Alternative Protocol Could Prevent, Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease

Alternative Protocol Prevent Reverse Alzheimers

Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise and has become one of the more alarming public health issues. But what if, by using a holistic approach to treating this disease, there was a way to prevent and reverse the onset of Alzheimer’s?

Researchers have studied the disease for over a century, and while they’ve come to understand the mechanisms that lead to Alzheimer’s, there haven’t been significant breakthroughs in finding a viable treatment to prevent patients’ decline into dementia and death. Dr. Ilene Naomi Rusk is a behavioral neuroscientist and co-director of the healthy brain program in Boulder, CO, who has focused her life’s work on the disease.

Dr. Rusk is one of many doctors who now ascribe to the protocols of Dr. Dale Bredesen, which shows that a personalized, holistic approach to Alzheimer’s can not only prevent the disease but even reverse its onset in early phases. But when she began her work, they were looking for one single cure. 

“I started in this field in the ‘80s looking at single-targeted strategies for dementia thinking that there would be a silver bullet because that’s the way we thought — receptors, specificity, working with a targeted approach to one brain chemical, for example, acetylcholine would be the answer,” Dr. Rusk said. “It turns out, it isn’t the answer, so there’s a background. All of this new and exciting work in dementia is because we have a foundation of what doesn’t work. If you spoke to any neurologist, any neuropsychologist, any physician they would say ‘No, we don’t really have anything that’s disease-modifying for Alzheimer’s disease, and nothing that slows progression.’ It certainly lends credence to a new approach, and the new approach to me emerged in 2016 when I read a paper by Dr. Bredesen.”

In a proof-of-concept trial, Dr. Bredesen looked at 25 patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and evaluated their cognitive ability before and after they followed protocols that focused on a number of lifestyle and environmental factors believed to contribute to Alzheimer’s.

“So some of those root causes are nutritional imbalances; difficulties with gut health; toxins in food, air, and water; things like mold (and) air pollution; the effects of combined prescription medication, polypharmacy for example. I’d say there are external mediated factors too, root causes and modifiable contributors like how much we exercise, I said the food we eat, but the nutrition we derive from the food we eat as well. Remember that Alzheimer’s disease particularly seeds itself very early, so the amyloid and tau begin to create problems up to 20+ years prior to the actual clinical symptoms of the disease,” Dr. Rusk said.

Interestingly, dr. Bredesen found that a large contributor to Alzheimer’s was a lack of neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to grow new neural pathways. Neuroplasticity has been found to be boosted by activities that challenge the brain, particularly those that fall outside our daily habits and routines.

“Neuroplasticity requires a challenge, what I like to call a disorienting dilemma for the nervous system, which means stress — which means good stress. Good stress provides healthy neuroplastic change, bad stress provides negative neuroplastic change,” Dr. Rusk said.

In addition to a lack of activity supporting neuroplasticity, improper sleep has also been found to be a major factor in the onset of Alzheimer’s — so much so, that some studies have found a 20-30% increased risk in the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia in patients who don’t get sufficient rest.

“I think sleep is one of the most modifiable and important contributors. What happens at night, what we take to sleep with us, whether we’re stressed, whether we have sleep apnea — so if we’re losing oxygen at night and we’re a little bit hypoxic, we’re a little bit low on oxygen, that can really affect our brain health,” Dr. Rusk said. “Sleep is a huge contributor to cognitive decline and then to later dementia. Actually, a recent study has shown that sleep patterns in mid-life, so earlier in life prior to people getting dementia, contribute to later dementia risk. So basically if you’re getting, I think it’s less than seven hours of sleep, in your 50s or 60s it can contribute to later cognitive decline and dementia; you’re 30 percent more likely to get dementia later in life.” 

As more research considers this personalized, multi-factor approach that assesses the various root causes of dementia, practitioners like Dr. Rusk says she believes we will be able to drastically reduce the number of new Alzheimer’s sufferers, with Dr. Bredesen going so far as to say we may someday eliminate it altogether.

What are the Health Secrets to the Hunza People's Longevity?

Yoga Energético Para El Otoño

In a mountainous region of Northern Pakistan, lies the Hunza Valley – an isolated area of the Himalayas, home to a community of people said to survive longer than anyone on Earth, living well over a century. So, what are the health secrets to the Hunza people’s longevity?

The Hunza Longevity

Those who have heard of the Hunza are likely familiar with the legendary rumors that this secluded people have a life expectancy of 120 years, with some living up to the age of 150. Meanwhile, the average life expectancy in Pakistan is only 67 years.

Whether the Hunza longevity is exaggerated is up for debate, but what is undoubtedly true is that their isolation and quality of life have some interesting characteristics that would certainly make one healthier. It is also highly likely that their average life expectancy is somewhere around 100 years old.

Read Article

More In Alternative Health

Our unique blend of yoga, meditation, personal transformation, and alternative healing content is designed for those seeking to not just enhance their physical, spiritual, and intellectual capabilities, but to fuse them in the knowledge that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.

Use the same account and membership for TV, desktop, and all mobile devices. Plus you can download videos to your device to watch offline later.

Desktop, laptop, tablet, phone devices with Gaia content on screens

Discover what Gaia has to offer.

Testing message will be here