Bredesen Protocol for Alzheimer’s
Dr. Dale Bredesen’s protocol is based on the idea that Alzheimer’s actually describes three different metabolic syndromes (or types) and that nutrition plays a key role in cognitive decline. Since there are many causes for the development of Alzheimer’s, a single pill is not effective on its own. That is why Dr. Bredesen developed a protocol that considers all aspects of cognitive decline and can be customized to the individual. In a 2014 study published in the journal Aging, Dr. Bredesen found his program boosted cognitive functioning within six months in nine out of the 10 Alzheimer’s patients he studied. Some of these patients were even able to return to work after having left the workforce. While this was not a large trial and there is still much work to be done in researching the protocol, many of the components of the program have been studied on their own.
What is the Bredesen Protocol?
Dr. Bredesen says his program only works for patients in the early stages of the disease. His protocol includes dietary changes, exercise, fasting at night, and getting a good night’s sleep along with supplementation for each patient’s unique needs. Supplementation can include vitamins, herbs, and antioxidants along with hormone supplementation to achieve a better hormonal balance. If there is a metal toxicity present, the program also calls for metal chelation. An example of the steps in the Bredesen treatment program based on his 2014 study can be viewed here. The program may include the use of the following:
- Vitamins and other supplements that enhance cognitive functioning
- Hormone replacement: thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, pregnenolone, cortisol
- Metal chelation: DMSA, ALA, EDTA
- Nasal sprays and cholestyramine for treating MARCoNS (to prevent and treat type 3 Alzheimer’s)
Dr. Bredesen outlines three distinct types of Alzheimer’s along with overlapping types in his studies. Type 1 is inflammatory, type 2 is atrophic, and type 3 is toxic. These types can have different causes with varying symptoms. In addition there may be overlapping types, such as a combination of type 1 and type 2 referred to as a glycotoxic type. Functional medicine doctors have developed ways to test for the type of Alzheimer’s to better understand the protocol that will be most effective.
Alzheimer’s and Mycotoxins
Since Dr. Bredesen first developed his protocol, he has also published a study on inhalation Alzheimer’s and the role of biotoxins in cognitive decline. In the study he reports that type 3 Alzheimer’s disease is the result of exposure to certain toxins – most commonly mycotoxins – and is related to chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS). In case studies, it was discovered that some patients with symptoms of Alzheimer’s had mold in their homes and tested positive for MARCoNS in their nasal passages. Although not every patient with CIRS will get dementia, and not every patient with type 3 Alzheimer’s has CIRS, there is still extensive overlap of the two conditions. We offer a wide range of products for treating biotoxin illness including nasal sprays and pure cholestyramine.