Dr. Bredesen recommends everyone get a “Cognoscopy” after age 45 as a preventative brain health measure. The Cognoscopy includes the lab tests and assessments needed to generate a personalized ReCODE Report™. Dr. Bredesen’s algorithm crunches your medical data to create a ReCODE Report™ that identifies your subtype and underlying issues that can be addressed with diet, lifestyle, supplements, and medical therapies.
I happen to be in Alzheimer’s prevention mode, leveraging the most cost-effective lifestyle choices and therapies for optimizing my own health. I’ll share some of my thinking as I shop and navigate investing in the ReCODE Protocol™ for myself some of the folks I coach. None of the following is by any means a sales pitch. I’m just describing available options.
The two official options for launching your personal ReCODE Protocol™ with a Cognoscopy and ReCODE Report™:
- Select AHNP’s “ReCODE” program—a combination of Dr. Bredesen’s basic lab tests and a single ReCODE Report™ for $1,399. The one-time “ReCODE” program is recommended for people at the stage of prevention or with very early signs of cognitive decline. (You may contact AHNP at firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of the included lab tests as I’m not allowed to post that information here.)
- Or sign up for AHNP’s $75/month “ReVERSE” subscription for unlimited ReCODE Reports™, access to monthly live online town halls with Dr. Bredesen and his colleagues, and a directory of Bredesen-trained healthcare practitioners. The monthly ReCODE Reports™ subscription requires a minimum of 12 months—a $900+ commitment. To complete the needed blood tests and assessments to generate ReCODE Reports™, you may work with your primary care physician and/or Bredesen-trained practitioner. Your existing health insurance may cover some of the lab tests, then you would need to pay out-of-pocket for remaining necessary tests. Or order a basic suite of ReCODE™ labs for an additional $1,099 through AHNP with a ReCODE™ subscription. The “ReVERSE” program is recommended for people experiencing cognitive decline.
An exemplar way to begin your personal ReCODE Protocol™ is enroll in the appropriate option 1 or 2, complete the lab tests and assessments, meet twice with a ReCODE Qualified™ doctor, and meet twice with a Bredesen-trained health coach. Expect to invest $2,500 or more to start identifying root causes of cognitive decline and to jump-start living in a way that increases your chance for a long, healthy life while diminishing your risk of dementia.
I understand how many people, including retirees on a modest fixed income, may be keen on preventing cognitive decline, yet feel they cannot afford either of the aforementioned. I have reached out to two different people at AHNP to request a lower-priced option for a single ReCODE Report™ with the pivotal lab tests beyond what are likely covered by Medicare or common health insurance. In November 2018, I was informed that AHNP is working toward getting insurance and possibly Medicare coverage for the ReCODE™ program and that this will “take time”. Unfortunately, I imagine it will take years. I will continue to advocate for people without ample financial resources and I’ll update this page when I receive news of insurance reimbursement.
3. The third option when the full Cognoscopy and ReCODE Protocol™ seem out of your financial reach:
How you proceed on the third option depends on your budgetary constraints and whether or not you have a high risk for Alzheimer’s or are already experiencing symptoms of dementia.
If you are at the stage of prevention:
When you are not yet experiencing cognitive symptoms, have an average risk of Alzheimer’s, then you have a longer timeline. When, in addition, you truly do not have money to spare, you may opt to get started with Dr. Bredesen’s general Ketoflex™ diet and lifestyle recommendations described in “The End of Alzheimer’s” book on your own. Utilize the free resources I provide on this website, along with Dr. Bredesen’s book, to guide you to a more brain healthy life. Your lifestyle choices today dramatically influence your future risk of Alzheimer’s and other chronic diseases.
That said, the ReCODE™ diet and lifestyle is too much for most people to bootstrap on their own and still others may be unaware of what aspects of ReCODE™ they are missing. For affordable expert support to get on the Ketoflex™ eating plan and the full spectrum of ReCODE™ lifestyle modifications for brain healing and optimal overall health, consider joining my group coaching program.
Getting started with lab tests at the stage of prevention:
Ask your doctor to run some of the lab tests listed in Dr. Bredesen’s book. Cognoscopy tests with the best chance to be covered under typical insurance, especially at your annual physical exam, include a lipid panel, comprehensive metabolic panel with fasting plasma glucose, hemoglobin A1c, hs-CRP, TSH, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.
