The Bredesen Seven

Dale Bredesen has developed a way to reverse Alzheimer's disease. You can read more about it here. The Bredesen protocol employs seven general pathways to recovery:

1. Nutrition: If your brain doesn't have enough nutrition, it downsizes. It tries to protect whatever memories it thinks it needs, and lets the rest go, letting synapses disintegrate. A healthy diet is vital for brain recovery. Enough protein, plus lots of colorful, organic vegetables. Low sugar, low starch, lots of good quality fats like nuts and olive oil.

Most people have come to rely on carbohydrates for fuel. But that ultimately causes, at least for many of us, insulin insensitivity. The cells of your body and brain become oversaturated with sugar, and start to resist insulin's command that they take in more sugar. But that means whenever you go without carbohydrates and you become hungry, your brain cells can literally starve.

Bredesen recommends you become flex fuel. That is, helping your brain become capable of burning fat or sugar interchangeably. In order to make that happen, you need to fast regularly. It stimulates your cells to develop the capacity to efficiently burn whatever fuel is available at the moment. Then your brain cells will always have enough fuel.

2. Exercise: This does your brain a lot of good. Not only do you get blood flow through your brain (more oxygen and nutrients), but it improves your body's ability to fuel itself. It helps you sleep and reduces stress. Start going for a walk nearly every day. Walk for at least thirty minutes, ideally forty-five minutes. Move your body more throughout the day. Avoid long periods of sitting. Build your muscles with some strength training or physically strenuous work.

3. Sleep: Getting good sleep every night is extremely important for reversing Alzheimer's. The brain does its cleaning and repair while you sleep. It recovers from stresses while you sleep. It reduces inflammation. You need enough sleep (7-8 hours a night), and it needs to be good quality sleep. If you don't sleep well, there are ways to fix that. You can get tested for sleep apnea, you can make your bedroom darker and quieter, you can avoid looking at a screen close to bedtime, etc.

4. Stress reduction: Stress is normal, and it's even healthy, but not if it's chronic. If you feel stressed often, it is bad for your brain. You need to take it seriously, and do what you can to have less stress in your life. It's important. The number of ways you can reduce stress are enormous. Pick one (meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, reframing, using to-do lists to organize yourself better, forest bathing, avoiding overscheduling yourself, getting good sleep, exercising more, etc.) and start doing it regularly. Find a way that works for you to feel calmer and more relaxed more often.

5. Brain training: Anything that challenges you mentally helps you form new connections in your brain, and even more brain cells. You want your brain to be in a state of growing, not declining. Not shrinking. Expanding. 

There are websites and apps specifically designed to challenge your mental abilities. And normal life presents many opportunities to push yourself a little bit. If you've been putting off getting a new phone because you don't want to have to deal with the learning curve, change your attitude about it, and think of it as a way to grow new connections in your brain. Push yourself. Not to the point where it becomes stressful, but definitely to the point where it becomes challenging. Somewhat difficult, but not overwhelming. Stretch yourself gently.

Also, more socializing and more determined, purposeful activity, taking classes, helping others — these all challenge and stimulate your brain to grow. 

6. Detoxification: There are many possible toxins that could be causing your brain to try to protect itself. Alzheimer's is a protective response to an assault or a deficiency. And one of those assaults is toxins. If you have black mold in your house, for example, it can be more of an ongoing assault than your brain can handle, and could be contributing to the progression of Alzheimer's. Removing that source of toxins, then, becomes an important key to reversing your cognitive decline.

We are all exposed to lots of toxins. Air pollution, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides in our food, mercury in our fillings, chemicals in cleaning products and in cosmetics, etc. Your body is capable of handling a certain amount of toxins, but if you're getting too much too often, the system is overwhelmed and creates an emergency response, part of which manifests as Alzheimer's. Remove the source of the toxins so you're no longer regularly exposed, and then help your body remove the toxins from your system with exercise, regular saunas, detoxifying herbs, and fasting.

