Bredesen Protocol Labs for Preventing and Reversing Memory Loss & Cognitive Decline
The first and most important part of Dr. Dale Bredesen’s Protocol is to complete comprehensive lab testing. These tests provide the major clues revealing the underlying risk factors that over time promote cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s. Many times these clues are present decades prior to any sign of memory loss. But even years of cognitive decline can be reversed when, one-by-one,the risk factors are discovered and properly addressed.
The recommended labs are listed below. We have placed an * next to the labs that are currently considered as the most important and therefore are included in the “must have short list”. Generally we recommend the other labs as well, since each of them give us additional insights in developing an effective preventive or reversal plan.
Unless otherwise noted, all the labs listed are available through national lab draw centers like LabCorp and Quest. If possible, we recommend using LabCorp instead of Quest since Quest does not perform some of the tests according to protocol requirements. A few labs can only be done at LabCorp and a few others can only be drawn at independent labs or hospital based labs. In Souther California we also use West Pacific Medical Labs since they provide access to the labs that are not available though LabCorp or Quest.
Genetics: ApoE*; The easiest and cheapest way to test for Alzheimer’s related gene mutations is to order the $199 Health & Ancestry gene saliva test at www.23andme.com. Genetic testing is not covered by insurance except in rare cases and when done with blood testing costs hundreds of dollars for each gene ordered. Testing thousands of genes for just $200 is therefore one of the best investments for your health. For detailed directions on this, scroll down on this page to “Saliva Gene Testing”. If you have one or two copies of the ApoE4 mutation you have about a 500% to 1,200% increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease respectively – compared to those who do not have the mutation. The good news is that the Bredesen Protocol essentially removes that extra risk when applied properly.
Other genetic tests included in the ReCODE Report include: MTHFR 677, 1298, and 03; APP; BDNF; PSEN1 and PSEN2. To more effectively apply the Bredesen Protocol, we recommend a full Genomic evaluation that reviews the major and best studies mutations related to detoxification, oxidation, neural regeneration and many other biochemical pathways. Presently, we have a 24 page report that is personalized for the patient wanting a more comprehensive genomic review. This takes a minimum of a 1-hour consultation session but often can take 2 hours and rarely more. The key is to establish a therapeutic strategy for each of the major mutations discovered. This is one of the biggest reason’s we are now in the era of “personalized medicine”. We no longer need to treat the individual based on what appears to be best for the statistically average patient. Our challenge now is to apply strategies that are uniquely suited to the patient’s genetic individuality.
Inflammation vs. Cellular Protection: hs CRP* (also known as Cardia CRP or high sensitivity CRP); Interleukin-6; Tumor Necrosis Factor – Alpha; Homocysteine*; Vitamin B6*; Vitamin B12*; Folate*; Vitamin D* as 25-OH-D; Vitamin C; Vitamin E; Omega 6:3 ratio; Comprehensive Metabolic Profile* that includes Albumin, Globulin, Creatinine, BUN, Glucose, Calcium, and Potassium; NMR LipoProfile* that includes the LDL Cholesterol Particle Number, The Small LDL Particle Number, the LDL Size, as well as all the components of the standard Lipid Profile (Total Cholesterol, LDL, HDL and Triglycerides); Total Glutathione*; Hemoglobin A1c*; and Fasting Insulin*. Because insulin resistance is generally the largest contributor to cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s, our clinic strongly recommends a full 4-hour Glucose Tolerance Test* with Glucose levels tested at fasting, 1/2 hour, 1-hour, 2-hours, 3- hours and 4-hours after a 75 gram Glucola drink provided by the lab. During this test we also test insulin blood levels at fasting, 1-hour and 2-hours. Because low blood sugars and fluctuating cortisol hormones harms brain cells, we also check cortisol levels at fasting, 3-hours and 4-hours into the test. In our opinion, this is the most important overall lab test for someone hoping to prevent or reverse cognitive decline.
Trophic Support (hormonal support for healing, restoring and regenerating brain cells): Vitamin D*; Estradiol*, Progesterone*, Pregnenolone*, Cortisol*, DHEA Sulfate*, Testosterone*, Free Testosterone*, (Men don’t need the progesterone and women don’t need the Free Testosterone); A comprehensive thyroid profile, including Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)*, Free T4*, Free T3*, Reverse T3, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody (TPO Ab)*, Thyroglobulin Antibody (TG Ab).
