All ten were patients with memory loss either from Alzheimer’s (AD), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), or subjective cognitive impairment (SCI), a condition where patients make their own assessments based on personal experience. That tenth participant – the one whose memory showed no improvement – was diagnosed with late-stage Alzheimer’s.
The existing Alzheimer's drugs affect a single target, but Alzheimer's disease is more complex. Imagine having a roof with 36 holes in it, and your drug patched one hole very well -- the drug may have worked, a single "hole" may have been fixed, but you still have 35 other leaks, and so the underlying process may not be affected much.
- (1) eliminating all simple carbohydrates, leading to a weight loss of 20 pounds;
- (2) eliminating gluten and processed food from her diet, with increased vegetables, fruits, and non-farmed fish;
- ( 3) to reduce stress, she began yoga;
- (4) as a second measure to reduce the stress of her job, she began to meditate for 20 minutes twice per day;
- (5) she took melatonin each night;
- (6) she increased her sleep from 4-5 hours per night to 7-8 hours per night;
- (7) she took methylcobalamin each day;
- (8) she took vitamin D3 each day;
- (9) fish oil each day;
- (10) CoQ10 each day;
- (11) she optimized her oral hygiene using an electric flosser and electric toothbrush;
- (12) following discussion with her primary care provider, she reinstated hormone replacement therapy that had been discontinued;
- (13) she fasted for a minimum of 12 hours between dinner and breakfast, and for a minimum of three hours between dinner and bedtime;
- (14) she exercised for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-6 days per week.
- Even following some of the prescriptions appeared to improve memory. It’s not an “all or nothing” regimen.
- The program’s side effects included improved health and weight, unlike the often toxic, dangerous side effects from drugs.
- Incredibly small sample.
- Essentially anecdotal results.
- Very complex regimen, with the burden on patients and caregivers. None of the ten followed the protocol to the letter.
Bredesen summed it up this way:
The current, anecdotal results require a larger trial, not only to confirm or refute the results reported here, but also to address key questions raised, such as the degree of improvement that can be achieved routinely, how late in the course of cognitive decline reversal can be effected, whether such an approach may be effective in patients with familial Alzheimer's disease, and last, how long improvement can be sustained.