Updated: Jan 29, 2019
By Sasha Briskin, LJCC Instructor
Imagine a roof with 36 holes? If you patch 1 hole, the roof will still leak through the remaining 35 holes. This is the analogy Dr. Bredesen, internationally recognized expert in neurodegenerative diseases, made to Alzheimer’s disease in September during a recent lecture at the Integrative Medicine Conference in San Diego. He identified a total of 36 causes of Alzheimer’s disease and just like the roof with 36 holes— all those causes need to be examined. The causes include lack of exercise, lack of brain stimulations, environmental toxins/metals, excessive use of antibiotics and other prescription drugs, hormonal imbalance, unhealthy diet, excessive sugar, sleep deprivation, depression, isolation and many more.
Dr. Bredesen’s research during the last 30 years points to the conclusion that the reason none of the drugs developed by pharmaceutical companies work is because they only treat the symptoms but not the 36 causes. He also pointed out that research indicates Alzheimer’s disease starts developing 20 years before the onset of first symptoms. “Everyone knows they have to have colonoscopy at the age of 50 or so to prevent colon cancer,” he said, adding that by the same logic, people should have ‘Cognoscopy’ or cognitive assessment at the age of 45 to prevent Alzheimer’s so we can prevent or even reverse the disease.
There’s a new paradigm shift in science that’s emerged in the last 10-20 years which points to the fact that most chronic diseases, including dementia, are not age-related and can be prevented. For example, a new concept of Epigenetics proves that gene expressions can be changed through lifestyle choices. The scientific study of neurogenesis shows that we have the ability to generate new neurons and retain them throughout our entire life by exercising, constantly learning new things and eating healthy. The concept of mirobiome indicates that we are only 10% human and 90% bacteria and that bacteria in our gut control all our bodily functions, including the brain, thus emphasizing the importance of our gut-brain connection.
To patch the holes in the roof means we have to address those 36 causes and at a much earlier age. It is Dr. Bredesen’s goal as a functional medicine specialist, to address all those causes and restore individuals to a fully functioning, healthy life.