Lab Tests for Mold or Bio-toxin Related Illness including Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). Presence of multiple CIRS inflammatory markers along with multiple symptoms are associated with cognitive decline. Frequently patients may have multiple CIRS related labs but do not have typical CIRS symptoms with the exception of memory loss or other signs of cognitive decline. In this case the condition is referred to as ISIS (Innate System Immune Stimulation) which is often a contributing risk factor in toxicity related cognitive decline associated with type 3 Alzheimer’s. These labs have been researched for over 20 years by Dr. Richie Shoemaker, M.D. The Shoemaker Protocol is officially part of the Bredesen Protocol as is key in establishing the level of neurologic harm associated with biotoxins. Dr. Bredesen and our clinic both note that toxins have a much greater impact on many of our patients with cognitive concerns than we previously realized. The following tests have been instrumental in determining both the level and source of that risk. HLA -DR/DQ (HLA DRB 1, 3, 4, 5, DQB1)* This test establishes if you have a strong susceptibility to biotoxins including those from mold, bacteria, fungi, and lyme. It also indicates if you have a hard time detoxifying these biotoxins from your body once you have been exposed. If using Quest must also request testing of HLA DRB3, 4, 5 INTERMEDIATE lab. C4a* (Complement C4a)* – must be sent out to National Jewish Health (NJH) lab in Denver. LabCorp does the C4a test in-house but the analysis is useless for the Bredesen Protocol. LabCorp and most Quest draw stations will NOT send out the C4a test to NJH therefore an independent lab must be used; TGF-B1* (Transformational Growth Factor Beta 1)*; MSH* (Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone)* – must be done at LabCorp; Matrix Metalopeptidase 9 (MMP-9)* -must be done at LabCorp; Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF); Leptin; Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP) – must be sent out to ARUP lab – Quest does the VIP but only measures to <50 which is inadequate for interpretation; Anti Diuretic Hormone (ADH); Osmolality.
NOTE: these biotoxin related tests are considered by MediCare, and most insurance companies, to be experimental and therefore are not typically covered. In the past, some patients insisted to have them ordered using their insurance. Their insurance ultimately denied coverage leading to a lab bill of over $1,500. For instance, the bill for the HLA test alone is $600 but costs as little as $175 when using a self-pay contracted discount service.
Quicksilver Scientific’s Blood Metals Test* screens for a broad range of potentially toxic and nutrient metals to show elevated exposure to toxic metals or imbalances of nutrient metals in whole blood. The elements evaluated with this test are:
Nutrient Elements: Calcium*, Copper*, Lithium, Magnesium*, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium*, Zinc*
Potentially Toxic Elements: Arsenic*, Cadmium*, Cobalt, Lead*, Mercury*, Silver, Strontium.
Quicksilver Scientific’s Mercury Tri-Test* requires a sample of blood, hair, and urine to perform mercury speciation analysis and assess both the body burden and ability to excrete each form of mercury. This test also provides the Mercury %tile level requested for the ReCODE Report. The kit is available from the Youngberg Clinic and can be mailed to you when requested. Quicksilver Scientific is the only lab worldwide that combines mercury testing from blood, hair and urine within one comprehensive report and accepts payment by credit card once the test is received at their lab.
The Mercury Tri-Test is $220 and the Heavy metals, toxic elements, and nutrient elements test is $150. Youngberg Clinic recommends that patients have both tests done with this kit. Make sure you check “both tests” at the top of the order form. While some of these tests can be done through other labs, this kit is much more comprehensive and is the only testing kit that provides the Mercury %tile as recommended for the Bredesen ReCODE Report. If in Southern California, use West Pacific Medical Lab to process this kit and draw the blood. Their processing fee is typically $38. Non Southern California patients will need to locate an independent lab, hospital lab, or a local clinic/doctor’s office that is willing to draw the blood so all samples can be mailed in a completed kit. National labs like LabCorp or Quest typically do not process kits that do not use their lab for analysis.
Saliva Gene Testing:
To further evaluate your genetic risk factors, I strongly recommend going online and ordering a saliva gene profile from www.23andme.com. As this is a saliva test it can be ordered directly by any individual and without a doctors official request or signature.
