The People's Perspective on Medicine

Show 1092: How Can You Overcome Alzheimer Disease?

A comprehensive multi-factorial program may help you overcome Alzheimer disease. To learn more, listen to the interview.
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How Can You Overcome Alzheimer Disease?

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More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer disease and are gradually losing their abilities to think and remember. Most of the medications that are available to treat this degenerative condition are unimpressive at best. Is there any way to overcome Alzheimer disease?

The Shortcomings of Medication for Alzheimer Disease:

Most of the medicines that doctors prescribe for their patients with Alzheimer disease are designed to reduce the amount of beta-amyloid plaque that builds up in the brain. But what if beta-amyloid is not the cause of Alzheimer degeneration, but the result of the brain trying to protect itself from inflammation? Research indicates that Amyloid Precursor Protein, or APP, becomes beta-amyloid when there is inflammation or infection in the brain.

Beyond Genetics to Many Risk Factors:

Many people are aware that there is a genetic component to this type of dementia. People with two copies of the Apoe4 variant of the gene are far more likely to develop cognitive problems than those with only one copy of this variant, or those who have different variants. Until now, knowing your genetic risk was useless; you couldn’t do anything about it. Now, however, there are a number of risk factors that can be addressed.

Dr. Dale Bredesen suggests that we think of a person suffering from Alzheimer disease as a house with a leaky roof. He and his colleagues have identified 36 significant risk factors that may contribute to the problem. That’s like having 36 holes in the roof. Fixing just one probably won’t stop the leaks. But getting all 36 plugged should make a difference.

Fixing all of the risk factors at the same time, to the extent possible, greatly lowers the risk of dementia. It may even allow people to overcome Alzheimer disease.

Which Changes Will Help You Overcome Alzheimer Disease?

Identifying the specific factors that are relevant for each individual means putting precision medicine to work. Dr. Bredesen describes several cases of individuals who followed the protocol, each addressing the weaknesses in their own makeup and medical history. Instead of a single silver bullet, he offers listeners silver buckshot.

This Week’s Guest:

Dale Bredesen, MD, is an internationally recognized expert in aging and neurodegenerative diseases. He is Professor of Neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles and founding President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Dr. Bredesen is also the Co-founder of MPI Cognition and author of The End of Alzheimer’s, The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline.

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

Buy the CD

Download the mp3

Learn More:

Our interview with Dr. Bredesen was too long to broadcast in its entirety. If you would like to listen to the entire interview, with all the details, here it is:

Be sure to check out our combination offer of a CD of the broadcast interview and Dr. Dale Bredesen’s book. Learn more when you listen AND read!

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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My mother suffered from severs cognitive decline and died @ age 81. Naturally, I am concerned for myself since I have seen the beginnings.

I live in Mexico and asked my doctor to do 2 tests for a different problem that would also have assisted with checking cognition. He refused. I am still angry. He did not know about the cognition factor. Not sure it would have made a difference or maybe even make him more determined to decline. I do not know.
I looked at some of the many tests recommended and not sure they are all available in Mexico at all?

Severe problems. Typo!

Why is it, that there are no responses to the posted questions?

Good question. Would really appreciate responses and feedback to these important points and specific questions

Been listening to your show since the first one on our local NPR station. I listened to the long version of Dr Bredesen’s talk and bought the book. I cannot figure out a prevention program based on the above mentioned. Is there anywhere to find for detail on that program and how to find a doctor who will work with you?

Dr. Bredesen wrote a medical journal article that outlines the factors he believes should be addressed to prevent and reverse cognitive decline. Table 1 in the article is a chart that lists all of the tests and issues to be covered in his protocol. This is something that’s easier to share with a physician than a book.
The article, “Reversal of cognitive decline: A novel therapeutic program,” is free online at

In the approach outlined there is a lack of focus on the INTEGRATED role of:
oxidative stress,
reactive oxygen & nitrogen species signaling / damaging effects,
vascular dysregulation
mitochondrial dysfunction
epigenetics of pro and anti-inflammation, pro and anti-oxidative stress, pro and anti-apoptosis
redox balance and cellular plasticity beyond synaptic plasticity
proven therapeutic modifiers of the above

How can people afford the costs of being tested (cognoscopy)? It sounds costly. Does Medicare cover it? Do the for-profit, private insurers cover it? If they will cover these preliminary costs, think of all the money that could be saved if people don’t suffer with Alzheimer’s long term and have to be cared for by others.

