After attending an Alzheimer support group for two years I’ve heard the same story countless times. The caregiver tells the group their loved one’s initial symptoms were thought to be normal aging, but the symptoms worsened until medical help was finally sought. The physician diagnosis was probable Alzheimer’s Disease and prescribed one or more currently available medications. They were told there is no cure, but the medication may “slow it down”.
The physician may have referred the patient to a neurologist who may have ordered an MRI, CT scan, or psychological tests. If those results suggest Alzheimer’s Disease (since there is no definitive test available) the patient could be enrolled in an investigational study to try an experimental drug. But the neurologist doesn’t change the medication since there are no other options.
The story always ends the same. The exhausted caregiver watches the disease progress until finally accepting the terminal prognoses. Some caregivers feel it was worth the effort while others feel it was a monumental waste of time and resources.
The cause and cure of Alzheimer’s disease have alluded bio-researchers for decades. Hundreds of studies have failed to produce more than a few drugs and those have limited efficacy. Drug companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars searching for the “silver bullet” that will cure the disease. That is because they will make huge profits for discovering a maintenance drug let alone a cure for the five million Alzheimer’s Disease sufferers in the U.S. alone.
The research is focusing on amyloid plaque deposits in the brain that accompany Alzheimer’s disease. They are either searching for a drug to remove the amyloid plaque or prevent it from forming. But what if the plaque is not the cause of the disease but instead the result of something else?
Dr. Dale E. Bredesen, M.D. has just such theory. This research clinician with enviable credentials believes Alzheimer’s Disease is the reaction of the brain trying to protect itself with amyloid protein deposits. It is a naturally occurring substance in the brain which Dr. Bredesen believes accumulates when the brain is stressed. He and his team have identified thirty-six stresses including inflammation, infection, lack of nutrition, hormones, mold, and toxic substances.
Here’s the exciting thing; Dr. Bredesen has successfully treated hundreds of patients who have seen their symptoms slow or reverse. His book The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline offers numerous case studies to support his claim.
He explains complicated medical principles simply and clearly, so the average caregiver can understand. Because many physicians haven’t been trained or refuse to accept his findings, he offers direction to find functional medicine practitioners, wellness coaches, and laboratories in your area to help you and your loved one.
The treatment protocols described in his book are most effective when treating early cognitive decline, however, they have had some success with individuals in more advanced stages.
It’s probably too late for my mother to have significant improvement but possibly it will help her function slightly better or arrest her disease. Since the treatments are most effective with early dementia, maybe it’s not too late for us to prevent the disease. I have already implemented some of his suggestions in my life. Even if he’s wrong, I don’t see the harm in avoiding toxins, improving my diet, or taking supplements.
Most caregivers will find it too late to help their loved-ones with late stage Alzheimer’s Disease, so we must cope the best we can. If that’s your situation, I hope my blog will help you assist your loved one through the final stages of dementia.
James 1:5 NASB- But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
© Copyright Ronald Milburn