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November 17th, 2016 Meeting: Dr. Dale Bredesen, MD “Reversing Alzheimer’s Disease”

November 17th, 2016 Meeting: Dr. Dale Bredesen, MD “Reversing Alzheimer’s Disease”

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Main Presentation: “Reversing Alzheimer’s Disease” by Dr. Dale Bredesen, MD

Alzheimer’s disease  affects 5 million people  in the U.S. and about 30 million worldwide.  Until now, the prognosis seemed poor for this population  Dale Bredesen MD, the founding president of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, has developed a program which has had success in reversing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease.  His research model addresses several possible disease components at once (diet, exercise, etc.) rather than testing one drug at a time to rule out the effects from other drugs or interventions.  Bredesen says that studying one drug at a time  is like patching one hole in a roof that has dozens of holes.

Dr. Bredesen sees Alzheimer’s disease,- as an imbalance rather than a toxicity resulting in amyloid beta plaques which block nerve cell signaling and lead to memory loss.    Amyloid beta, he and others say, also has a normal function in the brain, performing important roles, such as helping the brain’s plasticity – how nerve cells signal to make and store memories and delete unneeded ones.

After intense testing of a patient, Dr. Bredesen determines which factors have gone awry, and personalizes a program to correct the issues.

Among the measures he recommends:

  • A diet that eliminates processed foods and other unhealthy ingredients, and boosts fruits, vegetables and healthy fish
  • Stress reduction with meditation, yoga, music or other means
  • Eight hours of sleep a night
  • At least 30 minutes of exercise four to six times a week
  • Very good oral hygiene
  • Improvement of gut health with probiotics and prebiotics
  • Fasting for 12 hours between dinner and breakfast, and three hours or more between dinner and bedtime, to keep insulin levels low

Published in the September Journal Aging, he did a study on ten patients.   Nine of the 10 patients improved. Six who had been on leave from work or were struggling with work due to memory loss and other Alzheimer’s-related issues returned or improved their work performance.   The one patient who did not improve was in the late stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.  One 67 year old patient is still doing well after three years.  She had a demanding job when her memory issues surfaced. She couldn’t finish work reports properly and would even forget her longtime pets’ names.  Within months of beginning the program, she was doing well at work. “Four times she went off the program and each time she got worse. When she went back on, she went back to normal.”

 Dr. Bredesen hopes to start a clinical trial this year. He also hopes to launch a program where interested patients could learn how to follow it during a one-week intensive stay, returning periodically for progress checks and program tweaks.  The Alzheimer’s Association cautions against Alzheimer’s patients trying to self-start Bredesen’s program. That’s despite the fact that the Association recommends some of the program features for better brain health.
About Dr. Dale Bredesen, MD

dalebredesenDr. Bredesen is internationally recognized as an expert in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.  He graduated from Caltech, then earned his MD from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC.  He served as Chief Resident in Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) before joining Nobel laureate Stanley Prusiner’s laboratory at UCSF as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow.  He held faculty positions at UCSF, UCLA and the University of California, San Diego.  Dr. Bredesen directed the Program on Aging at the Burnham Institute before coming to the Buck Institute in 1998 as its founding President and CEO.

Dr. Bredesen appeared on KQED’s Forum program on November 25, 2014 and on KGO-TV on November 7, 2014.

The uniform failure of recent drug trials in Alzheimer’s disease has highlighted the critical need for a more accurate understanding of the fundamental nature of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Bredesen’s research has led to new insight that explains the erosion of memory seen in Alzheimer’s disease, and has opened the door to a new therapeutic approach.   He has found evidence that Alzheimer’s disease stems from an imbalance in nerve cell signaling: in the normal brain, specific signals foster nerve connections and memory making, while balancing signals support memory breaking, allowing irrelevant information to be forgotten.  But in Alzheimer’s disease, the balance of these opposing signals is disturbed, nerve connections are suppressed, and memories are lost. This model is contrary to popular dogma that Alzheimer’s is a disease of toxicity, caused by the accumulation of sticky plaques in the brain. Bredesen believes the amyloid beta peptide, the source of the plaques, has a normal function in the brain — promoting signals that allow some of the nerve connections to lapse.  Thus the increase in the peptide that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease shifts the memory-making vs. memory-breaking balance in favor of memory loss. This work has led to the identification of several new therapeutic candidates that are currently in pre-clinical trials.

Dr. Bredesen’s novel insights into the fundamental nature of Alzheimer’s disease recently attracted an investment of $3.5 million toward a $10 million goal for initial clinical trials of these new therapeutics.  This generous support came from the private venture capitalist Douglas Rosenberg, who is helping to fund the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Network, centered at the Buck Institute.  The unit is screening drug candidates to find those that can preserve a healthy balance in the signaling pathways that support memory. Dr. Bredesen’s work on nerve cell signaling is also the focus of a collaboration between the Buck Institute and BioMarin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which is seeking treatments for a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease, early onset Familial Alzheimer’s Disease (eFAD), which may develop in people as young as 30 years of age.


Short Presentation: “Hypometabolism: A Modern Pandemic ” by Steve Fowkes

What is hypometabolism?  What are the symptoms?  Why is it so common?  What’s the up and down side of having a low basal metabolism?  How is it tied to autoimmune diseases, autism, chronic fatigue conditions, oxidative stress, opportunistic infections and Alzheimer’s disease?  How can you measure it in your own life?  And what can you do to fix it?

Metabolic rate is a basic aspect of health and wellbeing.  But it is NOT a focus of our modern high-tech medical services.  The frequency of low metabolic rate is increasing in our society in modern times along with autism, Alzheimer’s disease and autoimmune diseases.  The reasons for this are many, from increasing toxic loads to decreasing connection to the fundamentals of our natural environment.  Lack of sunlight, processed food, chemical exposures, loss of diversity of the microbiome, c-section birthing, abandonment of breast feeding of infants, use of antibiotics and moldy grain in animal feed, the depletion of trace minerals in soils, the sterilization of anything and everything, and the corruptions of governmental interference in science and market.  But there is no reason to take these flaws lying down.  Education and self-care technologies can help you recognize the problems and take actions to protect yourself—by preventing the problem to fixing the problems.  And you can monitor your progress to figure out what works and what does not work.
 About Steve Fowkes:

steve_fowkes_element_tableSteve Fowkes is a longstanding member of Silicon Valley Health Institute  community and was actually the first speaker when the Smart Life Forum was started by Katherine Grosz more than two decades ago.  Most members know of him as the guy who answers a lot of the questions at the beginning of the meetings.  But Steve has been researching biochemistry, nutrition, metabolism and aging for more than 40 years.  He is an author, editor, public speaker, and consultant to companies and individuals.  He was a biohacker before the term biohacking was coined.  Many of his talks and public appearances are online.



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NOTE: Meeting starts promptly at 7pm.  Main speaker presentation begins at 7:20 p.m.

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