The protocol in this wiki is based on Dr Bredesen’s first book, The End of Alzheimer’s. With the exception of some new findings as well as some tweaks and refinements, his second book, The End of Alzheimer’s Program maintains the ReCode protocol, but presents practical information and steps to implement the protocol. Changes or new information from Dr Bredesen’s second book:
- The cognoscopy now has some new tests and some biomarker goals have been refined, the table below reflects these updated tests and values
- The original 3 types of Alzheimer’s have been expanded to 6 types: Type 1 Inflammatory or hot, Type 2 atrophic or cold, Type 1.5 glycotoxic or sweet, Type 3 Toxic or vile, Type 4 vascular or pale, Type 5 – traumatic or dazed
- A step by step guide on the order of events for reversing cognitive decline
- A discussion of the KetoFLEX 12/3 Brain Food Pyramid. The bottom layer, the foundation is overnight fasting. Above that is non starchy vegetables and healthy fats. Next is prebiotics, resistant starch, and probiotics. Second from the top is animal protein and fruit. And the top of the pyramid is indulgences. For a video discussing this pyramid: Video "JG#2" from Facebook page "Dale Bredesen, MD"
- The role of oral health in cognitive decline
- Detailed information about dementogens
- Personalized nutritional supplements
- Plan for gut health and how to optimize your microbiome and holobiome
- Plus interspersed throughout the book are inspiring stories of patients who have successfully reversed cognitive decline
Dr. Dale Bredesen has created the ReCODE protocol that involves multiple strategies to address specific health issues that contribute to Alzheimer's Disease (AD). The results of each strategy are measured by using blood tests, cognitive evaluations, and other markers of overall health improvements. Actions are tweaked over time to aim for optimal lab and evaluation results. His analogy is to think of AD as a leaky roof - there are as many as 36 leaks in the AD roof that need to be addressed to stop the problem. Not every patient will have the same leaks, and the protocol is customized based on the patient’s genetics, current health, and lifestyle.
In 2014, his first published paper on the protocol, Reversal of Cognitive Decline, highlighted 10 case studies. Of those 10 people, nine showed enough improvement to return to normal life activities. Several hundred people with cognitive impairment have since followed the protocol, and most have seen a reversal of cognitive impairment. He published results of reversing various levels of cognitive decline in Reversal of Cognitive Decline: 100 patients, published October 2018. His book The End of Alzheimer's, published August 2017 discusses his protocol and explains many of the mechanisms of Alzheimer's.
Bredesen’s protocol has not been tested as a preventative, however in a May 2019 podcast interview, Dr Bredesen did say that he’s never had someone at risk come in for prevention and develop even mild cognitive impairment. Research has shown that amyloid-β is deposited in E4 carriers as early as their thirties, so addressing components prior to experiencing cognitive impairment symptoms will likely lead to better health and cognition in aging. Members on the APOE4.Info forum who follow the protocol report improvements not only in health but also in cognition, even if they do not have an SCI or MCI diagnosis.
Although Bredesen does not see private patients, he has made his protocol available to those seeking doctor assistance through AHNP: Precision Health. MPI Cognition, his previous affiliation, was acquired by AHNP and his prior affiliation with Muses Labs has ended.
The following list links to summaries of why each strategy is important, what you can do, and a selection of research references.
Lab Tests to Track and Treat
Insulin sensitivity (insulin and blood glucose)
Inhalational Alzheimer's (editing note: update to types of AD)
Lab tests: Lab testing information
Supplements: Supplement ordering
Tracking results: Our member "optimize" made a Google spreadsheet using the recommended Cognoscopy test values in The End of Alzheimer's. This spreadsheet is a simple table to help you track your latest test results, with values flagged as "high", "low", or "in range". It's intended as a quick way to organize test results, and see at a glance where to make improvements.
The link to make your own copy of the spreadsheet for your private use is here: https://goo.gl/8t2dxi
Please note! The copied spreadsheet will let you type in the white areas, but this may cause errors in the formulas. If you accidentally type in a white area, hit "ctrl-Z" a few times to remove the typing, or download a fresh copy of the spreadsheet.
