Dr. Bredesen recommends everyone get a “cognoscopy” after age 45 as a preventative measure for optimizing and sustaining brain health. His 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™ identifying 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 and for some of the folks I coach. I’ll describe available alternatives, but I’m not making a sales pitch. I do NOT receive any kick-backs if you sign up for an option below.
Two official options for a Cognoscopy and ReCODE Report™
#1. 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 preventionor with only the earliest suspicion of cognitive issues. (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.)
#2. 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. “ReVERSE™” 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 physician and existing health insurance for some of the lab tests, then you would need to pay out-of-pocket for remaining necessary tests. Or order the basic suite of ReCODE™ lab tests for an additional $1,099 through AHNP (around $2,000 total). The “ReVERSE™” program is recommended for people experiencing cognitive impairment.
An exemplar way to begin your personal ReCODE Protocol™ is to enroll in the appropriate option 1 or 2, complete the lab tests and assessments, have a consultation with a ReCODE Qualified™ doctor, and meet at least twice with a Bredesen-trained health coach. This will start identifying root causes of cognitive decline (and other chronic disease) and jump-start living in a way that increases your chance for a long, healthy life while diminishing your risk of dementia.
#3. When a cognoscopy and ReCODE Report™ seem out of your financial reach and you are at the stage of prevention
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.
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 cognitive problems.
When you starting without any cognitive symptoms and have an average risk of Alzheimer’s, then chances are good that you have a longer prevention timeline. In this case, when you truly do not have money to spare, you may opt to get started with the 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 begin guiding you towards 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 most people go unaware of the 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 or getting one-on-one support. Here’s a two-minute video clip of Dr. Bredesen explaining the critical difference that coaching can make.
Getting started with lab tests at the stage of prevention
*If you already have cognitive symptoms, skip ahead to the section below the horizontal line further down.*
One avenue is to ask your doctor to run some of the lab tests listed in Dr. Bredesen’s 2017 book. The cognoscopy lab tests with the best chance to be covered under typical insurance, especially during 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 reasonable request for the 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 [print 1, and 2].
Make your case for additional relevant testing. If you have a strong family history of Alzheimer’s disease, you may be able to justify the medical necessity for an ApoE genetic test along with genetic counseling. 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 a full cognoscopy includes more elaborate testing than most conventional doctors will provide. Additional medical factors get analyzed and summarized in a ReCODE Report™. To be fully informed about your potential underlying drivers of cognitive decline, invest in a personalized ReCODE Report™–official options 1 or 2 (above).
The second avenue is direct-to-consumer lab testing. AHNP’s $1,399 ReCODE™ program comes with a suite of labs plus a single ReCODE Report™ (option #1 above) could be cost-effective if, due to limited health insurance or a high deductible, you’re paying cash for lab testing. (The same suite of labs cost an additional $1,099 after purchasing a 12-month ReVERSE™ 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 this panel does NOT include an MMP-9 blood test NOR the valuable ReCODE Report™ as in the $1,399 “ReCODE™” or $1,099 add-on to “ReVERSE™”.
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 six months or a year) to evaluate progress on out-of-range biomarkers and/or a consultation with a Bredesen-trained doctor for a perspective on your overall clinical picture. A ReCODE Qualified™ doctor can begin to assess you for underlying medical issues, provide expert feedback on how you’re doing thus far with the diet, lifestyle, and lab testing, as well as guide you on the relative urgency of investing more to complete your Cognoscopy, obtain a personalized ReCODE Report™, and/or possibly get medical treatment(s).
Finding and Consulting with a ReCODE Qualified™ Doctor
Access to a directory of names, locations, and pricing of Bredesen-trained practitioners is granted for one month to “ReCODE™” program paid subscribers and for at least a year to “ReVERSE™” program paid subscribers.
If you are cost-constrained, search the internet for a Bredesen ReCODE Protocol™ practitioner either in your region or one who offers telemedicine. (Perhaps this is how you found me!)
AHNP Health does not permit me to identify the five ReCODE Qualified™ doctors and three other ReCODE Qualified™ practitioners whose San Diego patients I’m worked with (so please do not ask me to name them). Instead, you can find half of them on the ApoE4 Wiki listing. You can also search among practitioners certified by the Institute for Functional Medicine [IFM] at this link, by inputting your area then using the advanced search option to select those who have completed the coursework called “Advanced Clinical Training: Reversing Cognitive Decline”. Three San Diego Bredesen-trained practitioners appeared in my IFM practitioner search in 2019. While I have certifiably completed the Advanced Clinical Training: Reversing Cognitive Decline” coursework, my name “Jen Felix” doesn’t appear in the search results because my functional medicine coaching training was through FMCA–which is affiliated with IFM–and I haven’t completed additional IFM training.)
