In 1979, between my second and third years of medical school, I did a summer project with an up and coming Neuropathologist named Dr. Jim Powers at the Medical University of South Carolina. I went to the autopsy suite, harvested fresh brains from patients with Alzheimer’s, dissected the Hippocampus and prepared it for electron microscopic evaluation. I found, as expected, what was then known as the hallmark of Alzheimer’s: Amyloid plaque and Neurofibrillary tangles.
A half century later, guess what the medical establishment thinks is the root cause of Alzheimer’s? You guessed it, Amyloid plaque and Neurofibrillary tangles. The approach the medical establishment has taken has been a very Western approach—one disease, one cause, one pharmaceutical cure, just like Strep Throat. Efforts have centered around finding a drug that would eliminate amyloid. Despite billions of dollars and hundreds of trials, how many drugs have gotten past the clinical trial phase? Right again—NONE. Maybe there is something more to the disease? After all, the brain IS sort of complicated.
Meanwhile, a free-thinking Neuroscientist and Physician named Dr. Dale Bredesen at UCLA has taken a more holistic approach. Over 30 years of scientific and clinical study has shown Alzheimer’s to be, like the brain, complicated. Amyloid is not the cause, but a sign that something is badly amiss. The trick is to find out what components of a complicated system are causing disruption and fix them. As it turns out, Dr. Bredesen’s approach has much in common with the approach I have taken. He has added very sophisticated research and diagnostic tests, I have added some novel approaches to treatment.
The first step is diagnostic. Diagnosis involves lab and radiologic studies, including genetics. We determine which of the three types of Alzheimer’s you may have, then optimize diet, exercise, sleep, hormones and nutrients while minimizing toxins, chronic infections and oxidative stress. Part of the treatment may involve a special nasal spray called Synapsin, low dose naltrexone, stem cell therapy and IV therapy. Many patients see results in less than 6 months from even severe dementia. It’s much easier if the signs of Alzheimer’s are mild.
For the first time in history, the one disease that is more dreaded than cancer can be treated. Even better, it can be prevented.
Based largely on The End of Alzheimer’s, by Dale E. Bredesen, MD
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