Do you often misplace your keys or can’t remember the neighbor’s name for the life of you? Or you tell your daughter the same story three times because you forget if you told them or not already. While these small instances that we so commonly brush off may not be a big deal, for some, it could be a sign of mild cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s Disease.
These “I’d lose my head if it wasn’t attached” moments are concerning if they continue to occur with severity and frequency.
While it may be hard to face and accept the reality of declining memory, and a diagnosis of Dementia or Alzheimer’s, I want to give you hope today.
Research has come a long way since 10 years ago. What was once thought of as a life sentence and one of the most helpless diseases (for the person experiencing it and for their loved ones), today I’m telling you there are answers.
My hope is that more people become aware of the science behind cognitive decline and feel empowered to take back their health and mind with the revolutionary program, known as ReCODE.
What are the early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
Being aware of the early signs of Alzheimer’s can be the biggest factor in relieving symptoms and success in reversing the damage already done. The sooner you can get support, the easier it will be to see results.
Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
- misplace items (keys, phones, etc.)
- forget about recent conversations or events
- forget the names of common places, people, and objects
- forgetting codes you use daily (garage code, or security codes)
- having names or words at “the tip of your tongue”
- difficulty making decisions
- ask the same questions repetitively
- avoid being in new situations and environments
- difficulty calculating tips or simple math that used to be easy
- social withdrawal
- increased difficulty learning new things
If you or your loved one notices these signs below, it’s critical to meet with a ReCODE practitioner ASAP, before your cognitive ability manifests into a more severe case.
Keep in mind that loved ones around you may notice these signs before you do (or the person suffering from cognitive decline) This may be out of denial, or you aren’t simply aware of the severity of the signs.
What causes Alzheimer’s Disease and declining cognitive function?
Research has suggested that Alzheimer’s is caused by the accumulation of sticky amyloid plaques in the brain. What happens is that these plaques form between the neurons and disrupt their function, leading to memory loss. You may have already known this.
However, this next part surprises people…Dr. Bredesen, an internationally recognized expert in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, believes the source of the plaques, has a normal function in the brain.
Amyloid beta may be beneficial or damaging, depending on whether there are insults to the brain such as
- Shortage of brain-boosting nutrients, hormones, and other cognitive-supporting molecules,
- Exposure to toxic substances
These insults are what cause the harmful amyloid build up, making the process of reversing Alzheimer’s more challenging.
Root Causes of Inflammation
Infections: If your body experiences chronic threats, like Lyme disease, your inflammatory response will be constantly activated, creating an abundance of amyloids and a cognitive disaster waiting to happen.
This is because your body responds to pathogens by producing amyloid as a way to “protect” your brain.
Blood sugar to dysregulation: Blood sugar regulation can lead to chronically high insulin levels. This can contribute to cognitive decline since the enzyme, IDE (insulin-degrading enzyme), not only breaks down insulin, but also degrades amyloid. So if it is busy breaking down insulin due to high blood sugar, it can’t break down amyloid.
Poor Diet: The American Standard Diet is inflammatory. 90% of the food on the grocery store shelves contributes to inflammation. Unfortunately, this kind of inflammatory diet is more common than not. With each new generation, we see the drastic negative impacts.
Why Nutrients + Biomolecules are Vital to Cognitive Health
Amyloid can destroy synapses. But if you support your neuron and synapse strength, your synapses will be able to withstand the amyloid assault.
However, if you are lacking certain minerals and vitamins and have suboptimal hormone levels, it can leave your synapses unprotected and more prone to dysfunction.
The Issue with Toxins
When you are exposed to toxins (i.e. pesticides, heavy metals, toxic mold), amyloid is produced in an attempt to inactive the toxins. You’d think that’s a good thing that it’s trying to protect you, right?
However, in the midst of trying to protect your neurons from toxin damage, amyloid continues to build up since environmental toxin exposure has become extremely common in our everyday lives. This constant exposure to toxins can cause dysfunction and manifest into cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s.