Also, many people have conditions that don’t allow them to travel by plane or train. My neighbor is one of them because he suffers with vertigo. What are some locations where people can be tested?

People really need to know accessible locations where they can be tested and whether it’s affordable. Thanks.

Also wonder if insurers will drop people if a cognoscopy shows a genetic possibility toward dementia.

Because I was at work when this program was broadcast, I’d like to buy the CD. But will I be sent the actual CD, or is it an online thing? I don’t have the capability to burn CDs on my computer. Thanks

Consideration in the therapeutic model should be given to:

1) nomalization, accentuation and protection of neural Stem Cell Development, Differentiation, Migration & Integration using Magnesium, Benfotiamine */- Allithiamine that protect(s) against vascular dysregulation, DNA oxidation, has (have) anti-STAT3 activity, replete intra-endothelial cell / neuron / accessory brain cell thiamine pyrophosphate, greatly enhance(s) Neural (& all) Stem Cell “Potentiation”, help protect against mitochondria to glycolytic shift in high energy molecule production (with ROS generation complications) . Medical Foods such as Macademia Nuts / Kashii 7 whole grain puffs (for organic vitamin B-1), Brazil Nuts (for appropriate amounts of organic selenium) and leafy green veggies (magnesium) could help supplement the named derivatives of thiamine and magnesium for intracellular repletion. One could use RBC Transketolase and magnesium levels to “supernormalize” these therapies.

2) Anti-inflammasome activation / neural kindling with Sulforaphane (at not too high a dose), curcumin having increased absorption using black pepper in meals, tocotrienols (usine Anneto Oil nanoemulsion patches), purple sweet potato extract powder dissolved in the apple cider vinegar component of an Olive Oil dressing, cilostazol 50 mg po twice a day that also increases the microvascular reserve of the brain and elsewhere & prevents progressive mini-strokes in the many (25%) who have small vessel disease (leukoariaosis) of the brain. Cilostazol should be made into an OTC medication

3) Combined downregulation of NF-kB & upregulation of Nrf2 using higher dose melatonin (that also has an anti-carcinogenesis / anti-metastasis effect), salsalate (an aspirin dimer that doses not have have aspirin’s gastritis side effect), purple sweet potato extract. Salsalate should be made an OTC analgesic and the public educated in its proper usage (probably not good when younger people have influenza). Also combined Pycnogenol & GoTu Kola, Black Rice on Black beans seasoned with curcumin + black pepper is another “Medical Food” that fits into this anti-pathophysiology category.

4) Encourage home gardening and growing of purple, dark red, black vegetables to accentuate all of the above. When not possible, at least cook and prepare with colored food extracts available as “natural colors”

5) Consider training the populace in doing family-accupuncture that acts from afar, going through the hypothalamus to help normalize microvascular blood flow in the peripheral neurovasculature AND in the brain’s neurovascular units.

6) Listen with enthusiasm to stories told by the elderly and also read stories of potential interest to the elderly to help protect against the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease, this being an extrapolation / take-off from (of) the “nun-study”.

In summary the above is much more focused on the microvasculature AND epigenetic phenomenon (e.g., those phenomenon that upregulate and downregulate nuclear factor promotion of transcription & translation of a rebalancing of the redox state via anti-oxidative stress & anti-inflammation & anti-endothelial dysfunction proteins) than is the presenter’s synaptic plasticity focus that has resisted sole-manipulation for the sake of anti-Alzheimer’s disease activity, heretofore – I studied German and believe in the therapeutic implications of the “nun study”.

