All of us experience occasional problems with our memory, focus and concentration. Contributing factors include stress, poor sleep, lack of exercise, nutrient deficiencies, and insufficient downtime. These transient and minor issues can be successfully addressed with diet and lifestyle adjustments.
However, we are seeing an increasing incidence of progressive cognitive impairment caused by various forms of dementia, the most common being Alzheimer’s Disease. The earliest stages present many years before the onset of full-blown illness. These phases are “subjective cognitive impairment” and “mild cognitive impairment.” Approaching these conditions using a functional approach can identify the underlying causes — inflammation, toxicity, impaired glucose metabolism, lack of adequate nutritional or hormonal support, genetic predisposition — and treat them successfully with a personalized diet and lifestyle plan that can prevent and even reverse progression to more serious impairment.
As our population ages there is a corresponding increase in people with impaired cognitive function; issues which includes:
• Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
• Subjective Cognitive Impairment (SCI)
•. Memory loss
• Various forms of dementia, predominantly (80%) Alzheimer’s dementia (AD).
Despite the generally accepted view that there are no effective treatments for these conditions, evolving clinical experience has shown that with early detection and intervention, progression of cognitive issues can be halted or reversed.
The changes related to AD start 20 years before the onset of symptoms and there are many effective strategies for managing this condition when it’s diagnosed at the presymptomatic stage. The strategies involve lifestyle management, correction of nutrient or hormonal imbalances, and neurofeedback.
Early detection and early intervention offer the best outlook for recovery and reversal of symptoms. In most cases of AD, diagnosis is made late in the course, once more significant symptoms are present. This delay in diagnosis and treatment affects long- term prognosis. Early stages of AD can be diagnosed, and this will be further supported by new blood tests, one of which has 88% accuracy.
Memory problems may be caused by depression (“pseudodementia”), medication side effects, hormonal, nutrient and vitamin deficiencies or insufficiencies (less than optimal levels), inflammatory disorders.
The underlying cause of cognitive problems can often be identified with a three-pronged approach:
- Testing cognitive function with any of a number of standardized tests such as the MOCA, MMSE, Brain HQ, or comprehensive neuropsychological testing.
- Assessing brain structure with imaging such as Quantitative MRI, PET-FDG scanning, or functional EEG testing.
- Comprehensive nutrient, genetic, and metabolic screening (cognoscopy)
Based largely on the work of Dale Bredesen, author of “The End of Alzheimers” our program uses a functional medicine approach to all degrees and stages of cognitive dysfunction.
Our in-office imaging system, Evoke, can readily distinguish dementias from attention deficit, depression, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, and drug related changes. This system also allows us to provide specific neurofeedback.
Working with our team of Health Coaches, we are prepared to guide you through the complexities and challenges of treating these conditions. Education, emotional support, and appropriate use of other resources is the focus of our Health Coaches.
Our approach is:
- Evidence based and safe, founded on education
- Personalized- people are unique, with different antecedents, triggers and mediators- Factors like age, gender and co-morbid conditions must be addressed.
- Not based on guidelines or an algorithm- there’s no perfect recipe
We offer a comprehensive memory loss evaluation that leads to a personalized set of management strategies supervised by your medical practitioner and supported by your Health Coach.
We can direct you to a network of support groups, clinical trials, social services, and specialized medical services. We are affiliated with Northwell Lenox Hill and Mount Sinai Medical Center. We can discuss other options.