The instant New York Times bestseller
The New York Times Best Selling author of The End of Alzheimer''s lays out a specific plan to help everyone prevent and reverse cognitive decline or simply maximize brainpower.
The End of Alzheimer''s Dale Bredesen laid out the science behind his revolutionary new program that is the first to both prevent and reverse symptoms of Alzheimer''s disease. Now he lays out the detailed program he uses with his own patients. Accessible and detailed, it can be tailored to anyone''s needs and will enhance cognitive ability at any age.
What we call Alzheimer''s disease is actually a protective response to a wide variety of insults to the brain: inflammation, insulin resistance, toxins, infections, and inadequate levels of nutrients, hormones, and growth factors. Bredesen starts by having us figure out which of these insults we need to address and continues by laying out a personalized lifestyle plan. Focusing on the Ketoflex 12/3 Diet, which triggers ketosis and lets the brain restore itself with a minimum 12-hour fast, Dr. Bredesen drills down on restorative sleep, targeted supplementation, exercise, and brain training. He also examines the tricky question of toxic exposure and provides workarounds for many difficult problems. The takeaway is that we do not need to do the program perfectly but will see tremendous results if we can do it well enough.
With inspiring stories from patients who have reversed cognitive decline and are now thriving, this book shifts the treatment paradigm and offers a new and effective way to enhance cognition as well as unprecedented hope to sufferers of this now no longer deadly disease.
“Although the source of the quote ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result’ has been questioned, its relevance to the pursuit of a single drug approach to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is unquestionable. Sanity now prevails with Dr. Bredesen’s challenge to the status quo that may well bring an end to Alzheimer’s disease.”
–David Perlmutter, MD, from the foreword
“Once in a generation a book comes along that changes the way we think, that sheds light on our darkest struggles, that provides a clear, scientific path to ending the scourge of a disease that robs millions of their minds.
The End of Alzheimer’s Program is that book. Whether you want to enhance and optimize your brain at any age, prevent cognitive decline and even reverse early dementia, Dr. Bredesen, in breathtakingly simple, scientifically profound steps maps a way to achieve this. If you have a brain, read this book.”
–Mark Hyman, MD, Head of Strategy and Innovation: Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Food Fix: How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities and Our Planet – One Bite at a Time
“Dale Bredesen MD has done it again. Teaming up with his wife, an integrative physician, and Julie Gregory, one of his recovered patients, he delivers the essential how-to guide for risk reduction and potentially reversal of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. This elegantly written, step-by-step handbook to Dr. Bredesen’s revolutionary protocol will help thousands if not millions. I give it my highest recommendation.”
–Sara Gottfried, MD, New York Times bestselling author of The Hormone Cure
“This is THE book to be read by anyone interested in how to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Bredesen is a world-class neuroscientist, neurologist who brings his expansive experience and brilliance together to provide the best that science has to offer in the prevention of this disease.”
–Dr. Jeffrey Bland, author of Disease Delusion and Founder, Institute for Functional Medicine
“Alzheimer’s disease remains a disease of bleak outlook for most. However, in
The End of Alzheimer’s Program, Dale Bredesen describes new hope based on his decades of research and recent clinical success. This book is an essential tool for anyone who wants to prevent cognitive decline due the ravages of Alzheimer''s disease.”
–Terry Wahls, MD, author of The Wahls Protocol A Radical New Way To Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles
“Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic pandemic that has claimed the lives of millions. In
The End of Alzheimer’s Program, Dr. Dale Bredesen offers hope based on his decades of research and recent clinical success, with an emphasis on lifestyle factors including sleep, diet, stress, and movement. COVID-19 has ushered in a new era of resilience and disease prevention, and this book offers the very tools and guidelines we all need to stem the rising tide of Alzheimer’s disease.”
–Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global
"I have had the pleasure of knowing and even sharing patients with Dr. Bredesen for several years. In his new book,
The End of Alzheimer''s Program, Dr. Bredesen modestly and comprehensively sets out the steps to prevent and reverse all stages of cognitive decline. But, please don''t let the book''s title fool you; the book should be more aptly named
The End of All Diseases Program! Because, in its pages, you will find an approachable, useable, doable plan to literally prevent and/or reverse almost all diseases brought on by our modern lifestyle and diet. Read and follow his recommendations and enjoy the ride of a lifetime in good health!"
–Steven R. Gundry MD, Medical Director, The Centers for Restorative Medicine, Four Time NYT''s bestselling author of The Plant Paradox Series and The Longevity Paradox
Dale E. Bredesen, MD, is internationally recognized as an expert in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer''s disease, and the author of the
New York Times bestseller
The End of Alzheimer''s (Avery, 2017). He held faculty positions at UCSF, UCLA, and the University of California, San Diego, and directed the Program on Aging at the Burnham Institute before coming to the Buck Institute in 1998 as its founding president and CEO. He is currently a professor at UCLA.
The famous basketball coach, player, and executive Pat Riley exhorted his players to adopt the following attitude when the game is on the line: “Imagine that your head is underwater and you will not be able to breathe again unless you win.” That is some motivation indeed! And it is the attitude we must have about Alzheimer’s disease as well, and in fact about neurodegenerative diseases as a whole— these have all been untreatable terminal illnesses, and if we do not approach them as a societal emergency we will see 13 million demented Americans by 2050, their families destroyed, Medicare bankrupt, and a multi-trillion-dollar global burden of dementia. Yet our “standard of care” is to treat without determining the cause of or contributors to Alzheimer’s, to limit our treatment to a drug or two, to avoid targeted programs of treatment, to refuse clinical trials of multifaceted therapeutics, and to repeat the same old tired, ineffective approaches again and again. Where is the innovation? Where is the inspiration? Perhaps we need a pep talk from Pat Riley?
