1. Expert Q&A: Dementia Research, Tuesday 26th March, 3-4pm

    At Alzheimer's Society our research program focuses on improving care for people with dementia today and finding a cure for tomorrow.

    Hannah from our Research Team will be answering your questions on all our research efforts on Tuesday 26 March between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Promising book on dementia prevention

Discussion in 'Books, film and music' started by lambchop, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. lambchop

    lambchop Registered User

    Nov 18, 2011
    #1 lambchop, Apr 3, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
    I have read a book called 'The End of Alzheimers' by Dr Dale Bredesen who is a Professor of Neurology in California. The book explains why there is no cure for dementia and, I'm afraid to say, unlikely to be one. However, it has a protocol of treatment strategies - tailored to the individual, which have had very positive results on patients where he works. The strategies are not straightforward and not fully achievable in the UK without the aid of an unconventionally trained GP (a functional doctor).

    But the message is based on looking at your diet, exercise, sleep patterns, baseline blood chemistry, your genes etc - on the basis that a lot of dementias (and other diseases) stem from an inflammatory response which the body is trying to protect itself from, but doing it badly. So, remove or reduce the sources of inflammation and the brain will respond. And starting treatment or prevention as early as possible is also the message.

    There are certain things we can all do without medical tests and the book is definitely worth reading just to find out more about dementia itself.
  2. Georgina63

    Georgina63 Registered User

    Aug 11, 2014
    Thanks @lambchop, I just took a quick look at a summary of the book. Sounds interesting! Think I'll order a copy and let you know what I think. Gx
  3. karaokePete

    karaokePete Volunteer Host

    Jul 23, 2017
    An interesting topic.
    When I read the Consultants report after my wife's diagnosis I was surprised by how many of the listed risk factors seen in my wife related to lifestyle choices made before she met me (we married in our 50's). Of course other risk factors were at play so who can say that she wouldn't have developed Alzheimer's anyway. However, it's still an interesting concept.
  4. lambchop

    lambchop Registered User

    Nov 18, 2011
    the concepts in the book can be more fully carried out with the help of a functional doctor. It is the only positive outlook on dementia treatment that I have come across.

    If anyone watched 'Doctor in the House' which featured UK doctor, Dr Rangan Chatterjee, who gave very person centred and unconventional care to his patients, you will see how promising this type of care, in itself, is. He is a conventionally trained GP who then broadened his experience to become a functional doctor. He does not see patients currently unfortunately (too busy no doubt). He did talk about his hopes of starting a trial of Dr Bredesen's protocol in the UK, so fingers crossed. You can youtube him - he is a very impressive doctor, as is Dr Bredesen.
  5. Careroncoffee

    Careroncoffee Registered User

    Feb 16, 2018
    Watford, Hertfordshire
    @lambchop professionally, I’ve followed Bredesen for years. It’s great you’ve come across one of his books.

    Functional medicine was the basis of my training as a medical herbalist 20+ years ago. It’s brilliant to see British based Drs like Chatterjee, Malhotra, Unwin, McCormack et al taking on the principles and applying them to their practice.

    Unfortunately many doctors fear the wrath of the powers that be within medicine, to publicly admit that mainstream treatments are failing, especially in chronic conditions. I was recently at a conference and was heartened by the GP’s that were eager to sit in with practitioners like myself, to learn more about the functional approach.

    I personally feel physiology has been separated from medicine in a race to find the one cause of a disease, with the one cure for all. This has often been to patients detriment. However, I remain optimistic that times are changing.
  6. lambchop

    lambchop Registered User

    Nov 18, 2011
    Thank you so much for your positive and helpful words Careroncoffee. I also believe opinions are changing, but it will take time for a sea change and, in the meantime, people who really need help may only get this help if they have the money and knowledge to seek it out.

    The benefits on dementia could be astounding and the amount of money that has so far been spent, to no avail, is a huge shame (ie drug therapy). Dr Bredesen in his book talks about the FDA finally allowing proper clinical trials in the USA - it will take time for the results of these trials, but finally, with this data will come the proof that, not only can dementia be prevented and reversed, but that conventional medicine has to change.

    BTW, could you provide the details of the conference - it sounds very interesting.
  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006

    I think that should be prefaced by hopefully or may.

    I do think this approach shows promise but until there have been further clinical trials it remains only a possible theory.
  8. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    It amazes me when I think of all the activity my poor old Brain has gone through in 75years ok I have dementia /FTD but when I consider all man/woman made objects I use every day the majority have a shelf life of 5 years if I’m lucky , and although my Brain has suffered a little bit of damage and even when not firing on all cylinders It still continues to function for years in my case 19 years and its been Pain Free
    "have a nice day"

    a couple of things from internet
    Simulating 1 second of human brain activity takes 82,944 processors
    The brain processes 400 Billion bits of information a second. BUT, we are ONLY aware of 2,000 of those?" -Dr. Joseph Dispenza, D.C. The average "clock speed" of neurons in the brain is a mere 200 firings per second.
  9. lambchop

    lambchop Registered User

    Nov 18, 2011
    #9 lambchop, Apr 4, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
    True Jennifer - of course the clinical trials may show negative results. Personally, I am enthusiastic about the findings in the book and I believe the (non-pharmaceutical) strategies shown are worth reading at least and can be brought to your clinician's attention as well. It gives hope - that's the main thing, whereas now, we only have drugs that slow the disease down. That's my belief anyway. It's all down to choice. You can read the book (or not) and come to your own conclusion. There have been many media headlines promising pharmaceutical cures for alzheimers and nothing has come to fruition.
  10. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    If you Google Dr. Bredesen, there is heaps of information. He claims that it is possible to reverse the effects of Alzheimer's on cognitive function.

