Is Reversal of Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease Possible?
Dementia is one of the most significant challenges in aging and is the 2nd leading cause of death in Australia, for women it is the leading cause of death.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer’s is a disease of the brain with a range of debilitating symptoms including:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty in maintaining cohesive thoughts
- Difficulties with thinking, behaviour, language and problem solving.
The gradual loss of these brain functions is known as cognitive decline.
Previously, it was a given that there was nothing that could be done to slow down the cognitive decline and currently there a lack of any effective medical treatment to prevent significant decline in a person’s cognition.
However, in recent years it has been documented in over 100 people and published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Parkinsonism, that reversal of cognitive decline in people initially diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or Subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) by using diet, nutrition and lifestyle interventions is possible.
This specific protocol was developed by Dale Bredesen, a professor of neuroscience, who has studied cognitive decline in people for over 30 years. In 2014 he presented the outcomes of a case study involving 10 people all who had suffered from cognitive decline. Using his protocol resulted in 9 out of the 10 people improving their symptoms and cognitive scores. In 2018, he published a wider study outlining the reversal of cognitive decline in over 100 people.
What is the Bredesen Protocol?
The protocol is a lifestyle therapeutic intervention program. It targets a range of symptoms by simultaneously addressing 36 key metabolic functions that are altered in people with Alzheimer’s. Many of these altered metabolic functions are also known risks factors, and include:
- Nutritional deficiencies (in a general sense, or due to having Alzheimer’s)
- Metabolic issues i.e. diabetes, increased homocysteine
- Leaky Gut
- Stress, hypertension
- Sleep issues
- Sedentary lifestyles
- Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
- Hormonal issues such as hypothyroidism.
What is Involved with The Bredesen Protocol?
The Bredesen protocol focuses on improving and changing a person’s lifestyle, specifically focusing on areas that are known to improve the altered metabolic functions in Alzheimer’s. The main focuses for lifestyle changes are:
- Optimising food and nutrition (particularly reducing refined processed foods that are high in carbohydrates, and increasing healthy fats)
- Focusing on good gut health such as using probiotics
- Tailored use of therapeutic supplementation for the individual
- Lifestyle interventions such as regular exercise, stopping smoking and drinking and stress reduction
- Brain stimulation training such as puzzles or learning a new language
- Support, coaching, encouragement and tailoring the protocol for the individual
- Autophagy – encouraging and stimulating the body’s natural processes to clear itself of plaque build-ups (that are found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s) through changes to nutrition patterns.
This is a complete lifestyle interventional and involves all areas to be addressed to simultaneously target the dominant changes in metabolic function.
What You Can Do Now
Changes to your diet or nutrition to manage a health condition should only be undertaken with advice from a suitably qualified nutritional health professional.
This factsheet is for general information only.
Please contact me to discuss your individual needs.