Reversal of Cognitive Decline – A Path for Alzheimer’s Care?

October 06, 2014

Reversal of Cognitive Decline – A Path for Alzheimer’s Care? 

 Reference: Breseden Aging Sept 2014 

 Can you imagine, reversal of cognitive decline? This might be a huge leap forward in this scourge called Alzheimer’s. To date, we really don’t have one treatment that has worked well. Now, Dr. Breseden presents three patients (tiny study) in detail of 10 that he treated in which a 36 point integrated treatment plan was used to halt the progression of the decline, and indeed, to reverse it.   Nine of the ten showed improvement by either subjective or objective measures. It included “comprehensive changes in diet, brain stimulation, exercise, optimization of sleep, specific pharmaceuticals and vitamins, and multiple additional steps that affect brain chemistry.” 

Dr. Breseden in his paper posits that “Based on a combination of in vitro and in vivo studies, we have advanced a model in which AD results from an imbalance in endogenous plasticity signaling and in which the β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) is a mediator of such plasticity-related signaling.” Did you get that? Don’t worry, just read the list below and start. Ok, ok….so what's the program? Actually, it is individualized to each patient based on lab values and what it takes to reverse those abnormal values.   

Here’s the short version from one patient in the paper. 1) eliminate all simple carbohydrates – no sugar, grains, white bread, donuts… (2) eliminate gluten and processed food from diet, with increased vegetables, fruits, and non-farmed fish; (3) to reduce stress, begin yoga or meditation (4) Take melatonin each night; (5) Increase sleep from 4-5 hours per night to 7-8 hours per night; (6) Take methylcobalamin each day; (enough to get at least over 500) (7) Take vitamin D3 each day; (4000) (8) fish oil each day; (9) CoQ10 each day; (10) Optimized oral hygiene with flossing and electric toothbrush; (11) Hormone replacement therapy (12) 12 hours between dinner and breakfast, and a minimum of three hours between dinner and bedtime; (13) Exercised for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-6 days per week. In his paper, he also includes a table with many other strategies that include curcumin as a supplement, NAC, blueberries, mixed tocopherols, CoQ10, pantothenic acid (B6), lead and mercury reduction, and MCT oil supplementation. Wow! 

This is what we do in functional medicine. This is affirmation that the simplistic approach of giving a "pill for an ill" doesn’t work, but a comprehensive program that attacks all the weak points of our metabolism brought about, in part, as unintended consequences of 21st century life will work. 

 WWW. What will work for me? I’m using this in my practice. I’m actually thrilled. I’ve been doing many of these for my customers. Now, how about for me.? The hardest first step is that daily 12 hour fast which means no snacks after 630 pm. But that, by itself, is a potent enhancer of growth hormone and helps insulin sensitivity kick in.   If I can just remember all 36! Thank goodness I can read the paper, again and again. But I’m more determined to get my 30 minutes every day too. 

 Pop Quiz

  1. A woman now has a greater risk of Alzheimer’s than breast cancer. T or F                    Answer:  True (Not in the paper so that’s cheating), but still true
  1. As many as 50% of us will have it if we live to 85. T or F                     Answer:    True
  1. A 36 point lifestyle change can reverse cognitive decline? T or F                       Amswer". That’s this paper in a nutshell
  1. Key to success is the control of insulin and glucose? T or F                   Answer:   True
  1. Key to Success is daily exercise? T or F                       Answer:   Sad but true.