Talk of the T

'The things we chat about over a cup of Therapy tea'

Talk of the T
Nutrition & Alzheimers Disease

Nutrition & Alzheimers Disease

Posted on: Wednesday 11th May 2016

New Thinking In Older Age

By Jacklyn Coldwell-Collins

Following my recent visit to the Buck Institute in the US, I wanted to update you of an exciting development in research into Alzheimer's Disease… Professor Bredesen has been working in this field of research for over 35 years and given the failings of pharmaceutical interventions, he has been taking a novel approach to tackling this disease which affects not only the individual but has profound effects on their loved ones too.


The Bredesen Protocol is an approach to tackling Alzheimer's Disease like no other. It has a huge emphasis on Nutrition in combination with Lifestyle adjustments to optimize the health and wellness of the individual. His initial study, 'Reversal of cognitive decline: A novel therapeutic program' was published in 2014, in which results from a small scale study of 10 people, showed significant reversal in 9 of the 10 cases.


On initially reading the study, I had personally been so encouraged by the fact that this multi-factorial approach had been published. So much so that I often quoted the work of Professor Bredesen in talks I was giving at the time to emphasize my view that healthcare needs to be multidisciplinary, combining synergistic approaches to achieve optimal wellness. It was so groundbreaking for this type of approach to be recognized and even more inspiring was his team based approach of Neurologists, GPs, Nutritional Therapists and Herbalists all working together for the benefit of the individual.


To date, more than 110 people have now gone through the program with a staggering 90% success rate. With 4 years of data so far since the initial cases, those that stick to the nutrition and lifestyle program have seen no further cognitive decline. However, time will tell whether this reversal can continue indefinitely.


The Bredesen Protocol is complex to follow and requires commitment from the individual and their support network, which is why there is such a team involved to help assess, create and implement the protocol and provide ongoing motivation and support to maintain the program. This personalized approach begins by extensive functional testing to check nutrient levels, initial disease markers, scans, hormone levels and genetic drivers. Unique protocols are then put together combining advanced dietary plans together with lifestyle recommendations with an emphasis on the following areas:


  • Dietary intervention to minimize inflammation and insulin resistance

  • Stress reduction techniques

  • Optimizing sleep

  • Exercise

  • Brain stimulation

  • Correcting nutrient deficiencies and ratios

  • Ongoing assessment of biomarkers

  • Hormone balance

  • Focus on gastrointestinal health

  • Use of herbals for reduction in beta amyloid

  • Focus on nervous system health

  • Genetic links

  • Review and removal of potential toxicity


Needless to say that when I was asked to be part of the MPI Cognition UK team and be part of the first UK training program with Professor Bredesen, I jumped at the chance. The UK MPI team will be a collaboration between Professor Bredesen alongside Jeremy Hawkey and Amanda Williams from Cytoplan, and a Functional Medicine team comprising of GPs, Dr Rangan Chaterjee (who will head up the UK team), Dr Ayan Panja and Nutritional Therapists, Nishta Patel and myself. We hope to launch a UK study using the Bredesen Protocol soon so watch this space for more information…


Our training took place last month at his research labs at the Buck Institute. It was an absolute joy to be surrounded and educated by the top scientists in the field of Anti-Aging, in a light and open feat of architecture surrounded by miles of nature. The surprises didn't stop there as Professor Bredesen's research team is headed up by Rammohan Rao, specialist in ayurvedic medicine and yoga, no less. An inspiring meeting of minds encompassing health professionals from all different fields, respecting each others knowledge and collaborating for the greater good.


Professor Bredesen describes his approach to reversing Alzheimer's Disease as looking at a roof with 36 holes… you cant stop the leak by plugging just one of the holes, you have to take a much broader approach for the fix to be effective. What's more, the holes have to stay fixed or the leak will come back. What a beautiful analogy…


And so back to the UK, but not before encouraging the team to eat a wild nasturtium or two and spotting the wonderful California Poppies growing wild at the edge of the approach to the institute (not to mention California dreamin' of making them into a tincture to help me get over the jet lag).



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