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Prevention, Wellness

Dementia & Alzheimer's Prevention and Treatment

Published on March 19, 2023 by Dr. Myra Reed

With the latest Functional Medicine research by Dr. Dale Bredesen, Dementia and Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment can be accomplished with more natural methods.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term for loss of memory and other thinking abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life
  • Global cognitive decline
  • Memory loss is often the earliest symptom
  • Often experience difficulty reading, writing, speaking, reasoning, calculating, organizing, and planning
  • There are three types of Dementia
    1. Vascular dementia – lack of blood flow to the brain, small strokes
    2. Frontotemporal dementia – unusual behavior, antisocial, speaking difficulties
    3. Lewy Body – visual hallucinations, delusions, flinging of limbs during sleep (REM)

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Picture shows a tree within a head with leaves falling
  • It’s not a single disease – happens when brain tries to protect itself from metabolic and toxic threats
    1. Inflammation (Infection, diet, other causes) – HOT
    2. Suboptimal hormone levels, vitamin/nutrient deficiencies, insulin resistance or low insulin levels – Cold
    3. Toxins such as metals or biotoxins like mold – Vile
    4. Genetics also plays an important factor  – ApoE4 gene
  • Characterized by amyloid plaques/tangles in the brain
  • Causes severe memory loss/cognition deficits resulting in the inability of victims to care for themselves
  • 1 in 9 Americans will develop Alzheimer’s by the age of 65. (5.2 million people currently)
  • This could bankrupt Medicare, overwhelm long-term care facilities, and have a devastating affect on family members

Causes of Cognitive Decline

Picture show a brain with gears rusting and eroding
  • Inflammation in the body
  • Infections – Virus, Lyme disease, oral bacteria, yeast
  • Insulin resistance
  • Hormonal imbalance- Thyroid, Estrogens and progesterone, Testosterone
  • Exposure to toxins – Mold (mycotoxins), environmental toxins
  • Heavy Metals – Mercury
  • Sleep deprivation – sleep apnea, insomnia
  • Stress – Increases cortisol levels which can be toxic to the brain
  • Immune system abnormalities – Autoantibodies, cytokines
  • Homocysteine – An amino acid associated with brain atrophy and Alzheimer’s
  • Gut issues  – Leaky gut, gluten sensitivity
  • Poor mitochondrial function – Cell energy
  • High BMI – Body Mass Index > 25
  • Genetics – Genes that raise the risk for Alzheimer’s disease (ApoE4)

Latest Alzheimer’s Treatments

Can Alzheimer’s be treated?

Alzheimer’s drugs are ineffective in stopping the progression of the disease.  Some drugs may slow down the course but for a limited time.

21st Century medicine allows us to go beyond asking “What” the problem is to asking “Why” the problem exists.  This is Functional Medicine, getting to the root cause of “Why”.

Dr. Dale Bredesen has done published work showing that non-Alzheimer’s cognitive impairment, as well as early Alzheimer’s can be halted and/or reversed using Functional Medicine workups and treatments. His personalized protocol is called ReCODE (Reversal of Cognitive Decline) and PreCODE (Prevention of Cognitive Decline)

PreCODE (Prevention) and ReCODE (Reversal) Recommendations

  • Non-inflammatory diet –Plant heavy, Keto-flex diet
  • Quality sleep!  Test for sleep apnea and treat if necessary
  • Consistent exercise – 45-60 minutes 4-5 days/week
  • Stress reduction – Yoga, meditation, music, breathing,
  • Brain training – 30 minutes 3x/week
  • Maintain a healthy gut! If leaky gut, heal immediately
  • Maintain a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index 25 or less)
  • Take supplements as recommended by Bredesen Protocol
  • Treat insulin resistance if necessary
  • Maintain a healthy hormonal balance
  • Clean air, water, food
  • Hearing preservation
  • Maintain a rich social network
  • Annual screening to track improvement or decline – MoCA, SLUM, Brain HQ, PreCODE and ReCODE at Apollo
Image shows a wheel with the brain in the center and mindfulness at the bottom with Dr. Bredesen's Seven recommendations for brain health

Testing Options for Cognitive Decline

Questionnaires and Computer based testing – Simple and inexpensive

  • MoCA – Montreal Cognitive Assessment
  • SLUM
  • CNSVS – Brain HQ Computer testing
  • PreCODE and ReCODE Training at Apollo Health – Online testing and tracking

Advanced Screening

Image showing Amyloid and Tau PET images of normal brain vs Alzheimer's brain.
  • MRI – NeuroQuant and Neuroreader
  • PET, Amyloid PET, Tau PET (Expensive and not many facilities offer it)
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) from a spinal tap

Dr. Myra Reed is certified in Dr. Bredesen’s PreCODE and ReCODE 2.0 program. Contact her for more information about your prevention and treatment options.

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