This morning, I attended such a compelling presentation by Dr. Dale Bredesen, the internationally recognized expert in neurodegenerative diseases. His research over the last decade has proven to be transformational in clinical trials using the ReCODE (reverse cognitive degeneration) protocol. He's authored 3 books since 2017, with his latest, The First Survivors of Alzheimer's highlighting patients from the first clinical trial who have miraculously restored their cognitive abilities with Bredesen's Protocols. You've heard of cancer survivors but surviving Alzheimer's has been out of the realm of possibility, until now, with this revolutionary evaluation and treatment. His research team has identified 36 contributing factors to cognitive decline. Using the evolving science of functional medicine that recognizes, evaluates, and treats patients with integrative, evidenced-based care, it prescribes a precise pathway personalized to each patient's needs. A deep dive into The First Survivors of Alzheimer's offers pages filled with uplifting stories, told in these survivors' own words. They transformed their struggles of adjusting to new patterns into triumphs, rewarded with the priceless prize of restored cognition.
Now, these revolutionary protocols are available at the Cognitive Health Centers with Dr. Bredesen serving as its Chief Science Officer, with locations envisioned nationally, and ultimately internationally. The first primary care clinic that focuses solely on preventing cognitive health decline and improving brain health is in Sarasota William Nields, MD, the Medical Director for Clinical Services in Florida presented how they are focused to offer patients, caregiver and families a comprehensive approach to care, treating the whole person with a thorough assessment and developing a personalized care plan addressing current health, cognitive status and unique pathologies.
Following their presentation, audience participants shared our collective heartfelt gratitude for this work in revolutionizing neurodegenerative evaluation and treatment. Many of us attending were all too familiar with the tragic losses associated with such diseases. For all of us who had either been on their own journeys or with a loved one, or currently caring for a loved one, our experiences in evaluation and treatment were the same--desperately seeking answers with solutions, but very few provided through conventional care. After decades of researching neurodegeneration, Dr. Bredesen’s team developed a revolutionary cognitive assessment using a series of screening tests that identified 36 contributing causes of decline. These must be holistically addressed to help prevent, as well as provide successful treatment in restoring cognitive function. Doctor Bredesen coined this comprehensive evaluation, a cognoscopy.
In the same way a colonoscopy serves as an important periodic exam beginning at age 50 to screen for colorectal cancer, a cognoscopy evaluates the potential contributors and risk factors of cognitive decline, with recommendations to begin these assessments at age 45.
This comprehensive evaluation includes blood tests, genetic testing, specialized MRIs, and mental status exams to provide a snapshot of a patient’s current cognitive abilities. These serve a dual purpose, both for prevention as well as identifying any areas requiring intervention to assist in reversing neurodegeneration. Since neurodegeneration takes many years — often decades — to develop, this provides a relatively large window of opportunity, not only to prevent but also to reverse cognitive decline through the repair and proper maintenance of these 36 potential issues. With an estimated six million Americans currently living with Alzheimer's, these protocols hold great promise in the evolving evaluation and treatment for both preventing and recovering cognitive decline.