By Dale Bredesen, M.D., Chief Science Officer for Apollo Health

For anyone who watched the screening of the new documentary Memories for Life — Reversing Alzheimer’s, thank you! For those who have not seen it but would like to, it should be streaming on several platforms such as Prime, Apple TV, Vudu, Google Play, and TUBI starting on November 15. 

The film reminded me that, in addition to the seven core approaches we all use to prevent and reverse cognitive decline (which we call the Bredesen Seven (B7). There is an 8th. We see repeated improvements in those who optimize their diet, with a plant-rich, mildly ketogenic diet such as KetoFLEX 12/3; exercise with both aerobics and strength training (or HIIT, which some prefer, and in some cases using KAATSU bands), especially when EWOT is included; sleep optimally with 7-8 hours of sleep, SpO2 of 96-98%, at least 1.5 hours of REM and 1 hour of deep sleep; manage stress and keep a good heart-rate variability; brain train with programs such as BrainHQ or Elevate; include basic detox; and add targeted supplements such as methylfolate and methylcobalamin to reduce homocysteine, magnesium for those who are suboptimal; and DHA and EPA. 

But beyond these B7 approaches, and even beyond the specifics we address, such as pathogens and toxins, there is an 8th member of the B7: ikigai. This is our life purpose, derived from the intersection of passion, profession, mission, and vocation. It is our raison d’être. I see it again and again — in those who feel a life purpose and focus on working the protocol, the improvements seem to be more common. 

As I watched the film and thought about my own life purpose, I realized that this is an ikigai that we all share—the many physicians, brain health coaches, nurses, neuropsychologists and other practitioners, citizen scientists, basic researchers, caretakers, family members, and those with cognitive decline — we are all pulling together to accomplish something that has until now been considered impossible, to offer real hope for the many with cognitive decline. To all of the many contributors to this crucial goal, thank you.

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