I can’t recommend highly enough Dr Dale Bredesen’s book The End of Alzheimer’s.
Update 2019: There is now a new Case Study publication, released by Dr Bredesen since I first wrote this article, click here to read: Reversal of Cognitive Decline: 100 Patients
The Bredesen Protocol is a new, exciting possibility for the treatment of Alzheimer’s. It is defined as a multi-factorial lifestyle and nutrition based approach to treating and reversing the disease. In terms that you and I would understand, this means the programme involved almost exclusively dietary and lifestyle intervention.
But what exactly does this mean, and how is it different to traditional approaches to Alzheimer’s ? First, we need to look at how Alzheimer’s affects the brain and understand why it is so important to treat it early on.
What will you find in this article?
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disease of the brain that is the most common cause of dementia. It leads to a host of debilitating symptoms ranging from memory loss to struggles with cohesive thought, language and problem solving.
These symptoms are the result of brain damage caused by the build up of proteins. The proteins cause “plaques” and “tangles” inside the brain, blocking the connections between nerve cells and causing the cells to die – gradually killing the brain tissue.
Alzheimer’s also causes shortages of certain chemicals that are essential for the transmission of electrical signals across the brain (also known as neurotransmitters). A shortage of these chemicals means that signals chant be effectively transmitted from one part of the brain to another, which unsurprisingly can lead to a variety of different problems for individuals.
The number of cases of Alzheimer’s has grown rapidly over the last few decades, and the disease has affected almost all of us through friends or family members that have suffered or died as a result of the disease.
It is estimated that 30 million people suffer form Alzheimer’s across the globe, and this number is expected to rise to 160 million by 2050. Alzheimer’s is the third leading cause of death in the USA and is the leading cause of death in women in the UK (second leading cause of death for men). Understandably, Alzheimer’s is feared by many of us.
Aside from the shocking statistics, there are two main reasons that Alzheimer’s is a particularly scary disease.
- Firstly, it is degenerative. This means that over time more and more parts of the brain become affected, making symptoms become exponentially worse.
- Secondly, it has long been considered an untreatable, unpreventable and irreversible disease – although as we will see the Bredesen Protocol challenges this idea.
Is Alzheimer’s a single disease or three different ones?
Before we look at the Bredesen Protocol’s approach to treatment, we need to consider a major distinction that it makes from traditional medicine. Namely, that Alzheimer’s actually comes in three different sub-types, rather than being a single disease. These are:
- Inflammatory – which sees an increased numbers of biological markers such as C-reactive protein, and an increase of the ratio of serum albumin to globulin. Both are biomarkers of systemic inflammation.
- Non-inflammatory – neither of the two biological markers are increased, but there other measurable metabolic abnormalities. This is also referred to as ‘cold alzheimer’s’ and is usually linked to low vitamin D levels and high homocysteine.
- Cortical/distinctly different – this sub-type most commonly affects younger people. It is generally distributed more widely across the brain than the other sub-types. People who suffer from cortical/distinctly different Alzheimer’s are always deficient in zinc – usually to toxic levels.
Alzheimer’s needs a networked approach rather than a single approach
The Bredesen Protocol argues that traditional drug treatments or other therapies that target Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases with a single approach have simply failed. After all, hundreds of millions of pounds have been spent developing such treatments, and yet there is currently no effective treatment for the disease.
This argument is based on recent genetic and biochemical research that has given us a glimpse into the various molecular interactions that work together during the onset of Alzheimer’s. With this logic, the Bredesen Protocol claims that a make networked approach is more likely to be effective than a single one.
According to Professor Bredesen, who revolutionised the approach, we need to target Alzheimer’s by bringing together a number of different biological processes, each one designed to improve cognitive functioning. He argues that any single-approach therapy does nothing more than provide marginal and temporary improvements to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, rather than having an effect on the progression of the disease.
The professor uses the metaphor of a roof with many holes to describe his approach. Single-approach drug therapies tend to plug just one of these holes, having little effect on the problem as a whole. Conversely, the Bredesen Protocol aims to simultaneously plug dozens of the holes in an attempt to control the overall condition.
A multi-approach treatment for Alzheimer’s
The Bredesen Protocol aims to tackle Alzheimer’s in this way by targeting a range of its symptoms simultaneously. The approach aims to identify and address the various areas of imbalance within the brain by making a range of positive changes to the sufferer’s diet and lifestyle. These include getting regular exercise, minimising stress, optimising sleep, and stimulating the brain at regular intervals.
