Approximately 5 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), one of the most common types of dementia, worldwide. A variety of factors can increase the risk of developing other types of dementia and AD, including poor diet and lifestyle habits. Research studies have also shown that treating the body as a whole may help prevent and, in several cases, even reverse cognitive decline. The goal is to start treatment immediately. In the following article, we will ultimately discuss how a functional medicine approach can help improve AD and other types of dementia.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease Overview
Our brain is a complex organ made-up of about 100 billion neurons that are constantly communicating with each other. Also known as brain cells or nerve cells, neurons play a fundamental role in our cognitive function, including memory, thinking, and learning. Neurons are constantly repairing themselves, especially during sleep, but when brain cells or nerve cells can’t repair themselves, due to a variety of factors, it can ultimately affect cognition. Alzheimer’s disease is associated with a build-up of compounds, such as active microglial cells, tau proteins, and beta-amyloid plaques, among several others.
Because the body can’t break down these compounds, they can start to block the synapses where brain cells or nerve cells communicate with each other. This is believed to be one of the most common causes of AD and other types of dementia. Dr. Dale Bredesen, a renowned expert and neurologist, developed a breakthrough, alternative treatment option for dementia and AD that focuses on reducing glial cells, protein, and plaque build-up in the brain. According to Dr. Bredesen’s research studies, a build-up of these compounds can occur due to toxins, infections, inflammatory biomarkers, and genetics.
Bredesen RECODE Protocol® for Dementia and AD
A variety of factors can increase the risk of developing other types of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease because these can affect the neuron’s ability to repair themselves, ultimately causing brain cell or nerve cell death. As previously mentioned above, they may also cause an excessive build-up of compounds, including microglial cells, tau protein, and beta-amyloid plaque in the brain. Cognitive decline plays a critical role in changing the way the brain creates synapses and preserves memory. Fortunately, a functional medicine approach can help improve Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
Dr. Bredesen’s RECODE Protocol® is an alternative treatment option that can help prevent and, in several cases, even reverse cognitive decline in people with other types of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. According to the research studies, Dr. Bredesen’s RECODE Protocol® returned many participants to pre-diagnosis levels of cognition. In other participants, the volume of the hippocampus, the main region of the brain which shrinks in AD and dementia, returned to normal on MRI. By following diet and lifestyle modifications with the RECODE Protocol®, the research study participants recovered their quality of life.
Dr. Bredesen’s RECODE Protocol ® is an organized, multifactorial approach which shows that prevention and reversal of cognitive decline are possible by:
- Addressing several underlying sources simultaneously
- Optimizing essential lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, and sleep
- Designing treatment based on each patient’s personal needs
Dr. Bredesen’s RECODE Protocol ® follows a functional medicine treatment approach for AD and other types of dementia. Healthcare practitioners trained through the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) are seeing positive results in people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. IFM healthcare practitioners use functional medicine treatment approaches to identify and address the underlying source of a variety of health issues. IFM healthcare practitioners may be properly suited to apply, and even expand, Dr. Bredesen’s RECODE Protocol ® for AD and other types of dementia, among other health issues.
Furthermore, several diet and lifestyle modifications may ultimately help prevent and, in several cases, even reverse dementia and AD, including:
- Eating a whole-food low glycemic diet, made-up of predominately plant-based foods with 10-15 servings of non-starchy vegetables per day. Moreover, eat lean proteins, such as legumes and cold-water, low-mercury fish. Eat healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
- Getting plenty of sleep. When you sleep at night, your body can also heal damaged cells and ultimately boost your immune system.
- Getting plenty of exercise and physical activity boosts your metabolism, improves mood, promotes better sleep and much more.
- Limiting exposure to toxins. Toxins, such as heavy metals, chemicals, mycotoxins, and even some medications, can cause cognitive decline.
- Avoiding stress. Chronic stress can cause hormonal and neurotransmitter changes in the body, causing brain degeneration and atrophy.
- Avoiding alcohol. Alcohol is a toxin that affects the liver’s ability to metabolize toxins and it is also commonly associated with brain atrophy.
