Dr Dale Bredesen: We can win the war on dementia
If you know a friend or family member suffering with dementia, you’ll know all too well just how cruel and destructive a disease it is.
You’ll also know that a dementia diagnosis is a death sentence, albeit one that is heart-breakingly drawn out over years and decades as the person you know and love and have shared a life with gradually disappears from view, until only their physical body remains once the light that powered their personality is extinguished forever.
It happens right in front of your eyes. And you are completely powerless to do anything about it.
But there is growing hope that dementia – which is the term used to describe several diseases that affect memory, thinking, and the ability to perform daily activities – may soon join the list of other previously-terminal illnesses that are now easily treated, reversed and cured.
Leading that charge is globally renowned neurodegenerative health expert Dr Dale Bredesen, MD. He has led research that resulted in the first reversal of cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, using a precision medicine protocol instead of the generic and long-established forms of treatment that at best slow the acceleration of the disease. His work has led to the publication of more than 230 papers and he has written two books, both New York Times best sellers, on his work and methods.
Now the senior director of the world’s first precision medicine programme for neurodegenerative diseases at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute, Dr Bredesen advocates for novel forms of treatment for patients with both early- and late-stage dementia, focused on precision medicine.
In our wide-ranging and in-depth conversation, Dr Bredesen explains how his treatments work in first halting and then reversing dementia, why he believes dementia and related neurodegenerative diseases are effectively now a choice, especially for younger people, because of the tools and techniques now available to halt these illnesses in their tracks – so long as the early warning signs are spotted soon enough.
He also reveals and details the seven essential steps he recommends everyone takes to better protect their brain and to reduce the risk of them developing dementia in later life.
Dr Dale Bredesen: Dementia is now a choice
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Dr Dale Bredesen: The 7 steps to reduce your risk of dementia
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Dr Dale Bredesen: The established medical machine isn’t working
Dementia: a global crisis
Dementia is a problem that needs solving. It affects more than 55 million people worldwide, with 10 million new cases every year, according to the World Health Organisation.
It results from a variety of diseases and injuries that affect the brain – Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form, accounting for between 60% to 70% of call cases – and dementia is the seventh leading cause of death globally and one of the major causes of disability and dependency amongst older people.
It disproportionately affects women both directly, because they suffer high disability-adjusted life years and mortality because of the illness, and indirectly because they provide around 70% of the car
Dementia cost the global economy more than $1.3 trillion in 2019, with half of those costs down to the “informal” care provided by family members and friends who, on average, provide five hours of care and supervision every single day.
The End of Alzheimer’s Programme: The Practical Plan to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline at Any Age by Dr Dale Bredesen (£16.99, Vermilion) is out now.