Which symptoms does the Bredesen Protocol target?
The dietary and lifestyle changes that together form the Bredesen Protocol simultaneously address a number of symptoms of Alzheimer’s, including:
- Brain tangles
- Metabolic issues
- Hormonal imbalances
- Gut health and microbial balance
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Genetic errors
- Insoluble and soluble beta-amyloid (also known as brain plaques)
The Bredesen Protocol in clinical trials
Much to the excitement of the medical industry, the Bredesen Protocol has shown positive signs in a recently-published study. The treatment was shown to successfully reverse cognitive decline in people suffering from the early staged of Alzheimer’s and its precursors.
Nine of the ten patients showed objective or subjective improvements from the treatment, from symptoms including memory loss and cognitive impairment. Six of the patients who had given up work were also able to return to their jobs without difficulty.
What Does the Bredesen Protocol Involve?
- Diet: Optimize diet: minimize simple carbohydrates, minimize inflammation. Patients given choice of several low glycemic, low inflammatory, low grain diets. Fast for 12 hr each night, including 3 hr prior to bedtime.
- Sleep: Optimize sleep. 8 hr sleep per night; melatonin 0.5mg po qhs; Tryptophan 500mg po 3x/wk if awakening. Exclude sleep apnea.
- Exercise: 30-60 minutes per day, 4-6 days per week.
- Stress: Reduce stress. Personalized (yoga, meditation or music, etc.)
- GI Health: Repair if needed; prebiotics and probiotics
You can read the whole protocol in the original published paper here. Dr. Bredesen describes a 36 point intervention that includes such things as optimising blood chemistry and mitochondrial function, keeping homocysteine below 7, increasing ketogenesis, keeping A1c below 5.5, optimizing vitamin D levels, and adding sources of good fat for the brain like coconut oil.
Interestingly, the recommendations of the Bredesen Protocol are very similar to what those of us who are fans of “paleo” recommend – avoid simple (refined) carbohydrates, eat a low grain diet, aim for 8 hours sleep per night, exercise and reduce stress.
Coconut Oil for Alzheimer’s
In 2008, Dr Mary Newport published a report entitled “What if there was a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease and no one knew” In this report she discusses the role that coconut oil can have in helping halt the progression of Alzheimer’s. Her interest arose because one of the drug’s being used to treat Alzheimer’s was based on MCT oil (the type of fat found in coconut oil). Since she could not get her husband onto the clinical trial for this drug, she tried giving him virgin coconut oil instead.
While coconut oil alone is unlikely to be able to treat/reverse Alzheimer’s disease, it is something that merits further research.
With these encouraging results it seems that the Bredesen Protocol could revolutionise the treatment of Alzhmeimer’s disease, and turn what has traditionally been an incurable disease into something that is manageable (and maybe even reversible). We are excited to see how the next round of clinical trials will progress.
Update 2019: Read more about Dr. Bredesen’s ReCODE Protocol
- What is a ReCODE Report or Cognoscopy?
- How is the ReCODE Report generated?
- Practitioner Locations for the UK, Ireland and Europe, plus Bilingual Telemedicine Practitioners
- How to work with a Physician…and Telemedicine options, if there are no practitioners near you
- The ideal team…
- ReCODE Report ReVERSE account
- Lab Costs and Testing
ReCODE Report ReVERSE account
- About The Bredesen Protocol
- How to sign up for a ReCODE Report ReVERSE account and start The Bredesen Protocol
- Frequently Asked Questions about the ReCODE Report ReVERSE account
What is a ReCODE Report or Cognoscopy?
A ReCODE Report™ is a highly individualized evaluation of your cognitive health—an assessment based on lab results ordered by your Qualified ReCODE Report practitioner, or the panel provided by our lab affiliate for the One-time ReCODE Report (available in the U.S.). A ReCODE Report is what Dr. Dale Bredesen sometimes refers to as a “cognoscopy.”
The ReCODE Report is a reference for participants and their Qualified ReCODE Report practitioners. We highly recommend consulting a Bredesen Protocol practitioner to review and interpret your Report. ReCODE Reports are accessible through your apollo.ahnphealth.com
How is the ReCODE Report generated?
The ReCODE Report is generated from a specific set of 140+ factors, including labs and genetic testing curated by Dr. Bredesen. Once results are submitted, a personalized report is generated, providing a snapshot of the contributing factors in the participant’s cognitive decline—or risk factors that might lead to cognitive decline for those in the prevention program.
