Just the word "Alzheimer's" can be frightening. It steals memories and is one of America's leading causes of death. However, CBN News spoke to Dr. Dale Bredesen, author of the book, The End of Alzheimer's, who has been researching Alzheimer's for decades. He has concluded it can be a rare disease that only few people get. The key, he says, is early testing of Alzheimer's 36 causes and a personalized approach to deal with any shortcomings.
Successful Case Study
69-year-old Sally Weinrich is one of Dr. Bredesen's hundreds of success stories. CBN News caught up with her at her South Carolina home where she said her life is good again now that, thanks to Dr. Bredesen's protocol, her Alzheimer's symptoms reversed.
"I don't even have words to describe what a joy it is to think and be able to know then what you're thinking, to be able to connect the dots. Because I've experienced the absence of thinking and that is scary," she said.
Her husband Martin says he's thrilled to once again be with the confident, intelligent woman he married.
"She has come back," he declared, adding "The fear is pretty much gone. The doubt is pretty much gone. And that's the real Sally. That's who God and Dale Bredesen have given back to me."
Sally is one of many patients with mild to moderate cognitive impairment to experience never-before-seen improvements thanks to a revolutionary treatment developed by Dr. Bredesen.
Many Alzheimer's Causes Identified
"Alzheimer's disease is no longer a mystery," he explained, "You don't have to say, 'We don't know why you get it. We don't know what to do about it. We do know why you get it. We do know what to do about it. And we know how to prevent it."
Initially, Dr. Bredesen published his research results in peer-reviewed medical journals such as Aging, in which he showed significant improvment in 90% of respondents.
Just like a roof with 36 holes can only work if all 36 are repaired, Dr. Bredesen says there are 36 causes of Alzheimer's that must all be addressed. His treatment centers on figuring out exactly why a person is experiencing cognitive decline and correcting those deficiencies.
"If there are specific exposures, you want to get rid of those," he explained, "If there are nutritional changes, you want to address those, if there are hormonal changes you want to address those, if there are inflammatory changes...address those."
Sally and Martin sensed trouble when she began forgetting things like her grandchildrens' names and her purse at the grocery. A test confirmed she was in the early stages of Alzheimer's.
"It was a total sense of hopelessness," she recalled, "A wish to die, to not want to live. Because as a nurse I've cared for Alzheimer's patients and I've also had family members who I've loved dearly who had advanced Alzheimer's and who died from Alzheimer's, in fact."
Likewise, Sally's behavior shook her husband Martin. "Of course I was scared," he admitted, "I was discouraged."
Martin, a scientific researcher, scoured the internet for help. He found Dr. Bredesen's protocol and got Sally on board.
Dr. Bredesen said Sally and Martin were wise to act quickly. "You don't want to wait until it's very late in the game," Dr. Bredesen advised, "The earlier the better, and the more likely you're going to see dramatic improvements."
Getting A 'Cognoscopy' Is The First Step
Sally got what Dr. Bredesen calls a cognoscopy. That involves blood work, genetic tests and more to identify where she was when it came to Alzheimer's 36 causes.
"All of us should have a cognoscopy when we get to 45 or more. Just like we get a colonoscopy when we're 50, everybody knows that. If you're over 45 you should have a cognoscopy."
Cognoscopy Identifies Each Person's Unique Deficiencies
Sally's results pin-pointed specific areas of concern. "Each person's program is different," Dr. Bredesen explained, "So we developed a computerized algorithm so that you can look at all the different contributors for each person. Identify them."
After her cognoscopy revealed the specific things that were contributing to her cognitive decline, she started a tailor-made treatment zeroing-in on a number of areas where she personally needed to change. In that case, it meant taking certain medicines, vitamins and supplements, sleeping more and worrying less.
"Because Dr. Bredesen talks about decreasing stress, I was spending 30 minutes each morning praying. I immediately saw improvement in what I could recall. The next thing I did was exercise. I immediately saw improvement in my thinking."
Sally started eating a ketogenic diet as part of her treatment. That means no sugar and very few other carbohydrates.
"When I am ketogenic, my brain thinks clearer than when I'm not ketogenic," she said, adding that when she cheats, she suffers the consequences. "I have found that when, like, I go to a grandchild's birthday party and eat something, my thinking is foggy and I'm not as clear for several days. And I also want sugar more for several days after I've eaten it."
Sally eliminiated her exposure to certain toxins like mold and pesticides, addressed hidden infections in her body and much more.
"I have not gone to town and forgotten my pocketbook since I've started this program," she said, "Hallelujah! Because I need my credit card," she chuckled.
Dr. Bredesen said results can be seen fairly rapidly.
"It takes typically 3 to 6 months," he said, "We see unprecedented improvements in their scores, in their ability to go back to work, interact with their families, increases in their hippocampal volume, things like that."
When it comes to sustainability, Dr. Bredesen says patients who have been on the program for five years now are still mentally fit.
So while genetics mean an estimated 75 million Americans, such as Sally Weinrich, are predisposed to have Alzheimer's Disease, Dr. Dale Bredesen says they no longer have to fear being tested because now there is something they can do about it.