7. Targeted supplements: Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to the progression of Alzheimer's. Blood tests can reveal whether you are low on vitamin D, vitamin B1, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, etc. You can change your diet to make sure you get enough, or you can take supplements.

To find out more, read The Ruthless Progression of Alzheimer's Can Be Reversed.

Adam Khan is the author of Antivirus For Your Mind: How to Strengthen Your Persistence and Determination and Feel Good More Often and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English)Subscribe to his blog here. You can email him here.

An Easy Way to Reverse Some Cognitive Decline

Researchers had volunteers smell a pleasant odor for two hours every night while they slept, a different odor every night. After six months, in tests of learning and memory, their cognitive abilities improved significantly. The people in the matched control group didn't improve. In fact, their cognitive abilities got a little worse.

Why would smelling something improve learning and memory? In the paper they wrote about the experiment, they explained why they did the study in the first place, as researchers often do. For a long time, medical scientists have recorded their observations that often, right before the loss of cognitive function or the impairment or decline of mental abilities, people lose olfactory abilities. In Parkinson's, Covid, dementia, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's — people often lose their sense of smell before they show signs of mental decline. In their paper, the researchers said they found about 70 neurological and psychiatric disorders that are often accompanied by olfactory loss.

So previous researchers figured maybe if you stimulated or challenged or exercised someone's sense of smell, it might prevent or reverse their mental decline. So they tried it on animals and then on humans, and it worked. But why?

It turns out the olfactory nerves and the olfactory bulb are intimately connected to parts of the brain responsible for memory. So when the olfactory bulb is stimulated, it also stimulates those connected parts of the brain too, and can restore function there. And the stronger the smell, the more people recover their cognitive abilities. The longer the exposure, the more recovery they make. And maybe most importantly, increasing the number of different smells (not all at once, but sequentially), caused more recovery.

One of the previous studies the researchers mentioned in their paper was of wine sommeliers going through a sommelier training. They did an MRI scan of the students' brains before and after their eighteen months of training, which constantly challenged them to make olfactory distinctions. At the end of it, the entorhinal cortex of their brains had become thicker (that's the part of the brain responsible for mediating information coming from, and going to, the hippocampus). Other studies have shown that olfactory stimulation increases gray matter in the hippocampus and the thalamus. Stimulation of the olfactory system increases the activity of brain regions related to memory.

In still other studies, olfactory enrichment improved subjects' ability to do Sudoku puzzles and verbal fluency tests, and decreased depression.

And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, previous studies have also shown that olfactory stimulation while someone sleeps makes their slow-wave sleep deeper. Slow-wave sleep has been found to be the most restful part of the sleep cycle. A different study found that people reported feeling more vigorous the next day after they had olfactory stimulation while they slept.

Given all that, the researchers decided on the protocol for this study. Volunteers used the infuser for two hours every night. The essential oils they used were: sweet orange, eucalyptus, lemon, rose, peppermint, rosemary, and lavender. The diffuser they used is from Diffuser World and they got the essential oils from The Essential Oil Company in Portland, Oregon.

They gave each person a diffuser and told them to turn start it when they went to bed and set the timer so it turns off after two hours. They used a different essential oil each night, rotating through the seven oils.

A control group also got a diffuser and went through the same ritual, but there was so little essential oil in it that it didn't smell like much. They tested everybody on learning and memory before they started, and then tested them again after six months. They also gave them fMRI scans before it started and again after six months. The results were very positive, especially for such an easy thing to do. This is how the researchers put it: "Minimal olfactory enrichment administered at night produces improvements in both cognitive and neural functioning."

The Ruthless Progression of Alzheimer's Can Be Reversed

A researcher at UCLA has discovered ways to reverse Alzheimer's. This is not theoretical. It has already been done with hundreds of people — not just slowing the mental decline, but reversing it.

The methods he uses are so far outside normal medical procedure that you have probably never heard of it, even though he's been doing it for years and it is monumental news. The researcher from UCLA, Dale Bredesen, MD, is more than a researcher. He's also a neurologist.

