“The Greatest Medicine of All is to Teach People How Not to Need It.” ~ Hippocrates
When it comes to experiencing symptoms of cognitive decline, so many are afraid of the implications of an Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis. Many view it as fatalistic, while others may not know where to start checking their risks.
With a growing body of research, we find that cognitive decline starts before an actual diagnosis.
The positive side is that if we catch cognitive decline early, we’re in a much better position to work preventatively than if it has progressed to Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Nonetheless, whether you want to look into your risks or are already experiencing cognitive decline symptoms, the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is possible and even likely if caught earlier on and with the right kind of practitioners.
Preventative medicine always pays off.
First, we can stop the disease if we catch it early enough.
In the case of Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline, we can avoid some devastating effects on our quality of life, ability to obtain insurance, and the financial and relational implications that plague so many, leaving countless individuals struggling and even destitute later in life.
Alzheimer’s disease has many complex drivers, and assessment is not always straightforward.
In this article, we’ll break things down to simplify what kind of practitioners to see and how to check if you have Alzheimer’s or are heading in that direction.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Regarding the prevention of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s, Dr. Dale Bredesen (a world-renowned Neurologist and founder of the Apollo health institute) always recommends what he calls a ‘Cognoscopy.’
Cognoscopies are considered routine screening at a certain age.
He argues that given the prevalence of Alzheimer’s nowadays, and with everything we are learning about its complex drivers and its treatment and prevention, it only makes sense to check your risks.
- The first step of this assessment is a simple free cognitive assessment online that takes about 15 minutes to do.
If you’re ready to work preventatively or are experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease such as memory loss, disorientation, or new trouble with organizing yourself in your work or personal life, you would then be guided in doing the following:
A simple set of blood tests to assess the risk factors of dementia.
An MRI scan with volumetrics, optional for those with no symptoms, is recommended if you display any signs and symptoms of cognitive decline.
We always recommend being followed up by your Primary Care Practitioner as a starting point and in addition to any complementary therapies you may be pursuing.
Another avenue for testing would be getting a referral from your Primary Care Practitioner to a Neuropsychologist.
These are psychologists that are often involved in the primary diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease through cognitive assessments such as:
- Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)
- Mini-Mental State Examination (MMES)
- Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog)
Neuropsychologists do not offer to image. However, they can be a good starting point in assessing where you are at regarding cognitive health and decline.
If you have a suboptimal score, you might be directed to explore imagining options and see a Neurologist as a next step.
Suppose you are experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s and you’ve had a cognitive assessment, such as a Montreal Cognitive Assessment (one of the most sensitive screening tests for Alzheimer’s) or an Apollo Cognoscopy assessment. In that case, you may request to be referred to a Neurologist for imaging.
Neurologists provide the gold standard for testing and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and can require brain imaging, genetic testing, and cerebrospinal fluid testing for specific markers of Alzheimer’s.
Sadly for many, however, the treatment options from a neurologist are limited and may involve mono-drug therapy, which is not very effective as a treatment.
When it comes to the assessment and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, there are, fortunately, other options, and this is where a Functional Medicine Doctor may go.
Certified Apollo Naturopathic or Medical Doctor
For the assessment and, more specifically, prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s, a great option now becoming increasingly available and practical is working with an Apollo-trained Naturopathic Doctor or Medical Doctor.
These healthcare practitioners have been specifically trained in the most cutting-edge science in treating and preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Because the treatment of Alzheimer’s has not lived up to 21rst century medicine compared to many other illnesses, the time has been ripe for alternative options in this area.
A Functional Doctor of this kind will have a multifaceted approach which might involve blood tests, genetic tests, imaging, environmental exposure screening, hormone testing, etc., to pinpoint the exact root cause of Alzheimer’s in any particular individual.
Once the root cause has been established, the treatment would likely involve diet and lifestyle changes, supplements, movement, sleep, and stress management exercises while addressing the physiological factors identified through testing.
This kind of holistic approach has been shown through a growing body of research at the Apollo health institute, directed by Dr. Dale Bredesen, to be both effective in the prevention and treatment of early to mid-stage Alzheimer’s.
The plus side to pursuing this preventative care is that you’ll be treating your cognitive health and improving your overall physical and mental health and longevity as a byproduct!
You Hold Power to Change Your Cognitive Health Trajectory
At Tiger Medical, we aim to provide people with the information and resources to take their health into their own hands.
Armed with the correct information and the understanding that we can all be our health advocates, we understand it often takes a team to get the proper care for your particular needs.
Regarding Alzheimer’s and cognitive health, we know your genes do not determine your destiny. The earlier you check your mental health and work preventatively, the better.
If you have before to mid-stage Alzheimer’s, there is also hope for treatment.
The evidence is growing and overwhelmingly positive that the outcomes can be changed, if you arm yourself with the correct information and health practitioners.
Through early assessment and a combination of testing and lifestyle medicine, stress management, nutritional supplements, and sleep hygiene (as well as conventional treatments like pharmaceuticals if need be), you can prevent Alzheimer’s and treat it in its earlier stages.
For further reading, view our articles:
- Who Should I See if Alzheimer’s Runs in my Family?
- Is Alzheimer’s Genetic or Hereditary?
- How Come I am All of a Sudden So Forgetful?
You have what it takes inside you to make a definite choice that will change the future trajectory of your health.
Our team at Tiger Medical has the experience, clinical skills, and coaching acumen to help you get your health and energy back and ensure you are on the right track to preventing Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.
To talk to one of our professionals, click here to schedule your call!