To Beat Alzheimer’s, Use a Shotgun, Not a Rifle

To Beat Alzheimer’s, Use a Shotgun, Not a Rifle about undefined
They cost billions, yet have ended in almost total failure. 244 clinical trials were conducted to test new drugs for Alzheimer's between 2002 and 2012, yet only one of the pharmaceuticals showed any benefit, and even this had hardly any impact on the disease. Developing a drug to target a single aspect of brain chemistry hasn't worked. This lack of success has led mainstream doctors to believe there's no way of preventing dementia. They don't even have a treatment for mild cognitive impairment, a condition that often leads to Alzheimer's. But things are changing. There are answers to Alzheimer’s, and mainstream medicine is slowly waking up to them.

ReCODE Reverses Cognitive Decline

Dale Bredesen, MD, internationally recognized expert in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease, writes in his book The End of Alzheimer's: "Let me state this as clearly as I can: Alzheimer's disease can be prevented and in many cases its associated cognitive decline can be reversed." By seeing Alzheimer's as the brain's response to a number of threats, he has been able to restore people's memories by focusing on 36 metabolic factors and rebalancing the ones that fall outside healthy ranges. The protocol is called ReCODE (reversal of cognitive decline). He has successfully applied his method in over 200 patients. Among his early patients, improvements have been maintained for more than five years so far. His findings have been published in leading medical journals, and he has trained over 450 health professionals in the ReCODE system. We’re also proud to say Dr. Bredesen is an old friend of this publication and one of the stars in our online video interview series Awakening from Alzheimer’s. This event was a huge success last year and it’s running again right now for free. You can see interviews with 14 doctors and other experts who are reversing Alzheimer’s by going here. Mainstream medical authorities are years behind the insights in this series, but I’m pleased to say they are slowly groping their way toward the same approach. Do they have any useful ideas? Let’s take a look. . .

Life's Simple 7

On 7th September, the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association issued a presidential advisory called Defining Optimal Brain Health in Adults. After reviewing 182 scientific papers, a panel of some of the world's leading physicians outlined what they called Life's Simple 7. Aiming for factors that can be measured, monitored and modified, they suggested: 4 ideal health behaviors:
  • Avoid smoking
  • Engage in regular physical activity
  • Eat a healthy diet based on current recommendations
  • Maintain body mass index within guidelines
3 health factors to be kept within normal levels:
  • Blood pressure
  • Total cholesterol
  • Fasting blood glucose
That’s not a bad list, but the recommendation to control cholesterol is dubious. I would see that as a proxy – and a bad one – for the more useful idea of controlling inflammation. Mainstream medicine’s refusal to let go of the cholesterol theory amazes me. Also in need of a careful second look is the group’s idea of “a healthy diet.” The orthodox view of a healthy diet is preoccupied with low fat foods, grains (half of which can be refined) and cooking in vegetable oils. It will NOT bring about optimal brain health. But overall, the group’s recognition of a wider approach to lowering dementia risk is a welcome step forward. And vascular neurologist Philip Gorelick, who chaired the advisory group, was on the right track when he said that atherosclerosis and stroke have the same risk factors as late-life cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's. Life's Simple 7 – with the two caveats I just mentioned -- kills two birds with one stone. FINGER went even further.

Major Study Addresses Multiple Risk Factors

The Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability (FINGER) was published in a leading medical journal, the Lancet. It was the first large-scale, long-term, randomized controlled trial of intensive lifestyle interventions aimed at addressing some of the most important risk factors for age-related cognitive decline. Previous studies have looked at interventions for only a few weeks or months. The researchers believed there would be a much better chance of demonstrating a benefit if it was continued for several years. The study was led by Professor Mila Kivipelto from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. It’s a huge step forward in figuring out what causes Alzheimer’s and how to treat it. She said, "We know that multifactorial issues increase the risk of dementia, so it makes sense that addressing multiple factors will reduce the risk. "You can't focus on one risk factor. Our study involved multiple interventions. We believe they all make a contribution." You can read details of this study and its outcome in the next edition of Brain Health Breakthroughs.
  1. The End of Alzheimer's by Dale Bredesen, Avery Publishing, 2017

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