I have enormous respect for the self-motivated souls who take their health into their own hands by implementing the diet and lifestyle of the ReCODE Protocol™ themselves..with one caveat.
Don’t skip getting evaluated for cognitive impairment to determine whether further medical evaluation is warranted. This is especially true for the health boot-strappers who perceive that they’re already having “senior moments”.
It is common for people to either over- or under-estimate the extent of their memory issues. Under-estimation risks not getting treatment early enough when the ReCODE Protocol™ is the most effective and success rates are highest. On the other end, why live with undue worry by over-estimating cognitive blips? Instead, it is wise to get an objective measure of cognitive functioning via a clinically-validated cognitive assessment.
Understandably, most people are hesitant to take a cognitive test. When I meet someone to administer a MoCA test, before I can ease their mind a bit, I usually sense emotion from subtle apprehension to pained anxiety over the possibility of not hitting the “normal” score range. I see nervousness in those who end up breezing through the test.
It’s common for people who initially describe their memory issues as quite modest to perform on the test in a way that reflects much more significant cognitive impairment. Recognizing cognitive decline could jeopardize how one sees themself and their future. Although it might initially seem less stressful to tune out how much cognitive functioning has actually been declining, having impairment identified as early as possible provides the best chance for complete reversal of cognitive decline via the ReCODE Protocol™ and/or proper diagnosis by a physician to guide the most effective treatment.
Some Cognitive Test Options
A few of the least expensive, least time-consuming clinically-validated cognitive assessments for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer’s include the Mini-Cog, Ace-R, and MoCA. Even if you aren’t aware of any memory or cognition troubles, Dr. Bredesen recommends that everyone over the age of 45 years take the MoCA test as part of their “cognoscopy” to establish a baseline for future comparison. If you speak with your doctor about memory loss, insurance should cover one of these tests. I am MoCA-certified and offer to administer the MoCA test for $20 before or after a biweekly meetup or coaching session.
An additional cognitive assessment is more appropriate for those with more subtle, subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) or for high achievers who perform above average but below their previous baseline. Your doctor may be able to order a neurocognitive evaluation for you. Another option is CNS Vital Signs—an online test you can take from home that evaluates fifty evidence-based markers of cognitive functioning. CNS Vital Signs may be covered by your health insurance. If not, I make this online option available to my clients for $45. Alternatively, you can get an overall percentile result of memory and executive functioning for your age with a paid subscription to the brain training applications BrainHQ or Luminosity. Any of these four options can provide evaluations in different cognitive domains and a baseline for future comparison.
Kudos to all of you who have braved getting a cognitive evaluation
It’s risky to implement the diet and lifestyle of ReCODE™ on your own if you cannot say BOTH you’re happy with your cognitive test results AND your cognition in daily life. If both are not true for you, it’s time to consult a doctor. Dr. Bredesen tells us that there is always a reason for memory and/or cognition losses. Not all of the causes can be fixed with diet and lifestyle alone.
If the test reveals a cognitive concern, please seek further medical evaluation
Besides the gradual onset of Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss can be due to Lewy Body dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, excessive alcohol use, brain tumors, adverse effects of prescription drugs, head injury, or other causes. Cognitive symptoms need a medical work-up and diagnosis to guide the course of treatment. Non-Alzheimer’s etiology may not be helped by the ReCODE Protocol™ and may require a different intervention.
At the prevention phase, you can take steps to improve your brain health via diet and lifestyle with your own due diligence. But if you’re experiencing cognitive decline, the full ReCODE Protocol™ is in order with guidance from a ReCODE Report™ and ReCODE Qualified™ practitioner. Please don’t skip taking a cognitive test to know where you stand and help you choose the path forward.