In 2012, 30,000,000 people were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. By 2050, with current trends, this number is projected to be 160,000,000. These numbers will not only wreak havoc on families but will overwhelm our already challenged healthcare system. Women are disproportionately affected, making up 65% of patients and 60% of caregivers. People generally delay medical care out of fear that nothing can be done, along with the stigma of and Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Nothing is quite so terrifying as “losing your mind.”
Primary care doctors frequently start Aricept if they suspect Alzheimer’s, even without a true diagnosis. Sometimes they refer the patient to a specialist for hours of testing, imaging, lumbar punctures, etc., before ultimately prescribing Aricept. Other drugs have been tested in hopes of finding a drug to treat Alzheimer’s, but all have fallen short. So far, there is no drug that effectively treats the symptoms of Alzheimer’s–much less its underlying causes.
Dale Bredesen, MD, is a prominent researcher in aging and Alzheimer’s Disease. He recently published a small study utilizing a protocol that reversed the symptoms of Alzheimer’s in patients with subjective and mild cognitive impairment. He has an ongoing cohort of patients he follows on his protocol. The protocol has been so successful that he has formed a company, www.mpi-cognition.com, with the goal of reducing the burden of dementia and reversing the process in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. He is recruiting and training physicians and other providers to implement the protocol and provide ongoing research.
Dr. Bredesen has developed a new model to explain Alzheimer’s. He believes that Alzheimer’s is a multifactorial disease and may actually be a protective response to 3 major metabolic and toxic insults. These “insults” are influenced by genetics, environment, nutrition, aging, toxicity and exposures. Alzheimer’s is a reversible, metabolic, toxic–usually systemic–illness with a relatively large window for treatment. He suggests the analogy of a roof with 36 holes in it. You can try to plug all the holes and even if you’re not successful, you’ll have slowed the leak (and protecting the building). Some are critical of his multifactorial approach, as it falls outside the scientific research paradigm which generally seeks a single entity to explain and test.
The Bredesen protocol depends on identifying and classifying the type of Alzheimer’s Disease. Conventional wisdom–the “standard of care” in traditional medicine–has been that because there is no treatment for Alzheimer’s, there’s no need to know your genetics. But having one copy (heterozygous) of the APOE4 gene increases your risk for Alzheimer’s by 25%, and having 2 copies (homozygous) increases your risk by 70-80%. BUT not everyone with the gene gets Alzheimer’s. With the Bredesen protocol and ongoing research, we’re seeing reversible cognitive decline in people with the APOE4 gene and we’re confident that further study will continue to reveal the causes and mechanisms of Alzheimer’s, which can help us prevent this terrible disease.
If you have Alzheimer’s in your family, or if you or a loved one experience “senior moments” or a decline in your cognition, consider getting tested. We will design a personalized protocol based on 21st century medicine. Take charge of your health. You can decrease your risk for dementia and restore your health and vitality.
To determine your APOE4 status