After you mail in your saliva gene sample to 23andme, it takes about six weeks before you get an email explaining that your results are ready.
The next step is to convert the “raw genetic data” from 23andme into a comprehensive (60-70 page) personalized genetic report available from www.MTHFRsupport.com for $30. You must first download your “raw data file” from 23andme onto your computer. To do this log into 23andme.com with your email and password. Then choose the Tools drop down menu at the top of the page. While in the Tools drop down menu choose “Brows Raw Data”. Then click “Continue”. Answer the question by checking either of the boxes. Click “Continue” again. Click “I Understand”. The next page is titled “Your Raw Data”. The first line under the title will say, “you can view or download your data anytime”. Click on the word “download” that is in blue letter. On the next page that comes up, scroll to the bottom and click the blue “Submit Request tab. It may take several minutes for the download process to finish. Now click the “Download” tab again. The Raw Data File will be saved on your computer. Now check your download folder and re-save this file to your desktop or the folder of your choice.
Now go to www.mthfrsupport.com. First register with MTHFRsupport.com using your email address and set up a login username and password. Make sure you write this down as you will need to know your password every time you log in. Open the Sterling’s App tab at the upper left of the home page. In the drop down menu, click the Order/View Reports tab and then select “Choose File” tab. Now you are ready to upload your “raw data zip file” that you saved on your computer.
Read the Legal Medical Disclaimer and then click the “Order Report” tab to purchase the report. Print out the full PDF file for your records and save the PDF file on your computer. In preparing for your appointment to review your personalized genetic information you may want to email us the PDF report or bring in the hard copy. It is much easier to review the report on the computer screen using the emailed PDF document. This is a 40+ page report that shows the number of single and double copy gene mutations in each area of biochemical body function.
I strongly recommend each person to schedule a full hour consultation to review this report and therefore better understand how to personalize their overall nutritional strategies. This report covers areas associated with heart disease, phase 1 and 2 detoxification, methylation, homocysteine, Alzheimer’s, allergies, thyroid, mitochondrial dysfunction and much more. Remember gene mutations do not ultimately determine your risk if you know where they are and follow the right plan to “bypass your genetic risk”. It’s all about knowing how to turn on the good genes and turn off the bad genes.
For an introduction to this topic you may watch my YouTube video presentation on Gene Management and Nutrigenomics by clicking on this link or copying and pasting the url link into your browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE8ll0K1g9g
Lab Testing for Comprehensive Health Assessment
Standard and specialty labs are available for assessment of cardiovascular, metabolic, digestive, immune, and hormonal health.
Don’t pay the cash price for labs. If your insurance does not cover the tests you want done or if you don’t use insurance, the Youngberg Clinic provides it’s patients up to 80% discounts on all lab testing. Even better, this discount rate includes both the fee for the lab itself as well as our professional service fee!
With all patients who use our clinical lab discount option, our professional package service fee includes our careful review and evaluation of your lab results and recommended strategies prior to your follow up consultation. We also provide you with documents and recommendations that are prepared ahead of time and then further personalized during the consultation. Please note that the consultation itself is a separate service.
For lab locations and draw stations in Southern California see West Pacific Medical Labs and LabCorp. For all other location in the USA use any LabCorp draw station by using the zip code lab locator. Use the “Find a Lab” tab on the LabCorp site.
Key Lab Tests for a Wellness Tune-Up
How a Wellness Tune-up can Prevent and Reverse Disease
When I was 24 years old I read the studies done by Drs. Brown and Goldsteine. They had just won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work showing how harmful cholesterol particles can enter the artery walls and cause plaque. So I took the initiative and got tested. Since I was very fit and careful with my diet, I was shocked to learn that I had very high LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides. At first I was depressed but I quickly realized that I had been given a gift! A second-chance of-sorts. With this new awareness I could make the necessary changes now, well before any health problems developed.
Everyone wants to be healthy but few of us recognize the underlying causes of our suboptimal health. A proper tune up requires that we first do the right blood tests. But when is the last time we took the time to get a comprehensive wellness evaluation?
Blood tests are often the best and quickest way to assess our health and to help us stay motivated. Even the healthiest among us have “chinks in our armor” and can benefit from these objective lab tests. There are many tests available to those looking for a health tune up. Here are several of the tests that I usually recommend when initiating a wellness tune-up. Read more…