welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

my story revisited #39-the final answer is....

Image result for organicgreendoctor
yesterday my wife she and i were sitting around being teenagers millennials looking at our phones just chilling out
she said
you know i just ran across the blog you wrote 3 years ago
you should do that one tomorrow for your my story revisited blog
i said
i like to follow my blog chronologically from the beginning as i rewrite them
she said
but you sure had a lot of people read your blog that day and a lot of folks made comments
i said
i want to stay in chronological order since im up to 2011 so far

this morning i reread the blog and the others during that time
i thought
i need to do this one today instead

that day 3 years ago i opened the email from ut southwestern telling me that my amyvid pet scan for the amyloid was positive
that means this is all from alzheimers for sure as sure as one can be in 2017 and in 2020
the good thing was that that means i got into the now well known biogen aducanumab study

now almost 3 years later after being in the study for 25 months getting 25 infusions
18 as it turned out was placebo
7 were the real aducanumab drug

now in about 6 -8 weeks i will restart getting two years of the higher dose aducanumab
which shows some promise in slowing down the disease

i felt great about all this 3 years ago because there was hope
i feel good about all this now 3 years later since there is even more hope

for those who dont know
my story
here is a brief summary

my mother and younger brother died from the disease
my father may have had it when he died
my older brother probably has early alzheimers disease

8 years ago i had a normal memory test when i was seeking my
long term insurance
6 years ago while seeking to be in the normal group for a large
research study called adni i was found to have short term memory loss
on memory testing

this is when i quit working and started the alzheimers drug
aricept or donepezil which slows down the symptoms
but doesnt stop the disease process
if started early it has better and longer effects in slowing these

testing done that was positive were

i carry the apoe4 apoe4 gene that puts me at high risk
maybe 10-20 x increased risk of developing alzheimers disease

testing on my spinal fluid reveals i have low beta amyloid
and high tau levels
this was done 6 years ago
this is associated with alzheimers disease

my mri scans and glucose metabolism pet scans are all normal
early in the disease these can be negative but later
they become positive

i have low b12 levels low vitamin d3 levels
high homocysteine levels
homocysteine if elevated is associated with an increased risk
for heart disease stroke and alzheimers disease

these levels are corrected by taking replacement supplements
under the care of my primary care doctor
my levels are now all normal

i aggressively take care of my health
i follow dr bredesens protocol from his study
reversal of cognitive decline
again under the care of my physicians

so i have been stable now for 6 years
probably no one notices i have a problem
maybe not even my wife she
but i do

i know that i have alzheimers
deep inside my body tells me
that i do

so all of the things i am doing now
i realize they dont stop the disease
it just keeps marching on from one brain cell to the next
they only slow things down some
i know
that in the end this disease wins

i can find something to stop this disease from marching on
for the last 6 years i have been keeping a close eye
on all the research thats going on
looking for the drug that might treat the disease
or at least
slow it down significantly

oh theres real promising stuff out there
it may be a decade or more away
too late for me

beta amyloid is a protein that accumulates in the brain of
a person with alzheimers disease
many feel like its the cause of the disease
remove it or prevent it from accumulating may
prevent or slow down the disease

so three years ago i spotted the aducanumab study
here is a good review of it from ucsf memory center

so for me
it seemed to be the one i was looking far
it seemed to work in a preliminary study called phase 1
folks with my diagnosis had all the bad beta amyloid
which is thought to be the cause of alzheimers
removed from their brains
their amyvid pet scans for the beta amyloid which showed
beta amyloid throughout the brain
after a year of treatment it was all cleared out
these folks memory also improved
thats the true measure
does it make things better

so if this stuff works
it should stop the disease in its tracks
at least remarkably slow it now
a person with it may die from something else
like maybe old age

this was where i was at about a year ago
when i heard this study was coming
i knew i wanted to be in this one

i started the five step process last november
requiring multiple visits to work through the steps
some involving my wife she
i passed all the tests
meaning some of them were abnormal
last week i went up the fifth step
the amyvid pet scan for beta amyloid in the brain

if its positive
i have alzheimers disease for sure
im in the study

if its negative
i am not in the study
i just got a big time reprieve

are you nervous
waiting like this

no i said
this has been going on too long
i also have been open and written and freely talked about
all this
i think it has helped
it has helped to get educational stuff out to folks
many who have now volunteered for research studies

now i did cry when i heard i was accepted just to be considered
to be in the study

as i pulled up my email
there it was from the
alzheimers disease center at ut southwestern

i am sorry to say dr nash
your amyvid pet scan shows that you have amyloid deposits
throughout your brain
i knew this was going to be that way
so it means i have alzheimers disease
especially when you add up my history and other testing

thats the bad news
the good news is that qualifies you to be in the
aducanumab study

as soon as we get all the official confirmations
we will set you up for the infusions of
aducanumab monthly for 18 months then another 3.5 years if it seems
to work
i realize i also may get the placebo for those 18 months
my chances are 33% i will get the placebo
after that i will be able to get the real stuff
either way i am fine with
because eventually i will get the real drug
Image result for organicgreendoctor amyvid
so in this slide above
on the right is what my scan looks like
all the red stuff is amyloid
if i get treatment
in a year my scan will look like that on the left

so am i sad
yes and no
its sort of sad to get this final answer
like being told you got a noncurable cancer
remember alzheimers is usually the true cause of death for those who get it

did i cry
yes i cried yesterday
like when my mom died and my brother died

am i happy
yes i am happy but sad at the same time
i know that i might be able to do something now to slow this down
be involved
with something that may change a lot of folks lives

as of right now
i feel some hope
i am ready to face this new stage in my our lives

i feel like i just won a million dollars
or maybe the lottery

the sad but happy
the organicgreen doctor

so now
there is hope
for me
there is hope
for mr hudson
we are both in a good place

the organicgreen doctor

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