On Monday night, the public forum: ‘Open Minded’ Embracing New Perspectives in Alzheimer’s Disease’, questioned existing treatment protocols by asking if there a better way?
The thought provoking session, led by Dr Dale Bredesen and Professor Bryce Vissel at the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine discussed the latest research, insights, diagnostic tools and treatment ideas to support the management of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. The session was made possible through support of the Blackmore Foundation.*
Attending the event, Blackmores Institute Director Dr Lesley Braun said:
“Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of death for women in Australia, and the second leading cause of death overall. Current treatments have limited success, and those diagnosed with the disease often face a depressing decline, so we must continue to look for improved strategies treatment, and just as importantly, prevention.”
In addressing the forum Professor Vissel and Dr Bredesen shared their thoughts on new treatment approaches that draw on genetics, nutrition and lifestyle factors.
Professor Vissel and his team are researching treatments outside of the traditional amyloid plaque theory. He is an advocate for prevention, tackling the risk factors including vascular health, weight exercise and diet as well looking at the effect of inflammation in the body.
Dr Bredesen developed the ReCODE (reversal of cognitive decline) protocol – a personalised treatment plan including plant-rich ketogenic diet, exercise, sleep, brain training and supplementation. He said:
“A few years ago, there was no hope, people would be told by their doctor there is nothing we can do. We now know, certainly for those who come in early, that they have a very good prognosis. With new approaches to treatment showing success, my hope is in 10 years we’ll actually begin to see a downturn in the global burden of Alzheimer’s and dementia, just as we saw downturn in diseases like polio in the 1950s.”
In considering these recommendations, Dr Braun conceded that these new ways of thinking do challenge current protocols and may draw some initial criticism from the orthodoxy, however she believes it is vital that we keep questioning, researching and investigating until a solution is found.
“The emerging evidence is sending us a clear message. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach. A personalised, whole-system approach to prevention and treatment of this disease is showing real promise. It cannot be ignored”.
Petrea King, CEO of the Quest for life Foundation another panellist on the night, discussed wellbeing strategies for people experiencing cognitive decline.
She said, “There is no single reason why memory loss occurs. There are a multitude of factors which influence brain function. Likewise, there’s no single method to reverse memory loss. There are many lifestyle practices and strategies that may improve it”.
Marcus Blackmore who sponsored this event with his wife Caroline through their private philanthropic trust, The Blackmore Foundation, said:
“I am passionate supporter of healthcare research that helps identify ways to prevent disease and treat health conditions.
“It is clear that nutrition and lifestyle changes, which are synergistic to natural healthcare practices, have a significant role to play in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It’s an area of promise and one we owe ourselves and our community to investigate.”
For more information on Dr Bredesen’ s protocol, you can review: Bredesen t al. Reversal of Cognitive Decline: 100 Patients. J Alzheimers Dis Parkinsonism 2018, 8:5 www.omicsonline.org/open-access/reversal-of-cognitive-decline-100-patients-2161-0460-1000450.pdf
Or watch his interview with FX medicine here
To learn more about Professor Vissel, and the Centre rel="noopener noreferrer" for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine visit: www.giving.uts.edu.au/projects-and-causes/centre-for-neuroscience-and-regenerative-medicine
*The Blackmore Foundation is Marcus and Caroline Blackmore’s personal philanthropic trust.