Most of us over 40 are thinking about that time when we can retire from full-time employment. We dream of living under the motto of ‘cum dignitate otium’, translated as ‘leisure with dignity’. We save up by way of contributing to a pension scheme, with the view to having a comfortable living, free from debt, where we can do things that are on our ‘bucket list’, such as that world cruise, visiting the Grand Canyon or just enjoying the grandchildren.
We make an assumption that we and our partner will be in good health for at least the first part of the retirement. We also hope that we can live for many years to come with our ‘full five’. When we contemplate this, we often think of dementia and then we immediately put the thought away. Why? Because we do not want to think about getting an illness which is fatal and there is no known conventional cure for.
When you get to 60+, you may become aware of idiosyncrasies which are referred to sometimes as ‘senior moments’, either in yourself or your partner. We immediately go into denial and brush it off as just a temporary lack of concentration. We do not want to think of it being any worse than that – and it may well be exactly that. However, there is a reluctance to go to the doctor and ‘have it checked out’, just in case. Other illnesses can be dealt with. it seems, albeit that they cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be held down by medication. But dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for about two-thirds of dementia cases, is something we do not want to be diagnosed with.
But what happens if we or a loved one is? Then the decline will come to a certain death. Could be 2 years, could be 10. The worst thing is the effect it has on the family and possibly your wealth.
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) requires that care is available and very often the caregiver is a family member. This family member has to deal with this former stalwart of the family losing mental abilities and towards the end, being likened to an infant. Devastating! Coupled with the frustration and anger or the total passivity of the victim.
The care required at later stages in a home costs money and in some countries, there is no financial support available at all, or in some countries it is capped. This can wipe out the pensions savings of a victim and partner, and when the victim passes away, the partner is left without a penny. Absolutely tragic!
But I have some good news.
If AD is diagnosed early enough, when it is still at a stage of mild cognitive decline, then the progress can be stopped and reversed. Without medication. Due to the research from Dr. Dale Bredesen in the US, learn that AD is not a pathological disease as such, more of a syndrome and the plaque and protein tangles are simply the brain doing its job trying to protect neurons, but because of signalling caused by a multitude of factors, goes amok and starts killing neurons. That is a simplified explanation, to say the least. However, by changing aspects of lifestyle which brought on the condition, it is possible to undo the damage and return the individual to a normal life. This process has been well documented and has a 90% success rate.
With all respect to Dr. Bredesen, a vital factor is not taken into consideration and this factor, namely correct respiration, combined with other factors , combined with others allows the return to normality, or allostasis, without any drugs – just an intensive lifestyle change which is not a cure that can be stopped after a while, but a way of life that maintains the allostasis. A great advantage is that other syndromes that have their roots in metabolic dysfunctions are also reversed to the great benefit of the individual. No New Age, no magic, no medicine – just common sense engineering.
Here is a diagram where NPMA – Non Pharmacological Metabolic Approach is mentioned, which is based on the Sakharoff Protocol. As you can see in this diagram, there is a tipping point – a point of no return. This is where it is impossible to implement the daily effort needed to change lifestyle through NPMA Before that, indeed up to 20 years, there is a period of plaque accumulation and where a degree of cognitive impairment is displayed and it is at this stage where action must be taken. Therefore, a cognoscopy’ needs to be carried out. Dr. Bredesen recommends that all adults over 45 should take a cognoscopy on a regular basis, just like screening with mammography, colonoscopy or smear tests. Especially if one is genetically at risk by having the Apoe4 gene from one or both parents.
The problem is that the whole subject of dementia is a taboo and that has to change. No one wants to be diagnosed with any form of dementia, because conventional medicine has nothing to offer. Pfizer, the American pharmaceutical giant, recently gave up research into AD and Parkinson drugs. In the USA, insurance companies withdraw support for long-term care if a patient is diagnosed with memory problems.
If you yourself have any suspicion of cognitive impairment (CI) or you have a spouse or a parent/grandparent who you suspect of having CI, get tested. Then you can go here for more information on a course of action – whether you or a relation will help you, or a trained professional will guide you back to normality. This makes a lot of economic sense, as the costs will be a fraction of the potential total costs of care.
So, carry on saving for that world cruise and a long, healthy life – but don’t forget the cognoscopy!