His understanding of the way Alzheimer's works is almost the opposite of the point of view of the conventional medical establishment. The key markers of Alzheimer's — which you may be familiar with: amyloid plaques and tau tangles — are actually the brain's protective response against inflammation, assaults and deficiencies. In its effort to survive, it ditches brain cells and brain connections like a crew on board a sinking ship might toss valuables overboard to try to stay afloat. Remembering what you had for breakfast is an unnecessary luxury to a brain fighting desperately for its physical survival.

Bredesen has discovered at least 37 pathways to the Alzheimer's response. Through testing, the pathways affecting a particular person are discovered and then remedied. The brain is in either a growing mode or a shrinking mode, and various discoverable factors can tip the scale in one direction or the other.

For example, if the protective response of Alzheimer's is being caused by mycotoxins (toxins from fungi like black mold), the black mold exposure can be eliminated, which stops the protective response, and the scale is tipped in the other direction, and if that's the only thing causing the Alzheimer's, the person's mental abilities start to come back.

There are many kinds of toxins that can cause the brain to respond with Alzheimer's symptoms — mercury from fillings in your teeth, chemical exposures at work, pollutants in drinking water, etc. These can be discovered by testing. You can then eliminate or reduce the toxic load you're exposed to, and when you do, your brain begins to recover. There are also many ways to improve your body's ability to eliminate toxins, which can also move the balance to the other side.

Sometimes the Alzheimer's response is being caused by a deficiency, like B1 or vitamin D. Again, testing can show what the person is lacking, and the deficiency can be resolved with a change in diet or supplements, and the brain recovers.

Another source of assault to the brain is inflammation. There are a lot of ways to develop a systemic inflammation, and when one of those ways is discovered through testing, it can be ameliorated, and when it is, the brain stops shrinking and starts growing again.

Another pathway to Alzheimer's is insulin resistance. This can also lead to adult-onset diabetes, weight gain, and heart disease. You can easily test your insulin sensitivity, and there's plenty you can do to improve it.

Yes, all of this is inconvenient. Difficult. Work. And more expensive. But so is having Alzheimer's. Or taking care of someone with Alzheimer's. But with the protocol, things get better rather than getting worse. It's uplifting rather than depressing. The sooner you start, the better.

Bredesen's protocol is called ReCODE which stands for REversal of COgnitive DEcline. He did a nine and a half minute TED talk that gives a good overview of his discoveries here: A precision approach to end Alzheimer's Disease. You can also watch a documentary about Bredesen's work here: Memories For Life: Reversing Alzheimer's.

Here's a list of the basic principles of the ReCODE protocol: The Bredesen Seven.

Learn more about all this in depth with Bredesen's books. His first book was: The End of Alzheimer's.

He's got two other books. One of them is The End of Alzheimer's Program. This one goes into detail about exactly what the method entails. He gives enough of the specifics that you could do the program on your own. You can also get personally coached by people who know Bredesen's protocol well at Apollo Health.

Bredesen's third book is a collection of stories written by some of his ReCODE patients themselves — what they went through, how they first noticed they had Alzheimer's, how they found Bredesen, and what happened after they started applying the ReCODE protocol. Some of them describe what happened when they relapsed (when they stopped doing the protocol and their cognitive decline returned) and then they got back on the program and their Alzheimer's went away again. It's called The First Survivors of Alzheimer's.

Here's a video of Dale Bredesen on a Zoom call with four people who have been following his protocol and have experienced their cognitive abilities return: Introducing the first survivors of Alzheimer's.

At the National Institute of Health website, there's a paper about Bredesen's program: ReCODE: A Personalized, Targeted, Multi-Factorial Therapeutic Program for Reversal of Cognitive Decline.

If you are worried about getting Alzheimer's, you should look into this. The earlier you do something about it, the easier it is to prevent it from happening. And if you know anyone who has Alzheimer's, or if you know a caregiver of an Alzheimer's patient, please share this article with them. A diagnosis of Alzheimer's doesn't have to turn into the nightmare we all fear. We can do something about it now.

