Across the globe, there has been an increased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment in the populace. More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and it is estimated that every 66 seconds a new person in the US develops the disease. The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease is so significant that it kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.1 In his article, Dr. Dale Bredesen states, “Neurodegenerative disease therapeutics has been, arguably, the field of greatest failure of biomedical therapeutics development.”2 Presently there is not a pharmaceutical treatment for Alzheimer’s disease that slows the progression of the disease. Thus, it seems that the multiple pathophysiologies that have been identified to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease could be treated with a multi-component approach. The purpose of this study was to determine if a multi-component treatment program could yield positive results for patients suffering from early Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of cognitive impairment.
The personalized programs followed by the 10 patients in this study focused on metabolic pathways and other factors believed to affect cognitive function. Nine out of the 10 patients showed subjective or objective improvement following the program. A notable outcome from the study was that prior to participating in the study, 6 of the 10 patients had issues with job performance due to their cognitive decline. After completion of the treatment program, all six were able to return to work or continue working without difficulty. The study shows very promising results with this multi-modality personalized program, but due to the limited sample size also warrants further larger studies for confirmation of the findings.
Through evaluation of the scientific literature, Dr. Bredesen identified a multi-component therapeutic profile that he used for his treatment recommendations. These recommendations were personalized based on each patient’s laboratory values. The potential recommendations for the program included:
- Optimize diet by minimizing simple carbohydrate consumption and eating foods that minimize inflammation;
- Enhance ketogenesis by fasting 12 hours each night and at least three hours prior to bedtime;
- Reduce stress through suggested methods including yoga, meditation, or music;
- Sleep 8 hours nightly, and consider melatonin supplementation if awakening during the night after ruling out sleep apnea;
- Exercise 30 to 60 minutes daily for 4 to 6 days weekly;
- Include brain stimulation activities;
- Evaluate and address blood levels of hormones, homocysteine, serum B12, CRP, and fasting insulin if they are not within optimal levels for brain health;
- Consider supplementation of Curcumin, Ashwagandha, Bacopa monniera, MgT, Vitamins D3, K2, DHA, CoQ, Pantothenic acid, Resveratrol, and several others;
- Address inflammation through diet, supplements, probiotics, and optimizing hygiene;
- Exclude heavy metal toxicity; and other additional parameters reported in his study.
The 10 patients in the study each implemented different portions of the overall reported protocol. Overall results included improvements in memory, improvements in performing tasks of daily living, weight loss, ability to learn a foreign language, and subjective measures such as faster processing and improved socialization.
- Alzheimer’s Association. 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. http://www.alz.org/facts/overview.asp. Accessed September 13, 2016.
- Bredesen D. Reversal of cognitive decline: A novel therapeutic program. Aging (Albany NY). 2014 Sep; 6(9): 707–717. Published online 2014 Sep 27. /