The End of Alzheimer’s:
The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline
Dale E. Bredesen, M.D.
In August 2017, Dr. Bredesen published his book “The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline.”
Where to start? This book has so much valuable information and is a great a reference book to keep handy.
Dr. Bredesen has applied his principles to his patients and they have improved. The problem of Alzheimer’s is multi-factorial; there is not just one cause and one correction. There are many factors that need to be addressed. In a sense, this doesn’t fit the standard of medical research which is the double blind placebo controlled study in which there is only one variable.
“Specifically, Alzheimer’s disease is what happens when the brain tries to protect itself from three metabolic toxic threats (Page 26):
1 – Inflammation (from infection, diet or other causes)
2 – Decline and shortage of supportive nutrients, hormones, and other brain-supporting molecules
3 – Toxic substances such as metals or biotoxins (poisons produced by microbes such as molds)”
He points out that there is not a “one-size-fits-all” regimen for treating subjective cognitive impairment (SCI), mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s. He writes that “since we’re all vulnerable to each of the triggers and have no way of knowing which one (or two or all three) might assault our brain, it’s important to reduce your chances of all of them – of inflammation, of a shortage of supportive compounds, and of exposure to neurotoxic substances.”
In the language of Medical Doctors, treating Alzheimer’s involves the new field of “programmatics”, which means developing optimal treatments for complex chronic illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s. Basically, this means prescribing a unique individual treatment plan for each person, based on their body’s present condition.
The existing way to treat Alzheimer’s up until now has been the “monotherapeutical approach” – the “single-pill approach”, which has been marginally helpful at best, and usually ineffective. (Page 28)
In Chapter 6, he teaches us that there are three types of Alzheimer’s disease (SCI, MCI and Alzheimer’s), and that there is a specific gene for it: the ApoE4 gene. What he actually says, “is having this gene causes a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s to soar.” There is a lot more on this (page 94), but something to note is that “the ApoE4 gene is associated with a heightened inflammatory response: it squashes several different genes that limit inflammation, while turbo-charging the gene (NF-kB) that promotes it.”
In Chapter 4 is information on : “How To Give Yourself Alzheimer’s: A Primer”.
It starts with diet (avoiding any inflammatory foods or substances) and continues with lifestyle modifications (reduce stress). As Dr. Bredesen details the “Standard American Diet” (SAD), I’m sure some of us can relate to this either presently, or in the past. He goes into much detail, adding just a bit of exaggeration and humor.
What You Need To Do:
Start by eating mainly only “whole foods”, foods that don’t come in a can, a package, a box, a carton or a jar. When eating out, avoid “bad oils” (almost without exception, ALL fried foods have “bad oils”), avoid salad dressings unless you know that they are made with olive oil, rather than canola oil (just ask your server – restaurants will bring a side of pure olive oil upon request). (More details on oils in another blog!)
Avoid chemicals and environmental toxins – anything like this can cause (extra) inflammation.
Reduce stress, anxiety and overwhelm (yes, that can be an underlying cause for many physical and emotional issues-I see it all the time.) There are entire books, volumes, series of books on this subject!
Dr. Bredesen does refer to the Surviving Mold website, the work of Dr. Richie Shoemaker. Mold poisoning can be a silent culprit contributing to brain fog, low energy, headaches, body aches – you name it! This website can give more information on that. If you think you have an issue with this, I treat this with a supplement, and the side effects are very minimal compared to the pharmaceutical drug a MD would prescribe.
What is the ReCODE program Dr. Bredesen prescribes? Basically you put into place universally beneficial lifestyle habits (sleep, exercise, diet, stress reduction), and add supplements, alongside repairing dysfunctional processes (digestion, hormone function, processing of toxins) to the point that a number of blood test values are “optimized.” This is not a “one size fits all” approach, as mentioned previously. He states (on page 175) “that even though most patients will not follow every step of the protocol, following enough steps to exceed the threshold-that is, to reach the tipping point from synapse maintenance to preservation-should be sufficient.”
A theme throughout the book is the general negative reaction of respected neurologists and people’s primary care physicians upon hearing of Dr. Bredesens’ work. The lack of belief stems from the fact that “preventing and reversing Alzheimer’s” (or any other disease) is being approached from a “non-medical”, and “non-scientific” angle. It is being addressed mainly through diet and lifestyle adjustments. That is not the norm for the medical community as most doctors are used to prescribing a pharmaceutical drug for masking symptoms.
From the point of view of “functional medicine”, a ReCODE type approach is completely in keeping with what we normally do successfully in eliminating or reversing other illnesses.(The book “The Plant Paradox”, by Dr. Steven Gundry, is another great example of how serious imbalances can be reversed with diet.)
The skepticism toward ReCODE is the same as that regarding reversing type 2 diabetes, or hypertension, or arthritis. Most people’s primary care and specialist physicians are very critical and remain in disbelief. Surprisingly, they do not reach out to doctors such as Dr. Bredesen to investigate, as though they were not interested. Many MDs will only follow a protocol that has been “scientifically proven”. We are grateful for medical doctors such as Dr. Bredesen and Dr. Shoemaker (Surviving Mold) that are willing to think “outside of the box” to solve problems. And, our very own Dr. Andrew Specht in Encinitas, CA can also work very specifically to create a protocol for you as well.
The testimonials in this book are very educational and inspiring. Definitely worth the read!