Summary of key tests for ReCode Protocol Taken from table 1 of Dr Bredesen's second book The End of Alzheimer's Program provided for quick reference, refer to the book for specific information. If you are following his first book, note that some of the biomarkers have changed.
|Critical Tests||Target Values||Comments|
|Inflammation, protection, and vascular||hs-CRP||<0.9 mg/L||Systemic Inflammation|
|Glycotoxicity and insulin resistance markers|
*For those who are insulin sensitive, with fasting glucose <90 mg/dL, fasting insulin of < 3.0 is still a healthy range
|Body mass index (BMI)||18.5-25||Weight (lbs) x 703/height (inches)2|
|Waist to hip ratio (women)
Waist to hip ratio (man)
|Homocysteine||≤7μmol/L||Reflects methylation, inflammation, and detox|
|25-50 mcg/L (PP)
|Improve methylation and reduce homocysteine|
|Omega-6 to omega-3 ratio||1:1 to 4:1 (beware that <0.5:1 may be associated with bleeding tendency)||Ratio of inflammatory to anti-inflammatory omega fats|
|Omega-3 index||≥10% (ApoE4+)
|Proportion of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats|
|AA to EPA ratio (arachidonic acid to eicosapentaenoic acid ratio)||<3:1||Ratio of inflammatory AA to anti-inflammatory EPA|
|A/G ratio (albumin to globulin ratio)
|Markers of inflammation, liver health, and amyloid clearance|
Small dense LDL
|LDL-P is LDL particle number|
|CoQ10||1.1-2.2 mcg/mL||Affected by cholesterol level|
|Glutathione||>250 mcg/mL (>814 μM)||Major antioxidant and detoxicant|
|Leaky gut, leaky blood-brain barrier, gluten sensitivity, autoantibodies||Negative|
|Minerals||RBC-magnesium||5.2-6.5 mg/dL||Preferable to serum magnesium|
|Trophic Support||Vitamin D||50-80 ng/mL||(250H-D3)|
1-20 ng/dL (P)
|Women; age dependent|
|Men; age dependent|
|Mercury Tri-Test||<50th percentile||Hair, blood, urine|
|Organic toxins (urine)||Negative||Benzene, toluene, etc.|
|Glyphosate (urine)||<1.0 mcg/g creatinine||Herbicide|
|Copper to zinc ratio||0.8-1.2.1||Higher ratios associated with dementia|
|Associated with inflammatory response|
|Urinary mycotoxins||Negative||May include contributions from inhalation, ingestion, and infection|
|Reflects kidney function|
|Reflects liver damage|
|VCS (visual contrast sensitivity)||Pass||Failure associated with biotoxin exposure|
|ERMI test||<2||Mold index from building|
|HERTSMI-2 test||<11||Index of most toxic molds|
|Pathogen-related||CD57||60-360 cells/μL||Reduced with Lyme|
|Antibodies to tick-borne pathogens||Negative||Borrelia, Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma|
|Antibodies to Herpes family viruses||Negative||HSV-1, HSV-2, HHV-6, VZV, EBV, CMV|
|Neurophysiology||Peak alpha frequency on quantitative EEG||8.9-11 Hz||Slows with cognitive decline; useful for following progress|
|P300b on evoked response testing||<450 ms||Delayed with cognitive decline; useful for following progress|
|Other Tests||MoCA (Montreal Cognitive Assessment)||28-30|
|Nocturnal oxygen saturation (SpO2)||96-98%||Affected by living at high altitude|
|AHI (apnea-hypopnea index)||<5 events per hour||>5 indicates sleep apnea|
|Oral DNA||Negative for pathogens||P. gingivalis, T. denticola, etc.|
|Stool analysis||No pathogens or dysbiosis|
|ImmuKnow (CD4 function, indicated by ATP production)||≥525 ng/mL||Indicates function of helper cells of the cellular arm of adaptive immune system|
Abbreviations used in the above table: AA – arachidonic acid AHI – apnea-hypopnea index ALT – alanine aminotransferase AST – aspartate aminotransferase BMI – body mass index BUN – blood urea nitrogen C4a – complement split product 4a CD57 – cluster of differentiation 57 CMV – cytomegalovirus CoQ10 – coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) DHEA-S - dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate DNA – deoxyribonucleic acid EBV – Epstein-Barr Virus EEG – electroencephalogram EPA – eicosapentaenoic acid ERMI – Environmental Protection Agency relative mold index HERTSMI-2 – Health Effects Roster of Type-Specific Formers of Mycotoxins and Inflammagens – 2nd version HHV-6 – Human herpesvirus 6 (A and B) HOMA-IR – homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance Hs-CRP – high sensitivity C-reactive protein HSV-1 – Herpes simplex virus 1 HSV-2 - Herpes simplex virus 2 LDL – low density lipoprotein MARCoNS – mulit antibiotic-resistant coagulase negative Staphylococcus MMP-9 – matrix metalloproteinase-9 MoCA – Montreal Cognitive assessment MSH – alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone P300b – positive wave at 300 milliseconds (event-related potential), component B PP – pyridoxal phosphate RBC – red blood cell SpO2 – peripheral capillary oxygen saturation T3 – triiodothyronine T4 – throxine TG – triglycerides TGF-β1 – transforming growth factor beta-a TPO – thyroid peroxidase TSH – thyroid-stimulating hormone VZV – varicella zoster virus
Dr Bredesen's research
- Dr Bredesen's first book, The End of Alzheimer's: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline, published August 22, 2017. Amazon link to Dr Bredesen's book
- Dr Bredesen's second book, The End of Alzheimer's Program: The First Protocol to Enhance Cognition and Reverse Decline at Any Age, published August 18, 2020. His first book laid out the science, this book updates his program and provides "how to" advice to implement the science of his program. Amazon link to this second book
- Facebook Page: Dale Bredesen, MD includes a library of videos where Dr Bredesen discusses numerous subjects related to his research and findings.
