The End of Alzheimer's
That is the bold title of Dale Bredesen’s new book and if I were doing a book review from the medical side of things, I would say he backs it up.
Since I started medical school in 1994, the work-up for someone with cognitive deficits is roughly the same and limited in scope. Cookie cutter. Check for identifiable and potentially reversible causes with minimal understanding of individual factors plus an MRI of the brain to make a diagnosis of “Alzheimer’s” or “Lewy Body Dementia” or “Mild Cognitive Impairment” or other.
We need to go back to the future.
Bredesen goes way beyond the traditional approach to the health of the brain. This reference is powerful and important for anyone who wants to stay mentally sharp throughout his or her life, i.e. everyone.
This is functional and integrative medicine at its best. He brings research, evidence and science from the West and a holistic, in-depth, multi-system approach from the East.
Good news: we have more and more information to explain why any individual would struggle with memory loss and other deficits.
Good news: there is more and more we can do to protect ourselves and reverse deficits.
Good news: you can do this.
Bad news: this is not a scenario where you go to the doctor, passively get a pill or two and improve.
Bad news: this is a complex path and you will need to find a practitioner who incorporates Bredesen’s ideas and be an active participant in the process.
Bad news: you will have to make changes to your lifestyle.
It would be so nice if we didn’t have to change anything. Keep the same mediocre, inflammatory diet. Sit around. Listen to the people who say supplements are of no value and not worth taking. Wither and atrophy until you spend all day Sunday watching golf on television.
I’ve been following Bredesen’s work for a few years and have references to his approach on a protocol on my website. I am optimistic about helping people with memory and other cognitive struggles, but it doesn’t always go smoothly.
The first few patients of whom I reviewed these ideas seemed disinterested. I tried to convince them this was real and worth the effort. I had their spouses come back with them for extended visits. Pffft. Minimal progress.
This book is important. Order the book for you and for family members. Share this on social media. Help get the word out. It is in our control to prevent and reverse Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Andrew Lenhardt MD