Alzheimer’s remains one of the most feared diseases in the United States. Affecting approximately 6.2 million Americans, the incidence is expected to triple by 2050. After decades of research, no truly effective medical treatment exists.
The currently approved Alzheimer’s medications are, unfortunately, ineffective in stopping or slowing this devastating disease, which robs victims of their lives long before they’re gone.
It may be that scientists are looking in the wrong places for an effective treatment. Rather than a magic pill, it may be something as basic as a combination of anti-inflammatories, proper diet and supplements, and avoidance of toxins.
The first new treatment for Alzheimer’s in 18 years, Aduhelm, was designed to remove amyloid plaques in the brain. These plaques are seen on autopsy and have long been thought to be associated with Alzheimer’s. Even though Aduhelm targeted the plaques, it was ineffective in stopping or reversing cognitive decline. The Food and Drug Administration gave conditional approval for Aduhelm in June 2021 over the objections of an advisory panel. It also wasn’t recommended by European authorities. Most experts agree that Aduhelm has been disappointing at best.
Perhaps rather than focusing on pharmaceutical treatments for Alzheimer’s, we should focus on addressing key factors linked to neurodegenerative disease.
With the dismal results of pharmaceuticals, internationally recognized neuroscientist and neurologist Dr. Dale Bredeson has proposed a program to help the brain protect itself from metabolic and toxic threats. According to Bredeson, these threats include inflammation and a shortage of supportive nutrients, hormones, and other brain-supporting molecules.
It’s also well-known that many toxins that affect the nervous system may be responsible for Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders. Eliminating or reducing these threats will reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s, according to Bredeson. “The End of Alzheimer’s” is Bredeson’s recent book (2021), which discusses his experimental program to prevent and reverse Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.
Bredeson’s plan for reversing cognitive decline is a program called ReCODE. ReCODE stands for reversal of cognitive decline. The program not only reverses cognitive decline, but also allows the patient to sustain that improvement.
The list of supplements is extensive and includes the following:
- MCT oil
- Gotu Kola
- Magnesium threonate
- Omega-3s (DHA/EPA)
- Probiotics and prebiotics
- Vitamin D/Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
- Bioidentical HRT
- Alpha-lipoic acid
- Vitamin C
While this may seem like enough vitamins/supplements to choke a horse, it’s worth considering when your memory and your life are at stake. And there’s no doubt that the American diet is sadly lacking in nutrients, especially when compared to diets from 100 years ago. A lifetime of nutritional deficits can’t be repaired overnight, but there’s no time like the present to make potentially life-enhancing alterations.
Another important factor is the eradication of toxin exposure from our foods and our environment. The work of MIT professor Stephanie Seneff stands out among the growing body of scientific evidence that ubiquitous toxins, such as glyphosate and aluminum, may be major factors in several neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and autism. Seneff’s book, “Toxic Legacy,” explores in great detail the links between glyphosate and our growing number of chronic diseases.
The gut-brain connection may also provide clues in preventing and possibly treating Alzheimer’s. Dr. Emeran Mayer has researched and written extensively about the mind-gut connection.
Mayer shows how the brain, gut, and microbiome (the community of microorganisms that lives inside the digestive tract) communicate. When this communication system is out of balance, major health problems can develop, including neurogenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinsonism, as well as depression, anxiety, and even autism.
Mayer advocates simple changes to diet and lifestyle to achieve the mind-gut balance that’s the key to good health. His book, “The Mind-Gut Connection” is recommended reading.
Therefore, a good diet, as recommended by Mayer, as well as the supplements recommended by Bredeson and avoidance of toxins as recommended by Seneff, will likely outperform any current prescription medication until a breakthrough is achieved.
Joe D. Haines, Jr is a board-certified family practitioner. In addition to family medicine, he also completed an aerospace medicine residency and received an MPH while serving in the US Navy. Haines has practiced medicine for 40 years and remains active with medical expert witness work and writing. He’s a veteran of the Afghanistan War, serving as the Wing Surgeon for the Marine Corps in 2011. He has more than 200 publications in a wide variety of journals.