Let’s talk about genetics, shall we?
I have always been curious about using one of those genetic testing services to find out about my ancestry. I had never really thought about using it to illuminate medical information. However, a main component of evaluating an Alzheimer’s patient using the Bredesen protocol is by looking at your genes.
So, thanks to testing my dad, I have a partial picture of my own background now 🙂
Most importantly though, we can see the weak links in his genetic chain. I won’t go into detail a) because I can’t since I didn’t take detailed notes and b) because this IS Dr Dale Bredesen’s protocol, not mine! However, when my dad’s information was run through a program that looks for mutations, it did set the foundation for his story.
If, like me, you do NOT remember all the details from the gene section of your last biology class some 30-40 years ago…let me help you out 😉
Each gene has two alleles. One from each parent. The alleles can have mutations. Those mutations can create weaknesses in certain organs or functions of organs and your immune system. Since there are two alleles, the possible combinations are either that both are fine (green), 1 is mutated and 1 is fine (yellow), or both are mutated (red).
For Alzheimer’s they look at 6 genes. The first one which most people who know even a little about Alzheimer’s is the APOE4 – that’s the one that puts the patient right away at a higher risk no matter WHAT is going on. It’s a key indicator for early onset dementia and Alzheimer’s.
My dad passed THAT test! Yay! (I’m going to guess for now given that my mom is currently in her 80s and totally fine that my chances of having a mutation on that gene are also low, BUT, I will test myself soon, don’t you worry – this is all TOO fascinating).
However, he did have mutations presenting on three other gene markers.
During the first meeting with had with Youngberg he had gone over the theories and process for how he would evaluate my dad. Basically we have a data file to build. There are 6 potential causes for Alzheimer’s as documented by Dr Bredesen. Many are diet related (kidney, liver, pancreas functions, gluten issue etc) as well as life style (presence of sleep apnea and side effects of other medications being taken to treat the previously mentioned diet issues for instance) and environmental. That data file is in a particular format created by Dr Bredesen and when my dad’s is completed Youngberg will send it to Bredesen and consult with him on treatment. Pretty awesome eh?
To have his case evaluated by The Guy?! Amazing. This again was pert of that miraculous timing of everything. By getting him in when I did, we are getting his case done BEFORE Dr Bredesen’s book and a related documentary comes out. You can bet that once his latest findings with successful case studies is published, his popularity given the preponderance of Alzheimer’s will explode!
Anyhow, so after visit #1 we had a handful of lab test orders to complete. Much more extensive than your annual ones you do with your regular doctor. Lots of blood drawn. Labs in Denver were used. Plus the 23andme full evaluation. Then running those genetic reports through two other analysis programs. Plus gathering prior year’s basic lab results to determine trends. A LOT of DATA!
Visit #2 started the process of using the data to tell the story. First we noted the genetic mutations. Then we looked at the new lab test results to see if they showed the impacts of those mutations.
Turns out those mutations impact how well his body fights off Biotoxins – AKA…mold. In fact, his test results and mutations put him at an “Especially high susceptibility to mold bioxins” (3 of three 3 readings were in the RED as far as being out of range indicating the presence of mold toxicity in his tests – yikes!)
The next thing to look for is evidence of Mold or Bio-Toxin related illness which is called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). There are 12 markers and the presence of 4 indicates CIRS is present.
My dad had 5.
But wait…it’s not *just* that he had 5….., there are still 2 more to test (visual contrast sensitivity and a MARCoNS deep nasal swb)…AND…the 5 already identified were OFF THE CHARTS. His readings were AT LEAST 2x either below or above whatever they are supposed to be.
For the biggest specific reading that indicates CIRS – Elevated C4a…the norm is 2830…Youngberg has seen 40 other patients so far for Alzheimer’s. The highest reading he’s seen on this is in the 20k range.
My dad? 67,057!!!!!!!!!
So visit #2 was essentially all about THAT and then starting a process of detoxifying and finding the source of the mold. Yup, more tests…the previously mentioned vision and nasal swab and also a very specific environmental test kit.
Since we are dealing with a combination of western (Bredesen) and functional (Youngberg) medicine, I am thrilled to know that they are working together and that the whole point of this process is find the root CAUSE, not simply to mask the symptoms. Right now, we are working on root cause #1 – mold toxicity. But he also mentioned my dad’s reduced kidney function which is a known side effect of taking statins for high cholesterol associated with heart disease. I anticipate that will be layer #2.
If you read this far – congratulations! I’m documenting this as much for readers as for our family. Blending this with my post from last week on spirituality – I have to say that being in this process feels like we are dancing on the edge of something bigger than us. Look at how I got us there…that feeling when Dr O’Bryan told me about Bredesen. The fact that the VERY NEXT DAY I was added to a Facebook Group I’d requested access to weeks before. The fact that the VERY FIRST POST was about someone bringing her husband down here to see Youngberg.
Keeping myself open to universal energies and information is how this happened. And it feels pretty RIGHT and pretty exciting to be involved with what really looks like a break through development in treating this disease.
Order his book at the link above – yeah, I am touting it without having read it yet – but I truly feel it in my bones…with the white hot tingling I’ve been getting when in the presence of something bigger than us – that this guy is making the types of discoveries that will change lives forever.