By Julie Gregory, Chief Health Liaison for Apollo Health

As an ApoE4 homozygote who’s personally experienced recovery from cognitive decline, I’ve been on a decade-long, self-taught quest to save myself and others. When the Alzheimer’s Association told me that Alzheimer’s couldn’t be prevented, treated, or cured, that it was progressive, and most patients don’t survive beyond ten years — I refused to believe it. Intuitively, I knew that there must be something, a dietary pattern, specific lifestyle strategies, targeted supplements, that I could utilize to support and heal my brain.

It’s important to remember that ten years ago, so much of Alzheimer’s was still a mystery. Researchers hadn’t uncovered (or agreed upon) the basic mechanisms that lead to the disease process, but I knew that was primary. I couldn’t begin to intervene unless I knew what was causing the pathology. I created a non-profit, ApoE4.Info, to search for answers. By banding together with other like-minded citizen scientists with “skin in the game,” we worked to uncover these mechanisms by experimenting upon ourselves to see which strategies improved our cognition and moved us towards vibrant health.  

Fast forward to 2014, and Dr. Bredesen’s seminal paper, Reversal of cognitive decline: a novel therapeutic program, was published and everything changed. I knew he was the real deal because I’d experienced the same reversal myself. His paper was enormous validation of my personal journey. I reached out to share my story and work with the ApoE4.Info community and was stunned by his kindness and willingness to authentically partner with a humble seeker such as myself. I’ve been honored to have been working with him ever since.

The early results from Dr. Bredesen’s recent clinical trial add more evidence that we are on the right path. His partnership with Apollo Health has enabled us to disseminate his approach to more people. Through the efforts of our Principal Research Scientist Ram Rao, Ph.D., we’ve conducted the first ReCODE Protocol analysis and learned that 74% of participants have either stabilized or improved their cognition. Compare this to the recently FDA-approved Aduhelm that merely slows the progression of the decline in a small subset of people while subjecting them to serious side effects. In contrast, the ReCODE Protocol improves cognition and has side effects of optimizing health. While our early results are encouraging, we still have much work to do. I won’t be satisfied until 100% of participants improve, but we are making progress.

This is the perfect opportunity to talk about what sets us apart from every other program. There are so many health programs, gurus, and magic pills out there designed to fix anything — lose weight, provide energy, heal insulin resistance, etc. What makes us unique really comes down to three key elements.

1) We reverse cognitive decline with a proven program.  Period. Yes, the protocol also heals many other chronic diseases, including hypertension, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, etc., but when you focus all of your energy on the brain — the master control unit — everything else falls into place. My own story exemplifies this. I was suffering from multiple chronic and disabling illnesses, including mast cell activation, insulin resistance, lifelong gut and bladder issues, Raynaud’s syndrome, dysautonomia, etc. that all resolved when I began using the protocol. We not only have a sole focus on improving cognition, but we also have a proven record of success. In real estate, they say it’s about “location, location, location.” Our protocol is all about “cognition, cognition, cognition.” Every single recommendation we make is designed to optimally support your brain, which in turn heals all of the underlying contributors. Ten years ago, if someone had told me that there was a program that could restore my cognition and my health, I would have jumped at the opportunity. It didn’t exist, and I was forced to carve my own path towards wellness that I’m honored to share with you.

2) We use ketosis in a very strategic way.  Ketosis is the current darling of the health world. It’s extraordinarily popular and widely promoted for weight loss and more. The Atkins Diet invites you to eat an unlimited amount of meat, butter, and even pre-packaged junk food (they’ve created and branded) to regain your health. Our version of ketosis is quite different. The KetoFLEX 12/3 diet, which becomes a lifestyle, promotes an ancestral health pattern that not only promotes natural ketosis but restores metabolic flexibility — the ability to burn either fat or glucose as fuel — to optimize the fuel supply to your brain while improving overall health. We encourage the consumption of non-starchy vegetables from every color of the rainbow, preferably organic, local, and seasonal, with an adequate amount of clean protein and generous amounts of healthy fat. By combining the diet with a long fast, and daily exercise, we’re using the same lifestyle strategies that have allowed our ancestors to thrive for millennia. Our phytonutrient-dense, high fiber approach, which optimizes the gut microbiome and helps to detoxify the body to support and fuel the brain, is the only diet clinically proven to improve cognition.

3) We invite you to track your progress.  We conduct baseline and follow-up laboratory testing of multiple biomarkers and cognition. We want you to learn all about yourself and how this approach is affecting your body. We even encourage you to regularly check your glucose and ketone levels to empower you further. We want you to see the effect that various foods are having on your metabolic health. Our ReCODE Mobile App links up with multiple wearables so you can share your progress with your health team. We encourage you to measure your activity level, hours of restorative sleep, nighttime oxygenation, and much more. “Quantified self” is the wave of the future and puts your health into your own hands. We want you to learn all about your body, monitor your progress, move the needle to optimize your health, and restore your cognition.

I’m on the protocol for life. I’ve been to the mountaintop, where I could have gone either way, and I know there’s nothing on the other side. Depending upon your starting place, the protocol may feel overwhelming at first, but truly it becomes self-sustaining over time because it restores overall health, energy, vitality, and most importantly — cognitive clarity. See Simplifying the Protocol for tips on how to integrate the protocol into your lifestyle.

We’re all pioneers — each participant, their care partners, our practitioners, and health coaches — writing a new chapter for the Alzheimer’s story. I began this journey alone and now feel blessed to have each of you on my team, working to save ourselves and loved ones, and in turn, change the world. You can read more about my story in Dr. Bredesen’s most recent book, “The First Survivors of Alzheimer’s.”   

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