    I don't think that his trials have been on a particularly large number of people and his protocol seems to be extremely complicated and is highly individualized so I suspect that it's a long way off being available for most of us.
  11. lambchop

    lambchop Registered User

    Nov 18, 2011
    That's brilliant Tony - keep up the good work. I love your analagy with household objects only lasting 5 years!
  12. lambchop

    lambchop Registered User

    Nov 18, 2011
    #12 lambchop, Apr 4, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
    I agree that the protocols can be complicated, which is why you need the asstance of someone trained in functional medicine or the strategies Dr Bredesen outlines. Family can help too, but you can't do them alone, necessarily, especially if you have dementia. There are a few functional doctors in the UK, and for anyone who is looking for a way to TRY and prevent or lessen the effects of their dementia, it's worth looking into, surely - what else is there? The interventions we can all look at are diet, exercise and sleep - all common sense factors in any illness. And, believe me, individualised medicine is the way forward for all medicine of the future.

    The clinicial trials have been small so far but that will be changing with FDA approval for a large trial - it's all explained in the book. All I'm saying is that it gives hope - surely hope is better than what we have currently?

    I would add that the more people who are interested in the findings of the book and bring them to their clinician's attention, the more clinicians should take notice. Leave a copy at your GP surgery or memory clinic - I brought the book to the attention of mum's admiralty nurse and the Alzheimers' Society.
  13. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    I must say that I am always very suspicious and cynical about any claims that dementia can be reversed.
  14. carolynp

    carolynp Registered User

    Mar 4, 2018
    Thank you Canary.
  15. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    My personal view is that carers have too much on their plate, financially and practically, to be encouraged to buy a very speculative book to hand over to their gp, who frankly has neither the time or the resources to follow such a complex protocol.

    I do understand your enthusiasm but at this time I think it's misguided.

    As it is, resources are stretched so thin that people struggle even to get a diagnosis.
  16. lambchop

    lambchop Registered User

    Nov 18, 2011
    It's sad to hear someone describe my enthusiasm as 'misguided'.

    Yes, I am enthuastic about this book, and no-one's hopes should be unduly raised, but, as a former carer, I am keen to find ways to try and prevent dementia in myself as well as trying to help others, which is understandably the reason behind me posting about this book in the first place.

    There have been recent posts here about cannabis use for dementia which shows people are desperate for help.

    Ultimately, it is just a book, not a drug, so it won't do anyone harm to read it, if they wish to; it's just a choice, which I was trying to highlight - no-one is being forced to buy it and forum users can make their own minds up. Even if anyone thinks my enthuasiasm is unwarranted, I don't feel discouragement is fair either.
  17. patilo33

    patilo33 Registered User

    Oct 12, 2011
    It does raise the question of...'Can i be doing anything different in my life that may help to stem any possible brain functions that will cause me to get dementia?
    I too, was a former carer, and have been looking into that. That's not to say that the scientifically proven answer is out there, but that it gives me hope and I feel better for doing something.
    The analogue with walking poles....If my knees can be functioning better for longer by using two walking poles then I use two poles on my rambles...makes sense.
  18. philamillan

    philamillan Registered User

    Feb 26, 2015
    I have been following Dr Bredesen for a number of years and his work is becoming more recognised.

    In reality the basis is purely nutritional and metabolic. This is how the improvement will come.

    Many people are sceptical about the potential for dementia reversal but I am sure that it will become the standard rather than the exception.

    Often we expect our clinicians to be brave in trying novel ideas. However are we willing to step outside of the box by being a guinea pig in order to make a difference in our loved ones?

    Change will require us all to be brave in order to make a difference.
  19. lambchop

    lambchop Registered User

    Nov 18, 2011
    Thank you both very much for your helpful and positive comments. : )
  20. Country lady

    Country lady Registered User

    Dec 5, 2017
    I read Dr Bredesen book - he is not a charlatan but a highly qualified Head of Neurology in San Francisco. His approach is one of 21st cenrury Medicen - like what is currently happening in individualized chemotherapy cancer treatment . No longer one size fits all . The reason his protocol is not more broadly known as yet is down to lack of $$$$ making potential for drug companies . The ‘ cure ‘ for Alzheimer’s is a Trillion dollar goldmine - and drug companies want a simple drug based solution - which looks highly unlikely given the complicated brain science.

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