A letter from our founder
Are you experiencing symptoms of cognitive decline? Memory loss, confusion, agitation, slowed function, poor decision making and maybe even denial? Have you had an exam from a Neurologist and been given a diagnosis of Subjective Cognitive Impairment, Mild Cognitive Impairment or Alzheimer’s Disease? Are you scared of what the future may hold for you and your family, or have you lost hope?
As you read further you’ll discover that your cognitive decline can be stopped, and even reversed. With the right program involving a comprehensive assessment, multiple treatment modalities and the right team of medical providers and coaches, you can regain your memory, executive function, focus and quality of life!
Ronald L. Brown, MD
What is Cognitive Decline?
We call these living in the wonder years… “I wonder where my keys are?” – “I wonder what his name is?” – “I wonder if I left the stove on?”. Some memory loss is natural, and tip of the tongue moments, or random occurrences of lost words does not mean you have dementia. We do understand that Cognitive Decline starts years, and even decades prior to the first symptoms, so if you are experiencing other symptoms in conjunction with a change in your memory, you should get an assessment.
Subjective Cognitive Impairment (SCI)
You can recognize a change, but standard Neuropsychological testing cannot objectively show a decline. In many cases testing may show values “within range”, but these values are not optimal for the individual. This may represent a decline from the person’s earlier ability, but without the true “normal” baseline, there is no way to objectively show decline. SCI often lasts a decade or so before progressing to Mild Cognitive Impairment.
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
This typically follows SCI. Objective, Neuropsychological testing show that memory, reasoning, executive function, future planning, calculating or other cognitive abilities are abnormal, but the individual is still able to perform the daily activities such as dressing, eating and bathing. MCI may or may not progress to Alzheimer’s, however taking action toward proper assessment and treatment at this stage is critical.
This form of dementia is marked by amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, however, contrary to conventional belief, there is growing evidence that neither is the cause of Alzheimer’s. Today we have increasingly specific genetic testing and imaging, however Alzheimer’s Disease is usually still diagnosed on the basis of a patient’s symptoms. Once an individual progress to this stage, with the conventional standard of treatment, Alzheimer’s is invariably fatal.
Dementia is an umbrella term for a general decline in neurocognitive abilities. Memory loss is often one of the earlier symptoms, along with confusion, reasoning, decision making, organization, comprehension and future planning. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of Dementia.
What are the Sub-Types to Alzheimer’s?
Dale Bredesen, MD, the founding president of the Buck Institute, a UCLA professor and one of the world’s leading Alzheimer’s Disease researchers has developed a new model for Alzheimer’s disease. After 25 years of research, it has been shown that there is no one cause of Cognitive Decline, but rather a multitude of factors creating a snowball effect to steer the brain into decline.
Dr. Bredesen’s lab has identified over 36 factors which fit into three major categories or sub-types of Cognitive Decline. The good news is that all factors are identifiable, addressable and able to be optimized. However, the sooner, the better.
Alzheimer’s Disease is what happens when the brain tries to protect itself from three metabolic and toxic threats:
Inflammation (from infection, diet, injury or other causes)
Decline and shortage of supportive nutrients, hormones and other brain-supporting molecules
Toxic substances such as metals or biotoxins (poisons produced by microbes such as molds)
To be successful in reversal of Cognitive Decline, you must first eliminate these three threats, remove the amyloid itself, then rebuild the synapses and pathways the disease destroyed.
The Traditional Assessment Vs. Carolina HealthSpan Assessment
Visit with a Neurologist
- MRI of the Brain (without Volumetrics)
- MoCA – Montreal Cognitive Assessment
- Complete Blood Count
- Metabolic Panel
- Thyroids (no other hormones)
Keep an eye on disabilities, including decline in ability to manage money, medications and transportation.
Donepezil – Aricept
What Does our Assessment Look Like?
- MRI of the Brain with Volumetrics for Hippocampal Atrophy
- qEEG of the Brain for physiological function and communication between networks
- Computerized Brain Function Testing (Memory, Executive Function, Attention, Flexibility, Processing Speed)
- Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)
- Neuropsychological Assessment
- Physiological response to stressors
- Heart Rate Variability
- VO2 Max
- Sleep assessment
- Lifestyle assessment (Nutrition, exercise, stress, sleep)
- Body Composition
- Genetics including APoE-4 status
- Inflammatory markers
- Hormonal function (full hormone panel)
- Insulin resistance
- Metabolic Pannel
- Toxin exposure (metals & biotoxins)
- Microbiome status
- Gut and Brain Permeability
- Nutritional deficiencies & food sensitivities
- Fatty & organic acids
Identification of your Cognitive Decline subtype and a detailed step by step, individualized program to address all deficiencies, attack the multiple root causes of decline, modify lifestyle design, halt and reverse cognitive decline.
The Essential Tenets of Cognitive Decline Treatment
In order to halt and reverse Cognitive Decline of any type, at any stage in the decline, the following must be addressed and optimized:
Whether you have leaky-gut, food sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies or simply a poor diet, you need to know exactly where you stand and have a nutritional plan in place to support your brain and body.
