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
Amyloid 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) oil. Coconut 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 reversed. How Is This Possible?
To learn more about functional medicine, visit The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM).