Bredesen MEND Alzheimer’s Reversal
I am honored to be among the first 60 individuals in the world to learn at the feet of a master, a research neurologist Dale Bredesen. Dr. Bredesen has applied a Functional Medicine approach to his vast understanding of the pathology of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease to create a protocol he coined MEND: Metabolic Enhancement for Neurodegeneration. Now simply referred to as the Bredesen Protocol, he has successfully reversed Alzheimer’s Disease in 10 out of 12 patients that he trialed in this protocol. One did not comply with the extensive lifestyle changes required and the other unsuccessful patient had progressed too far in the disease. This protocol is actually individualized, true to the Functional Medicine principles. Dr. Bredesen has identified six sub-types of Alzheimer’s based on metabolic disturbances that drive the neuronal damage. The earlier the protocol can be implemented, the greater likelihood of success, with MCI, mild cognitive impairment, being the ideal place to begin but there seems to be about a 3 to 5 year window from diagnosis that may respond to the protocol. Of note, an important part of the protocol is a range of dietary and nutrition interventions including a ketogenic diet that requires a trained nutrition professional to safely execute. This is an intense six to twelve month program with much required monitoring and support. To learn more about this approach (you will be directed away from this website) https://www.mpicognition.com/protocol-overview/
1. How do I get into the program?
Getting into the program is simply to begin the assessment process with a trained practitioner who will guide you through the healing process, not just of the brain, but the whole body. Surprise, they are attached and affect each other!
2. What is involved in the Bredesen protocol?
The Bredesen Protocol is not so much a protocol as an “algorithm”, a very complex one that requires some good knowledge of Functional Medicine. There are 6 “types” of Alzheimer’s in Dr. Bredesen’s Protocol and from a functional medicine standpoint. The first step in the process is a very thorough assessment and history including a rather extensive list of blood labs to sort out which of the 6 types, metabolic imbalances, are the biggest drivers of the degeneration of neurons in the brain. Once the “type/s” are determined, a personalized lifestyle and supplement program is created specifically for you. The 6 types are:
- Inflammation, especially with a genetic backdrop of ApoE4 genotype, autoimmune diseases and chronic infections.
- Glycotoxic: Diabetes, obesity, chronic or episodic hyper/hypo glycemia.
- Atrophy or poor neuron stimulation: Hypothyroid, post-menopausal or post-hysterectomy hormone decline, vit D def, sedentary lifestyle, etc.
- Toxicity, especially biotoxins, with a history, known or unknown, of chronic Lyme D or mold exposure, or heavy metal exposure
- Hypoxia due to cardiovascular disease, lung disease, chronic anemias, etc.
- Trauma: History of at least 3 head traumas, ie race car driver, athlete, boxer
3. How much does it cost?
How much it costs can only be estimated because it is different for everyone. However, the following provides a “ballpark estimate”.
A. Are there supplements? Yes there are quite a few supplements that are part of the program. Again, the exact supplements mostly depend on the individual, though there are a first 8-10 that I consider foundational for everyone with cognitive decline if not everyone with chronic disease of any kind. I estimate that the supplements will cost about $10/day and be needed for at least 6 months. I get high quality, pure and effective supplements at a great discount over what can be purchased on the internet if you can get them at all as a consumer. So expect that a 6 month course would cost about $2000-$2500.
B. My fee for my time. Lifestyle and diet are the very foundation of the protocol and utilizes a range of anti-inflammatory, very low carb to ketogenic diets that requires much training and supervision. Most practitioners have no interest in working with clients on lifestyle and diet change to the degree that is required because it is very time consuming. I am. The whole protocol takes over 40 hours of my time over the course of the 6 months, most of this in the first month. So I ask $2200 at the beginning or $1500 at the first visit and $1000 at the 3rd visit, or $150 per face-to-face consult hour.
C. Most, if not all, of the labs will be covered by insurance if your doctor orders. I will write a letter to your doctor explaining what we are doing accompanying my lab request. He/she may not feel comfortable ordering some of the most “unusual” labs. Anything your doctor will not order would have to be paid for out of pocket. So it is difficult to predict lab costs, but I estimate $500 to $1000.
4. Do you take insurance?
I do not take insurance. Insurance does not reimburse for medical nutrition therapy for anything but diabetes and renal disease. If I worked in a doctor’s office, I could bill for weight loss counseling but that’s it. Having said that, some more progressive insurance companies may reimburse for “prevention and wellness” therapies. I provide a thing called a superbill, which is a receipt for the medical nutrition services provided which you can submit to your insurance company. I think the way to change the system is for insurance companies to see the phenomenal results that can be achieved through lifestyle and nutrition therapies, especially diet.
I want you to know that I fully understand the world of Alzheimer’s and dementia and have a huge heart for it. This is why I have invested so much of myself in what I believe to be the real cure, the real hope.