We at NEWS basically follow the Bredesen Protocol for Dementia evaluation and treatment. We have been practicing Functional Medicine since 1994, so many of Dr. Bredesen’s insights are already part of our routine protocols.
In fact, we added the Bale-Doneen-Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Protocols in 2016 which has allowed us to address the concern of Vascular Dementia and it's prevention with our Cardiovascular Care for three years now. Our patient's improvements have proven to us Bale-Doneen works.
Today Dementia is also being called Diabetes Type 3. NEWS's paradigms have always incorporated the belief that Insulin Resistance can begin 10 to 20 years before the diagnosis is made; thus we have been helping people learn how to control Insulin Resistance since NEWS began in 1994.
Our office goal and belief that prevention by teaching Optimal Lifestyles will be paramount in preventing chronic health complaints is being proven through the science presented by Dr. Bredesen in understanding Dementia.
Dementia is scary! but quit running and turn around to face it "head on"; [No pun intended] for today it won't go away with a pill and especially if it's a "sugar-coated" pill. Only thru understanding and a lot of hard work to change some "bad" habits and start some "good" habits will we pass this hurdle. Are you ready?
Take my hand.
Dementia is a state of global cognitive decline in a person; with short term memory loss presenting as an early warning sign. Thus,the common, “I forgot what I walked into this room for“ complaint may or may not be the true beginnings of Dementia.
Usually, true Dementia is a progressive decline associated with difficulty reading, writing, speaking, following conversations, reasoning, planning,organizing and/or calculating. It generally is noticeable to the individual first, then perhaps, up to 10 years later, to others.
In 2017 Alzheimer’s disease was the 6th leading cause of death with Heart Disease in 1st place and Stroke in 5th place. [Source: Health United States, 2017 Table 19 pdf icon[PDF-11.1 MB](Data are for 2016)]
Currently the cost of Alzheimer’s Disease is over $220 billion annually in the US and a trillion dollar cost to global health.
On a more personal level, back in 2012, when I was looking to move my mom from an “assisted living facility” at around $3000/month to a Dementia Care Unit at $5000/month, I was hit with an unexpected cost of a “personal caretaker”. Seems the Dementia Care Unit in no way cared for her personal needs and that would be an additional cost that I had to find on my own. I figured the caretaker cost at $20/hour for ten hours/day would minimally DOUBLE the cost of her “Dementia Care” to $10,000 a MONTH!!
My first thought was, she never saw the cost of this coming; but neither had I. Her meager savings and social security check didn’t even start to cover these costs. My second thought was, “We don’t even spend this much on growing our children.”
According to Google:
“The cost of raising a child has increased in the last year, according to a report from the Department of Agriculture. For a
middle-income family to raise a child born in 2015 through the age of 17, the cost of rearing a child has hit $233,610,
according to the report. Jan 9, 2017”
That $233,610 would have lasted 23.4 months for my mother. So, I did what so many families are doing, I took her out of the medical care model and moved her back into my home for the next three years and found caretakers she and I could afford. They sat with her while I worked and I cared for her myself the four days I had arranged off from work.
Dementia’s debit is paid not just by money, but by love thru time, talents, and lives of its caregivers. Dementia holds all the ‘Bitter-Sweet” juices of life that eventually are understood only by its surviving care givers.
But, back to the article…...
I like the way Dr. Bredesen compares Dementia to a leaking roof. You have just gone thru a hailstorm (called life) and your protective roof has multiple holes in it. You cannot live in that house because you don’t have enough buckets to catch all of the water coming thru the holes. If you fix a few of the big holes; however,the little holes could be managed because you then would have enough buckets. Simple enough, if your medical paradigm can incorporate this mode of thinking.
What we need to do next is modify the above identified “triggers”and this is what the goals of the Bredesen’s Protocol do:
Bets are, if you are reading this article,you’re not the one with dementia; however, you may be next in line to develop it. Perhaps that short term memory loss you’re experiencing may be a hint!
The good message in all of this is that even though it’s a long road, by understanding the disease early, you can help prevent it or slow it down in yourself, your parents, and especially your children.
The lifestyle changes an Alzheimer’s patient needs to undertake are what everyone of us should be living if we want to prevent this disease.
If ever there are effective drugs, it’s unlikely many of us will take them in our lifetime.
Right now, our best bet for prevention of Alzheimer’s or Pre-Alzheimer’s patients alike is an evaluation and optimization of lifestyle habits.
Poor habits, cardiovascular disease, metabolic inflexibility, imbalanced trophic factors, toxic exposures over time, may walk you right into the oblivion called Dementia.
If not in balance, your brain will down regulate your cognitive neurons as a survival technique in order to be sure you can still breathe and maintain bare organismal existence. If in balance, your brain will store short term memories and maintain cognitive awareness. It really is just that simple.
We’re a set of switches and if the right ones are not turned on for upregulation, we move into a state called “disease” or down regulation. Since I am a Functional Medicine Practitioner, I believe meeting the demands of that switch will turn it on and keep us on the path of health. We just have to find it!
As we continue to unfold the mysteries of life, we will one day, be able to control all of this. Perhaps even breed only the good switches into all humans; but for now we can’t. We are still hunting and picking in a blackened room for that balloon to pop. The good thing is that the lights are beginning to glow faintly, and we are beginning to see the outline of the room.
Prevention, right now, comes in the form of stepping on a scale and knowing your BMI. If you are over a BMI of 24.9 you are metabolically on your way to Dementia and you had better do something about it.
Remember 80% of people with Insulin Resistance or Diabetes Type 2 will go on to get Dementia or as it is known today as Diabetes Type 3.
Biohacking is the millennial's answer to an inadequate medical system. They are moving way beyond tradition and are asking questions and finding answers that tradition has not even approached.
NEWS has been biohacking since the 1990's because in biohacking there is a mutual respect between patient and doctor. We encourage that; in fact Functional Medicine does not work if it is not present.
Today we know that if you want to avoid Alzheimer’s and possibly other dementias, you should live the following Lifestyle Habits. We also know that by making them your daily “mantras” you will move away from Dementia:
If you need someone to help you think through all of this, we're available to help. We don't pride ourselves on having all the answers, but we do have a lot of experience and are willing to think out of the box with you. Just call 706-769-0720 and schedule an appointment.