Dr. Coby Hanes, an IFM certified Functional Medicine physician and chiropractor, has completed Dr. Dale Bredesen’s ReCODE (Reversal of Cognitive Decline) Advanced Clinical training, and in September 2019, Dr. Hanes became one of the first physicians in Oregon to become a ReCODE certified practitioner.
An estimated 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and it is now the third leading cause of death in the US—more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.1,2 These numbers alone are of concern but are amplified by the fact that until recently there was no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Drug treatments temporarily improve symptoms but do not stop the underlying decline as Alzheimer’s disease progresses.
Dr. Dale Bredesen, MD, an internationally recognized expert in neurodegenerative disease and leading researcher in cognitive decline, has developed a multimodal approach focused on personalized dietary and lifestyle intervention that has yielded positive outcomes. This approach named ReCODE (for Reversal of Cognitive Decline), has successfully reversed cognitive decline in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease.4,5
In one study, personalized treatment improved cognition over a period of three to six months in 90% of patients with AD or its precursors.3 A larger follow up study titled Reversal of Cognitive Decline: 100 Patients (a landmark study of 100 patients treated by different physicians) showed documented improvements in cognition, electrophysiology and imaging. These patients had sustained improvement, and those who had to discontinue work were able to return to work. The patients, their spouses, and their co-workers all reported clear improvements.5
Dr. Bredesen’s bestselling book, The End Of Alzheimer’s, offers real hope to anyone looking to prevent and even reverse Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline. The book fundamentally changes how we understand cognitive decline, revealing that Alzheimer’s disease is not one condition, as it is currently treated, but rather there are at least six distinct subclasses of the condition.
Dr. Bredesen also outlines 36 metabolic factors that may contribute to cognitive decline: metabolic factors including micro or macro nutrient deficiencies, activation of the innate immune system by pathogens or intestinal permeability, reduced hormone or trophic support, mold or toxin exposure, poor blood sugar regulation and sleep disturbances. Identifying which of these potential 36 metabolic factors may be contributing to each patient’s cognitive decline and “downsizing” in the brain is the first step.
The good news is that once we establish a patient’s Alzhemier’s subtype and identify as many of these 36 metabolic factors as possible, we have an accurate roadmap to provide a personalized, targeted, multi-factorial treatment approach, dubbed ReCODE for reversal of cognitive decline.
The success of the ReCODE protocol compared to the way Alzheimers is currently being treated is vast. Dr. Bredesen compares the 36 known metabolic factors contributing to Alzheimer’s to a roof with 36 Holes in it: “Some of the current drugs do a really good job of plugging one hole; the problem is that you still have 35 Holes in your roof.” A comprehensive diet and lifestyle intervention, carried out by a trained ReCODE practitioner, is the only proven way to repair all 36 Holes in the roof (ie. your brain) and reverse cognitive decline.
- Alzheimer’s Association. 2018 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Alzheimers Dement. 2018;14(3):367-429. https://www.alz.org/facts/overview.asp. Accessed March 21, 2018.
- Washingtonpost/new-study-ranks-alzheimers-as-third-leading-cause-of-death – reprinted from - Neurology Mar 2014, 82 (12) 1045-1050; DOI:10.1212/WNL.0000000000000240
- Bredesen DE. Reversal of cognitive decline: a novel therapeutic program. Aging. 2014;6(9):707-717. doi:10.18632/aging.100690.
- Bredesen DE, Amos EC, Canick J, et al. Reversal of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease. Aging. 2016;8(6):1250-1258. doi:10.18632/aging.100981.
- Bredesen et al., J Alzheimers Dis Parkinsonism 2018, 8:5 Journal of DOI: 10.4172/2161-0460.1000450
Dr. Bredesen has served as Chief Resident in Neurology at UCSF, held faculty positions at UCLA and the University of California, San Diego, and was also the founding President of the Buck Institute. He has been studying Alzheimer’s for 40 years and has contributed over 220 scientific articles on the subject.