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, April 24, 2024

my story revisited #205-the future is brighter


when i spoke last year at the santa barbara walk to end alzheimers i mentioned there was hope for the future for alzheimers patients
when i wrote the blog below in 2015 there was hope 
now that hope is brighter

instead of guessing if one has alzheimers and instead of doing a spinal tap to find out for sure or doing an amyloid pet scan for amyloid plaques real soon a blood test will be used instead as part of the workup with a high degree of accuracy to help diagnose alzheimers 

that spinal fluid result in the blog below is my spinal fluid test for amyloid and tau
that * shows i am just at the borderline of being positive for alzheimers disease in 2010
i was in the mild cognitive impairment stage which correlates with my neuropsychological memory tests

my amyloid pet scan if i had it done in 2010 would have been positive
in 2024 my amyloid pet scan is negative after taking 34 months of aduhelm

then in 2015 the antiamyloid antibodies were just entering the initial phase of clinical trials
i was two years away from starting aduhelm an antiamyloid infusion that removes amyloid plaque from the brain
now leqembi and soon donanemab which both work better than aduhelm are or will be available for treatment only in the early or beginnings of the disease
if you wait too long they dont help

now in clinical trials available in many alzheimers research centers they are giving an antitau drug that removes the tau tangles from the brain

we have made progress since 2015
by 2030 we will be diagnosing using blood tests and will probably be treating alzheimers with 3 types of drugs
antiamyloid drugs
antitau drugs
antiinflammatory drugs

this trifecta will probably slow down the disease

i think thats true
the future is brighter than it was 5 years ago
progress has been made

as i am preparing for two large presentations on alzheimers disease
i stopped
contemplated how much things have changed in the
last 5 years
how much potential there is for the future
those with memory loss due to alzheimers disease

when i was diagnosed with amnestic mild cognitive impairment
that may be due to alzheimers disease five years ago
it was sort of overwhelming
i could only think of what it was like as my mother and
younger brother were at my stage
they probably werent as aware like i am of the problem
what the future held for them
an awful one

all i could think was what course they had
how bad it was for the family and friends and
for themselves

i worried a lot about my future
my wife she and i our future
what it would be like

now as i look back and can look forward
i feel more hope
thats important

personally i feel better both physically and mentally
my cholesterol and blood pressure are under good control
my weight and physical conditioning is under good control
my diet is the best its ever been
i take a boatload of supplements that have been implied
to help slow things down but not definitely proven to help
i stay very active socially mentally and physically
i drink red wine each night and 2-3 cups of coffee each morning
both may help
i dont sleep well at night 5-6 hours of sleep is all i get
luckily since im retired i am able to do an afternoon nap
which helps immensely
maybe we all should be doing this
im happy and contented
i still take aricept (donepezil) and plan to continue it long term
i am afraid to stop it as i might deteriorate some with my memory
if do

looking forward
for myself and others

memory issue folks can now get a very thorough evaluation
so that they will know why they have memory loss
if its alzheimers disease
a good history and physical
labs for anemia chemistry abnormalities like electrolytes kidney
and liver functions and glucose vitamin b12 vitamin d folate
homocysteine levels which are associated with an increased
risk of alzheimers stroke and heart attacks
thyroid levels
these lab abnormalities are all treatable
Image result for alzheimer's memory test

memory tests easily done in the office and online
mri scans
genetic tests for dominant alzheimers and for apoe 4 gene

Image result for spinal fluid for beta amyloid and tau protein organicgreendoctor.com
spinal fluid analysis for the bad beta amyloid and tau protein

Image result for amyvid pet scan
amyvid pet scan of the brain for the presence of beta amyloid
if yours is positive there is a good chance you will get or now have
alzheimers disease
Image result for alzheimer's blood test
coming soon within maybe 2 years a blood test that may be
90-100% accurate in telling you if you got it or not

so soon
like now you can find out if you have it if you have symptoms
some of the tests arent covered by insurance

then once diagnosed
if not sooner
get your self motivated to do those things to stay healthy
get on medicine like aricept as it may slow down symptoms
but at times the side effects suck big time
look into the future
real soon
there may be a pill called a bace inhibitor that you take
and or
a vaccine given as a regular infusion
both if  they are proven to help
will prevent or slow down the disease
you will be able to take them long term

i see hope in the future for myself my siblings
those of you affected now or soon to be
the most important thing to be doing to prevent or slow down alzheimers is prevention
its number one
do all those healthy things mentioned above
get diagnosed early maybe even before symptoms start
then seek treatment 
as time goes on more and more treatments will be available

i probably will be at a stage in the disease where i will be able to receive treatment with antitau drugs or antiinflammatory drugs before my disease takes off

note the bace inhibitor drugs mentioned in the old blog above didnt work 
in fact they made things worse

i dont do all of the supplements i use to take
i only take those based on abnormal labs
eg b12 folate vitamin d

i aggressively treat my cholesterol and blood pressure
note i am off blood pressure meds since i stopped drinking caffeinated coffee
i eat a mind diet mostly 
i stay active mentally physically and socially

join us in helping to fight this disease
we have a much brighter future ahead

the organicgreen doctor

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