Here is this year’s big news in Alzheimer’s research: more and more evidence points to inflammation, not plaques, as the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
Medications targeting plaques in the brain have not been successful in treating the disease. And treatments that focus on inflammation, like the Bredesen Protocol practiced at Atma Clinic, are able to slow and reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. In 2019, there has been increasing data explaining why a treatment that addresses inflammation is more effective than treatment that addresses plaques.
Inflammation activates the immune system. Chronic inflammation, which many people have, results in chronic activation of the immune system. This is intensified when there are multiple causes of inflammation, such as gum disease, unhealthy weight gain, high-carbohydrate diets, or mold exposure, to name just a few.
Here is a great excerpt from Scientific American, discussing the mounting research linking brain function and immune function:
“One clue hinting at the need to look further afield [for a cause of Alzheimer’s Disease] was a close inspection of the 1918 worldwide flu pandemic, which left survivors with a higher chance of later developing Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
A second inkling came from the discovery that the amyloid of Alzheimer’s and the alpha-synuclein protein that characterizes Parkinson’s are antimicrobials, which help the immune system fight off invaders.
The third piece of evidence was the finding in recent years, as more genes involved in Alzheimer’s have been identified, that traces nearly all of them to the immune system.
Finally, neuroscientists have paid attention to cells that had been seen as ancillary—“helper” or “nursemaid” cells. They have come to recognize these brain cells, called microglia and astrocytes, play a central role in brain function—and one intimately related to the immune system.”
In short: In some people, a heavy, long-term inflammatory load results in an out-of-control cascade of neuron death. That’s when brain function is compromised, memory starts to fail, and mood starts to change.
At the beginning, sometimes only the patient can tell she has lost some function: she can’t remember the grocery list as well as she used to, she has unusual difficulty remembering books she’s read, or she has started to make detailed lists and notes to get through her workday. But if the chronic inflammation and immune activation continue unabated, the symptoms steadily worsen.
To contact Atma Clinic to explore your options for treating or preventing cognitive decline, you can call or text us at (785) 760-0695 or send us a message on our website here.
To read the rest of the Scientific American article, click here: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/for-alzheimers-sufferers-brain-inflammation-ignites-a-neuron-killing-forest-fire/
There is a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive decline. In most cases, this treatment halts the progression of the disease. In many cases, the treatment reverses the effects of the disease; people are able to reclaim functioning they thought was lost forever.
The treatment is not a new pill. It’s not a surgery. It is a whole-person approach that considers a person’s genetic makeup, environment, lifestyle, hormones, and more. Rather than prescribing the same treatment for each Alzheimer’s sufferer, the physician calibrates a personal approach for each patient.
This makes sense. Researchers and medical practitioners are seeing more and more that chronic, complex illnesses require multi-pronged, personalized treatment plans. Many of the chronic, complex illnesses have not just one, but many causative factors.
The researcher who developed this Alzheimer’s treatment, Dr. Dale Bredesen, compares this to a leaky roof. If you were trying to repair a leaky roof, and you found twenty holes in the roof, what would you do? Would you repair one hole and hope to keep dry? Of course not!
Yet, the old treatments for Alzheimer’s disease do just that. They plug one or two holes – addressing one or two factors causing the disease – and then give up. Most people get very little benefit from this approach.
In contrast, the Bredesen Protocol identifies at least thirty-six causes of Alzheimer’s. A person experiencing cognitive decline may have 10-25 of these causes active all at once. The treatment, then, is to address as many of those as possible.
At Atma Clinic, our team of providers provide comprehensive treatment under the Bredesen Protocol. If you are interested in learning more about the Bredesen Protocol and what we can do for you, call or text us at (785) 760-0695 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.
Some lifestyle changes can prevent and slow cognitive decline for many people. One of those lifestyle changes is diet. The right diet is crucial to preventing and treating cognitive decline.
We recommend a mildly ketogenic diet. That is a diet very low in carbohydrates like grains and sugars. We use the “12/3 Ketoflex Diet” (developed by Dr. Bredesen, of the Bredesen Protocol).
The “12/3” part of this diet refers to the timing of your meals. There should be at least 12 hours between your last meal or snack of the day and the first food you eat the next morning. Also, the last food of the day should be consumed 3 hours before bedtime. This is a kind of intermittent fasting.
If you already know you have the APOE4 gene (which increases your risk of Alzheimer's disease) then a 14-16 hour nighttime fasting interval is going to be better for you.
Intermittent fasting helps your body burn fat for fuel rather than glucose and also helps to improve insulin sensitivity. Both of these changes improve cognition. Consuming your last food of the day 3 hours before sleeping helps to regulate insulin and also improves the balance of several hormones important for cognition.
Now you know when to eat. What should you eat?
Mostly non-starchy vegetables, lots of healthy fats, and modest amounts of healthy, well-sourced proteins. For more details, read the rest of this blog post here.
If you'd like to read a more in-depth explanation of a brain-healthy diet you can check out a great book, The End Of Alzheimer's. At Atma Clinic, we have a team who can help you learn about and implement this diet. We create an Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive decline treatment plan tailored specifically to you. To learn more and schedule your free consultation, call or text us at (785) 760-0695 or send us a message on our Contact Us page.