Thanks to all of you that have put together and maintained this site. It’s a great deal of work. Here is my essay as introduction.
I have known since last fall my 4/4 status, from a 23andMe Amazon Prime Day sale. What a bargain. And when I say a bargain I mean a blow. I was a mess the first week or 2 -and moments since- I know I’m not the only one here to react like that.
I just came across this site in the last month or two, and through it, Dr. Bredensen’s book. Before this, I had heard about the ‘basics’ of lifestyle aspects of AD prevention (exercise and vascular health, and brain exercise), but not realizing that there was more out there scientifically more focused, on hacking the pathologic process, and some case reports of actual improvement.
Sadly, realizing a possibility of hope for AD treatment has come too late for my father, who died of complications from dementia in 2015 at 78. He had vascular-related brain damage (mini-strokes) but his cognitive declined afterwards so there is a good chance he had AD as well. He was a horticulturist and often worked in fields and forests on Long Island. Between the risk of having been infected with Lyme and some significant ‘partying’ he did after my parents divorced in the 1970’s (chronic syphilis?) I have wondered if his brain was full of spirochetes...
My dads mother died of dementia of unclear diagnosis. My maternal grandfather died with AD, but gladly my mother has so far only suffered mild cognitive decline (forgetfulness) in her early 70’s but is still working and active and a colon cancer survivor. She lives in Appalachia in the mountains. She just bought a foreclosure and is remodeling it since the cabin she built by herself was starting to get too difficult to keep up. Her biggest nod to aging is admitting she can’t lift two boards at a time up a ladder to re-side her house any more, only one.
I remember my paternal grandmother apologizing for giving me her HSV as she had a cold sore kissing me as a child and then I shortly got my own. So It seems that I have the same virus strain that may have participated in her dementia as well as possibly her e4. Great.
I am 51 (female) and have noticed some decline recently in memory, a decrease in my ability to remember and process information, decreased energy and ‘brain fog’. I am perimenopausal so I am hoping some of this is due to that. I was also thinking, that I had a couple amalgam fillings replaced about a year -1.5 years ago and it was not carefully done by my dentist, and some of the filling I believe I ingested - I know my blood level is slightly high so I’m working on that. I eat fish frequently so I am working on keeping it to low mercury species now to see what happens.
I have stress and long-term sleep deprivation as a major factor, which I am desperately trying to manage. I am a specialty veterinarian (dealing with birds and exotic pets) with my own practice, and it requires a huge number of hours and work including an occasional 36 hour work shift if I have a patient that requires care around the clock. I don’t have staff that can provide the care instead of me- hard to find good help. Often it’s 12-14 hour work days on a regular basis, sometimes weeks at a time, and very rarely a day off (none since last January...)
I have not been able to maintain a regular exercise plan for years because of exhaustion and work time commitments and have always had an ‘overweight’ problem, which hasn’t been helped by the stress and schedule, and lack of mobility. I have had increasingly painful foot deformities that have worsened over the years from being on my feet. Before they worsened my fitness was pretty good and I had been able to keep weight off.
So, I am realizing my career and life’s passion is killing me when I realized I am not myself anymore. I took myself off of being on call 24 hours a day, a few months ago so I could get some attempt at a regular sleep schedule. After 27 years of that, I figured I have done my best for my patients.
Knowing the 4/4 was a major expediting factor to get my feet deformities surgically fixed (had been putting off due to time needed to be off of work after the reconstructions they required). I knew if I didn’t return to a regular exercise schedule and had to deal longer with the chronic pain of the foot issue, it was going to be the final nail. Now I am stressing about the past and future anesthesia required to finish fixing them. I had one reconstructed 11 months ago and planning for the other one shortly. It’s a long time to heal.
Besides the concern about stress and sleep deprivation as contributors I routinely get exposed to all sorts of infectious agents. From my patients, from the parasites and bacteria and they carry, and from sneezing children with their parents I’m trapped with in an exam room. The recent data suggesting that amyloid is being produced in response to infectious agent attack is a bit scary in light of my exposures. Also I have secondary exposure to gas anesthesia agents. Sigh.
I am MTHFR heterozygous so knowing that now is useful, I have started methylated vitamins and folate. That’s a new thing that I’ve discovered and my energy levels are starting to come back. Throughout my past and present, my BP has been nice and low, and lipids levels have been okay but TC on low side sometimes - as low as 130 but now at 160. No hint of diabetes but in the past my fasting BG was around 100 - but as I have been reducing my carbs my last one was 92 so that’s improving. Fasting insulin and glycated hemoglobin are good. I have had membranous glomerulopathy (and had been treated via an experimental anti-complement medication which resolved it about 18 years ago) but hadn’t heard any connection with that disease and APOE4 status.
So lots of holes in a leaky roof as people are wont to say around these parts
I am taking a bunch of supplements that I’ve learned about from Dr. Bredesen’s book and this website, and changing from a moderate veggie, whole grain moderate carb diet, low fat high protein diet to a low carb high fat high veggie moderate protein diet. I don’t have a functional medicine physician but I am working with my DO who is willing to work with me to get much of the testing done. So I feel perhaps, somehow, maybe I’m starting to take control of things.
Thanks for reading, and I raise a glass of a healthy beverage to all of us here for the fight.