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ALZ Causes & Treatment

At the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Mark Hyman interviews Dr. Dale Bredesen regarding ALZ causes, subtypes, and treatment.  During this discussion, Dr. Bredesen reveals that the brain is plastic and able to change.

Functional Medicine Approach to Treat ALZ

Regarding neurological problems, the brain can change by treating the body’s system, not the symptoms.  In fact, this is a functional medicine approach.

So far as Alzheimer’s and dementia are concerned, the earlier the treatment – the better.  Also, certain types of ALZ are easier to treat than others.  Functional medicine is used to treat the system.  By doing so, ALZ symptoms can begin to halt and reverse in approximately 3 to 6 months.

Main ALZ Causes (Subtypes)

Chiefly, Alzheimer’s disease happens when the brain tries to protect itself from three metabolic and toxic threats.  Similarly, these can be called subtypes of ALZ.

1    – Inflammation (from infection, diet or other causes)
1.5 – Glycotoxcicity or glucose toxcicity caused by untreated high blood sugar and damaged beta cells
2    – Decline and shortage of supportive nutrients, hormones and other brain-supporting molecules
3    – Toxic substances such as metals or biotoxins (poisons produced by microbes such as molds)

Amyloid and ALZ

APP (Amyloid Precursor Protein) - ALZ Causes & TreatmentAmyloid Precursor Protein, called APP, is the long molecule that protrudes from neurons.  Important to note, APP plays a role in regulating synapse formation and neural plasticity.  Particularly, synapses are nourished and maintained when APP is snipped in 2 fragments.  Therefore, amyloid is necessary for good brain health.  What’s more, drugs designed to remove amyloid have done more harm than good.

On the negative side, when the brain tries to protect itself from metabolic, toxic or other threats, it causes APP to be cut into 4 fragments.  One of these fragments is amyloid-beta.  When too many of the synapse- and neuron-destroying quartet  of molecules are snipped from APP, an imbalance occurs.  As a result, a downsizing of the neural network takes place.  Eventually, synapses and neurons are destroyed.  Consequently, Alzheimer’s or dementia becomes the diagnosis.

Testing, ALZ Causes & Treatment

Specific testing is essential to discover the causes or subtypes of ALZ.   Keep in mind, some causes or drivers can be internal and others external.  For example, internal causes can be inflammation and glycotoxcicity (glucose toxcicity).  Additionally, hormone imbalances and vitamin deficiencies such as D, B12, and folate can be internal drivers.  On the other hand, external causes can be toxins (such as biotoxins) and metals.  A high copper to low zinc ratio is another cause of ALZ.  This is why specific blood tests are needed.  Discover the causes, then treatment can be customized  for the patient.

Other contributors for Alzheimer’s or dementia can include nose, mouth, or gut issues.  Specifically, leaky gut and gluten insensitivity affect brain health.  Also, statin drugs can accelerate cell death and dementia.  Actually, cholesterol is needed for good brain health.  As a matter of fact, low cholesterol is associated with brain atrophy (shrinkage).  A total cholesterol below 150 is concerning.

In addition, low fat is a concern.  The liver converts fats to ketone bodies which serve as an alternate fuel source for the brain.  Surprisingly, saturated fat can help treat dementia as well as MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oilCoconut oil contains MCT.  A ketogenic diet is less carbohydrate and more lipid or fat based.  Ketogenic diets are being utilized to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s and dementia.

ALZ Treatment Solution

So, what’s needed to treat Alzheimer’s and dementia and reduce the global burden of this disease?  Computational biology with the use of algorithyms is needed to guide health care practitioners when treating ALZ patients.  Also, functional medicine needs to be taught in medical schools.  Using this approach, practitioners will focus on identifying and addressing the root causes of the disease.

Most important, patients need to start with the proper testing, then follow a customized  program to improve cognition.  Thankfully, Dr. Bredesen has developed a “tailor made” program to do just that – The Bredesen ProtocolTM.  Now, Alzheimer’s and dementia can be prevented and reversedHow Is This Possible?

