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Advances in this field (and I don't mean lecanumab/Leqembi) have absolutely exploded since I first put this site together. It might sound like a slogan, but Dr. Dale Bredesen's controversial refrain, "Alzheimer's is now optional" is really beginning to be proved true.*

I do want to qualify his reported successes, though, if I may. After following (and studying with) him for over a decade now, I only belatedly came to realize that his half dozen or so "poster child" success stories all seemed to have two things in common: they were all quite young for dementia (in their 50s and 60s); and they appear to have had unique contributors that responded pretty quickly to this type of intelligent assessment & intervention: one had been exposed to Lyme and missed some of the lingering co-infections (she was also a "3-4," ApoE, that is); another had been living in a moldy house; and the third appears to have needed only some B12 support-- and probably some Dhea or pregnenolone.

Yet a fourth (woman, in her late 60's) had an undiagnosed fungal overgrowth in bowels. Call it dysbiosis or call it SIFO. A botanical anti-microbial protocol and some gut healing products actually "undid" her dementia so successfully that she ended up canceling her assisting living move and was able to reclaim her previously independent and active life.

We really all need to make a road trip to Vista, CA (Marama) or Encinitas (Solcere) or Booth Bay, ME (Boothbay Region Health Center) or Wichita, KS (Avita at Rolling Hills) to see first-hand what these pioneering folks are achieving with Dr. Bredesen's approach. (And to see both a) how we might apply it as well as b) who seems to respond the most and least successfully and why.) And I understand there are, every day it seems, more and more centers-- even academic medical centers, at Weill Cornell, at Washington & Lee)-- implementing this "whole body," systems approach to not just dementia but other neurodegenerative diseases. All I can say is "hooray, hooray" but also, "What took you so long?"

The most recent proof arrived just last month in the form of a Journal of Alzheimer's Disease paper by San Diego-based naturopath, Dr. Heather Sandison, along with some of the Apollo Health luminaries. I have written extensively about this, so please utilize the various links provided (or contact me) if this topic grabs you as it does me. I really need to try to interview her one on one, or at least see if she's done any additional interviews since these that I know of.

1. The (extensive) baseline (functional medicine type) testing performed (Table 1)
2. The various interventions & dosages (Table 2)
3. Who (and %) of the 23 were discovered to have what (Table 3)
4. The number (and %) of participants judged to require each intervention (Table 4)

It is now understood that the processes leading to dementia (and other neurodegenerative illnesses, for that matter) begin at least 10 and possibly 20+ years prior to the onset of the most noticeable signs and symptoms of cognitive decline. So it pays to be aware of and to act upon even the most minor deficits as early as possible. Do not dismiss these things as part of the normal process of aging; they are not.

As elfin Dr. Daniel Amen is fond of saying on those day-long PBS fund-drive marathons, "You either have bad habits or you've been exposed to something." It's often both.

And because Dr. Bredesen's program asks so much of its participants (giving up bread/crackers/chips, most grains, most alcohol and sweets) intermittent fasting, eating loads and loads of plants but also some meat, eggs, fish and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, olive oil, etc); exercising 6 days a week, and engaging in meditation or another type of mindfulness practice), unless you can afford or otherwise have access to a support team that includes a nutritionist, a health coach, a personal trainer or fitness coach, and of course the MD or ND or NP coordinating all of this, it's much easier when you catch this and implement these changes as early as possible; that is to say, in the subjective cognitive impairment phase: you or your spouse notices that something's not quite right, but for now nobody else seems to have noticed. Or better yet, as informed prevention!

Dr. Kat Toups, from the San Francisco Bay Area, presented results from a similar (but not quite as seismic) study at the IFM's annual meeting in Orlando, FL in April 2023. I will post a bulleted summary of her talk, but until then here is a pretty watchable (and inspiring) conversation with her speaking to MindBodyGreen founder/co-CEO Jason Wachob.

*see also, an interview with Dr. Dale Bredesen and Hong Kong-based Feisal Alibhai, of Qineticare Integrative Health & Wellbeing


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