This program has been trialed on very few people but the results are incredibly promising. Every person on the trial had huge improvement. It avoids Drug treatment. In short it incorporates much of the lifestyle wisdom that is generally known. Even though it has had such limited trials so far, I thought it worth making a record of it for anyone interested. Alzheimers is an increasingly common condition.
The treatment – called metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration, or MEND – is based on 36 different factors, including changes in diet, exercise, and sleeping habits, plus the integration of certain drugs, vitamins, and brain stimulation therapy to their regular routine.
I am going to summarise the most important of the 36 factors in single headings. For more in-depth info please check out
The patients need to keep up the program consistently and long term – so far the 10 have been monitored for 4 years and have sustained improvement and reversal of symptoms so long as they maintain the protocol. Dr Dale Bredesen is the physician who supervised the protocol trials and you can google him if interested.
These are short summaries. Some items will have to be researched by the reader.
1. Eat a low glycemic, low inflammatory, low grain diet
2. Enhance autophagy (This essentially means to fast – ” Research has shown that fasting for at least 12 hours per day (evening and night) is sufficient to activate autophagy. Not eating for at least 3 hours before bedtime also activates autophagy..”)
3. Reduce stress (they used Yoga, tai Chi, Meditation, gentle stretching and rest after movement).
4. Optimize sleep – At least 8 hours of sleep at night is very effective in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Exercise (The generally recommended 150 minutes per week is insufficient – 60 to 75 minutes daily of walking or/and aerobic exercise is needed.)
6. Brain stimulation (Games, puzzles, etc, or special programs for ‘brain fitness’.)
7. Keep your homocysteine low (Research this….green leafy vegetables are good here.)
8. Keep your vitamin B12 high
9. Keep your C-reactive protein low (Curcumin, Fish oil and low sugar diets help with this.)
10. Keep your fasting insulin low (Low glycaemic diet)
11. Hormone balancing (Especially keep stress hormone cortisol in check).
12. Healthy gut bacteria
13. Reducing amyloid beta aggregates (MEND recommends using Curcumin (in Turmeric) and the Ayurvedic herb Ashwagandha for this.)
14. Cognitive enhancement (MEND use Bacopa monniera (Indian Pennywort) and Magnesium for this
15. Vitamin D3
16. Increasing Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) (Exercise is a potent stimulator of NGF secretion. There are several natural compounds that stimulate nerve growth factor secretion. They include extracts from the mushroom, Hericium erinaceus.)
17. Provide the substrates for synaptic formation – uridine, choline, citocolin, DHA, EPA, and herring roe
18. Optimize antioxidants – mixed tocopherols, tocotrienols, Selium, blueberries, NAC, Vit C, a-lipoic acid.
19. Optimize Zn:fCu ratio – Alzheimer’s disease may be caused (in part) by copper toxicity
(Zinc Copper ration)
20. Ensure Nocturnal Oxygenation – treat sleep apnea
21. Exclude heavy metal Toxicity
Table 1. Therapeutic System 1.0
|Goal||Approach||Rationale and References|
|Optimize diet: minimize simple CHO, minimize inflammation.||Patients given choice of several low glycemic, low inflammatory, low grain diets.||Minimize inflammation, minimize insulin resistance.|
|Enhance autophagy, ketogenesis||Fast 12 hr each night, including 3 hr prior to bedtime.||Reduce insulin levels, reduce Aβ.|
|Reduce stress||Personalized—yoga or meditation or music, etc.||Reduction of cortisol, CRF, stress axis.|
|Optimize sleep||8 hr sleep per night; melatonin 0.5mg po qhs; Trp 500mg po 3x/wk if awakening. Exclude sleep apnea.|||
|Exercise||30-60′ per day, 4-6 days/wk||[37, 38]|
|Brain stimulation||Posit or related|||
|Homocysteine <7||Me-B12, MTHF, P5P; TMG if necessary|||
|Serum B12 >500||Me-B12|||
|CRP <1.0; A/G >1.5||Anti-inflammatory diet; curcumin; DHA/EPA; optimize hygiene||Critical role of inflammation in AD|
|Fasting insulin <7; HgbA1c <5.5||Diet as above||Type II diabetes-AD relationship|
|Hormone balance||Optimize fT3, fT4, E2, T, progesterone, pregnenolone, cortisol||[5, 42]|
|GI health||Repair if needed; prebiotics and probiotics||Avoid inflammation, autoimmunity|
|Reduction of Aβ||Curcumin, Ashwagandha||[43–45]|
|Cognitive enhancement||Bacopa monniera, MgT||[46, 47]|
|25OH-D3 = 50-100ng/ml||Vitamins D3, K2|||
|Increase NGF||H. erinaceus or ALCAR||[49, 50]|
|Provide synaptic structural components||Citicoline, DHA||.|
|Optimize antioxidants||Mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols, Se, blueberries, NAC, ascorbate, α-lipoic acid|||
|Optimize Zn:fCu ratio||Depends on values obtained|||
|Ensure nocturnal oxygenation||Exclude or treat sleep apnea|||
|Optimize mitochondrial function||CoQ or ubiquinol, α-lipoic acid, PQQ, NAC, ALCAR, Se, Zn, resveratrol, ascorbate, thiamine|||
|Increase focus||Pantothenic acid||Acetylcholine synthesis requirement|
|Increase SirT1 function||Resveratrol|||
|Exclude heavy metal toxicity||Evaluate Hg, Pb, Cd; chelate if indicated||CNS effects of heavy metals|
|MCT effects||Coconut oil or Axona|||