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

The hot fudge sundae moment is that moment when you decide that nothing more can be done, and it’s time to eat hot fudge sundaes, or take a final trip, or do whatever you like. It is a moment of realization, of capitulation, and for families, of devastation; a large scoop of hopelessness — a moment when the best that biomedical science has to offer is, sadly, not enough. 

Until recently, there was nothing that prevented, delayed, or reversed the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s or pre-Alzheimer’s — indeed, that has been for years the constant refrain of the Alzheimer’s Association. Therefore, the hot fudge sundae moment could be as early as the time of diagnosis, and often was. Hopelessness was reinforced by every physician, every expert, and every caretaker. But in 2012, we began to see people reversing their cognitive decline, by using ReCODE, a personalized, network-medicine approach. Our recent Alzheimer’s clinical trial demonstrated that this approach is effective in the large majority of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or early Alzheimer’s.

For those on prevention — and we recommend that everyone who is 45 or older begin active prevention — we have not seen anyone in compliance develop dementia. For those with SCI (subjective cognitive impairment), virtually everyone sees improvement, again assuming reasonable compliance. For those with MCI or early Alzheimer’s, as our clinical trial showed, the majority improve. And for those with late-stage Alzheimer’s, we have seen improvement in some, but it is less common, which is why we recommend strongly that everyone get started as soon as possible.

We are all, working together, pushing back the hot fudge sundae moment, from diagnosis to SCI to MCI to Alzheimer’s. With the upcoming clinical trial and ongoing progress, we hope to see the end of the hot fudge sundae moment in the next few years. So go ahead, if you’d like, have a hot fudge sundae — every once in a great while (or better yet our low carb version found here), and then get right back on the protocol — but have it because you enjoy it, not because things are hopeless. With each improvement, with each person who begins prevention or starts early instead of waiting until late in the course, with each expertly trained practitioner, and with each new development in the protocol, we are witnessing the final days of the hot fudge sundae moment. 

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