Alzheimer’s disease is now the third leading cause of death in the US,1 and in the UK, dementia is actually the number one cause of death.2 It is claimed that “no one survives a diagnosis of dementia,” a disease with “no effective treatment.” As practitioners, we have struggled over the years with patients with cognitive decline, since there has been so little to offer.
Over the past 28 years, my laboratory colleagues and I have studied the molecular mechanisms that underlie Alzheimer’s disease, published over 200 papers on this topic, and finally, in 20143 and 2016,4 reported the first examples of the reversal of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease and pre-Alzheimer’s (MCI and SCI). These personalized protocols are now in use by over 1,000 people.
We have received thousands of emails asking for more specifics and more background, so I provided these in a book, The End of Alzheimer’s, from Avery/Penguin Random House.
The fundamental mechanistic studies we performed over the past three decades led us directly to a Functional Medicine approach to cognitive decline, and IFM now offers an online course on Reversing Cognitive Decline.
This is a very exciting time, a truly revolutionary era—Functional Medicine is effecting unprecedented success in the treatment of complex chronic illnesses, from type 2 diabetes to lupus to rheumatoid arthritis to cardiovascular disease to Alzheimer’s disease. Working together as a medical community, and continuing to optimize our approach to the prevention and reversal of cognitive decline, we can slash the global burden of dementia. That would truly be a revolution to celebrate.
- James BD, Leurgans SE, Hebert LE, Scherr PA, Yaffe K, Bennett DA. Contribution of Alzheimer disease to mortality in the United States. Neurology. 2014;82(12):1045-1050. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000000240.
- Statistical bulletin: deaths registered in England and Wales (Series DR): 2015. Office for National Statistics. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredinenglandandwalesseriesdr/2015#dementia-and-alzheimer-disease-was-the-leading-cause-of-death-in-2015. Published November 14, 2016. Accessed August 21, 2017.
- Bredesen DE. Reversal of cognitive decline: a novel therapeutic program. Aging (Albany NY). 2014;6(9):707-717. doi:10.18632/aging.100690.
- Bredesen DE. Inhalational Alzheimer’s disease: an unrecognized—and treatable—epidemic. Aging (Albany NY). 2016;8(2):304-313. doi:10.18632/aging.100896.