Today’s article is straying from my usual writing about hormones because I have come across some pretty incredible research showing a reversal of memory loss in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The common belief with Alzheimer’s is that it is a progressive, irreversible disorder with very limited treatment available. And given the increasing number of people diagnosed with this condition with our aging population, it is important that this knowledge becomes more widespread.
The research and program is run by Dr. Dale Bredesen, MD, Professor of Neurology and director of the Mary S. Easton Centre for Alzheimer’s Disease Research. You can learn more about his program here: https://www.mpicognition.com, and an interesting interview with Dr. Bredesen here: https://www.mpicognition.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IMCJ2015.pdf
A new way of looking at Alzheimer’s:
The current, standard view of Alzheimer’s disease focuses on the presence of beta amyloid plaques that form outside neurons in the brain, interfering with synapses which connect neurons and affect memory and cognition.
The new way of viewing Alzheimer’s states that normal mental function depends on a balance between synaptoblastic (synapse-making) and synaptoclastic (synapse-destroying) activity. Alzheimer’s occurs when there is chronic synaptoclastic activity.
36 factors that affect synapses:
Dr. Bredesen’s research has identified 36 synapse-affecting factors (including beta-amyloid), and by addressing as many of them as possible, in many cases, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s can actually be reversed (1,2). According to Dr. Brednesen; “I think that the time has come to quit asking what it is-“Is it Alzheimer’s?”—and turn around and ask why it is very much of a functional medicine–type approach. Why did you get this problem and how, therefore, can we best go about reversing it?” (3).