It is true that the “why” must be explored. Dr. Bredesen speaks about “pathophysiology” but does not express a unifying specific pathophysiology. Inflammation, atrophy, vascular causes of cognitive decline are not defined at a biochemical or even epigenetic level. Yes there are many “signaling pathways” involved in cognition. Yes, Biotoxins, micro-organisms, diet, hormones….can cause epigenetic shifts but exactly HOW in terms of the specific biochemical epigenetics of what is going on? The commentary on oxLDL started to get a hold on the biochemistry, but again did not get down to HOW this WHY did its dirty deeds. The case examples – e.g., the doctor with Alzheimer’s Disease – are inspiring but again do not really touch the exact HOW of cognitive decline and its reversal. I disagree that physicians respond best to “stories”. Patients often do so respond. The “program” needed to be much better explained. If “balance” is important what “balance” is important. Is the redox balance as defined by the relationship between active / inactive NF-kB and Nrf2 and their competition (pro / anti-oxidative stress, pro / anti-inflammation) very important to establish redox balance?

So interesting AND informative. I plan to buy this book ASAP! Thank you!

I was in a car accident long story short I had 110 doctors plus Uof Wash. and other brain injury centers. They gave me so many test for days, most made me cry some of the pains were awful, in classes they kept saying I was depressed and most people in my condition will be divorced all I could do was cry because I could not speak well. They took away all of my vitamins and told me this was their vitamins, a lie it was wellbutrin xl. I, all of a sudden started bleeding from everywhere, I did not know I was taking wellbutrin xl they finally told me and stopped but to this day I still have bleeding.

All of the doctors stated I either had demenia or 2nd stage of alzheimer. I could not speak, read or write, could not see well, the list goes on and on for 10 years. My daughter brought me a computer although I had a hard time seeing, about 5 min at a time.

I found EPSON SALT. It saved my life, I started soaking my feet in it many times a day, all of my problems disappeared!!

Any time your body goes into shock most of your calcium,potassium,magnesium and 70 other minerals go out the window.

God bless to all who have gone through these terrible tests and the lies of 110 doctors , and still survived.

I have much to say on this subject, but I cannot keep going. My eyes have had it. Sorry about spelling and sentence structure.

Seeing that so many pharmaceuticals including PPI’s and statins can cause dementia why would pharmacy come up with a medication to cure dementia or any other disease for that matter.

So terribly sorry to read what you went through! So glad you discovered Epsom salt and that it provided the breakthrough you needed! Glad you didn’t give up! All the best!

I showed my Doctors this book and asked about a cognoscopy. They tell me there is no such thing, and Doctor Bredesen’s program is a scam. I was so excited when I saw and heard him on the 700 club. Now I am confused and don’t know what to think.
Can you clear this up for me?

I am very interested in accessing more information on Alzheimer’s disease. How do I access the podcasts? I know nothing about this feature

I need to know when The People’s Pharmacy is on the radio in Wisconsin. I work Saturday mornings. I work Saturdays until noon. I don’t see any radio schedule times. Have tried googling it. No luck so far.

Carol, here is a link to find stations broadcasting the show. In Wisconsin, it is live on Saturday mornings at 6 am.

Omgosh I saw this interview on the 700 club and I have ordered the book and am looking for a way to get a cognoscopy? It’s a miracle God is good all the time.

To hear more of Dr. Bredesen go to You Tube; type in his name and that of Dr. Gundry. Very interesting interview.

Quite informative; in today’s world of insurance companies deciding what tests you can have, how do you get some of these tests? Last week, I asked for the C-Reactive Protein in my blood-work for my yearly physical but was told by my MD that my insurance would not pay for it since I had no ‘reason’ justifying a test for it!

Also, how do I have an evaluation as he suggests in his talk? I definitely want to read his book!

So Very Excellent……So Very Informative…..So Very Important to know…..

This Information will improve so many lives.
Thank You Peoples Pharmacy

I don’t know why I have never come to your website to express my absolute long term listening need for this programming. It is, I believe, an audible record of things a layperson needs to known beyond what she learns from a visit to the doctor! I am a devoted (I mean, every week) listener for probably close to 30 years, every since I heard the tour first show on WVTF out of Roanoke, VA! Since I got my iPhone in 2011, j am able to listen to the podcasts —and some,like #1092, repeatedly…..thank you for this very educational source for Everyman (and woman) in the effort to maximize quality for ones time on this planet. This last show was over the top in your typical update of what is going in in the medical field! I tell everyone I know about The Peoples Pharmacy! Please don’t every stop! You are an essential resource in plain English….

