Last Updated on January 31, 2022 by ashley.davis
Cognoscopy: Your Early Diagnosis for Alzheimer’s
Around 75 million Americans live with enhanced Alzheimer’s issues that develop throughout their adult lives. Alzheimer’s disease starts to develop 20 years before presenting symptoms. So, if you are experiencing a sudden change in your memory like forgetting things easily, brain fog, getting lost in between a conversation, and forgetting key details, you might be in the early stage of Alzheimer’s. So, it’s essential to take preventative steps during this window of opportunity. And cognoscopy could be one of them.
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is one of the most common mental health problems in the United States of America. Globally, the disease is expected to rise over the next 30 years. And early preventive measures through Cognoscopy can be used to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s from its root.
Cognoscopy, developed by Dr. Dale Bredesen, has proven to be highly effective in preventing AD in the early stages. In addition, it enables short-term screening to detect memory problems in patients. And thus, it becomes much easier to treat AD among seniors.
What Is a Cognoscopy?
Dr. Bredesen concluded after decades of research that there are 36 specific causes of Alzheimer’s disease that must be addressed thoroughly to give effective diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Bredesen proposes that the disease can be cured and managed by repairing and maintaining these 36 possible faults, previously thought to be irreversible.
From his research, Dr. Bredesen suggested that adults aged 45 or older should opt for a cognoscopy to identify the AD risks. This way, it would be more effective to decline and prevent the further growth of the mental condition. So, what is a cognoscopy in the simplest terms?
A cognoscopy is an assessment consisting of a series of screening tests that identify cognitive decline risk factors. Screening tests include laboratory and cognitive tests, and evaluation of a patient’s medical history, and an M.R.I. The data from these tests are then used to formulate a care plan minimizing your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
“Early diagnosis is so important because the earlier a mental illness can be detected, diagnosed and treatment can begin, the better off that person can be for the rest of his or her life.”ROSALYNN CARTER, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES
It is essential to address the causes to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s. Early diagnosis is vital to have optimal outcomes for patients. Below is a more detailed description of what a cognoscopy entails, as well as the steps you can take to manage identified risk factors.
4 Tests to Detect Alzheimer’s Early
As mentioned already, AD is something that you might not detect before it’s too late to diagnose. Most patients or their family members will realize the presence of Alzheimer’s only when they are above 65 years old and living in a senior living community. But to start receiving cognoscopy, it is essential to get a few tests and start making some lifestyle changes.
1. Blood Tests
You can do a blood test to find out several balance levels in your body. They include the following:
Testing for metabolic imbalance and inflammation
A metabolic imbalance in the body can lead to inflammation, oxidative stress, and brain cell damage. These are some of the leading causes of dementia. Aside from metabolic imbalances, inflammation within the body can occur secondary to an infection, certain foods, and other reasons.
An example of this is high blood glucose levels. This results in the formation of specific end products that can lead to inflammation and damage the brain.
So, what kind of costs might you incur? Lab Panel for Testing Glucose, Lipids, and Inflammation may set you back at $239.
Depending on the imbalance, there may be underlying conditions that need appropriate management. For example, if a person has elevated glucose levels, they may have diabetes. You can manage such a condition by making lifestyle adjustments and using appropriate medication.
Lifestyle modifications may include dietary changes, exercising, or taking certain supplements. Changing your diet to include food items that fight dementia is essential to decrease inflammation and oxidative stress.
Testing for hormonal imbalance
As you grow old, there will be a decrease in certain hormones, which play a vital role in preventing dementia. This occurs due to specific systems in your body that slow down. The cost of a Hormone Lab Panel can be around $449.
Two examples of hormones can be estrogen and testosterone. Females with low estrogen levels have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Testosterone, which is available in both males and females, supports the survival of brain cells. Your physician might recommend hormone replacement therapy and lifestyle interventions after checking the results.
Toxicity level test
Another potential cause of Alzheimer’s is the presence of certain toxic substances. Exposure to environmental toxins includes heavy metals, chemicals, bio-toxins, and chronic infections. The exposure risk needs to be identified and eliminated to remedy the situation.
The costs can be:
- Hair and toxic element exposure profile – $198.00
- Gut Function/Leaky Gut – $259.00
- An imbalance in your gut flora can result in inflammation.
Testing for nutritional adequacy
Many vitamins and minerals function as antioxidants, decrease inflammation, prevent synaptic loss, and are essential to prevent cognitive decline. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that the levels of vitamins and minerals known to play a crucial role in brain health are within normal ranges. Other levels in this panel are markers for nutrient deficiencies. The best solution is to assess and adjust your diet level based on the results. For instance, if you have low zinc levels, you would increase the number of zinc-containing foods in your diet or take supplements.
The costs you could incur:
- Nutrient Profile Lab Panel – $499.00
- Additional Vitamin and Mineral Panel – $399.00
Testing for genetic risks
Certain types of dementia may have a genetic component that increases your risk. For this reason, your personal and family history, together with genetic testing, is required. APOE Alzheimer’s Risk Panel can cost you around $295.00.
