Reversing Dementia with Functional Medicine
Grandma doesn’t remember you. Dad can’t remember his address, or the way home from work, or the combination to his gym locker. Mom can’t remember any of her appointments or what she ate a few hours earlier. We may have known or know someone just like this, and their memory does not getany better. Alzheimer’s disease has been without an effective treatment since it was first described over a 100 years ago. Drug after drug fails to help reverse Alzheimer’s disease. Perhaps the disease needs another approach, a functional medicine approach. For the first time, a small personalized and comprehensive plan was studied as UCLA which led to the IMPROVEMENT of memory in 9 out of 10 patients in as little as 3-6 months after starting care. The improvement was so great that most of them were able to return to their jobs or continue working with improved performance. No drug has ever done that.
So what did the researchers do?
Functional medicine, a systems based approach to chronic illness. A 36 point therapeutic program was designed that involved comprehensive changes in diet, exercise, optimization of sleep, supplementation, and brain stimulation.
Some of these included 1)antioxidants 2)methylation and B vitamins 3)hormone balancing: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, thyroid 4) decreasing inflammation 5) zinc and copper 6) exercise 7) meditation 8) addressing gut health 9) fasting 10) gluten free diet 11) low simple carbohydrate diets 12) clearing heavy metal toxicity 13) healthy fats 14) optimizing mitochondrial function 15) herbals for inflammation, stress, and cognitive enhancement …
Yes, it’s a lot. But to remember things again, I think worth it. The amazing thing is not all of the people did were able to follow the entire protocol. The most common complaints were the dietary changes and the amount of supplements/pills they had to take. What else is amazing about this study is the side effects.
Oh the side effects. These people had improved body mass indices, lost weight, and improved in overall health. A side effect not many single drug treatments can say.
With 5.5 million people affected by this illness in the United States, this study may bring some relief. Although, as with anything in science one study needs to be supported by others, but it does provide us with perhaps a better option and a better way to think about this disease.
As you can see functional medicine looks at many different systems in the body. We can address those systems using lifestyle, nutrition, targeted testing, and targeted supplementation. If you need help, another opinion, another way of thinking about chronic illness, let me know.