Throughout this series, we’ve gone over health planning for preventative strategies in part one and when to pay attention to those “senior moments” in part two. Unfortunately, 5.8 million Americans are already in the thick of some form of dementia or cognitive decline.
People who suspect they have cognitive decline often do not seek medical care because they have been told there is nothing that can be done. They may fear losing control of their life or becoming a burden to their family, so they keep their suspicions to themselves. It is a terribly lonely, dehumanizing condition and it only gets worse.
Or does it?
Through his paradigm-shifting research, Dr. Dale Bredesen gives us a fundamental change to how we think about cognitive decline. While it is devastating, it does not have to be.
At Forum Health Clarkston, we work to identify, remove and reverse symptoms of cognitive decline by using advances like the Bredesen ReCODE protocol. It can be done— it is being done.
We established in Part Two, “When to Pay Attention,” that cognitive decline is the result of a normal, healthy brain going haywire as it defends itself against toxic environments, inflammation and shortages of nutrients and hormones. Remember the protective helmet of amyloid plaques that destroy connections between nerve cells in the brain? The ReCODE protocol gives Functional Medicine practitioners the ability to assess and treat what is causing it.
It is our mantra: If you give the body the right environment, it will heal itself. What would happen if the underlying issues creating the amyloid plaques were treated? The body would feel it was safe to get rid of them naturally—it would feel safe enough to lower the helmet. When the plaques are removed, so is the destruction between nerve endings that directly affect comprehension, recollection and clarity.
Here’s the tricky part (as if it’s been so easy until now). The amyloid will not be removed until the causes of the response are cleared—until the body feels well enough to lower the helmet. This is when the Functional Medicine practitioner comes in—combing through years of symptoms—to identify and treat the cause(s).
It Takes Time
The most symptomatic individuals manifest between 10-25 contributors. In order to treat the cause, practitioners need to identify what the brain is protecting itself from. It could be anything from chronic viral infections, heavy metals, toxins and inflammation to compromised gut function.
Once treatment begins, results do not happen overnight. The first sign of progress usually appears in three to six months. I know this sounds disheartening, but contrary to common belief, cognitive decline is not sudden and does not strike without reason. Years (20-30) of pathophysiology need to be addressed.
The first positive sign is that progression stops and even the most modest improvement is an excellent sign. Think: Your loved one read a book and understood it or they recalled your neighbor’s name.
Due to the multifaceted disease that cognitive decline can become, there is no room for self-diagnosis or treatment. There is a complex process involved and treatment cannot be done blindly. A thorough evaluation can only be performed by a Functional Medicine practitioner, specifically one certified in the Bredesen ReCODE protocol.
Remember, the best medicine is prevention. The earlier you seek preventative care or treatment, the better the outcome. If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from symptoms of cognitive decline, it is time to make an appointment with a certified, functional medicine brain specialist.
Forum Health Clarkston
7300 Dixie Hwy. Ste. 500
Clarkston, MI 48346