This is Personal
I am sharing information here that is very close to my heart. My father and grandmother both died with Alzheimer’s disease. Plus my mother had dementia in her later years. None of us wants that future and I’m very excited that there is good news to share — the decline of Alzheimer’s is not inevitable.
I first wrote about this topic in 2017 when I learned about Dr. Dale Bredesen’s book The End of Alzheimer’s – The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline. Dr. Bredesen, along with other researchers, has just published a peer-reviewed proof-of-concept trial in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The results for the RE-CODE Personalized Medicine Protocol he has been developing and testing for the past few decades are extremely encouraging — I’d even say amazing.
Design of the Study
The 9-month study followed 25 people with either mild, not subjective, cognitive impairment (meaning abnormal cognitive testing) or a diagnosis of Alzheimers. Note that these are people well into cognitive loss and are the same group that “Alzheimer’s drugs” target. In fact, this study used the same cognitive measurements that were used in the drug trials of the most recent Alzheimer’s drug, Aducanumab, which has not met expectations, as well as a new one, Donanemab, not yet available to the public.
In both cases, the pharmaceutical slowed the decline of cognitive impairment a bit. In contrast, 84% of those using the RE-CODE approach actually improved cognitive scores. No drug has ever done anything more than slow cognitive decline temporarily. So this is a big deal, something unheard of in any other Alzheimer’s treatment.
Researchers used several measures of cognitive ability and brain function to establish these results:
- online, widely accepted cognitive tests
- various measurements of brain metabolic function
- care partner input on daily function and interaction
- MRI scans of the brain
In addition, in five of the six metabolic measurements, subjects improved at statistically significant levels; challenges with the pandemic limited data collection in the sixth instance.
More about Alzheimer’s and the Study Results
Dr. Bredesen gave a webinar two weeks ago, now available on youtube, that includes info on:
- the four stages of cognitive decline and the problems caused by our current way of thinking and talking about it.
- the six types of Alzheimer’s Disease – yep, it is a high personalized disease – so it makes sense that a highly personalized approach is needed to treat the individual needs of a particular patient.
- how Alzheimer’s actually works in the brain, and that what we call “Alzheimer’s disease” is the result of the brain attempting to protect itself, to downsize its demands in the face of neuronal challenge and damage.
So what’s actually involved in the RE-CODE Protocol?
There are SEVEN areas that when put together, produce a positive synergistic effect on brain function. In order of importance, they are:
- NUTRITION – lots of non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats, and adequate protein, with a minimum 12 hour fast, 3 hours before bed.
- EXERCISE – throughout the day: aerobic exercise, strength training, and a mind-body practice (hey – there’s Feldenkrais among other things!)
- SLEEP – 7-8 hours of quality sleep – treat apnea or other breathing disorders
- STRESS – manage it with regular breathing breaks, meditation etc
- BRAIN STIMULATION – social support, lifelong learning, brain training
- DETOX – air, water, food, and skin as toxin-free as possible; mold is a big trigger; oral health key
- SUPPLEMENTS – deal with nutritional deficiency and optimize your biochemistr
Listen to Dr. Bredesen’s presentation HERE.
It’s about 45 minutes followed by questions. The presentation includes a link to a Free Cognitive Assessment (15 minutes online with specific follow-up, including a free 30-day trial). By the way, the RE-CODE program is also recommended for brain fog such as with COVID.
Is this an easy process? Certainly not at first. But it gets easier!
And it can make a significant difference and there are many resources available.
- a network of practitioners trained in the RE-CODE protocol who set up the necessary testing and develop and monitor personal programs.
- a network of health coaches trained to help people with the diet and other aspects of this lifestyle approach. In fact, it sounds like they need more coaches. Maybe one or more of you, dear readers, will be intrigued by this. Check the video for more info.
Bottom line: we all want to prevent cognitive decline and we can do a lot to achieve that end. I personally have been engaged in this endeavor for several years now and am constantly learning to improve my personal program. Alzheimer’s has been in my family for two generations – I want it to stop with me.