Various forms of exercise support brain function. Other’s do not. There is proper exercise for your body as you age, and proper exercise for your Brain. An optimal program can be designed for you depending on your current state and needs.
Stress is known as the #1 proxy killer, and although you may not feel “Stressed Out” it’s much more about how you handle stress when it does appear.
The overwhelming majority of hormone receptors are in your brain. Hormones are a major control mechanism for how we feel, act and whether we decline or are protected from future disease.
Toxin Elimination & Avoidance
There are toxins all around us. In our food, our water, on the grass we walk on, the air we breathe and in our body (and potentially your brain). The first step is to assess what you may have in your system, then remove it.
How often do you challenge your brain? Do you challenge it in every way it needs to be challenged to remain strong across the board? Various Cognitive Stimulation techniques have been proven to decrease the risk of Dementia by up to 30%!
Brain supporting nutrients are important regardless of the stage of decline or sub-type. There are specific supplements that people need because of deficiency and other than everyone past a certain age should take for protection.
Proper quality and quantity of sleep is imperative to brain restoration. It is only during quality sleep that our brain recovers and repairs through a process known as autophagy.
Neurofeedback & Neuromodulation
Neurofeedback and Neuromodulation are safe, effective, painless and side-effect free ways to reset, reorganize, rewire and upgrade the computer in your head.
Infrared light and cold laster therapy have been proven effective to help recharge your mitochondria, and have been shown effective in reducing the symptoms of Cognitive Decline.
Having a blueprint for success and a coach to guide you there is significantly more efficient than trying to get there on your own. First step is to clearly define your goals, then find someone with experience and expertise in helping people achieve those goals.
Why a Comprehensive Program is the Only Model Shown to be Successful in Reversal of Cognitive Decline
To date, 244 potential Alzheimer’s drugs have gone through extensive clinical trials. 243 drugs have failed these trials, showing no improvement vs. placebo and in many cases worse decline.
Only one drug in over a decade has passed the FDA’s guidelines, it has a minimal effect in the best cases
and comes with its’ share of side-effects.The idea of a Mono-Therapy for Cognitive Decline needs to be put to rest.
It takes years and in many cases decades for symptoms of Cognitive Decline to appear. This means your lifestyle, environment, diet, injuries, exposures, infections and more have lead to this point. The only way to halt and reverse the decline is to fix what caused it in the first place.
“I have more energy and my thought processes are clearer. I feel less urgency to urinate during the day and night, and my libido has increased significantly. I simply feel better than I have in a long time, and I cannot say enough about the positive effects of this treatment.”
NFL Hall of Fame
“I had over a 75% reduction in Cognitive Decline and TBI symptoms in less than 3-months. Carolina HealthSpan’s program was the best thing I’ve done for my Brain health in the past 10 years! A year after treatment and I still feel as good… maybe even better!”
“I am a 57 year old flight attendant who lives in Florida and feels unquestionably Dr. Brown and the Carolina HealthSpan Institute has literally changed the way I migrate my way through life as a woman in her fifties and travels a lot.”
– Dale Bredesen, MD – Founding President, Buck Institue
Summary – A novel, comprehensive, and personalized therapeutic system is described that is based on the underlying pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. The basic tenets for the development of this system are also described. Of the first 10 patients who utilized this program, including patients with memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), or subjective cognitive impairment (SCI), nine showed subjective or objective improvement. One potentially important outcome is that all six of the patients whose cognitive decline had a major impact on job performance were able to return to work or continue working without difficulty. These anecdotal results suggest the need for a controlled clinical trial of the therapeutic program.
Dale Bredesen, MD has published two peer-reviewed articles since 2014 which have confirmed the data in his 2014 study.
– Majid Fotuhi, MD, PhD – Founder of NeuroGrow
Summary – In summary, these results for our Brain Fitness Program for patients with MCI further support the fact that a multi-disciplinary set of interventions has the potential to enhance cognitive function in elderly (4). It provides an additional incentive to initiate large placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials to evaluate the possibility that we can slow the rate of cognitive decline with aging, and grow the size of hippocampus, through an emphasis on diet, exercise, cognitive stimulation, neurofeedback, meditation, and counseling for stress reduction and having a purpose in life.
Want 1-on-1 Support to Help Medically Assess and Guide You Toward Reversal of Cognitive Decline or Alzheimer’s Disease?
Your situation is unique, and deserves the attention of a team of medical and mental health specialists, along with health coaches to help you achieve your health needs and goals. Schedule a call so we can learn more about your health, your family, the current challenges you face and your health & life goals for the future. We’ll also discuss how our team works with patients in our high-touch programs.
If we both feel like it’s a good fit to work together, we’ll discuss a deposit toward your individualized program which will include your Alzheimer’s risk profile, Cognitive Decline severity level and a comprehensive Lifestyle report. This report will help us build a program for you to get you to your goals in a desired timeframe. If the program looks good, you’ll start with a 1-hour exam with a Medical Doctor and proceed from there.
Our goal is to safely and effectively optimize your health in the most efficient manner using trusted and advanced solutions.
Your outstanding experience at Carolina Healthspan Institute is at the center of our healthcare model. Experience the benefits that 30 minutes or more with a physician can mean for your health.
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