I can inform you that most of the Bredesen-trained practitioners provide a one-time consultation without requiring subscription to options #1 or #2 above. A consultation can help you make a more informed decision about how to proceed.
I help make the ReCODE Protocol™ more affordable
For people at the stage of prevention, the Ketoflex diet™ and ReCODE™ lifestyle provide the most bang for your buck. I operate a lean, low-overhead practice to help you with the ReCODE Protocol™ diet and lifestyle in a cost-effective way.
When you need test results inputted to generate a ReCODE Report™ (neither are included in the “ReVERSE” program subscription), you can choose to have a ReCODE Qualified™ health coach (like me) upload them rather than have a doctor do the same for a higher fee. I charge my individual coaching clients $30-75 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™.
When you need a MoCA test to document your cognitive progress, I charge a $20-30 fee to administer this cognitive assessment at the end of a coaching session or support group meeting. (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™.
One my primary roles is to review each person’s ReCODE Report™ analysis with them. The Report provides guidance on the most important personalized diet and lifestyle changes for their condition. I love when coachees utilize my broad education and training to fill in any gaps in their understanding of why and how the ReCODE Report™ and their doctor has suggested taking certain steps. It’s less costly to utilize my time in a health coaching session for this than during a doctor’s appointment. 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 you’ve already have cognitive impairment
When you or your loved one is already experiencing neurodegeneration, your best chance of stopping further decline or some reversal is comprehensive treatment with the full ReCODE Protocol™ as early as possible. Better outcomes are more likely the sooner you begin and with both subscription to the ReVERSE™ program and commitment to the full Bredesen Protocol™. This means not only eating the Ketoflex 12/3™ way and living a brain-healthy lifestyle, but also getting all the basic 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 by investing wisely.
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 Health 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 clinical evaluation along with continued care. It’s also imperative to partner with a Bredesen-trained health coach to overhaul your diet and lifestyle quickly, effectively, and in a more brain healthy way than you can manage alone. 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 over-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. There are no quick fixes. 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 (watch Dr. Bredesen explain this in the video clip above).
Two general illustrations of cost-conscious navigation of the ReCODE Protocol™:
A) A 48-year-old woman reads “The End of Alzheimer’s” and starts the Ketoflex™ diet and lifestyle recommendations as much as she can figure out alone. Doing this alone is slow and internet searches only make it more overwhelming and unclear. So, she enrolls in my Brain Health Revitalization group coaching program and has her primary care physician run the aforementioned basic lab tests utilizing her in-network health insurance coverage. With support from the group coaching, she makes tremendous progress in three months toward living the ReCODE™ lifestyle. Within a tight budget and with group support, she starts implementing a new lifestyle change each week. She starts preparing more of the provided Ketoflex recipes and eating out less, nearly eliminates added sugar, fits in a few minutes of guided meditation daily using one of the inexpensive meditation apps discussed, creatively adds in more free/low-cost physical activities, requests a home sleep study under her HMO insurance, and begins reducing her toxin exposure including switching to affordable less toxic product recommendations in the program. At her next annual exam, she retests and sees improvements such that almost all of her basic biomarker test results lie within the optimal ranges. These improved test results are associated with marked reductions in her risk for not only Alzheimer’s disease, but also for diabetes, coronary artery disease, and Parkinson’s. She can hardly imagine a better return on investment of the less than $450 spent for extra brain health over the past three months. She plans to consult a doctor within her health insurance network about the risks/costs 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™ and/or ReCODE™ doctor visit(s) if/when her health or financial situation changes.
B) A 65-year-old talks to his primary care physician 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. Therefore, he invests in the ReVERSE™ program, option 2 above. Once subscribed, he can access a map of Bredesen-trained practitioners and their fees. He shops around to find a local ReCODE Qualified™ doctor that accepts Medicare and a health coach. He commits to twelve months of the ReCODE Protocol™ diet, lifestyle, supplements, and medical interventions recommended to restore brain health. The program is challenging for him, so he’s grateful to have the support of his wife, doctor, and a coach. Over months, his Bredesen-trained doctor uncover and treat physiological issues, deficiencies, and toxicities driving his cognitive decline. With the help of his ReCODE coach, the daily decisions to eat better, move more, and train his brain get easier overtime. After six months, he feels renewed physically and a bit sharper mentally, plus he sees objective improvements in his lab results and no longer needs three of his four prescriptions. He believes the $4500 spent so far has been a life-enriching investment and will be profoundly rewarding if his repeat cognitive assessment and MRI after 12 months on the entire ReCODE Protocol™ show improvements.