The goal is not simply to normalize metabolic parameters—but optimize them. The results of the ReCODE Report highlight the participant’s primary areas of concern and suggests how to specifically address each contributing factor.
ReCODE Reports are the essential component to the prevention or reversal of Alzheimer’s Disease using The Bredesen Protocol. The proprietary algorithm used to generate ReCODE Reports is a product of Dr. Bredesen’s 30 years of research. To compile and calculate ReCODE results by hand takes Dr. Bredesen several hours. The algorithm automates this process and makes the technology available to a global network of trained practitioners.
A ReCODE Report is integral to practicing The Bredesen Protocol.
Bredesen ReCODE Protocol Practitioner Locations
* All practitioners listed are currently accepting new patients.
UNITED KINGDOM and IRELAND
- We have 20 practitioners in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
- Bromley, England: 1 Clinical Nutritionist
- Lincoln, England: 1 Nutrition Practitioner
- London, England: 3 Medical Doctors, 1 Naturopath/Clinical Nutritionist/Medical Herbalist, 1 Naturopathic Doctor/Certified Functional Nutritionist, 1 DO, 1 Certified Functional Nutritionist/Master Herbalist/Naturopath, 1 Nutritional Medicine Practitioner/Functional Nutrition Practitioner, 1 Nutritional Therapist, and 1 Health Coach
- St. Albans, England: 1 Medical Doctor
- Okehampton, Devon, England: 1 Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist
- Twickenham, England: 1 Medical Doctor/Naturopath/Herbal Medicine/Medical Acupuncture/Functional Medicine Practitioner
- Kendal, England: 1 Medical Doctor
- Dublin, Ireland: 1 Registered Nutritional Therapist
- Ayr, Scotland: 1 ND/DO in Ayr, Scotland
- Edinburgh, Scotland: 1 Medical Herbalist and 1 Acupuncturist
- We currently have 11 practitioners in Europe.
- Bruxelles, Belgium: 1 Naturopath
- Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany: 1 Dentist
- Kaag, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands: 1 Holistic Nutritionist/Health Coach in Kaag, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
- Bergen, Hordaland, Norway: 1 Medical Doctor and 1 Health Coach
- Oslo, Norway: 1 Medical Doctor
- Porto, Portugal: 1 Nutritionist
- Palma de Mallorca, Illes Balears, Spain: 1 Naturopathic Doctor/Certified Functional Nutritionist (also has a clinic in London, England)
- Göteborg, Västra Götalands län, Sweden: 1 Medicine Doctor/Neuroscientist
- Zurich, Switzerland: 1 Psychotherapist/
Neuropsychologist and 1 Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist
CROATIAN-LANGUAGE TELEMEDICINE PRACTITIONERS
We have 1 practitioner that speaks English and Croatian.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada: 1 DC
FRENCH-LANGUAGE TELEMEDICINE PRACTITIONERS
We have 1 practitioner that speaks English and French.
Cochrane, Alberta, Canada: 1 MD
GERMAN-LANGUAGE TELEMEDICINE PRACTITIONERS
We have 1 Telemedicine Practitioner that speaks German and English.
Austin, TX, US: 1 DOM/CCN (also has a clinic in Santa Fe, NM, US)
SPANISH-LANGUAGE TELEMEDICINE PRACTITIONERS
(See Number 2 in the section below)
We have 6 English and Spanish-language Telemedicine Practitioners.
Palma de Mallorca, Illes Balears, Spain: 1 Naturopathic Doctor/Certified Functional Nutritionist (also has a clinic in London, England)
Hollywood, FL, US: 1 DO
Surfside, FL, US: 1 MD
Boston, MA, US: 1 MD (also has clinics in Lima, Peru and New Delhi, India)
Cary, NC, US: 1 MD
Austin, TX, US: 1 DOM (also has a clinic in Santa Fe, NM, US)
MD= Medical Doctor
DO= Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
NMD, ND= Naturopathic Medicine Doctor, Naturopathic Doctor
DC= Doctor of Chiropractic
DOM, OMD, DAOM, DCM= Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Oriental Medicine Doctor, Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Doctor of Chinese Medicine
PA, PA-C= Physician Assistant, Physician Assistant-Certified
NP, DNP, FNP, FNP-BC, ARNP, CRNP, APNP= Nurse Practitioner, Doctor of Nurse Practice, Family Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner
RN, APRN= Registered Nurse, Advanced Practitioner Registered Nurse
RDN, LDN= Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist
CNM= Certified Nurse Midwife
CCN= Certified Clinical Nutritionist
NTP= Nutritional Therapy Practitioner
DPT= Doctor of Physical Therapy
We do not have an open referral system. If you’d like practitioner pricing for any of the practitioners listed above, please let us know and we’ll request this information on your behalf.
