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    The ReCODE Program: Can Cognitive Decline Be Reversed?

    Recent scientific breakthroughs have shown it is possible to stabilize and even reverse symptoms of cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease. At Potomac Psychiatry, we offer programs that target and treat symptoms as they occur, and even before they arise. Our ReCODE (Reverse Cognitive Decline) program identifies and treats the root causes of cognitive decline. Our PreCODE (Prevent Cognitive Decline) program helps to prevent the development of dementia before it arises. In this blog, you will learn: 

    Can Cognitive Decline be Reversed or Prevented?

    By the time Alzheimer’s Disease is diagnosed in a patient, the underlying disease processes that have been causing it have already been underway for 15 to 25 years. Through early identification and treatment, cognitive decline can be prevented. For those who already have cognitive decline, or have been diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s Disease, it is possible to stabilize, and in some instances reverse, the inevitable decline into severe dementia. How?

    ReCODE and PreCODE programs are based on the pioneering work of Dr. Dale Bredesen, which acknowledges the fact that dementia is not caused by a single factor, like the buildup of amyloid plaque or tau tangles. Dr. Bredesen is credited for researching and advocating that dementia is instead caused by multiple factors that each contribute to progressive cognitive decline. By identifying these factors and treating them using the Bredesen Protocol, dementia can be reversed or stabilized.

    You are not alone. Contact us to book an appointment.

    Reversing Alzheimer’s Disease by Identifying and Treating Its Root Causes

    In an earlier blog we identified a number of the root causes of psychiatric illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and long-COVID brain fog. We described how we have developed a Root Cause Psychiatry Program that uses cutting edge laboratory testing to uniquely identify these causes in each individual, and treat them using precision psychiatry.

    What are some of the root causes of Alzheimer's and other dementias? Recent studies support the notion that numerous metabolic and hormonal abnormalities are present in patients with cognitive decline, often years prior to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. These can include chronic inflammation (causing “inflammaging”); insufficient methylation; low levels of vitamin D and B vitamins; low levels of Potassium, Magnesium, Copper, and Zinc; the presence of various toxins (such as pesticides and heavy metals); inadequate antioxidant levels; the presence of Mycotoxins; and more. In an earlier blog we addressed some of these factors to help you “build brain cybersecurity”. The Bredesen Protocol formalizes the testing for these factors and helps clinicians build a treatment plan targeting patients’ unique needs.

    How does the ReCODE and PreCODE Protocol Work?

    A number of sophisticated laboratory tests and other assessments are performed under Dr. Bredesen’s Protocol, and they are supported by a number of scientific studies. Here is a summary of one such study.

    The ReCODE protocol was tested in a study that treated 255 individuals with subjective cognitive impairment, mild cognitive impairment, and early-stage Alzheimer’s Disease. An initial evaluation of their cognitive impairment was done using a test called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). The MoCA is a standardized scoring of patients’ performance after the evaluation of multiple cognitive domains such as memory, language, spatial abilities, and executive function, among others.

    Study participants received a personalized intervention that targeted an optimized diet, stress reduction, regular exercise, and brain stimulation for all patients. To individualize their protocols, their metabolic, nutritional, and hormonal markers were first assessed via blood studies, and were then optimized toward health. Participants were also assessed and treated for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea syndrome.

    These patients were followed for an extended period of time, and had the MoCA testing repeated between 2 months and 12 months of program participation. MoCA scores either stabilized or significantly improved in the entire participant pool. Cognitive performance is expected to diminish over time in neurogenerative diseases, but did not do so in patients that followed the protocol.

    We Can Help Reverse and Prevent Cognitive Decline

    We have one certified practitioner of Dr. Dale Bredesen’s PreCODE and ReCODE programs for prevention and reversal of cognitive decline, and offer assessment and treatment services for patients with subjective and objective signs of cognitive decline, including patients with mild cognitive decline and early Alzheimer’s Disease.

    Our practitioners will review possible contributors underlying the cognitive decline, make recommendations, and coordinate care. As diet and lifestyle are foundational elements that can prevent cognitive decline, and stabilize and improve it, a specialized nutrition assessment is provided as a centerpiece of our program.

    Our ReCODE and PreCODE Program Practitioners

    Potomac Psychiatry has won numerous awards for its pioneering work in the application of genetic testing and root cause psychiatry. Our clinicians are distinguished in the field of behavioral health due to the depth and breadth of experience they bring into the treatment space. Not only are our clinicians certified in ReCODE 2.0, but they also bring more than 30 years of experience supporting patients with mental wellness needs.  

    Bruce A. Kehr, M.D., co-author of "Enduring Alzheimer’s: Practical Tips for Caring for Your Loved One and Yourself," brings his expertise in IntellxxDNA genetic testing, which explores genetic variations linked to cognitive decline. Through tailored gene-based supplements and nutritional interventions, he aims to address these genetic factors. Dr. Kehr's dedication to staying abreast of cutting-edge scientific principles in brain health and mental function is evident through his involvement on the Board of the Institute on Aging at the University of Pennsylvania, where he previously chaired from 2006 to 2009.

    Julie Wendt, MS, LN, CNS was a pioneer in becoming certified in the Bredesen Protocol, as she was part of the initial ReCODE training programs in 2018 and has integrated the concepts of ReCODE into her integrative nutrition practice (and her life) ever since. Her interest in cognitive decline began when she was a teenager and witnessed her grandfather falling victim to Alzheimer’s Disease. As her professional journey into the field of nutrition evolved, she found herself circling back to that experience with renewed hope and enthusiasm after realizing she could help patients with Alzheimer’s Disease regain a sense of control over their lives.

    Reverse or Prevent Cognitive Decline in Yourself or Someone You Love

    Given the numerous scientific breakthroughs in the fields of genetics and brain science, and the failure of numerous drugs to treat or reverse dementia, we believe that the identification and treatment of the unique underlying causes of a present of future dementia are not only possible, but essential. If you would like more information about our ReCODE and PreCODE programs, please reach out and contact us.


    • The End of Alzheimer’s: the first program to prevent and reverse cognitive decline by Dr. Dale Bredesen.
    • The First Survivors of Alzheimer's: How Patients Recovered Life and Hope in Their Own Words by Dr. Dale Bredesen.
    • Enduring Alzheimer's: Practical Tips for Caring for Your Loved One and Yourself by Dr. Bruce Kehr et al.
    • Integrative Geriatric Nutrition: A Practitioner’s Guide to Dietary Approaches for Older Adults by Julie Wendt, et al.
    • A Blueprint for the Hard Problem of Consciousness by Dr. Paulo Negro.
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