The general population has a 9% risk of developing Alzheimer’s during their lifetime. In terms of genetics, the presence of the ApoE4 gene predisposes you to inflammation. Some people may have one or two copies of this gene. If a single ApoE4 gene is present, you have a 30% chance. But if you have two copies of this gene, the risk increases to above 50%.
There is no remedy to genetic biomarkers that predispose patients to Alzheimer’s. The only real solution is to take all the necessary steps to decrease any potential risk for Alzheimer’s and improve cognitive functioning.
2. Cognitive Function Testing
This gives a baseline of your cognitive function and allows those monitoring you to see a decline in function. An example of such a questionnaire is the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.
3. Medical History
You will need to detail your complete history of medical conditions and list all your current medications.
If you were to score low on a cognitive exam, it is advisable to go for an M.R.I. to assess potential causes. There are numerous reasons for the deterioration in brain function aside from Alzheimer’s.
Getting an M.R.I. in the U.S. would cost you between $1,600 and $8,400. The price may depend on the facility, the machine’s worth, and the cost of the contrast used.
Can a Cognoscopy Prevent Alzheimer’s?
A cognoscopy is a comprehensive set of tests that enable us to identify causes and risk factors present for Alzheimer’s. Then, by implementing steps to decrease risks and manage potential causes, we can improve symptoms and slow the disease’s progression. Unfortunately, however, cognoscopy hasn’t yet been approved to prevent Alzheimer’s.
Nevertheless, the concept of the approach is to detect AD as early as possible and make lifestyle changes. The ultimate goal is to get adults into a lifestyle where the symptoms of Alzheimer’s don’t keep on improving. As a result, cognoscopy can be a great solution to detect the early stages of the disease and make the necessary changes in daily activities, meal plans, and medications to prevent AD from growing.
Cognoscopy is an excellent method to capture the possibilities of Alzheimer’s in your brain at an early age. All the testing and screenings will tell you whether you have Alzheimer’s symptoms or not. If you end up having Alzheimer’s, it will be possible to prevent it from growing through lifestyle changes only because you decided to go ahead with a cognoscopy. For instance, you can start exercising more to enhance the functions of your brain. In addition, you might make dietary changes by eating gluten-free and non-processed foods to lower the AD risks.
Follow the 7 Bredesen’s Protocols
Through a PreCODE and ReCODE process, the Bredesen Protocol is a tailored strategy to prevent and reverse the cognitive deterioration. It starts with a “cognoscopy” at the age of 45.
The Bredesen Protocol’s primary purpose is to eliminate exposure events that cause cognitive impairment, improve health maintenance, and repair brain functions.
Fat burning activities
To begin, it is critical to burning the excess fat from your body. A reduction in glucose consumption is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The key activities involve healthy diets, overnight fasting, and regular exercise.
Fix insulin sensitivity
Insulin sensitivity can lead to a decline in brain functions. It is key to preventing the growth of Alzheimer’s. You can fix insulin sensitivity by treating sleep apnea, taking supplements, including nutrients like zinc in your diet.
Supporting your health
Maintaining food, hormone, and trophic (growth factor) support is crucial. As a result, you will be able to build resilience, improve the immune system, assist mitochondria, and start restoring synaptic networks in the brain. For the formation and maintenance of synapses, optimal hormone levels are essential. Good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle will result in adequate hormone production for many.
It’s critical to allow the body to enhance inflammation when it’s needed. Also, it’s practical to allow it to resolve when it’s no longer required. The Bredesen Protocol also focuses on limiting unintentional inflammation, sometimes known as “chronic inflammation.”
Infection that stays undetected for a long time can lead to memory impairment. Therefore, it must be recognized and targeted. Bacteria, viruses, fungus, and parasites all live in the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is the result of our brain’s protective response to these pathogens. The goal here is to achieve and maintain a microbe equilibrium.
Avoiding toxin exposure
The Bredesen Protocol highlights the significance of detecting and eliminating pollutants. Biotoxins like mold toxins, metals like mercury, and organics like toluene and benzene can cause cognitive impairment.
The Bredesen Protocol is to improve sleep quality. The level of oxygen saturation in our blood might drop when we sleep, affecting our brain’s ability to function properly. In addition, low oxygen saturation from irregular sleep can aggravate memory impairment. Thus, a proper sleep schedule is vital.
How Much Does a Cognoscopy Cost?
The cost of a cognoscopy can range between $2,500 to $11,000. Anyone might wonder why cognoscopy expenses vary so much and have such a wide range. Well, there are many factors that can affect the costs of healthcare for a senior. To be precise, 4 elements can add up to the final expenses of cognoscopy:
- The location of the test
- Whether there is M.R.I tests necessary or not
- The number of cognitive tests required
- The laboratory facilities and panels required
Doctors may advise their patients to take several medical tests to ensure the early detection of certain diseases. However, we often forget about the brain and the potential for deterioration.
A cognoscopy allows us to identify risks and manage them. Although cognoscopy can be a measure for early prevention, it is still of value when taken in the later stages of Alzheimer’s, especially for seniors in Memory Care. Although there is no cure for the disease, you can still take steps to prevent its progression.