Longevity Healthcare

Bredesen Protocol Treatment

Can the Bredesen Protocol offer hope to patients with Alzheimer’s?

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is frightening. The cognitive impairment, memory loss, and inevitable cognitive decline can seem like a death sentence to both patients and loved ones.

The standard reductionist approach seeks to boil every problem down to its most basic components. Most modern medicine is looking for a single silver bullet cure found in monotherapeutic treatment (translation: one medication that will cure Alzheimer’s).

This approach does not take into account the fact that Alzheimer’s disease “manifests from the confluence of multiple factors” (Bredesen, 2020, p. xiii). Treating Alzheimer’s disease requires the equally multi-faceted response of functional medicine. “Holism considers any and all options available if there’s something positive to offer” (Bredesen, 2020, p. xiii).

In other words, there is no single drug that can treat Alzheimer’s… But perhaps a protocol that addresses the many factors that lead to Alzheimer’s can make a difference.

Who is Dale Bredesen? Dr. Dale Bredesen is a neurologist who created a twenty-first-century approach to predict and prevent cognitive decline through holistic lifestyle changes.

Dr. Bredesen is endeavoring to introduce new holistic principles of medicine toward a brighter 22nd century. His work identifies the multi-faceted causes of Alzheimer’s disease and outlines a multi-pronged approach to its prevention.

What is the Bredesen Protocol used for? The Bredesen Protocol is a multi-faceted, holistic, and functional approach used to enhance cognition and reverse cognitive decline. 

Current treatments for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease have only shown limited improvement for a small percentage of patients’ symptoms. Yet, they show no positive effect on the progression of the disease.

Can Alzheimer’s be reversed with diet? Diet can’t reverse Alzheimer’s, but it can have a significant impact on reversing the effects of cognitive decline if implemented early in the disease.

Bredesen’s dietary protocol is broken into 5 “pyramid” levels:

  1. Fasting (Clean House)
  2. The right foods (Indulge Freely)
  3. Gut health (Upgrade Your Gut)
  4. Protein sources (Choose Wisely)
  5. Foods to avoid (Risky Business)

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“Your body was designed to move — a lot” (Bredesen, 2020, p. 200). Strength training and aerobic exercise are important for brain health. 

Aerobic exercise appears slightly better for maintaining and improving the cardiovascular system’s efficiency and has been found to delay cognitive function decline. 

Optimizing sleep is possible. Applying sleep hygiene strategies may look like:

  • Setting a regular sleep schedule
  • Following your unique circadian rhythm
  • Setting and hitting sleep goals appropriate for your age range
  • Limiting caffeine
  • Exercising earlier in the day
  • Winding down before bed
  • Removing the TV from the bedroom
  • Blocking blue light, particularly in the evenings

“Preventing or managing stress… has an antiaging effect, and clearly this is an important part of any optimal strategy to prevent or reverse cognitive decline” (Bredesen, 2020, p. 227). 

Stress reduction can also lead to more positive mental health and better quality of life. Practice being fully present in the current moment. Don’t overschedule. Know your limits. Forget multitasking: Feel free to unplug and focus on the task at hand. 

And don’t forget to breathe.

“Our brains continue to grow new neurons throughout our lives in response to social and mental stimuli as well as during healing from trauma or injury” (Bredesen, 2020, p. 238). The brain has the ability to grow and adapt, a quality called neuroplasticity

Challenging our brains throughout our lives provides the opportunity for continuous growth. 

“When you are taking care of your dentition, you are helping to prevent cognitive decline” (Bredesen, 2020, p. 252). Moving toward and maintaining a healthy oral microbiome is key to minimizing the access of oral pathogens to your brain and preventing chronic systemic diseases as well.

Assess Your Cognition Today

Taking a cognitive assessment might feel scary, especially if you’re already experiencing “senior moments.” We understand but knowing where you stand is the first step towards optimizing your cognition. For the first time in history, early-stage dementia can be reversed using the Bredesen Protocol®.

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