Approximately 5 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), one of the most common types of dementia, worldwide. A variety of factors can increase the risk of developing other types of dementia and AD, including poor diet and lifestyle habits. Research studies have also shown that treating the body as a whole may help prevent and, in several cases, even reverse cognitive decline. The goal is to start treatment immediately. In the following article, we will ultimately discuss how a functional medicine approach can help improve AD and other types of dementia. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight
Approximately 5 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or one of the most common types of dementia. According to researchers, a variety of factors can ultimately increase the risk of developing AD and other types of dementia, including poor diet and lifestyle habits. Research studies demonstrated that treating the body as a whole may prevent and, in several cases, even reverse cognitive decline. The goal is to start treatment early. In the article above, we discussed how a functional medicine approach can help with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez
- Parke, Emily. “The Functional Medicine Approach to Cognitive Decline.” Dr. Emily Parke – Arizona Wellness Medicine, LLC, 6 Dec. 2018, www.dremilyparke.com/2018/12/06/functional-medicine-cognitive-decline/.
- Litwin, Ken A., et al. “The Bredesen Protocol® & Functional Medicine – A Powerful Combination to Prevent & Treat Cognitive Decline.” Kara Fitzgerald ND Naturopathic Doctor, 29 Mar. 2019, www.drkarafitzgerald.com/2018/06/20/the-bredesen-protocol-functional-medicine-a-powerful-combination-to-prevent-treat-cognitive-decline/.
- Carpathia Collaborative Staff. “Preventing and Reversing Cognitive Decline.” Carpathia Collaborative, 29 July 2019, carpathiacollaborative.com/blogposts/cognitivedecline.
Neurotransmitter Assessment Form
The following Neurotransmitter Assessment Form can be filled out and presented to Dr. Alex Jimenez. The following symptoms listed on this form are not intended to be utilized as a diagnosis of any type of disease, condition, or any other type of health issue.
Additional Topic Discussion: Chronic Pain
Sudden pain is a natural response of the nervous system which helps to demonstrate possible injury. By way of instance, pain signals travel from an injured region through the nerves and spinal cord to the brain. Pain is generally less severe as the injury heals, however, chronic pain is different than the average type of pain. With chronic pain, the human body will continue sending pain signals to the brain, regardless if the injury has healed. Chronic pain can last for several weeks to even several years. Chronic pain can tremendously affect a patient’s mobility and it can reduce flexibility, strength, and endurance.
Neural Zoomer Plus for Neurological Disease
Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate neurological diseases. The Neural ZoomerTM Plus is an array of neurological autoantibodies which offers specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus is designed to assess an individual’s reactivity to 48 neurological antigens with connections to a variety of neurologically related diseases. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus aims to reduce neurological conditions by empowering patients and physicians with a vital resource for early risk detection and an enhanced focus on personalized primary prevention.
Food Sensitivity for the IgG & IgA Immune Response
Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate health issues associated with a variety of food sensitivities and intolerances. The Food Sensitivity ZoomerTM is an array of 180 commonly consumed food antigens that offers very specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. This panel measures an individual’s IgG and IgA sensitivity to food antigens. Being able to test IgA antibodies provides additional information to foods that may be causing mucosal damage. Additionally, this test is ideal for patients who might be suffering from delayed reactions to certain foods. Utilizing an antibody-based food sensitivity test can help prioritize the necessary foods to eliminate and create a customized diet plan around the patient’s specific needs.
Gut Zoomer for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate gut health associated with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). The Vibrant Gut ZoomerTM offers a report that includes dietary recommendations and other natural supplementation like prebiotics, probiotics, and polyphenols. The gut microbiome is mainly found in the large intestine and it has more than 1000 species of bacteria that play a fundamental role in the human body, from shaping the immune system and affecting the metabolism of nutrients to strengthening the intestinal mucosal barrier (gut-barrier). It is essential to understand how the number of bacteria that symbiotically live in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract influences gut health because imbalances in the gut microbiome may ultimately lead to gastrointestinal (GI) tract symptoms, skin conditions, autoimmune disorders, immune system imbalances, and multiple inflammatory disorders.
Formulas for Methylation Support
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Modern Integrated Medicine
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The information herein on "Functional Medicine for Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.
Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
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