Common knowledge is that there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. The only thing that produces any results are improved lifestyle choices, like diet and exercise.  Now, a leading researcher has take a big step in formalizing our understanding of this phenomenon.

Dale Bredesen, MD, is an internationally recognized expert in aging and neurodegenerative diseases.  He is Professor of Neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and founding President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.  Dr. Bredesen recently published The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline.

Dr. Bredesen suggests that we think of a person suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease as a house with a leaky roof.  He and his colleagues have identified 36 metabolic factors such as diet, micronutrients, sleep, exercise, hormone levels and the like that can trigger “downsizing” in the brain.   He shows us how to rebalance these factors using lifestyle modifications like taking B12, eliminating gluten or improving oral hygiene.

Dr. Bredesen likens the problem to having 36 holes in the roof.  Fixing just one probably won’t stop the leaks, but getting all 36 plugged can make a difference.  Rather than a “silver bullet,” this is a “silver buckshot” method to prevent and reverse cognitive decline.  He has created a novel program to treat and reverse it that he calls ReCODE (Reversal of Cognitive Decline).

The results of his program are impressive.  Out of the first ten patients he worked with, nine experienced improvement within six months.  Since then, Dr. Bredesen has experienced excellent results with many more individuals.

An interview with Dr. Bredesen was recently aired on The People’s Pharmacy (WUNC 91.5).  You can listen to a podcast of that interview on The People’s Pharmacy website.

Caring Corner

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About the Author:

Lorenzo Mejia and his wife, Mary Lynn Ryerson, are the owners of Acorn, a caregiver registry located in Chapel Hill.

They founded Acorn based on their experiences caring for his mom, who suffered with Alzheimer’s Disease.  In 2013, he became a Qualified Dementia Care Specialist.  In 2014, the Alzheimer’s Foundation named him the Dementia Care Professional of the Year in the United States.

Lorenzo is the founder of Dementia Friendly Orange County an effort to make local businesses more accommodating to people with dementia.

Lorenzo speaks often on dementia and the challenges associated with caring for loved ones.  He has been interviewed by ABC News and National Public Radio.  He is an advisor to Orange County’s OC-CARES Dementia Capable Community Project.

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