Like Peter, Paul and Mary our bags are packed and we’re ready to GO to our ultimate destination… a bright mind for life!
In order to actually reach that place, we need to map out our individualized dementia-prevention journeys and all the stops along the way. Here are the common stops that we will make and through the testing described below, we’ll discover the necessary variations to address particular concerns. In other words, even though we all have the same ultimate destination, some of our stops along the way will be different.
How do we map out our particular route to a bright mind for life?
Our first stop is the lab and this is where we’ll get a cognoscopy. This is the 21st century medical equivalent of having a colonoscopy done when we’re fifty. Dr. Bredesen practices 21st century medicine and tells us that if we’re serious about dementia prevention, we should have a cognoscopy at age forty-five, ideally. A cognoscopy is an extensive battery of blood tests, imaging tests, cognitive assessments and genetic tests that will reveal our particular risks for cognitive decline. As we each process the data received from our cognoscopy, we’ll see how to translate that into our unique map.
What are the elements of a cognoscopy?
- Blood testing for levels of homocysteine, vitamins B1, B6, B12 and folate, insulin resistance, inflammation, vitamin D3, thyroid hormones, hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, cholesterol and other lipids, vitamin E, the copper:zinc ratio, destructive heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and copper and beneficial minerals such as magnesium and selenium
- Testing for sleep apnea or other sleep disorders that can disrupt the brain’s housecleaning work that occurs during sleep
- Testing for gastrointestinal permeability or “leaky gut” that allows foreign substances to enter the bloodstream through the gut lining causing the body to produce protective, inflammatory substances
- Testing for blood-brain barrier permeability that causes infectious pathogens such as the Lyme diseases spirochete, the herpes simplex virus and others to enter the brain triggering the same inflammatory response described above
- Testing for gluten and other sensitivities
- Testing for autoantibodies such as thyroglobulin that work against the thyroid
- Genetic blood testing or simple blood testing to assess the immune system’s ability to recognize and destroy toxins
- Assessment of exposure to mitochondrial-destroying agents
- Calculation of body mass index
- Gene testing to find out the status of the APOE4 gene–the gene that greatly influences the risk of developing cognitive decline
- Taking the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) or other measure to get a baseline cognitive function score
- Having a brain MRI with volumetrics
- Doing a historical/lifestyle assessment
Why go to all that trouble?
With the data from these tests we can identify the stops we need to make on the journey to a bright mind for life. By investing up front in the cognoscopy we can actually save money later, as we find creative ways to travel our DIY route.
No doubt, it’s overwhelming and the only way I’m dealing with it is by taking one step at a time and keeping the final destination always in sight… a bright mind for life!
NOTE: this website is not endorsed by Dr Bredesen and is not intended for medical diagnosis or prescription. If you already have symptoms of memory loss visit MPI Cognition (now AHNP) for professional help. You alone are responsible for your health.