Learn How to MaintainYour Brain
How to maintain a healthy brain and a good memory? How to be mentally capable and strong, thinking clearly and effectively throughout your life? How to avoid – and help people you care about – avoid cognitive (mental) decline and Alzheimer’s disease?
Where can we find the best and most complete source of information on avoiding cognitive decline (a decrease in one’s ability to think, reason, decide, remember and learn)?
Why haven’t the medications that the best efforts of university and pharmaceutical laboratory scientists and physicians have produced worked to cure and prevent Alzheimer’s disease?
If there is a way to stop and reverse cognitive decline, why don’t individuals and health care professionals know about it and use it to keep patients healthy?
The quick answers to the above questions (in order) are:
- How? Follow the ReCODE protocol that is the main subject of this article and the book it is based on;
- Where? The book by Dr. Dale Bredesen, The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline and health care practitioners who know the ReCODE protocol and how to help patients follow it. The six articles in this series are based almost entirely on this book.
- Why? #1 The consensus of a majority of the medical and and health professions – that the prevention and destruction of amyloid plaque will prevent, slow down or stop the progression of cognitive decline into Alzheimer’s disease – is faulty. It isn’t as simple as that.
- Why? #2 All of us like quick solutions in this world of increasing complexity. It is much easier to take a pill than to make multiple lifestyle changes. For doctors, it is quicker and easier to write a prescription than it is to map out and oversee an individualized plan of action (protocol) that is customized to the patient’s particular needs and based on multiple lab test results ordered by and carefully analyzed by them.
The articles in this series aim to present the most authoritative, reliable and up-to-date information on staying mentally sharp and healthy at every age. You may want to give us your email address so that we can alert you when we update our Brain Health News blog. The blog is committed to report news from The Harvard Medical School, The Mayo Clinic along with other reputable medical, natural and alternative/integrative nutrition sources.
Heads up #1: Beware of sites that present “reviews” of products. I (the author of this article) Googled “brain health supplements” and found 3 sites that “reviewed” a total of 15 products and ranked them from #1 on down. No product appeared on more than one list. Only one company produced any other nutritional supplements, implying a lack of experience in the formulation of nutritional products. The ingredients and the amounts (if listed) of the substances promoted as beneficial might not to fit ReCODE or any other brain health program.
Heads up #2: Products offered for sale on this site are believed to contain quality ingredients at a competitive price. Whenever there is a product that meets those criteria and carries the Approved status of Consumer Lab, an independent health and nutritional products testing laboratory, that product is offered. If there is no product for an intended purpose that has been tested and Approved by Consumer Lab, another product by a company that has had products tested and Approved by Consumer Lab may be offered. All products offered are from companies believed to be reliable. When nutritional products or books are purchased from this website, the publisher, MyLongHealthyLife.com, receives a commission of 4.5% (.045) of the purchase price if purchased from Amazon.
Heads up #3: We recommend that, before adding any nutritional supplement to medications already being taken, going to drugs.com to enter medications being taken and any new supplements you want to check out to see if there are any potentially harmful interactions or adverse effects. Nothing on this site is to be construed as attempting to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or ailment.
“Let me say this as clearly as I can: Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented, and in many cases its associated cognitive decline can be reversed Dale Bredesen, M.D. Founding President and CEO of The Buck Institute for Research on Aging and author of The End of Alzheimer’s.
Perhaps the most thorough and relentless medical researcher and authority on this topic is Dale Bredesen, M.D. His New York Times Best Seller, The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline gives us ReCODE1, a protocol to avoid falling into one of these three conditions or to reverse them if they occur:
1. Subjective Cognitive Impairment (SCI)
SCI is a stage when the person realizes that his memory is not as good even though he may test as “normal”. However, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) may show some shrinkage of brain regions. SCI often lasts a decade or so before progressing to MCI.
2. Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
MCI typically follows SCI. Neurological tests show that memory, organizing, speaking, calculating, planning, or other cognitive abilities are abnormal, but the person is still able to perform the so-called activities of daily living, such as dressing, eating, and bathing. MCI does not inevitably progress to Alzheimer’s disease, but in many people, especially those in whom memory loss is part of their MCI, Alzheimer’s disease will follow within a few years.
3. Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is typically diagnosed by looking for amyloid plaques and tau tangles. It is usually diagnosed on the basis of a patient’s symptoms, which include memory loss and cognitive deficits so severe and ever-worsening that the patient loses the ability to bathe, eat, or dress without assistance and is increasingly unable to care for himself or herself. With the current standard treatment, Alzheimer’s is invariably fatal.2
The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease is 9% for most Americans. However, there are 75 million or so Americans who carry a gene variant called ApoE4 that increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease to 30%. If both parents carry it, the risk is over 50%. Genetic testing can detect the presence of ApoE4.3
If we still have your attention, you may want to read the next article in this 4-part series. Click here to go to Maintain Your Brain – Part 1: The Triple Threat.
1 An acronym for Reversal of COgnitive DEcline.
2 Bredesen, Dale. The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive
Decline). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. pp. 29-30
3 ibid, p. 11