Preventing and Reversing Cognitive Decline

In my last article I mentioned that as a holistic nutritionist, it is important for me to provide my readers and clients with information to improve their health and to share this with others. Much of this information is not readily available, may be considered controversial, or is dismissed by the main stream as anecdotal or not supported by science. Yet the truth is that many people have benefited and there is real science to back it up.

In the last article you met Dr. Jason Fung who believes Type 2 diabetes is fully reversible and preventable and is doing this with his patients without medications or surgery. He is using a diet to control insulin and using intermittent fasting.

In this article I am introducing Dr. Dale E. Bredesen, a Professor at UCLA, Founding President of the Buck Institute, and Chief Medical Officer of MPI Cognition. In 2017 he wrote, The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline.

Dr. Bredesen writes how Alzheimer’s is feared like no other disease for two reasons: there is no effective treatment and the progression of the disease is extremely challenging for both the person and their loved ones. As he says. “Everyone knows someone who’s survived cancer, but no one knows anyone who’s survived Alzheimer’s – until now.”

Alzheimer’s affects an estimated one in nine Americans 65 or older, which is approximately 5.2 million people. As the population ages this number is expected to continue to increase. The number of people affected by Alzheimer’s is creating a great burden on Medicare, Medicaid, and our long-term care facilities, and of course on the families who are dealing with the disease progression.

In his book Dr. Bredesen turns the conventional wisdom upside down! He believes that rather than being caused by the buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain, these plaques are the protective response of the brain from at least one of three main threats. He also states there is no single cause to Alzheimer’s and each type of threat requires different actions. It is not a question of what is “wrong” with the brain, rather it is a question of what conditions in each affected individual is causing this reaction in their brain. In many cases more than one of the three threats is present.

These three threats are: 1) Inflammation from infection, diet, and other causes; 2) The decline and shortage of supportive nutrients, hormones, and other brain-supporting substances; and 3) Toxic substances such as metals or biotoxins (poisons produced by microbes such as molds).

Dr. Bredesen calls his protocol RECode. The three threats are further broken down into 36 factors which can play a role in Alzheimer’s and his complete protocol addresses all of them. He has found that not all 36 will apply to everyone, so everyone is evaluated for what they require. The protocol is designed to prevent and reduce inflammation, optimize hormones, trophic factors and nutrients, and eliminate toxins.

As you can see, diet plays a big role. The foods he recommends are like those of Dr. Fung. Some people refer to Alzheimer’s disease as Type 3 diabetes.

I don’t want to give away the whole book, nor do I have the space here to go into great details. But I do want to share one last thought. Dr. Bredesen refers to investigating these 36 factors as a “Cognoscopy.” In determining the individual protocol the following factors are evaluated: homocysteine, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, folate, insulin resistance, C-reactive protein, ratio of albumin to globulin, Interleukin-6, Vitamin D3, TSH, Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, estradiol, progesterone, the estradiol-progesterone ratio, cortisol, pregnenolone, DHEA, zinc, copper, magnesium, selenium, glutathione, mercury, level, cadmium, sleep patterns, LDL-p, Vitamin E, Vitamin B1, leaky gut, food sensitivities, autoantibodies, mitochondrial function, BMI, genetics, quantitative neuropsychological testing, imaging, and a few others!

Based upon this analysis specific recommendations are established. With those who are compliant he is seeing significant improvements in their condition. Dr. Bredesen is still challenged by many of his colleagues, but he carries on as he sees his patients’ lives improve.

For more details and information I encourage you to read his book. I can assure you will find it very interesting and eye opening.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Mequon, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at bernie@brwellness.com, call (262) 389-9907 or go to www.brwellness.com.