BOOK REVIEW. Elva gave a short review of a new book (released 8/22/17) she just finished reading entitled The End of Alzheimer's: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline by Dale Bredesen, M.D. (neuroscientist and professor at UCLA, Buck Institute). Dr. Bredesen claims to have reversed completely or at least significantly reversed symptoms of dementia for people in the early/mid-stage of Alzheimer's disease who follow his rather strict protocol which he calls the "ReCODE" (Reverse Cognitive Decline) protocol.
Some of the components of the ReCODE protocol involve diet (low carb, no processed food), physical exercise, brain exercise, detox poisons from your body (eat cilantro, sweat out toxins in a sauna, etc.), and he recommends getting your DNA report from "23andMe.com" to determine whether you might have one or two copies of the ApoE4 gene variant (can inherit one copy from each parent...some people inherited none, some inherited one copy and some inherited two copies). If you were unlucky enough to have inherited one or two copies of this gene, your chances of getting dementia increase.
Elva consulted with Dr. Peter Whitehouse, M.D./PhD (author of The Myth of Alzheimer's: What You're Not Being Told About the Most Dreaded Diagnosis) to get his opinion about Bredesen's book. Dr. Whitehouse's opinion and Elva's opinion are the same. It's a very optimistic view/title and won't work for everyone (because our individual body chemistry is very different) but everything on the protocol contributes to a healthy lifestyle and certainly won't harm anybody, so why not try the protocol? Dr. Bredesen does make the point that it won't do to "go halfway" on the protocol. You need to follow it to the letter to get the expected results. Elva noted that at least Dr. Bredesen is not "selling" herbs/supplements even though he recommends taking some.
1. Member Kay Reynolds, recently retired school teacher and healthy lifestyle promoter extraordinaire, talked to the group about harmful chemicals which are present in our everyday lives. She recommended that we learn about how to avoid some of the worst chemicals by reviewing the website maintained by the "Environmental Working Group" and sponsored by the USDA. The link to their free website is www.ewg.org and there is valuable information housed there, including a free water report for review by putting in your own zip code. I found Arlington's water report at this link http://bit.ly/2fb8baT
2. Boomer Benefits VP and Medicare expert, Danielle Kunkle, unpacked some of Medicare's complexities for us. She explained the differences between original Medicare, original Medicare with a Supplement Plan (aka "Medigap), Prescription Drug Plan, and Medicare Advantage (including some plans which include vision, hearing, and dental insurance for an extra premium). She explained why she normally recommends Medigap Plan G instead of Plan F (same coverage except for 2017, Plan G has a deductible of $183 and Plan F has $0.0 deductible but the monthly premium is higher for Plan F). The net savings is ~$300/yr to buy Plan G instead of Plan F but she said some people opt for Plan F, even knowing that it will cost more because they want the peace of mind that they will not be receiving a bill for any of their medical coverage, not even a $183 one-time bill). We all learned a lot, and after her talk, Danielle stuck around to answer individual questions on a one-to-one basis.
Elva Roy is the Lead Ambassador of the all-volunteer group "Ambassadors For Aging Well" which meets in Arlington, Texas.