Before we launch, I need to include this disclaimer. I am not prescribing the dementia prevention protocol as a doctor nor am I affiliated in any way with Dr. Dale Bredesen. He has not endorsed this website. However, he and his team of medical researchers offer extensive help to people with memory loss through Dr. Bredesen’s website.
I am simply a layperson who is thrilled to have discovered a way to be proactive about protecting my brain. I am also on a budget that causes me to look for ways to implement shared knowledge on my own, or better yet, in community. However, I need to say it outloud: YOU are solely responsible for your health and this website does not provide medical advice.
If you are having symptoms of memory loss you should seek professional advice. Email Dr. Bredesen at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if there is a Bredesen-trained functional medicine practitioner near you. Most traditional Western medical doctors are not yet familiar with dementia-prevention protocols and may just tell you there is nothing they can do.
What is the dementia-prevention protocol?
Dr. Bredesen devotes two chapters to the specifics of his protocol in the book, The End of Alzheimer’s . Check out a summary of the book here. Since one of my purposes in starting this blog, is to simplify a lot of complicated information from Dr. Bredesen’s book and other sources, I’ve provided a short definition below.
The dementia-prevention protocol recommended by Dr. Bredesen is a multi-pronged approach to reverse or prevent Alzheimer’s disease that is customized to individual needs based on symptoms, genetics, blood work, and other test results. His thirty years of lab research have demonstrated that:
There are at least thirty-six different mechanisms contributing to Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiology, so fixing just one has little chance for success.Dr. Dale Bredesen in The End of Alzheimer’s
What does that mean for my daily life?
That means that there are thirty-six holes in the roof that potentially need to be addressed to optimize dementia-prevention. The good news is that many of those holes are within our ability to patch and doing so will be beneficial to overall health as well as brain health. That’s because, as much new research shows, what’s good for the brain is good for the heart, the gut, the liver, the blood, etc. So it’s a win-win situation!
Most of the changes relate to diet, stress levels, sleep habits, use of supplements, levels of exercise, and financial and time usage priorities. For many of us, these changes will be radical, others might already have healthy routines in place. Whatever our state, I’ve learned that lifestyle changes like these are accomplished more easily with at least one support person “on the ground” and I’m hoping that having a community of virtual supporters sharing our stories and resources will be equally inspiring and motivating.
I’ll say it straight… some of the testing and elements of the protocol can be expensive. However, it might be helpful to compare the costs of prevention with the average costs of nursing home care (below) for dementia patients.
Screenshot via Genworth.com
The total costs of full testing for dementia-prevention range from about $1000 to $3000. I have decided to think of it as an investment that could save me hundreds of thousands of dollars later if I can keep my mind (and body) healthy. I’m also convinced that we can find lower cost options to many of the factors that need to be assessed. So let’s create and share DIY dementia-prevention approaches to testing and to the lifestyle changes.
More to come on the protocol
After we are finished with Destination One–The Lab where we’ll go over all the testing that Dr. Bredesen recommends, we’ll come back to the protocol in much more detail. The results of testing will guide our particular journey through the dementia prevention steps, in other words, will help us map out our course.