Preventing or Reversing Alzheimer’s Dementia – The Bredesen Protocol
Is it really possible to reverse or even prevent Alzheimer’s Dementia (AZD)?
Groundbreaking research by neurologist and medical doctor Dr Dale Bredesen and colleagues, using a protocol he has developed, is more proof that it is. Click here for the recently published 100 cases studies showing success with the protocol.
Dr Bredesen has been researching the causes of Alzheimer’s for more than 25 years and has now been focused on translating his scientific discoveries into effective treatments for the reversal and prevention of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative conditions. He has been involved in the publication of over 220 academic research papers in the field of neurological research.
Dale Bredesen is an international recognized expert in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s dementia, with a medical degree from Duke University, serving as a chief resident in neurology at the University California, San Francisco (UCSF) before joining Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner’s laboratory at UCSF as a postdoctoral fellow. He has since been a faculty member at UCLA, UCSD before directing the Program on Aging at the Burnham Institute and becoming founding president and CEO for the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in 1998.
The Bredesen Protocol
Dr Bredesen’s approach uses mostly simple lifestyle, dietary and supplement interventions to manipulate multiple genetic and physiological systems and change the course of this devastating disease.
Some of these lifestyle and dietary changes involve:
- Following a lower carbohydrate predominantly ketogenic diet.
- Regularly fasting between 12 to 16 hours from your last to first meal of the day otherwise known as intermittent fasting.
- Doing some regular exercise such as walking, weight or resistance training and higher intensity exercise if suitable.
- Doing some form of stress management technique such as breath work, meditation, mindfulness, yoga etc.
- Removing foods that are more inflammatory or you have intolerance to such as gluten containing grains and dairy.
- The use of targeted supplements to address specific deficiencies, decrease inflammation, promote neural growth and detoxify heavy metals and other chemicals when indicated.
Dr Bredesen’s research is the fruits of a patient he has called ‘Patient ZERO’ who has reversed her symptoms of Alzheimer’s after following his protocol for the last 7 years.
Patient ZERO has a family history of dementia. Her mother died from complications caused by the disease and seven years ago. Patient ZERO was showing such severe symptoms of Alzheimer’s that she had to give up work. She couldn’t find the light switch in her home, called her pets by the wrong names and could no longer drive.
Now she is back at work, driving again, and remember names, ideas and information.
Patient ZERO had gone off the protocol several times with symptoms returning so there is a real need to remain on the protocol but so far it is a sustainable recovery.
Early Assessment with a ‘Cognoscopy’
Dr Bredesen is not claiming any kind of cure for Alzheimer’s and he acknowledges that his protocol may not work in all cases. However he does say that with earlier detection of genetic risks factors such as ApoE4 and a cognitive assessment, he terms a ‘Cognoscopy’, similar to when we get a bowel check-ups at 50 years of age, Alzheimer’s should be a rare condition.
So far, his research suggests that early diagnosis of any onset is crucial. Initial severity of the disease and how likely a patient is to be able to adhere to the protocol makes a big difference too.
The challenges of 36 Holes
He says that his protocol represents a challenging path for patients with Alzheimer’s and their families and carers, not because the specifics are difficult but because of a critical number of points that need to be looked at and addressed. Some of the treatments do require expert advice and training as they are more involved such as the diagnosis of chronic underlying infections and toxicity.
Dr Bredesen says it like having “36 holes” in the roof of a house with the rain coming in, you need to plug up 10 – 20 holes or issues otherwise there is still too much rain coming in.
While patients may see almost immediate changes most times at least 3 to 6 months are needed for the biochemical improvement to become significant cognitive upgrading.
Not a Single Disease
AZD is not one single disease and Dr Bredesen has identified 6 major ‘sub-types’ of the disease.
These different sub-types or causes lead to the same end result and even share the same molecular on-off switches. However, the underlying factors are different and need to be treated in specific and different ways.
Often there will be a dominant factor or cause but almost always there will be more than one – meaning multiple areas need to be changed and improved.
This is also why there is currently no single drug or treatment that is effective.
- Type I – is inflammatory and tends be first diagnosed in your 60’s, it can run in families often with a ApoE4 gene present.
- Type II – is atrophic or loss of growth factors. It is usually diagnosed in your late 60’s to 70’s where there is a decrease in different hormones and factors that are critical for continuing neuronal growth and connections
- Type III – is toxic and is fundamentally a different problem, occurring often in your early 50’s. This type tends to affect more brain areas so more cognitive issues than just memory, you have more difficulty finding words and forming sentences, calculating numbers, recognising faces and objects.
- Type 1.5 – is a mix of type I and type II and is associated with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes as well as the inflammation it causes.
- Type IV – a vascular form without being vascular dementia proper and is associated with type II
- Type V – is due to traumatic damage to the brain from head injuries, sporting impacts and other head trauma.
Practitioners trained in the Bredesen Protocol
There are only a hand full of Bredesen certified practitioners in Australia including Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.