To make a sensible request for ReCODE™ lab tests above, show your doctor Table 2 in “The End of Alzheimer’s” book and offer printouts of Dr. Bredesen’s most relevant research articles [1, 2]. Make your case for additional relevant testing. If you have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, you may be able to justify the medical necessity for an ApoE genetic test. If you question whether you have cognitive symptoms, request a MoCA or other cognitive test. If you have reason to suspect heavy metal toxicity, you may be able to get initial blood mercury, lead, arsenic, zinc, and copper tests. If you have a documented inflammatory issue, use Dr. Bredesen’s book to make your case for additional tests such as homocysteine.
Please know that the full ReCODE Protocol™ includes more testing than most conventional doctors will provide and critical analysis of your medical factors summarized in a ReCODE Report™. To be fully informed about your potential underlying drivers of cognitive decline, you’ll need to pay for a personalized ReCODE Report™–official options 1 or 2 (above).
If, due to limited insurance/high deductible, you’re paying cash for all the lab tests, AHNP’s $1,399 suite of labs plus one-time ReCODE Report™ (option 1) could be cost-effective. (The same suite of labs cost an additional $1,099 after purchasing a 12-month ReCODE program subscription–for $75/mo, option 2.) For comparison, the out-of-pocket cost for a similar, relatively well priced, direct-to-consumer Brain Health Panel is $1,350, yet it doesn’t include an MMP-9 test nor valuable ReCODE Report™ as in the $1,399 “ReCODE” program option.
Deciding whether to invest in more of the ReCODE Protocol™:
For someone in prevention mode, the next step after initial lab testing and implementing a brain healthy diet and lifestyle could be re-testing (after several months or a year) to evaluate progress on out-of-range biomarkers and/or a consultation with a Bredesen-trained doctor.
A ReCODE™ doctor can begin to assess you for underlying medical issues, provide expert feedback on how you’re doing so far with the diet, lifestyle, and lab testing, as well as guide you on the relative urgency of investing to complete your Cognoscopy get a ReCODE Report™.
Consulting with a ReCODE Qualified™ Doctor:
Generally, subscription to the “ReVERSE” program (official option 2 above) is required before a directory of names, locations, and pricing of Bredesen-trained practitioners is revealed to you. If you are cost-constrained, search the internet for a ReCODE™ practitioner in your region or one who offers telemedicine. (Perhaps this is how you found me!) You can also search among doctors certified by the Institute for Functional Medicine [IFM] at this link, by inputting your area then using the advanced search option to select the completed coursework “Advanced Clinical Training: Reversing Cognitive Decline”. (Three Bredesen-trained IFM-Certified practitioners in San Diego appeared in this search made during Feb 2019.)
Although AHNP does not permit me to identify the five ReCODE Qualified™ practitioners whose patients I’ve seen nor the other four ReCODE™ doctors I’m aware of in San Diego, I can inform you that most of them provide a one-time consultation without subscribing to the ReCODE Report™ options #1 or #2 above. A consultation can help you make a more informed decision about how to proceed.
To help make the ReCODE Protocol™ affordable:
For people at the stage of prevention, the diet and lifestyle provide the most bang for your buck. I operate a lean, low-overhead practice to help you with the ReCODE™ diet and lifestyle in a cost-effective way.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with cognitive decline:
When you or your loved one is already experiencing neurodegeneration, your best chance of reversal is comprehensive treatment with the full ReCODE Protocol™ as early as possible. Doing the official full ReCODE Protocol™ means not only eating the Ketoflex™ diet and living a brain-healthy lifestyle, but also getting the Cognoscopy lab tests, being informed by a ReCODE Report™, and having a Bredesen-trained doctor treat underlying medical issues.
We know that Alzheimer’s disease is a terminal condition with (as of early 2019) only one treatment demonstrated to reverse cognitive decline: the ReCODE Protocol™. Make the most of the one life you have with wise financial decisions.
I have always felt the pinch of financial scarcity when seeking help for my own health issues. I genuinely understand how a few thousand dollars can feel like an enormous price tag. Perhaps we can hope for financial assistance in the future: I’ve spoken to one AHNP employee who is advocating for free/sponsored ReCODE Reports™ for very low-income individuals with a family history of Alzheimer’s.
