Alzheimer's disease is a diagnosis that affects not only those living with it, but also their loved ones. The most common type of dementia, Alzheimer's is a degenerative disorder characterized by cognitive decline and memory loss. For years it has been considered irreversible and incurable — until now.
Thanks to the research of Dr. Dale Bredesen and his team, there is newfound optimism: the groundbreaking Bredesen Protocol®. As a ReCODE 2.0™ Certified Provider, Dr. Trevor Turner is proud to be part of this revolution in Alzheimer’s treatment, which targets the changes Alzheimer's causes in the brain, aiming to prevent and reverse early Alzheimer’s disease.
In this month's blog post, we'll discuss the basics of Alzheimer's disease, how it's been treated in the past, and what sets the Bredesen Protocol® apart.
First, What Are Dementia And Alzheimer's Disease?
Dementia is an umbrella term for a variety of neurological disorders that affect memory and other cognitive functions. Dementia can make it difficult for a person to think clearly, make decisions, remember details, and even regulate their emotions. Contrary to popular belief, dementia isn't a normal part of aging; instead, it's the result of physical changes in the brain.
The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, which accounts for 60% - 80% of all cases. This progressive disorder is caused by the breakdown of nerve cells and their connections in the brain, leading to a decline in memory and other cognitive abilities. The most common early symptom of the disease is difficulty remembering new information. This is primarily due to the disease usually affecting the part of the brain responsible for learning first.
There are several different stages of Alzheimer's disease that you might hear about:
- Mild Alzheimer's disease: In this stage, a person may be able to drive, work, and participate in social activities. However, they also may experience subtle memory lapses, like forgetting common words or where everyday objects are kept around the house. Symptoms might not be obvious to others at this stage, but a doctor would be able to diagnose the disease through specific tests.
- Moderate Alzheimer's disease: This stage is often the longest-lasting and can persist for many years. At this point, the person suffering from the disease will need more assistance and care due to their decline in mental clarity. Symptoms are more apparent in this stage and might include confusion with words, increased irritability and frustration, as well as changed behavior like refusing to bathe. It might also be difficult for the person to express their thoughts and perform everyday tasks by themselves.
- Severe Alzheimer's disease: A person in this stage may struggle with communication, responding to their environment, and basic motor functions. As the disease progresses and cognitive skills continue to worsen, around-the-clock care may be necessary.
In addition, a person may experience early-onset Alzheimer's disease. While age is a risk factor for Alzheimer's, around 200,000 people in the United States experience symptoms of the disease before turning 65, often in their 40s or 50s. Though this is uncommon, it's still worth being aware of.
How Was Alzheimer's Disease Treated In The Past?
There are traditionally two ways to approach Alzheimer's disease treatment: focus on preventing disease progression, or focus on mitigating existing dementia symptoms.
For a person in the early stages with only mild cognitive impairment, doctors might prescribe drugs to minimize further damage. These are typically anti-amyloid treatments, which work by attaching to and removing proteins called beta-amyloids from the brain. Beta-amyloid accumulates into plaques in the brain cells of Alzheimer's patients, causing further damage and cognitive decline if not addressed.
In more advanced cases, doctors might prescribe drugs to help reduce cognitive and behavioral symptoms. For instance, anti-anxiety drugs may be used to ease agitation or aggression, while antidepressants may help with a person's mood. Glutamate regulators can also help improve memory and a person's ability to complete simple tasks.
Another common kind of medication is cholinesterase inhibitors, used at all stages of Alzheimer's disease to help treat symptoms, improve memory, and boost thinking skills. This kind of medication supports communication between nerve cells and prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is important for memory and learning.
Though these medications can all be helpful in treating Alzheimer's disease in their own ways, none focus on helping the brain heal. That's just one of the factors that set the Bredesen Protocol® apart.
What Is The Bredesen Protocol®?
A lot of resources have been spent on clinical trials to study how various medications affect people with Alzheimer's disease. However, these trials are often unrelated to the key factors of neurodegeneration. In other words, they don't focus on finding ways to reverse or prevent the disease, but rather mask its symptoms.
Dr. Dale Bredesen's clinical trial, however, was different. The Bredesen Protocol® is a comprehensive approach to Alzheimer's disease treatment that looks at the underlying causes of cognitive decline, rather than simply treating symptoms. It is the first scientifically validated program to reverse Alzheimer's disease and related cognitive decline—and it has already helped people around the world.
The Bredesen Protocol® is broken down into two pieces: PreCODE, for prevention, and ReCODE, for reversal. As a ReCODE 2.0™ Certified Provider, Dr. Trevor Turner is able to utilize the Bredesen Protocol to help his patients reclaim their brain health, optimize their cognitive abilities, and take back their lives!
Is ReCODE 2.0™ Right For Me?
If you or a loved one are in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, the Bredesen Protocol® may be right for you. A person in the later stages of the disease may not see the same results as someone who is early-stage, but improvements are still possible! In fact, Dr. Bredesen has seen remarkable progress in patients suffering from the later stages of Alzheimer's, even if they haven't made a complete recovery.
Each individual living with Alzheimer's disease is unique, and as such, the protocol is personalized for each patient. Crafting a successful treatment plan involves making adjustments to lifestyle and diet, incorporating nutritional supplements, and taking part in cognitive rehabilitation. With Dr. Turner's guidance, you can discover greater neuroplasticity—the brain's remarkable capacity to heal itself and generate new neurons and synapses.
Before beginning the program, Dr. Turner will assess your condition and work together with you to determine if ReCODE 2.0™ is the right option for you. If you're ready to get started, reach out to us today!
With offices at 6063 Peachtree Parkway Suite 102A, Norcross, GA 30092, Dr. Trevor Turner is excited to help his patients reclaim their brain health and take back control of their lives. Schedule your appointment online today, or call 404-490-0093 to learn more!