Preventing Cognitive Decline

I’ve had the good fortune to attend several trainings with Dr. Dale Bredesen on his research and solutions to preventing cognitive decline.  Dr. Bredesen is internationally recognized as an expert in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.  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 joining the Buck Institute in 1998 as its founding President and CEO.  With 27 years’ research in the field of Alzheimer’s Disease, he has designed a protocol to prevent or reverse signs of early to moderate cognitive decline.  

A few “take-aways” include these simple lifestyle changes that yield profound results:
  • Eat a diet high in organic, locally-grown vegetables, clean sources of protein, and proper hydration (one equation is to take your body weight in pounds, divide by 2, and have that amount of water in fluid ounces each day.  Note, that is water ~ not liquids of other types!).
  • Get moderate exercise, approximately 30-45 minutes every day.  Dr. Bredesen jokingly states that “Sitting is the new smoking!”.  
  • Fast for a period of 3 hours between dinner and bedtime, and a total of 12 hours between dinner and breakfast.  This allows the brain and body’s detox pathways to flush toxins.
  • Take supplements appropriate to the type of condition you may present (e.g., inflammatory response, toxic exposure, atrophy, etc.)  
  • Brain exercises such as Brain HQ, Luminosity, etc., to keep the brain engaged in new thought programs vs. the repetitive actions of one’s typical day.

In my view, the goal is not to live longer, but to enjoy vitality through our lifetime.  If these small steps can lead us to the path of optimum health, including brain health, then “I’ll have what s/he’s having!”