Are you dealing with brain fog or having trouble focusing? Does it impact your productivity and performance? Has it progressed to the point that you’re having trouble doing simple tasks you could before?
If so, you’re not alone. Memory problems are one of the most common complaints I see in my practice, and it is growing more frequent every year. It seems nothing scares people into lifestyle change quite as fast as the fear of developing cognitive decline!
In fact, the loss of mental acuity occurs on a spectrum ranging from brain fog to subjective cognitive decline, to mild cognitive impairment and on to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
While we’re all struggling to cope with the information overload the digital age has created, there are some very real metabolic changes that drive the development of dementia over decades.
According to Dale Bredesen, MD, the neurologist/researcher, founder of the Buck Institute of Aging and author of the new book “The End of Alzheimer’s”, there are 3 major subtypes of dementia, each driven by different processes:
- Inflammation (often triggered by insulin resistance)
- Imbalance or deficiency of key hormones and nutrients
- Toxic overload (heavy metals, pesticides, chronic infections, and more).
As a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist, this makes perfect sense, as I’ve seen these same processes promote a variety of other chronic diseases! I’ve been trained to view the body/mind as an integrated system that is constantly seeking balance (homeostasis) in response to a range of stressors. Once the root causes of a condition are identified, then we support our body’s immense self-healing capacities with natural therapies that restore balance and function.
Looking at dementia from this “functional medicine” perspective has led Dr. Bredesen and his team to recognize that Alzheimer’s is not just one disease with one cause that can be cured by one magic bullet.
Instead, he has come to view the development of dementia as caused by dozens of factors that tip the scale from balance towards the over-production of amyloid-beta (the protein that forms the tangles and plaques in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients). To effectively halt the process of cognitive decline, we need to identify and address the majority of those factors. This is do-able!
Like osteoporosis (bone loss), it turns out that the health of our brain lies in the balance of factors that lead to the formation of new neurons versus factors that cause the destruction of neurons.
But isn’t Alzheimer’s caused by our genes? While certain genes do increase the risk, the expression of those genes is dictated by our diet and lifestyle. Remember, “Genetics loads the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger”.
Meaning, just because you have 1 or more copies of a certain gene that predisposes to a condition, doesn’t destine you to develop the condition. Once you know your genetic status, you have the power to adjust your diet and lifestyle to reduce the activity of those genes!
Last summer, I had the opportunity to complete the advanced training in Dr. Dale Bredesen’s ReCODE protocol for evaluating and treating cognitive decline and I’m excited to share this breakthrough information with you over the coming months!
During 2018, we’ll explore the lifestyle changes you can make to put the brakes on cognitive decline and improve brain function. You’ll learn about the gut-brain connection, how to cool inflammation, balance your hormones, reduce toxic exposure and how to eat to beat the drivers of dementia. I’ll share strategic info on the right foods, supplements and neuron-nourishing recipes to wake up your brain!
The best news is that this approach not only helps fight dementia, but also addresses the root cause of many other chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, autoimmunity and even cancer.
So, if you’re interested and have friends or family who need this information, please subscribe here to receive my weekly post www.drsallyskitchen.com and please share these posts widely!
Want to get a head start on the process? Click here to pick up a copy of the groundbreaking book “The End of Alzheimer’s” by Dr. Dale Bredesen.