“The End of Alzheimer’s Program”, What’s in the New Book by Dr. Dale Bredesen

by Amylee Amos MS, RDN, IFMCPNews

Alzheimer’s disease should be- and shall be- a rare disease.” Dr. Dale Bredesen starts off his second book with a profound statement of hope for the millions of people hoping to prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s disease. “The End of Alzheimer's Program,” Bredesen’s new book coming out later this month, elaborates on the message of his previous book entitled “The End of Alzheimer’s”- that Alzheimer’s disease is a highly treatable condition and that with personalized and precise intervention, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s can be reversed and cognition can be improved at any age.

This new and updated “The End of Alzheimer’s Program” begins by explaining the need for a holistic approach to treating Alzheimer’s disease. The physical, emotional, and financial toll of Alzheimer’s disease is monumental. Alzheimer’s is now the 3rd leading cause of death. The vaccine for Alzheimer’s exists, but it’s not an injection. It requires addressing each of the underlying drivers of an individual’s cognitive decline. This means multiple concurrent therapies, which strays significantly from the more allopathic approach to medicine of the monotherapy.

Dr. Bredesen describes chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s, as a boa constrictor. You often don’t feel the disease beginning to take hold. The disease creeps up on the individual, not overtly manifesting until advanced stages of the illness, just as a boa constrictor slowly and unknowingly squeezes its prey until it’s too late. But by looking into the biochemistry and genetic makeup of the individual, by analyzing the diet and lifestyle, we can identify the beginnings of the constriction and take action before the disease takes over.

In his new book Dr. Bredesen describes the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease- clarifying that this disease is a protective downsizing of the brain. Thus, identifying and addressing the various insults from which the brain needs to retreat into this protective mode, we can reverse the symptoms. He delineates the method of the treatment: removal of the exposures that are contributing to the decline, creating resilience by supporting and enhancing health, and rebuilding the neuronal network to restore cognitive function. He explains that to do this, one must reestablish insulin sensitivity, achieve metabolic flexibility by regaining the ability to get into mild ketosis, optimize nutrients, hormones, and growth factor levels, resolve and prevent new inflammation, treat chronic pathogens, remove toxins, and rule out sleep apnea. Bredesen elaborates on his description of the various subtypes of Alzheimer’s disease, previously described in his first book, which align with the different insults to the brain that cause Alzheimer’s.

One major addition to the book is the Reversing Cognitive Decline Handbook, which offers a deep dive into the nutrition and lifestyle recommendations of the Bredesen Protocol. Complete with practical tips and myriad scientific study references to support the recommendations. In the description of the Ketoflex 12/3 nutrition plan, Bredesen highlights the importance of mild ketosis to overcome the decrease in glucose utilization in brains of Alzheimer’s patients and ApoE4 carriers. This chapter, co written with Aida Lasheen Bredesen MD (Bredesen’s wife and integrative physician) and Julie Gregory (a patient who has demonstrated remarkable success in reversing her cognitive decline using the protocol) offers a new look at the traditional food pyramid, adapting the pyramid to support optimal brain function and reversal of cognitive decline. The new pyramid features fasting at the bottom of the pyramid, non-starchy vegetables as the most important part of the diet, followed by resistant starches and pre/probiotics, then fruit and animal protein, and finally indulgences like wine and chocolate. Bredesen elaborates on other aspects of the protocol including exercise, sleep, stress, brain training, oral health, and more. Scattered throughout are inspiring case studies depicting successes in overcoming challenges, emails from grateful family members of recovered patients, and specific scenarios in which testing or other interventions made the difference in an individual’s recovery.

Like his previous book, Bredesen writes with unyielding passion and a deep humility. He is revolutionizing how we approach Alzheimer’s disease and the book is a wonderful first step into reversing or preventing cognitive decline. I have known and worked with Dr. Bredesen, Dr. Lasheen Bredesen, and Julie Gregory for many years and am still inspired by their dedication and fervid commitment to reversing this disease. Bredesen stresses the use of seeing a functional medicine practitioner and partnering in the implementation of the Bredesen Protocol with a qualified nutrition professional among other practitioners that may be needed. By doing so, the Ketoflex 12/3 nutrition plan can be tailored to meet the unique needs of the individual. This is where the Amos Institute Cognitive Health Program shines. Our registered dietitian nutritionists are trained in a functional medicine approach to treating chronic disease and specialize in the implementation of the nutrition and lifestyle aspects of the Bredesen Protocol. In addition to reading this newest book on the Bredesen Protocol, our Cognitive Health Program and comprehensive nutrition services can support you in safely and completely implementing the Ketoflex 12/3 nutrition plan and creating the internal environment needed to prevent and reverse Alzheimer’s disease.