From Dr Mark Hyman
Treating Individuals, Not Diseases
George and his wife came to see me because he could no longer manage his business affairs, had become increasingly unable to function at home and had to withdraw from family and social relationships. He was desperate as he felt himself slipping away.
There is no effective known treatment for dementia. But we do know a lot about what affects brain function and brain aging: our nutrition, inflammation, environmental toxins, stress, exercise, and deficiencies of hormones, vitamins, and omega-3 fats.
He had a gene called apo E4, which is a high-risk gene for Alzheimer’s disease and also made it hard for him to lower his cholesterol and detoxify mercury from his brain. He also had a version of a gene for detoxification of metals and other toxins (glutathione-S-transferase, or GST) that were very inefficient, making him accumulate more toxins over his lifetime. Having the combination of a problem with GST and apo E4 puts people at even more risk for dementia. In another study, people with an absent GST gene were likely to have much higher levels of mercury.
George had another gene called MTHFR that made him require very high doses of folate to lower his blood levels of homocysteine, which is a substance very toxic to the brain. Lastly, he had a gene called CETP that caused his cholesterol to be high, which contributes to dementia. Combine this gene with the apo E4 gene and your risk of dementia goes way up.
We found that George had high levels of mercury and helped him detoxify with foods such as kale, watercress, and cilantro, herbs such as milk thistle, nutrients such as selenium and zinc
, and medications that helped him overcome his genetic difficulties by getting rid of toxins. We lowered his cholesterol with diet and herbs. We also lowered his homocysteine with high doses of folate and vitamins B6 and B12
. What happened then was impressive …After a year of aggressive therapy that was matched to his genes, not his diagnosis, he had a remarkable and dramatic recovery!
Start by looking hard for correctable causes of memory loss. Here are the other 9 steps to reverse dementia and memory loss as you age.
- Pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome
- Low thyroid function
- Deficiencies in B vitamins, especially vitamin B12
- Omega-3 fat deficiencies
- Mercury or other heavy metal toxicity
- Vitamin D deficiency
- High cholesterol
- Unique genes that predispose you to nutritional or detoxification problems ...