How is high blood pressure connected to Alzheimer's Disease
These are not the only things that can increase your risk of cognitive decline. Other health issues, like high blood pressure, can contribute to your risk of Alzheimer’s as well.
Your brain receives nearly a fifth of your cardiac output. So it’s not surprising that high blood pressure can impact brain function.
In fact, healthy vascular health is associated with lower rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s, but hypertension in older adults can cause tangles and plaques to form in the brain.
But the good news is that research shows that intensive treatment of high blood pressure can significantly reduce cognitive impairment.
Why is the rate of Alzheimer’s Disease increasing
About 45 million Americans are projected to die with Alzheimer’s if action is not taken by the conventional medical and research community.
But in the integrative medical community, we recognize that Alzheimer’s Disease is increasing because of lifestyle behaviors and choices.
- Inflammation is skyrocketing: The biggest factor contributing to the rise in Alzheimer’s is inflammation. Underlying inflammation is caused by:
- diets consisting mainly of processed foods, excess sugar, inflammatory oils, and fried foods
- staying up late and getting inadequate quality sleep
- chronic stress from finances, busy work schedules, and the pressure to always be available at any given moment
- medications like proton pump inhibitors, antibiotic overuse
- sedentary lifestyles and lack or regular exercising
- Nutrient intake is plummeting: Americans don’t eat nearly enough whole foods that provide adequate nutrients that the body needs to thrive, leaving it more prone to infections and dysfunction.
- Toxins are everywhere: Store shelves are nothing but toxic products containing fragrances, endocrine disruptors, and inflammatory bombshells. And the worse part is we slather these products on our skin every day (shampoo, body wash, hand soap, laundry detergent, make-up, etc).
But, it is a good thing that we recognize this. If it’s lifestyle behaviors that are causing the increase of Alzheimer’s, it means we have the capability and control to change it! You can prevent and even reverse Alzheimer’s with lifestyle changes.
How to lower your risk for Alzheimer’s Disease
- Work with a functional medicine ReCODE practitioner to uncover and address underlying infections and dysfunctions (like Lyme and Mold infections)
- Exercise 5 -6 times a week.
- Reduce your stress or learn how to manage it with meditation, yoga, or diaphragmatic breathing
- Get a custom herb and supplement protocol that is right for your unique body. (This may include vitamin D, vitamin K, Omega-3’s, magnesium threonate, ashwagandha, and MCT oil)
- Prioritize gut health by healing your gut, eating a variety of organic whole foods, and supplementing with pre and probiotics
- Swap out your house cleaning and hygiene products with non-toxic alternatives and get on a detox protocol if necessary
- Prioritize getting enough quality sleep of 7-8 hours
- Follow your protocol for at least 6 months to see positive results
What is ReCODE?
ReCODE stands for Reversal of Cognitive Decline. It is a protocol created by Dr. Dale Bredesen to reverse early cognitive decline. The program evaluates 150 different variables to address the active underlying pathways for Alzheimer’s Disease including metabolic issues, toxicity, inflammation, and mitochondrial damage.
This protocol has helped thousands of individuals already. The most successful protocol for early signs of Alzheimer’s yet, with 84% seeing improved cognitive function!
Book a Consult with Dr. Dersam, ReCODE Practitioner in Arizona
Dr. Dersam is certified in the Dale Bredesen ReCODE program and is very passionate about the early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.
If you or a loved one are suffering from cognitive decline, please call our office at 480-621-8638 to set up a time for a quick consultation over the phone to learn more about the process of the program and what is involved in implementing the Bredesen protocol.
Dr. Cheri Dersam
Dr. Dersam is board certified in both Integrative and Emergency Medicine and fellowship trained in Functional Medicine. Dr. Dersam focuses on a personalized approach that empowers each patient to achieve optimal health in mind, body and spirit.