- Twitter: Dr Dale Bredesen
Videos and interviews
- Videos are available on the AHNP Cognition website https://www.ahnphealth.com/science.html
- There is a long, but very good STEM Talk interview with Dr Bredesen available on YouTube, Published on Jun 1, 2016 Episode 12 Dale Bredesen discusses the metabolic factors underlying Alzheimer’s Disease
- Presentation given by Dr Bredesen at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium (IHS) Pre-Conference - Feb. 24, 2016 in Midtown, New York City IHS 2016 -Cognitive Health: Dawn of the Era of Treatable Alzheimer’s Disease
- 36 Holes in the Roof, comes with a very nice illustrative video, published Mar 25, 2015 36 ‘Holes in the Roof’ The Dawn of the Era of Treatable and Preventable Alzheimer’s Disease
- Dr Bredesen's presentation at the Ancestral Health Symposium in August 2016 (AHS16) AHS16 - Dale Bredesen - ApoE4 Mechanistics
- Dr Gundry's interview with Dr Bredesen, published on Aug 21, 2017 Dr. Steven Gundry interviews Dr Dale Bredesen about "The End of Alzheimer's"
- Dr Mercola's interview with Dr Bredesen, with a fair discussion of ApoE4, Published on Aug 25, 2017, Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Bredesen About ReCODE Protocol
- Dr Perlmutter, author of "The Grain Brain" interviewed Dr Bredesen on Dec 4, 2017. Dr Bredesen also took questions from the audience. Dr Perlmutter and Dr Bredesen
- Dr Rhonda Patrick interview with Dr Bredesen, posted October 1, 2018. This link not only provides a video to the interview, but also a written summary, transcript, glossary, and a timeline to go directly to a specific discussion point with supporting links. Dr. Dale Bredesen on Preventing and Reversing Alzheimer's Disease
- Presentation given by Dr Bredesen at the Center for Discovery, published on Oct 22, 2018 The Complexity Gap & 21st Century Medicine
- Interview with Dr Bredesen posted May 2019, during which he cites a few updates to the protocol as cited in his book The End of Alzheimer's. Dr Dale-Bredesen and the End of Alzheimer's, How You can prevent it, and hope for all degenerative disease Differences noted:
- He cites 6 types of Alzheimer's: (1) inflammatory (2) atrophic (1.5) glycotoxic (3) toxic (4) vascular and (5) traumatic. Vascular and traumatic are new since publication of his book
- In his markers for glycotoxicity, he cites fasted insulin of 5.0 (his book cites 4.5) or lower and HbA1c 4.5 to 5.2 (the book cites less than 5.6)
- Dr Bredesen said that the Big Four to avoid are: grains, simple carbs, dairy, and lectins. Pro-inflammatory lectins have been added since publication of his book.
- He added another mold/mycotoxin to his list: Wallemia. The big 5 molds are now: Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Chaetomium, and Wallemia.
Dr Bredesen's Papers
- The first version of Dr Bredesen’s protocol (which is similar to the above) can be found in his paper: Reversal of cognitive decline: A novel therapeutic program, published September 2014, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25324467
Subsequent papers of Dr Bredesen do not address his protocol, but further examine his findings. They include:
- Metabolic profiling distinguishes three subtypes of Alzheimer's disease, published in August 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26343025
- Direct Transcriptional Effects of Apolipoprotein E published January 2016, Dr Bredesen is co-author. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26791201
- Inhalational Alzheimer’s Disease: An unrecognized – and treatable epidemic, published February 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4789584/
- Transcriptional Effects of ApoE4: Relevance to Alzheimer's Disease, published September 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28879423
This paper addresses the common criticism that the original paper only covered a small number of patients. This paper documents improvement in cognition of 100 patients treated by several different physicians thus providing further support for a randomized, controlled clinical trial of the protocol and overall approach:
- Reversal of Cognitive Decline: 100 Patients, published October 2018. https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/reversal-of-cognitive-decline-100-patients-2161-0460-1000450.pdf