If you have a physician (medical degree) to whom you’d like to recommend practitioner training, we now offer a live-stream option that requires no travel. Please ask your physician to contact us at email@example.com for details.
How to work with a Physician…and Telemedicine options, if there are no practitioners near you
- Physician (MD, DO, medical degree) trained in The Bredesen Protocol
- Make an appointment to see a Physician (MD, DO, medical degree) who is trained in The Bredesen Protocol.
- After the first appointment, the Physician recommends lab tests to be completed. The Physician generates your personalized ReCODE Report using your lab-test results.
- The Physician reviews and interprets the results of the ReCODE Report and helps you implement The Bredesen Protocol.
- If the Physician is also a Telemedicine Practitioner, please know that depending on state law, some Telemedicine Practitioners require that the first appointment be “in-person.” After that, your sessions are conducted via Telemedicine or in-person, however you and your practitioner prefer.
- Your family Physician + a Bredesen Protocol Practitioner who is also a Telemedicine Practitioner
If your family Physician is willing…
- Make a Telemedicine appointment with a Bredesen Protocol Practitioner. These Practitioners include Health Coaches (who are often Nurse Practitioners/Registered Nurses), Nurse Practitioners (NPs/RNs), Nutritionists (RDNs), Physician’s Assistant (PAs), Doctors of Chiropractic Medicine (DCs), Acupuncturists, Naturopaths, Doctors of Oriental Medicine, and Physical Therapists.
- After the first appointment, the Bredesen Protocol Practitioner speaks with your family Physician about the recommended lab tests to be ordered.
- Your family Physician orders the recommended lab tests, then shares the results of your lab tests with the Bredesen Protocol Practitioner.
- The Bredesen Protocol Practitioner enters your lab-test results into the ReCODE Report software to generate your personalized ReCODE Report.
- You and your Bredesen Protocol Practitioner implement the protocol based on the recommendations of your personalized ReCODE Report. You may also choose to share a print-out of the ReCODE Report with your family Physician.
- If you have a Physician (MD, DO, medical degree) to whom you would like to recommend our practitioner training, we now offer a live-stream option that requires no travel.
- Please ask your Physician to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
- After your Physician has finished the on-line training and has signed up for a Practitioner ReCODE Report account, you may work together to implement The Bredesen Protocol.
The ideal team…
We feel The Bredesen Protocol works best when administered by a team of professionals working together to ensure participants are getting all aspects of the program and the best care possible.
The ideal team includes a Physician (medical degree), a Nutritionist and/or a Health Coach. There are many aspects to the Protocol and it’s essential to include them all for optimal success. We realize that while searching for a provider, you may find only one member of the team in your area and not the others. If, for example, you find a Health Coach, you’ll still need a Physician (medical degree) to order the lab tests in most, but not all states. We strongly urge you to seek the care of the whole team and, if you need help, we’re here to offer guidance.
The benefit of this collaborative platform allows you to select as many practitioners as you need. You can keep all of your ReCODE Reports in one place so it’s easy to access and track progress.
A ReCODE Report is integral to practicing The Bredesen Protocol.
ReCODE Report ReVERSE account (monthly program)
Work with Qualified ReCODE Report practitioners trained in The Bredesen Protocol and track progress with unlimited ReCODE Reports.
The cost for a one-year subscription is $75 USD per month for a 1-year commitment (12 payments), and then month-to-month after your 12 payments have been made.
Your personal health insurance may cover some of the lab costs for the monthly ReVERSE program.
What comes with your ReCODE Report ReVERSE account (monthly program):
- Map of trained practitioners globally
- Unlimited ReCODE Reports to track progress
- Complimentary BrainHQ account (brain-training exercises)
- Monthly Town Hall videos hosted by Dr. Bredesen
- Exclusive videos to support participants on their journey to optimize brain health
- Sourcing information for highest quality supplements delivered to your door at reasonable prices
- Nutritional Guidelines
- Ketone and Glucose Measurement Guides
- Troubleshooting Checklist
New features and support content for your ReCODE Report ReVERSE account, include:
- Exercise Tips
- Sleep Hygiene
- Home Mold Testing Instructions
Lab Costs and Testing
ReCODE Report ReVERSE account (monthly program)
Lab testing for the monthly program is determined by your Qualified ReCODE Report practitioner, based upon the findings during your first appointment.