In my opinion, a diagnosis of significant cognitive impairment means it’s time to find money (as possible) for a “ReVERSE” program subscription to ReCODE Reports™ (option 2), a Cognoscopy, MoCA test, volumetric MRI, and a Bredesen-trained doctor’s review of your full clinical picture. It’s also imperative to partner with a Bredesen-trained health coach to overhaul your diet and lifestyle quickly, effectively, and as much as possible to live in a brain healthy way. That’s my thinking, perhaps biased by my occupation, but rooted in sincere compassion for your well-being.
To me, this means utilizing your available funds wisely in order to live your best life. It doesn’t mean getting caught up in innumerable brain supplements and speculative therapies out of fear, despite weak evidence behind their hyped marketing campaigns. It also doesn’t mean throwing money at expensive medical interventions without putting in the effort to improve diet and lifestyle. Supplements and medical interventions alone will not reverse cognitive impairment. This is why Dr. Bredesen credits the health coach as the most important ReCODE™ practitioner because they assist with the essential diet and lifestyle changes.
Examples of cost-conscious navigation of the ReCODE Protocol™:
When you need a MoCA test to document your cognitive progress or need to generate a ReCODE Report™ (neither are included in the “ReVERSE” program fee), you can choose to have a ReCODE Qualified™ health coach (like me) administer them rather than have a doctor do the same for a higher fee. I charge my individual coaching clients only $30 to upload the ~150 data points, gathered from laboratory test results, a MoCA score, and responses to Dr. Bredesen’s evaluation questions, to generate their ReCODE Report™. I charge a nominal $20 fee to administer the MoCA cognitive test and handout the AQ-21 assessment at the beginning or end of a coaching session. (If your MoCA score is near 30, then consider another means of evaluating more subtle cognitive issues as mentioned in my “Don’t forget…” blog.) The MoCA and AQ-21 are important documentation needed in addition to the basic lab tests for generating your ReCODE Report™.
I inform the people I coach of their cost-effective options every step of the way through diet, lifestyle, supplements, lab tests, and more. I respect the unique paths of each person pursuing brain health and help them make the most progress with ReCODE™ within their financial constraints. If what I’ve described above is unclear, here are two general illustrations of paths taken prevent Alzheimer’s disease:
A) A 48-year-old woman reads “The End of Alzheimer’s” and starts the Ketoflex™ diet and lifestyle recommendations, but feels a little overwhelmed and unclear. She enrolls in my Brain Health Revitalization group coaching program and has her primary care physician run the aforementioned basic lab tests within her health insurance coverage. With support from the group coaching, she makes tremendous progress in 3 months toward living the ReCODE™ lifestyle. At her next annual exam, she retests and sees improvements such that all her basic biomarker test results fall within the optimal ranges. These improved test results are associated with marked reductions in her risk for not only Alzheimer’s disease, but also diabetes, coronary artery disease, and Parkinson’s. Less than $300 spent at this point. Plans to consult a doctor within health insurance plan about the risks vs. benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy as a potential preventative measure discussed in the group program. She’s committed to a brain healthy lifestyle and plans to invest in a ReCODE Report™ if/when her health or financial situation changes.
B) A 65-year-old talks to his doctor about having senior moments. A brief cognitive test reveals signs of cognitive impairment and he gets referred to an in-network neurologist. Since one of his parents had Alzheimer’s , he’s seriously motivated to halt or reverse this decline. He goes for option 2. Once subscribed to ReCODE Reports™, he can access a map of Bredesen-trained practitioners and their fees. He shops around to find a local ReCODE Qualified™ doctor and health coach that suits his needs. His doctor utilizes the ReCODE Report and specialized training to uncover and treat physiological issues, deficiencies, and toxicities. He commits to twelve months of the ReCODE™ diet, lifestyle, supplements, and medical interventions needed to restore brain health. ReCODE™ is challenging for him, so he’s grateful to have the support of his wife in collaboration with both a doctor and a coach personalizing the program. After six months, he feels much better physically and a bit sharp mentally, and sees objective improvements in his lab results. He believes the $4000 spent so far has been a good investment, especially if his cognitive assessment and MRI after 12 months on the full ReCODE Protocol™ show improvements.