When we consider the aging process, many of us worry more about our mental faculties than our physical capabilities. We can accept our bodies breaking down a bit as we get older, but it’s much harder to think about losing our minds. We fear diseases like Alzheimer’s that may rob us of our precious memories.
Because the brain ages along with the rest of the body, cognitive decline and aging often go hand in hand. In fact, a person can lose mental capabilities at any age.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to keep your brain healthy. Using something called the Bredesen Protocol, in which I’m certified, you may be able to slow—or even reverse—cognitive decline.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are often preceded by a condition called mild cognitive impairment (MCI). It’s estimated that between 15 and 20 percent of adults over 65 are affected by this condition.1
A person with MCI experiences symptoms that, while they’re likely to be noticed by family and friends, don’t seriously impact day-to-day life. These symptoms2 include:
MCI may also contribute to psychological problems like depression, anxiety, and irritability.
The Bredesen Protocol is a systems-based approach to reversing cognitive decline designed by Dale Bredesen, MD.3 Dr. Bredesen is an internationally renowned expert in neurodegenerative diseases and the best-selling author of The End of Alzheimer’s, among other publications.
Dr. Bredesen developed the Bredesen Protocol based on 35 years of research on cognitive decline. He noted that cognitive decline is not just preventable, it’s reversible. To that end, he created a protocol that addresses the many factors that can contribute to cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Some of these factors4 are:
Dr. Bredesen compares the factors that contribute to cognitive decline to a roof full of holes. If you only plug a few of these holes, the rain will still pour in. But if you can repair a significant number of the holes, you’ll be able to stop the “rain” that is cognitive decline.
Once you’ve figured out which “holes” are affecting your cognition, you can move toward fixing them. A practitioner like myself who is certified in the Bredesen Protocol may work with you on some or all of the following:5
Which of these steps you would take in order to reverse cognitive decline with the Bredesen Protocol depends on your individual health circumstances. A person with celiac disease and/or leaky gut syndrome6, for example, may need to focus on addressing nutrient deficiencies and making dietary changes like eliminating certain foods and consuming things like collagen-rich bone broth that may help repair the gut.
Those for whom stress is contributing to cognitive decline may want to incorporate a relaxing practice like mindfulness meditation or yoga into their lives. Women who are struggling with hormonal imbalance might think about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. And a person with insulin resistance could try intermittent fasting, which has been shown to help with blood sugar management.7
Because we’re all unique beings with different health concerns, the Bredesen Protocol is designed to reverse cognitive decline by addressing these concerns in a specific and personalized way.
Experiencing symptoms of cognitive decline can be scary, especially if you have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or are otherwise at risk of developing dementia. But with the help of a professional like myself who is trained in the Bredesen Protocol, you may be able to slow or even reverse cognitive decline and protect your precious memories.
If you’d like to learn more about how the Bredesen Protocol can help you, contact My Pure MD to set up a consultation. Together, we’ll find all the “holes” that are causing your symptoms and put together a treatment plan that will patch them up.