Your personal health insurance may cover some of the lab costs for the monthly ReVERSE program.
What is the estimated cost of labs?
This is highly individualized. For prevention patients (with no symptoms), a trained physician might typically run an abbreviated panel. For others, who are showing some signs of toxicity (or MCI), their practitioner may need to run a more extensive test panel.
We recommend asking your practitioner to order labs as “patient pay” and going directly to your nearest LabCorp or Quest, rather than running the tests through your practitioner’s office, which can be more costly. Ask questions and comparison shop. Other options include Walk In Lab (www.walkinlab.com), which offers labs at discounted rates.
Many participants report that most of these labs are covered by health insurance, depending upon your policy. There are also self-pay discounts for the labs that are not covered by insurance. Ask for an estimate before you have your labs drawn. Out-of-pocket expenses related to lab panels are directly correlated to the type of health insurance you possess and your applicable deductibles. Commercial (Non-Medicare) plans tend to cover more of the labs ordered versus Medicare based plans.
How often will labs be run?
Your Qualified ReCODE Report practitioner will need a baseline ReCODE Report to accurately estimate. To help you economize, we recommend repeating only the tests that are out of Dr. Bredesen’s optimum ranges. Your practitioner may recommend additional testing based upon what your ReCODE Report has uncovered, or to reassess after treatment has been started. Typically, once your unique protocol is well-established and followed (this can take about one year) your practitioner will likely wait three to four months before retesting. Ultimately, retesting will be at your practitioner’s discretion.
About The Bredesen Protocol
Our web address is ahnphealth.com.
Our email address is email@example.com.
Dr. Dale Bredesen has created a software program called ReCODE Report that helps Qualified ReCODE Report practitioners implement The Bredesen Protocol for their patients, while staying up to date with the latest advances in his science.
Dr. Bredesen is available for consult to Qualified ReCODE Report practitioners. He does not, however, see patients directly.
Click here to watch Dr. Bredesen’s explanation of the importance of a ReCODE Report.
To find a practitioner trained in The Bredesen Protocol, please sign up for a ReCODE Report ReVERSE account (monthly program).
How to sign up for a monthly ReCODE Report ReVERSE account and start The Bredesen Protocol:
- Visit apollo.ahnphealth.com.
Complete the registration page, noting the password requirements and required information. If the phone number you provide is mobile, check that box and a Verification Code will be sent to your phone as described in Step 2 below.
- Once you click the “Register” button, you’ll be directed to a Verification Code screen. If you designated “Mobile” for your phone type, a Verification Code will be sent by text (SMS) to your phone. OR, you can click “Send Email Instead” to receive the Verification Code by email.
- Enter the 8-character Verification Code (that you received via text or email) into the box and click the “Validate” button.
- You’ll then see a screen with two options. For the monthly “ReVERSE” program, click the “Select” button for that option.
- On the next screen, you’ll be guided through the payment process.AHNP does not offer ReCODE Report™ ReVERSE account cancellations for the monthly program until the one-year commitment is met. Please consider your commitment carefully.
- Once logged in to your ReCODE Report ReVERSE account, click “Find a Practitioner” and search for practitioners located near you. If you would like practitioner locations before signing up, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your CITY and STATE/COUNTRY. Please expect a response within four to five business days, due to the high volume of inquiry.
- Before clicking “Select Practitioner,” first call and make an appointment with the practitioner to discuss their fees—as health insurance only covers about 7 minutes of a physician’s time, and your new practitioner will need approximately one to two hours for the first appointment. Each practitioner has a different set of fees.
- After your first appointment is scheduled, please click the “Select Practitioner
” button located on the lower-right of their listing to give your new practitioner access to medical information support with Dr. Bredesen—and the ability to generate ReCODE Reports for you.
- We recommend reading through the Nutritional Guidelines. Please check with your physician before changing your diet, especially if you’re on any medications.
- As a ReVERSE participant, you are automatically signed up for acomplimentary BrainHQ account. To access your BrainHQ benefits, please follow the steps below:
• Login to your ReVERSE account at apollo.ahnphealth.com.
• Click the BrainHQ Exercise button on the home page.
• Click the “Sign Up” button on the top or bottom of the page
• Complete the BrainHQ Sign Up Process.
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