If you’ve ever misplaced your keys, had trouble recalling a name or fact, or forgotten important information, like where you parked while out shopping, you can understand the fear and frustration that comes with temporary memory loss. Yet millions of Americans experience far more serious memory challenges in the form of Alzheimer’s disease, which is responsible for up to 80 percent of dementia cases.
Numbers like these demonstrate not only why Alzheimer’s is recognized as one of the world’s most burdensome diseases, but also why finding research-based, proven methods to improve brain health is increasingly critical.
And there is hope.
Dr. Dale Bredesen is recognized internationally for his ground-breaking research into ways to not only treat Alzheimer’s more effectively, but potentially prevent and even reverse the disease. Dr. Bredesen and his team from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging developed the Reversal of Cognitive Decline, or ReCODE. The science behind ReCODE comes through the examination of the pathogens of Alzheimer’s and the implementation of multiple strategies that seek not only to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but also address specific health issues that lead to Alzheimer’s. The results of their studies are very promising.
Proactive Wellness Center’s founder and director, Dr. Lynese Lawson, D.O., is certified through the Institute of Functional Medicine to use ReCODE, also known as the Bredesen Protocol, in the treatment of Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s. Through extensive research, she determined that the Bredesen Protocol provides the best evidence-based approach to Alzheimer’s diagnosis and treatment. This protocol is a core piece of our Brain Health Optimization Program (BHOP).
What is the Brain Health Optimization Program?
As an overview, our Brain Health Optimization and Treatment program includes:
- Initial Consultation: You’ll be scheduled for a two-hour consultation at our Tyson’s office with your Bredesen-Protocol doctor to review test results from your cognitive evaluation.
- Physical examination: Your doctor will perform a physical evaluation that will be used in determining your personalized treatment plan. This evaluation is typically conducted during the same visit as your two-hour consultation.
- Baseline cognitive: Like the physical exam, this is typically during the two-hour consultation.
- Additional consultation: A 90-minute appointment with your Bredesen-Protocol doctor, which can be conducted in-office or via tele-video, occurs on a date separate from your initial consultation and will cover the remaining tests that were not covered in the initial visit. Your doctor will also review the core elements of your personalized treatment plan and present the results of our evaluation in a personalized “cognoscopy.”
Of course, to understand the benefits that the Bredesen Protocol and BHOP offer to Alzheimer’s and cognitive impaired patients, it’s important to first understand how to recognize what Alzheimer’s is and what it isn’t.
Recognizing Alzheimer’s Disease
There are many factors that distinguish forgetfulness from something more serious. To help differentiate between Alzheimer’s and the normal aging process, we’ve created a basic list of indicators. For a more comprehensive list as well as a deep-dive into how lifestyle, genetics, head trauma history toxin exposure and more may contribute to the development of Alzheimers, visit our web page dedicated to Bredesen-Protocol strategies to improve brain health and reverse cognitive decline.
- Vision challenges: Deteriorating eyesight is common as we age, but for those with Alzheimer’s, spacial relationships, distance and contract become a challenge.
- Memory loss: If you go to the store without grabbing your shopping list, it’s easy to forget one or two items but remember them later. However, with Alzheimer’s, people frequently forget key dates of life events such as birthdays and anniversaries. They also are more likely to ask for the same piece of information multiple times. The memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disrupts daily life
- Conversation difficulties: As we age, we may find that we have shortness of breath when we speak or walk. And almost everyone can get tongue-tied during conversations from time to time. People with Alzheimer’s, however, are more likely to misuse words, repeat the same story during a single conversation, demonstrate difficulty recalling words or even find it hard to follow conversations.
- Familiar tasks: For those with Alzheimer’s, familiar tasks, such as driving to or from home, can suddenly become unfamiliar. This leads to disorientation and difficulty following directions. Those with normal age-related memory loss are better able to retrace their steps upon getting lost.
- Mood and personality changes: We are all prone to frustration when things aren’t done the way we are used to or prefer. This is a normal part of life. But for individuals with Alzheimer’s, pronounced changes in personality and mood, as well as social withdrawal, are often evident.
If you see these symptoms or others related to cognitive decline in your loved one (or yourself), they may be a candidate for the Brain Health Optimization Program. Together, we can help those we care about lead quality lives. A cognitive evaluation with Proactive Wellness Centers is the first step toward better brain health. To establish a baseline for treatment, we combine our age-normalized cognitive evaluation with the renowned Montreal Cognitive Assessment.
Once you receive the results of the neurological assessment and are ready to begin working with Dr. Lawson, you’ll be advised of the recommended next steps. We’re excited to make Brain Health Optimization Program and the Bredesen ReCODE Protocol available to you.