Therefore, please don’t be concerned if you get your tests, take them to your doctor, and he or she is skeptical. If you ask your doctor to obtain these tests, don’t be surprised if he or she brushes you off with an all-knowing smile or even a look of disdain. As they say, “An expert is someone who does not want to be told anything new in his or her field of expertise.” This personalized approach to cognitive decline is a twenty-first-century approach, not yet in practice by the vast majority of doctors. As one neurologist said, “I wouldn’t order these tests because I would not know how to interpret them.” Another physician said, “These tests don’t tell you whether you have Alzheimer’s or not.” True; what they tell you is
why you have cognitive decline (or risk for decline)—what all of the contributors are. Determining
if you have Alzheimer’s does not help you to avoid it or reverse it; determining
why is the key. Most people who already have Alzheimer’s disease or MCI (mild cognitive impairment, the harbinger of Alzheimer’s) or SCI (subjective cognitive impairment, which precedes MCI) turn out to have between ten and twenty-five contributors, and these are identified by the tests so that each can be addressed therapeutically.
Practitioners have attempted to treat dementia for thousands of years without knowing what
caused it or contributed to it, but now, for the first time, we can actually treat the underlying mechanisms. Of course, when Ayurvedic physicians treated dementia thousands of years ago, they did not refer to it as Alzheimer’s disease—it was not until 1906 and 1907 that Dr. Alois Alzheimer published his famous papers—but Ayurvedic physicians clearly described and attempted to treat dementia, and what we now call Alzheimer’s disease is the most common syndrome of dementia.
Twenty years ago, our laboratory research led us to identify the APP (amyloid precursor protein) switch, and when we began to look at what factors flip this switch toward the Alzheimer’s side—the synaptoclastic side—we found that there are different groups of factors, and thus there are actually different
types of Alzheimer’s disease.
Type 1 Alzheimer’s is inflammatory, or hot, so if you have ongoing inflammation, you are increasing your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, one of the major mediators of the inflammatory response is called NFκB (nuclear factor kappa-light-chain enhancer of activated B cells), and this increases the production of the very molecular scissors that produce the amyloid from APP, so there really is a direct link from inflammation to Alzheimer’s.
Type 2 Alzheimer’s is atrophic, or cold, so if you have sub- optimal levels of nutrients, hormones, or trophic factors (cell growth factors like NGF, nerve growth factor), you are in- creasing your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Simply put, you do not have the support necessary to maintain the five hundred trillion (500,000,000,000,000) synaptic connections in your brain. On the positive side, optimizing those same nutrients, hormones, and trophic factors offers you the best chance for optimizing your memory and overall cognitive function.
Type 1.5 Alzheimer’s is glycotoxic, or sweet, so if you have high blood sugar or high fasting insulin, as 80 million Americans do, you are increasing your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. We call this type 1.5 because it has features of both type 1 and type 2: chronic inflammation (type 1) occurs be- cause the glucose actually attaches to many of your proteins, like remoras to a shark, causing an inflammatory response to these altered proteins (such as hemoglobin A1c, which is hemoglobin with a glucose stuck to it, and hundreds of other proteins). Reduced trophic support (type 2) occurs because your insulin—which is a critical growth factor for your brain cells—has been high chronically, causing your cells to lose their sensitivity to insulin.
Type 3 Alzheimer’s disease is toxic, or vile, so if you have exposure to toxins such as mercury, toluene, or mycotoxins (toxins made by certain molds such as
Penicillium), then you are increasing your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Since we are exposed to hundreds of toxins—from the mercury in seafood and dental amalgams to air pollution to the benzene in paraffin candles to the trichothecenes from the black mold growing in water-damaged homes, and on and on—we all experience this risk to a greater or lesser degree, so the key is to minimize exposure, identify the toxins to which we are exposed, and increase excretion and metabolism of the toxins.
Type 4 Alzheimer’s disease is vascular, or pale, so if you have cardiovascular disease, you are at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Indeed, vascular leakiness represents one of the earliest changes identified in Alzheimer’s disease.
Type 5 Alzheimer’s disease is traumatic, or dazed, so if you have a history of head trauma—whether from a traffic accident or a fall or even repeated minor head injuries during sports—you are at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
You can see from these different types of Alzheimer’s disease we identified, and the causes of each one, that virtually all of us are at some risk for Alzheimer’s, and indeed, this is one of the reasons that it is such a common disease. With the many toxins to which we are exposed, the processed foods, the high-carbohydrate and unhealthy fat content of the SAD (standard American diet), the leaky gut so many of us have, and the lipid abnormalities (“cholesterol,” although the cholesterol itself is actually not the problem), most of us have a significant risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The good news is that nearly all of us can avoid or reverse the problem, now that we understand the contributors. To do that, we simply need to address the underlying drivers of the disease process—it’s like patching thirty-six holes in your roof—the same ones that we profile in the subtyping described above, and the earlier we do this, the easier it is to achieve success. The overall goal of treatment can be summarized as
removal of the exposures contributing to cognitive decline,
resilience resulting from optimal health support, and
rebuilding of the neural network.