Our memory is one of our most important assets. We use it to perform simple tasks such as putting on clothes, driving to work and remembering our favorite foods. Without our memory, we wouldn’t even recognize the faces of our loved ones. Memory loss can be devastating to individuals as well as their family members and caregivers.
For the nearly 6 million people living today with Alzheimer’s disease, there has been little hope for a cure. The few medications on the market do very little, if anything, to slow the progression of the disease.
Alzheimer’s Disease develops due to the accumulation of amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain. We have discovered that this is actually a protective mechanism, to wall off things such as toxins or inflammation that could potentially damage the brain.
There are many factors that affect the health of the brain and ultimately the progression to Alzheimer’s disease. What if there was a way to address these factors early on, before the ultimate progression to Alzheimer’s? Well good news…THERE IS!
Dale Bredesen, MD is the director for the University of California (UCLA) Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and author of the book The End of Alzheimer’s. He and his colleagues have categorized several subtypes of Alzheimer’s disease and developed a protocol called ReCODE, which utilizes a Functional Medicine approach to treat mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s Disease.
Type 1 “Hot” or Inflammatory
Type 2 “Cold” or Non-inflammatory/Atrophic- due to hormonal imbalances
Type 1.5 “Sweet” (combination of Type 1 and Type 2)- due to inflammation and insulin resistance
Type 3 “Vile”- due to toxins such as mold or heavy metals
Type 4 “Pale”- due to vascular or circulatory problems
Type 5 “Dazed” – due to head trauma
While there are some genetic risk factors associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease such as the ApoE 4 gene, lifestyle choices are extremely important in determining whether an individual will ultimately develop the disease. The following are some things you can do to help prevent some of the root causes:
- Eat a whole food low glycemic diet , composed of predominately plant-based foods with 10-15 servings of non-starchy vegetables per day. Eat lean proteins such as legumes and cold-water, low-mercury fish. Make sure you get plenty of healthy fats, mostly monounsaturated fats like those found in nuts, seeds and olive oil.
- Get plenty of sleep. At night when you sleep, your body heals damaged cells and boosts your immune system.
- Getting plenty of exercise boosts your metabolism, improves mood, promotes better sleep and much more.
- Limit exposures to environmental toxins. Toxins such as heavy metals, chemicals, mycotoxins and even some medications can cause the brain to form amyloid plaques that ultimately lead to cognitive decline.
- Avoid stress. Chronic stress causes hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances in the body, ultimately leading to brain degeneration and atrophy.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is a toxin that effects the liver’s ability to metabolize toxins, and is associated with brain atrophy.
Do you notice that you forget things that were once easy to remember? Have you or a loved one recently been diagnosed with cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s? It’s important to get evaluated and treated as soon as possible. Using foundation Functional Medicine principles such as optimizing nutrition, balancing hormones, reducing inflammation, correcting digestive issues, enhancing detoxification, boosting energy metabolism and calming the mind, we can address the root causes of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
Here at Carpathia Collaborative we have 4 practitioners certified under Dr. Dale Bredesen’s program for Reversing Cognitive Decline. If you would like to learn more about this approach, schedule to attend one of our 2-hour classes Reversing Cognitive Decline Using the Bredesen Protocol, or schedule an appointment with one of our certified practitioners.