Alzheimer’s Disease. There is no diagnosis more feared. It is the third leading cause of death in the US. More than 5 million Americans currently are diagnosed with it. Forty five million individuals of our 300+ million will develop it in their lifetime. Seventy five million Americans have ApoE4 the most important genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s. All startling statistics.
This November the fear can be transformed to hope. No, there isn’t a single pill that will do the job. Personalized comprehensive programs have already reversed cognitive changes with people suffering with this horrific disease. Yes, you read that correctly. People with diagnosed Alzheimer’s have reversed their cognitive deficits.
Dr. Dale Bredesen MD PhD has been studying treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease for multiple decades. He has taken a systems biology approach and identified 36 ways Alzheimer’s develops. Personalized comprehensive lifestyle programs address as many of these 36 ways as possible. Programs include thorough assessment and sub typing of the dementia first. Then the individual’s health is optimized through diet, supplements, exercise and other lifestyle choices. He describes all this in his book, “The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline.”
Neuroplasticity. Our brain cells can change. Science finally appreciates that our brains are adaptable. A reassuring thought for anyone who fears that we can only lose brain cells. Learning to play a musical instrument, travel, creating artwork, reading fiction and dancing can all increase neurons. Diet, exercise and sleep also have a profound effect on neuroplasticity and neurogenesis.
I, personally, am thrilled to understand this. I am one of the 75 million Americans that have a copy of the ApoE4 gene. Unfortunately, my grandparents succumbed to cardiovascular issues before they developed dementia. Since understanding Functional Medicine I am aware that my lifestyle choices determine the expression or lack of expression of this gene (and many more). Dr. Bredesen has developed a protocol to reverse, prevent and optimize your cognitive functioning. Here at Clear Path Wellness our health and wellness programs overlap with Dr. Bredesen’s protocol. (Last March I became certified to offer his protocol.)