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Can I Really Reverse my Alzheimer's and Cognition Problems? with Robert Hedaya MD

Evolving Past Alzheimer's

Release Date: 02/19/2018

Why I'm excited about Aducanumab (Aduhelm)! show art Why I'm excited about Aducanumab (Aduhelm)!

Evolving Past Alzheimer's

Dr. Nate Bergman quickly summarizes the story up the FDA's recent "accelerated approval" of Biogen's - Aducanumab (brand named, Aduhelm). He ends off with surprise about why he is excited about the approval...and it's probably not what you think! A quick, but useful listen.

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This episode is an important listen for anyone with doubts, reservations, or skepticism around a precision, functional medicine approach to the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

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Evolving Past Alzheimer's

In this episode, we hear the argument in favor of the new Alzheimer's drug, Aducanumab (Aduhelm).  Dr. Marwan Sabbagh is a clinical and research leader at the Cleveland Clinic's Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. He was a doctor that saw patients in one of the trials that led to the FDA's Accelerated (provisional) Approval. 

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Evolving Past Alzheimer's

This week we will do almost a Part 2 from the last episode with Drs Dale Bredesen and Kat Toups.  In that episode, we featured recently released results data on MedArchive from a clinical trial in which 84% of 25 patients with early Alzheimer's Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment improved with a Precision Medicine approach.  

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Evolving Past Alzheimer's

Our guests today are Drs Kat Toups & Dale Bredesen.

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Evolving Past Alzheimer's

Deborah Kan is a former executive producer with the Wall Street Journal. In 2017 she founded the website BeingPatient.com, a comprehensive website dedicated to Alzheimer's news, stories, and support.

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Evolving Past Alzheimer's

We are witnessing a sea change in dementia. More people are being diagnosed, earlier and younger. And people are figuring out how to actually fight back against the disease and taking ownership of their condition.

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George suffered a major brain injury as a result of his heart stopping about 4 years ago.  Fortunately, he has successfully recovered from the brain injury and this is the story of how the Mullers did it!

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We get many questions from listeners and people seeking Alzheimer’s prevention and early intervention about the risks and benefits of hormone therapies, such as estrogen and progesterone.

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In this episode, you'll meet the co-founders of Kemper House and Kemper Cognitive Wellness.

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Robert Hedaya, MD, has been at the cutting edge of medical practice, psychiatry and psychopharmacology since 1979, and has been practicing Functional Medicine since 1996. He is also a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Center. Author of three books (Understanding Biological Psychiatry, The Antidepressant Survival Guide, and Depression: Advancing the Treatment Paradigm), and the founder of the National Center for Whole Psychiatry in the Washington DC area. He has been on national media (20/20, 60 minutes, the New York Times, Washington Post etc.) on many occasions and is a frequent, nationally and internationally recognized speaker.

This is a great episode to get the low-down on just who's, what's, and how's of Alzheimer's and Cognitive Impairment programs. We discuss over-hyped and over sensationalized results you may be hearing about in the news and the internet and what you can really expect when you embark on a "reversal" program. Dr Hedaya has seen success applying a Bredesen-style approach to: Subjective Cognitive Impairment, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and early stages of Alzheimer's.

Dr Hedaya explains the difference in his approach to traditional psychological conditions, cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's. Bob recounts a recent encounter he had at an academic conference where he challenged the current paradigm. We talk about how this approach is generally received by the medical community —because (like Semmelweis) it is often unfamiliar,uncomfortable, and inconvenient for the medical establishment in its current iteration.

We discuss our feelings about the realistic applications and limitations of applying "Alzheimer's reversal" programs. We cover who might be the best candidate to succeed on these programs.

Bob explains his understanding of the systems biology approach of Functional Medicine and how it applies to his work in cognitive impairment and mood disorders.

30-50% of people with depression with develop Cognitive impairment.

We discuss the personal commitments in terms of time and energy someone has to make to become succeed with this kind of program and Dr Hedaya outlines his the first case he handled where someone with cognitive impairment improved.

Dr Hedaya's basic panel to help with determine risk:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Homocysteine
  • Fasting Cholesterol Panel
  • Fasting insulin (goal ~3-4)
  • Avoid head trauma
  • Check thyroid function (goal TSH ~1.4) as well as checking free T3 free T4
  • Estrogen and progesterone (in some women)
  • Zinc (RBC) and Copper (16:1)
  • Inflammatory markers like high sensitivity CRP

Overall he recommends a Mediterranean style diet as the best diet in general.