PS: I love how you give current updates in medical news at the beginning of every show; it is, always, cutting edge information…Too bad that so many medical professionals don’t tune in!

I missed half of the program, but my interest was whetted. I would like to read the doctor’s book and share it with my doctor. I worry about memory loss, and everyone in my retirement community says, “Don’t worry, we all can’t remember names, dates, etc.” I enjoy your show very much.

Where do you go to get a cognoscopy ?

I did not think there was enough information in this particular program. It seemed more like an advertisement to buy his book with lots of stories about miraculous improvements of patients. Plus, there is very little information on the internet about a ‘cognoscopy’.

BRILLIANT information, much appreciated

where can I go to get evaluated for cognitive function.

Excellent program, although little relevance to clinical medicine/neuropsychiatry practice in the HMO age. I am a retired neuropsychiatrist and treated many hundreds of early dementia patients. Primary causes we treated were nutritional deficiencies: sex hormones, thyroid hormones, cortisol, and vit. B12. I loved the fact that Dr. Bredesen clarified that “Alzheimer’s disease” is not a classical one pathogen “disease” and, rather, an inflammatory condition and nutritional deficiency condition.

We found that a trip to the health food store for these supplements: Kelp (source of iodine for thyroid hormone synthesis), DHEA (precursor to sex hormones and cortisol), and “therapeutic” B complex vitamins, was often helpful. Stress is an important causative agent. Details in our free e-book PDF online at “Stress R Us”. Adrenal fatigue from over-stressed living is a major cause and the source of, or exacerbates, all auto-immune conditions that result from low cortisol and poly-inflammation. Thanks for your show!

Thank you, Joe andTerry, I am listening now on West Virginia Public Radio, and this has been your most interesting show EVER! Dr. Bredeson is a fascinating and articulate speaker, and I plan to buy his book after hearing your show. I will tell everyone I know to listen to the podcast version of this show when it becomes available!

Great Show! How do you spell cognostapy?

cognoscopy — in analogy to colonoscopy


The term that Dr. Bredesen came up with for evaluating all the factors that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease is Cognoscopy (similar to the term colonoscopy), which he recommends for anyone over age 45. You won’t find much information online about it, but he explains it in his new book. And it’s unlikely that you’ll find someone right now who knows that term and can do the evaluation, but Dr. Bredesen lists all the factors in his book and what their optimal state should be, so you can do some evaluation yourself with your blood test results and other lifestyle factors.

Perhaps the best program ever on the Peoples’ Pharmacy!!

Iv’e got it ! I am at the onset and I know it is getting progressive. My biggest fear is that I will not be cognizant enough to know when it’s time to blow my brains out ! No joke…….

When will Dr. Bredesen’s talk be available? I did not understand. Thank you

Let’s stop trying to treat the symptoms and stop denying the cause! Medications like PPI’s, blood pressure medications, statins, antidepressants. Vascular dementia is apparently caused by too low a blood pressure. People who are hypothyroid have inordinately low blood pressure which in all likelihood caused by epigenetic compounds which cause aberrations to chromosomes that maintain homeostasis in our endocrine system. The synthetic estrogen des could have been responsible for many but now there are literally thousands of chemical compounds that are endocrine disruptors that are found in cattle feed as well as cosmetics

I come to to learn as simply and as directly as I can. For example: getting all the information that will satisfy my curiosity all on one page. The headline or subject matter shouldn’t entice me to continue to another page (or more in some cases) know what I mean? If the headline is just another advertisement and a ploy to sell another pill, have the decency to just put it all on the first page. I loose interest in this kind of tactic and don’t go to another page and eventually just delete the website all together. As I will with if it doesn’t change… two smiling faces and not getting to the point is not enough to keep me coming back.
Very sincerely tho, A

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