Read more about Dr. Dale E. Bredesen and The Bredesen ProtocolTM.

To learn more about functional medicine, visit The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM).

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Glossary

ALZ
abbreviation for Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease
a type of dementia and a progressive disease of the brain that slowly causes impairment in memory and cognitive function. Alzheimer’s disease happens when the brain tries to protect itself from three metabolic and toxic threats:


1 - Inflammation (from infection, diet or other causes)
2 - Decline and shortage of supportive nutrients, hormones and other brain-supporting molecules
3 - Toxic substances such as metals or biotoxins (poisons produced by microbes such as molds)

The protective response causes APP (Amyloid Precursor Protein, the long molecule that protrudes from neurons) to be cut into four fragments, including amyloid-beta, that downsize the neural network and eventually destroy synapses and neurons. When the APP molecule is cut into those four pieces, it is not cut into the two pieces that nourish and maintain synapses.

Alzheimer's disease is a state of the brain in which there is an imbalance between the reorganization of synapses that have outlived their usefulness (and which the brain can stand to lose - healthy destruction) and the maintenance or creation of existing and new synapses (which the brain needs to sustain old memories and form new ones, as well as perform other cognitive functions). That imbalance  comes from too many  of the synapse- and neuron-destroying quartet  of molecules snipped from APP and too few  of the synapse- and neuron-sustaining duo  of molecules snipped from APP.

ApoE4
abbreviation for apolipoprotein E, a gene variant (allele) which is a protein that carries lipids – i.e. fats. Carrying one ApoE4 (inherited from one parent) increases your lifetime risk of Alzheimer’s to 30 percent. Carrying two copies (from both parents) increases it to 50 to 90 percent. That compares to a risk of only about 9 percent in those who carry zero copies of this allele.
APP
abbreviation for Amyloid Precursor Protein, the long molecule that protrudes from neurons

CognoscopyTM
metabolic and genetic testing that identifies cognitive decline or what may be putting you at risk for it
Dementia
umbrella term for a group of symptoms (a syndrome) without a definitive diagnosis. Dementia is a group of symptoms that affect mental cognitive tasks such as memory and reasoning. (Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia.)
Early Alzheimer’s Disease
an early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease and uncommon form of dementia that typically affects those under the age of 65
Functional Medicine
a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease
Heterozygous
carrying 1 copy of the ApoE4 genetic variant
Homozygous
carrying 2 copies of the ApoE4 genetic variant
Integrative Medicine
healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies.
Ketoflex 12/3
anti-Alzheimer’s diet to include at least 12 hours of fasting, with the first 3 hours of that fast starting after dinner. It is largely plant based, but flexible as it does allow for small amounts of meat or fish.
MCI
Mild Cognitive Impairment
MCT oil
an abbreviation for medium chain triglyceride (a saturated fat) which is found in coconut oil.  Alzheimer's impairs the brain's ability to use sugar.  An MCT ketogenic diet offers an alternative energy source:  ketones.  This allows brain cells to survive better, blocking a receptor in the brain that causes memory loss.
SCI
Subjective Cognitive Impairment – a precursor to MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment)
The Bredesen ProtocolTM
treatment program developed by Dr. Dale E. Bredesen to prevent and reverse cognitive decline (also known as The ReCODE ProtocolTM)
The ReCODE ProtocolTM
treatment program developed by Dr. Dale E. Bredesen to prevent and reverse cognitive decline (also known as The Bredesen ProtocolTM)
The ReCODE Report
computer generated report as a result of metabolic and genetic testing (CognoscopyTM)
The ReVERSE Program
customized  treatment program to reverse cognitive decline. This program starts with a ReCODE Report (a computer generated report as a result of metabolic and genetic testing called a CognoscopyTM)

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