A new Alzheimer’s drug received FDA approval last week and the news surrounding it has been controversial. Should we pop open the champagne and throw the confetti?
After spending quite a bit of time writing an answer that question, it turned out to be so long it even made my eyes roll back into my head. So, I decided to reduce it down to one paragraph and proceed with some practical information you can actually use. You’re welcome : )
The one paragraph: The Aduhelm approval is controversial, but for many people, it represents a glimmer of hope and I sincerely hope it helps everyone who uses it. If my mom were still alive and had early symptoms I’d be interested in it for her, although not in isolation and that’s an important caveat. While it was shown to slow decline by 22%, it doesn’t improve or reverse cognitive decline. It targets amyloid which is important but isn’t the root cause of Alzheimer’s. It’s actually the result of the causes – that’s plural. Interestingly, the recent results from the ReCODE Proof of Concept clinical trial (the trial you didn’t hear about on the news) were highly statistically significant. The participant number was small for the first run, but 84% of them actually improved their cognitive decline without side effects and the door is now open for a larger randomized control trial. While I’m glad Aduhelm has the potential to help people with early symptoms slow the decline, I’m saving the champagne and confetti for the results of the Bredesen ReCODE clinical trial that aims to prevent and reverse the cognitive decline. If you aren’t yet familiar with the ReCODE protocol, you can learn more on my website. This link takes you to the exact spot.
Let’s move on to a few drug-free ways to keep beta-amyloid plaques from gumming up your neural network. As usual, this is for educational purposes and should not be considered medical advice.
The first thing is so simple you’ll think I’m kidding. Get 7-8 hours of restful sleep every night.
- During deep sleep, your brain gets a bath.
- It uses large, slow waves of cerebral spinal fluid to flush out toxic proteins, like beta-amyloid.
- For some people, deep restful sleep may not be simple, but it is possible to achieve with a little detective work to determine the cause of your sleep issues which opens the door for resolution.
A second way to inhibit amyloid accumulation in the brain is to make sure you have an optimal copper: zinc ratio.
- Too much copper can speed up the production of free radicals which contribute to amyloid plaque formation in the brain.
- A deficiency of zinc is bad for the brain.
- Zinc helps keep copper from accumulating in the brain. Thus the need for balance.
- Before you start shopping for supplements it’s better to test than it is to guess. To find out your copper: zinc ratio you’ll need blood test results for copper, zinc and ceruloplasm – then you can put those results into this calculator and it will reveal your copper: zinc ratio. The optimal ratio is 1:1
One more way to inhibit amyloid is to use specific herbs.
- Two herbs I take every night are Bacopa and Ashwagandha. Please click that link and learn about those two herbs – they’re powerful and safe. (If you’re taking Donepezil or one of the other medications for Alzheimer’s, don’t take Bacopa unless your doctor says it’s ok.)
You have a lot of control over the health of your brain and the ReCODE protocol offers a plan for preventing Alzheimer’s and reversing symptoms when caught early.
Angela Chapman is a Bredesen ReCODE Practitioner and Functional Health Educator. If you’re searching for practical tips to protect your brain health, her Sunday email is a great resource for you.