: I had Samuel bring over his medical folder from his team at the Veteran’s Administration and spent quite a bit of time reviewing the history and their findings, searching for some clue as to why this man, who still “ran five miles every morning at dawn no matter the weather” could be having problems with memory. His physical exams had been exemplary, his blood work “spot on,” and X-rays and scans unremarkable. We did, however, discuss his having been close to “exploding ordinance” during one deployment in Iraq about 15 years ago where “some bad guys tried to kill me.” The vehicle that he was riding in had been destroyed by an exploding shell and he was knocked unconscious for a few minutes. He was evaluated by medics and later in the hospital and there was no evidence of concussion. I thought that we had found a cause.

How we addressed his problem: I explained to Samuel that even though there was no discernable physical damage to his brain, that the shock could have produced sufficient disorientation of the “circuits” and that memory loss could occur later in life as a result. We discussed using a material called piracetam, which chemically resembles GABA (gamma-amino buteric acid), a substance used by the brain. This compound has been used successfully in Europe for victims of traumatic brain injury, helping one side of the brain integrate signals with the other side—so that a challenged area could recruit the parallel area on the other side of the brain to pick up the slack. (Natural doctors sometimes recommend piracetam for patients with dementia too.) He thought that this supplement made a great deal of sense and wanted to give it a try.

The patient’s progress: Within a month, Samuel reported that not only had much of his memory issues abated but that the quality and richness of the memories had become enhanced. He was able to recall not only the images of past events, but often the associated sounds and even the smells present at the time. He said that although some of his past was extremely unpleasant that “the good outweighed the bad” and that he welcomed all of his past experience because taking on whatever comes “is what Marines do.”

For more with Andrew Rubman, ND, check out his video series, Nature Doc’s Natural Cures.