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal GrowthSlotralogyAntivirus For Your Mindand co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English)Subscribe to his blog here. You can email him here.

Direct Your Mind: Could I Just Do Part Of It For Now?

The time-management expert, Alan Lakein, called this the "Swiss Cheese" method. You poke a hole in your project. After you poke enough holes in a project, there isn't much left. A large project becomes easier and easier to tackle the more holes you poke in it. Also, when you don’t have the time or motivation to tackle your project, you can do some small thing that moves it forward, even a little, and that will do two things: It will improve your mood, and it will make the project a little less intimidating.

The question, "Could I just do part of it for now?" keeps you moving. It keeps you making progress.

One of Lakein's techniques was to set a timer for five minutes, and work on your project until the time is up. Because it is so brief, you are not at all intimidated. Five minutes. You can stand just about anything for five measly minutes.

Often you'll find that once your five minutes are up, you don't really want to stop. But by giving yourself such a small task to begin with, you are able to get something done. Without that technique, you might have gotten nothing done on that project.

And working on your project for even five minutes gets you thinking about it, which is usually a good thing.

We tend to think about projects as a whole. This question gets us thinking about doing smaller parts of the whole. Do you have a large project you've been putting off because it is such a large project and you don't want to get started? Ponder this question. Can you do something on it for five minutes? Can you do a small part of it for now?

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb

The Old Switcheroo

We all have times when we think about something negative we can’t do anything about: Something in the news, something that happened yesterday, one of our fellow workers who made us mad, a company policy. The time spent ruminating on that stuff is wasted. It’s worse than wasted, because it makes our bodies produce stress hormones, which circulate in the bloodstream and aren’t good for our health.

When you find yourself thinking about something negative and you want to stop, I’d like to give you a technique...but I can’t. The mind doesn’t work that way. It’s like a river that just keeps flowing, and even when you try to dam it up, it just overflows the dam and keeps on flowing. A river must flow. You can’t stop it.

But you can redirect it.

The same is true for your mind. It keeps flowing; it keeps thinking. You can’t stop it. But you can redirect it.

When you are thinking about something negative you can’t do anything about, redirect your mind. There are a million things you could direct your mind to, but let’s choose a good one now rather than wait until we’re bothered by something. Here’s an extremely useful area to redirect your mind to: Complimenting other people.

You and I know we take things for granted and it would be good to appreciate what people do for us, but we don’t, at least not as often as we’d like. Why? Because we need to think about it. When we compliment someone without giving it any thought, it comes out shallow, general, or phony. To do it well requires thought.

But we don’t have the spare time to think about it — we’re too busy thinking about negative things we can’t do anything about (wink).

So from this point on, use the occurrence of needless negative rumination as a trigger — something that reminds you to think about complimenting someone. Use it as an opportunity to switch your mind, to turn it in a new direction. What specifically has someone done that you think was cool? Big or small, it doesn’t matter. Next time you see that person, let them know you appreciate it. The fact that you acknowledge it some time after it happens shows it was important enough for you to think about later, which adds more impact to the compliment. Give more sincere and well-thought-out compliments and your relationships will be better, your life will be better, the world will be better. And one way to give more compliments is to use the old switcheroo.

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth
SlotralogyAntivirus For Your Mindand co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English)Follow his podcasts, The Adam Bomb and Talk to Klassy. You can email him here.

Using Your Strengths to Become Happier

One good way to become lastingly happier is to know your "signature strengths" and exercise them.

A signature strength is a characteristic that you are not only naturally good at, but that makes you feel good when you exercise it. For example, my top signature strength is Love Of Learning. I am naturally curious and I am good at learning, and it actually makes me happy to learn new things.

Anyway, The Chief Happiness Officer had a great little mission for his readers: A seven-step process to discover your signature strengths and exercise them at work in order to be happier while you're on the job. A worthy mission! Here's a link to the article and one of the seven steps:

Monday Tip: Use your strengths at work: "What strengths do you rarely or never use at work? These represent untapped potential for you and your workplace. Is there any way you could get to use them more often?"

Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.