by Dr. Phillip Redd
Every six seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is currently the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., killing more Americans than breast and prostate cancers combined.
It seems as a society we are becoming sicker and more diseased at an alarming rate. Consequently, the health of our brains is rapidly declining. The rapid rise of cognitive decline and the increased prevalence of conditions like Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease is quite alarming, to say the least. With the progression to end stage, this is the most dreaded and feared disease known to man, mainly because it has no cure. Alzheimer’s disease and its complications rob the victim of everything that is held dear in life—treasured memories, the ability to perform simple daily activities, recognizing loved ones and eventually life itself.
It is not for modern medicine’s lack of trying, though, to come up with a solution. The effort began in the 1980s to develop a drug to decrease the amyloid plaque thought to cause Alzheimer’s. After billions of dollars spent, only 0.4 percent of all the drugs developed and tested have made it to the market. Among these, none have been shown to be effective in the long run, and all affected continue to progress to the bitterest of ends.
The lack of progress despite substantial effort may rest, as stated by former FDA Director Paul Leber, “Not in our methods, but in our ignorance.” Along with their ignorance there is, however, also trouble with their methods, as there is no and will never be a “silver bullet” for this devastating disease.
So far modern medicine has been unable to produce a safe and reliable approach that either prevents or slows down the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. This failure will continue as long as a “silver bullet” approach is pursued. What then causes Alzheimer’s disease? What approach needs to be taken?
The causes for Alzheimer’s disease are multiple and varied. Therefore, there is no cookie-cutter solution. Each affected individual is unique regarding the mechanisms that drive their disease. The idea of a “silver bullet” is completely obsolete for a disorder this complicated. Instead what we need is what Dr. Dale Bredesen coined, a “silver buckshot”—a tool that allows us to address multiple mechanisms at the same time.
Fortunately, there are functional medicine doctors specializing in cognitive function that can help. With a customized, functional medicine, all-inclusive program, they treat the whole person, especially the root causes of the unique symptoms and needs of each individual. This provides the best chance of affecting Alzheimer’s disease, and with high success.
Dr. Phillip Redd, DO, practices functional medicine at Total Body Wellness, 26 S. Baltic Ave., Ste. 100, Meridian.
For more information, call 208-261-2248