Strep throat, measles, mumps and other infectious diseases are caused by a single bacteria or virus. If we treat or prevent that singular cause, we can stop the disease. Most long-term chronic diseases such as coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and osteoporosis are gradual problems that are caused by multiple things going a little wrong at the same time. This is also true for Alzheimer’s disease.
Dale Bredesen, MD, has been doing amazing work in this field. Using a multi-system approach, Dr. Bredesen has experienced significant results, especially with newly affected patients or folks just beginning to develop systems.
Here is the idea.
Patients have multiple issues that push the brain toward loss of function. The drugs that are currently used for Alzheimer’s each do one thing. You can’t fix multiple problems with a single therapy. You have to repair the problem from as many angles as possible.
Fix the diet. Stay on a low carbohydrate, low inflammatory diet with limited grains and lots of fresh (not processed) vegetables and fruits.
Healthy sleep. Take melatonin and magnesium before going to bed. If you stop eating four hours before bedtime and then sleep for eight hours, your body has gone twelve hours without food. The blood sugar levels fall, the melatonin levels rise, growth hormone rises and plaque is cleared from the nerve cells in the brain.
Reduce stress. Personalize with yoga, meditation, soothing music, etc.
Regular exercise. Minimally 3 times a week, 30 to 60 minutes.
Brain stimulation. Learn a new language, play brain games.
Vitamin supplements. Take ideal levels for vitamin and mineral deficiencies (not just the minimum requirements).
Reduce inflammation. Take fish oil, stay on a low inflammatory diet and take curcumin (the most active ingredient in tumeric).
Hormone balance. Balance thyroid to ideal levels, utilize menopausal hormone replacement with appropriate dosage using bioidentical estrogen and progesterone. For men, balance DHEA, estrogen and testosterone.
Monitor blood sugar. Control with a proper low glycemic diet. Eliminate artificial sweeteners and keep sugar at a minimum.
Rule out sleep apnea. Treat if needed with C-PAP, surgery or appliances.
The take home message:
You can’t solve a complex problem (with many separate things going wrong simultaneously) with a single drug or therapy. It takes a holistic and a Functional Medicine approach to bring the patient back to balanced health.
Below are two video’s of Dr. Bredesen speaking about reversing Alzheimer’s and a detailed paper written for the publication, Aging, a leading journal in the field.
Aging: Reversal of cognitive decline:
A novel therapeutic program