The End of Alzheimer’s – that’s quite a bold statement. Who hasn’t been touched by Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in some way? We all know someone who has AD, or who cares for a person with AD. According to the Alzheimer’s Association over 50 million people worldwide are living with AD and other types of dementia. Every 65 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with the disease.
Additionally, AD was reported by the Center for Disease Control to be the sixth leading cause of death in the United States in 2017 (1). The burden of care is enormous, both on the caregiver and the economy. In spite of ongoing research to find a cure, no new drugs to combat AD have been released in the past 15 years (2).
So, how can a claim to end Alzheimer’s be anything more than a sensational book title?
But first, why do I care about Alzheimer’s Disease?
It’s personal. Both my mom and grandma had dementia. In 2003 my grandmother passed away with it and 14 years later so did my mom. I know firsthand how this insidious disease slowly erases the identity of a person. How it shrinks their world into smaller and smaller spaces until they are trapped inside their body – living but not really living.
My beautiful mom in the mid-1980s.Wife, Mom, Grandmother, Friend
July 7, 1940 – August 30, 2017
I’ve been trying to decrease my risk factors for disease including AD since 2006, which you can read about here. I am naturally an optimistic person, but with the apparent genetic connection in my family history, I admit sometimes I have pessimistic thoughts and fears about my risk of developing dementia.
On the other hand, the flip side of fear and pessimism is optimism and the hope of living a long, healthy and memory-full life. In order to remain optimistic, I need to know if there is there anything I can do to help myself avoid AD.
I asked myself:
- Am I destined to be a product of my genetic makeup?
- Is there something I can change in my lifestyle or environment that can improve my chances of avoiding dementia?
This book answered my questions!
The End of Alzheimer’s Book Review
The End of Alzheimer’s is 308 pages long. It’s divided into four sections and 12 chapters. The writing style is semi-technical. However, it is written so that a non-scientific person can understand and apply the information contained in the book.
- Part One – History of AD Research
- Part Two – Understanding AD
- Part Three – The Bredesen Protocol
- Part Four – Summary of Protocol and Tips for Success
A Few Highlights:
Background Information on Alzheimer’s Research
In the first part of his book The End of Alzheimer’s, Dr. Bredesen summarizes over 40 years of Alzheimer’s research, including his own, leading up to the recent development and successful implementation of his ReCODE protocol. Then he offers the reader a comprehensive guide to lifestyle changes that over time can stop and even reverse cognitive decline. Included are actual case studies of real people touched by cognitive decline and their experiences with Dr. Bredesen’s protocol.
Arriving at AD is an Individualized Process
Dr. Bredesen’s research shows that the development of AD is a highly individualized process. For example, people with AD have similar symptoms (memory loss, personality changes, etc.), but how they developed the symptoms is not the same (inflammation, infection and/or toxic exposure). In fact, Dr. Bredesen and his research team have identified 36 different factors (likened to “holes in a roof”) that contribute to at least three different types of AD: inflammatory, infectious and toxin-induced.
Beta-amyloid plaque is protective – at first…
The healthy brain responds to stressors by increasing beta-amyloid plaque production and downsizing nerve connections. AD develops when the protective response goes rogue and doesn’t stop. Therefore, beta-amyloid plaque and other tangles are only one small piece of the puzzle. This explains why no single drug has been successful in stopping or reversing AD.
Patch as Many Holes as Possible
NEW progress is being made in the treatment of dementia disorders like AD. Rather than looking for a single cure, using a broader lifestyle approach to patch as many holes as possible shows much more promise!
The Bredesen Protocol is more successful than drug therapy alone!
So far, no drug has been able to stop let alone reverse cognitive decline. The Bredesen Protocol has done both! Astonishing and so encouraging! This book is a breath of fresh air for anyone concerned about maintaining their own brain health or that of a loved one.
Dr. Bredesen’s book offers a heaping dose of hope by describing in detail the many factors that increase your risk for AD and what to do to decrease your risk.
Below is a link to a preview on Amazon (I’m not an affiliate with Amazon). The End of Alzheimer’s is a New York Times Bestseller so check your local library for a copy if you want to borrow instead of purchase one. I read the Kindle edition with no issues.
In summary, if you or someone you love is at risk for or already showing signs of dementia, I urge you to get a copy of Dr. Bredesen’s book The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline. As a result of reading this book, I can honestly say there is hope for everyone affected by AD going forward!
And even if you aren’t personally touched by memory loss or AD, it’s an important reminder that choosing healthy lifestyle strategies reduces your risk of chronic disease in general and helps you age well. What’s not to love about being able to live your best life?!
References and Resources:
Research Articles by Dr. Bredesen:
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