- Inflammation (from infection, diet, or other causes)
- Suboptimal levels of nutrients, hormones and other brain supporting molecules
- Toxic exposures (like heavy metals and mold)
Dr. Bredesen uses the analogy of a roof with 36 holes. When you’ve patched enough of the 36 holes, it will be sufficient to protect the house from water damage. Similarly, there are 36 factors that affect whether the brain goes down a synapse-destroying pathway that ends in AD.
We don’t know which holes will make the most difference so you want to address as many as possible to affect a change. This analogy makes it clear that no single pill can address or patch all the holes that contribute to AD. That’s why the ReCode approach is multimodal addressing sleep, nutrition, intermittent fasting, diet, hormone balancing, toxicity, infection, brain training, and mindfulness training. People may have difficulties with one or more of these approaches but they’ve found that if you plug enough holes, it will make a difference.
I feel fortunate that I was accepted into this clinical study and receive excellent all-around support. When I started this 9-month trial, I fell squarely in the category of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) which is a precursor to AD. After just 3 months on this protocol, I tested out of MCI, so much so that I wouldn’t have qualified to enter the study with the new score I got.
If you’re wanting to try this approach, I’d recommend that you start with the NY Times bestselling book, The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline as a great first step.
I’d then google Bredesen protocol trained practitioners in your area. The protocol can be overwhelming but doable with the right guidance. Everyone’s treatment is individualized for that person’s unique biochemistry so there’s no blueprint treatment plan. With specialized tests that need to be run and interpreted by a medical professional, it’s daunting to even consider doing on your own.
Our brain, our sense of who we are is priceless. We know now that AD is a silent disease with pathology in the brain starting decades before clinical symptoms become apparent. I think it benefits all of us to start plugging those holes as soon as we can and as best we can!
I recently presented a webinar for a Wellness Wednesday Series on the subject of Brain Power: Protecting against cognitive decline through a targeted research-based exercise program. Plainly speaking, it explores how to exercise and help your brain simultaneously. The material in this webinar comes from my own research and what I’m learning through the ReCode (Reverse Cognitive Decline) clinical trial that I’m in.
Key takeaway: Aerobic exercise is critical for brain health but there’s more. Our ability to dual task-deteriorates with age. That’s our ability to perform two tasks that have separate goals-a necessary part of our complex life. With increased age, we see slower reaction time, reduced walking speed, increased run-ins with objects, and increased fall risk.
Research-based solution? Dual Task Training– combining cognitive activity with physical activity to promote neuroplasticity! Check out the webinar for demonstrations.
“We assume, that physical exercise increases the potential for neurogenesis while cognitive exercise guides it to induce positive plastic change”
~ Bamidis et al, 2014