Visit the website of Team Sherzai here: https://teamsherzai.com/
Drs. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai aren’t just saying that cognitive impairment can be halted or reversed.
They’re out there every day doing it and proving it.
The Sherzais run the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University Medical Center and are authors of the book, “The Alzheimer’s Solution.” For the past decade, they’ve focused on treating people with MCI and they are seeing amazing results.
In this first of three videos, I offer highlights from a Facebook Live I did with Team Sherzai, as they call themselves. Today, they explain why they say, very emphatically, that cognitive impairment can be cured.
Here is a transcript of the conversation I have with them in this video.
Me: Particularly for this audience of people with MCI, you say in the book, and this is a very powerful statement, you say, “Research points unequivocally to lifestyle intervention as the cure for cognitive decline.” And you’ve seen this with your patients, so talk about this success and experience you’ve had with your patients.
Dr. Ayesha Sherzai: Oh, my goodness, so there is so much evidence from decades and decades showing that lifestyle has a profound effect on cognitive status, and among people who have been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, a comprehensive lifestyle, which means addressing all of the elements of lifestyle together, can significantly slow down and even reverse cognitive decline.
I can even quote a number of papers that have looked at this relationship. Let’s just take nutrition as an example. We’ve known for a long time from observational studies in populations and even in clinical trials that eating a particular type of a diet, which is unprocessed and mostly plants, an unprocessed plant-based diet can slow down the progression of the disease. And you know, the MIND diet comes to mind. If one adheres to it, it showed that it reduces the risk of the development of Alzheimer’s disease in an MCI population by 53 percent. And even moderate adherence to the diet decreased the risk by 35 percent. Your diet matters a lot.
Let’s take exercise as an example. We have known for a while from clinical trials that people who are in a regimented exercise program not only slow down the progression of the disease, but they were able to reverse cognitive decline. There was a study that looked at a little over 600 people. The cases where people were actively intervening in that group were exercising about 30 minutes a day, for about three or four days a week, and it was pretty strenuous, strenuous exercises and they compared them to those who essentially didn’t exercise or maybe walked a little bit once in a while and the difference was significant. Those who were in a regimented exercise program, people who were diagnosed with MCI, 47 percent of them were able to completely reverse their disease. Their neurophsychological test scores became normal.
So looking at sleep for example. Sleep is the most important time in our day. It’s the time when the brain actually starts healing itself and cleansing itself. And people who have sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea, they tend to have a higher level of amyloid protein, the bad protein that is associated with cognitive decline in their cerebral spinal fluid. So sleep is extremely important. And then optimization of cognitive activity, keeping your mind active is also very critical.
So when you look at communities and populations who have addressed these risk factors, they have very low risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and even if they do have mild costive impairment, they can significantly slow down the progression.
Dr. Dean Sherzai: And in our own clinic we see this on a daily basis. For the past 10 years we’ve been focusing on MCI, on mild cognitive impairment patients, because we really think that population is most amenable to reversing. And of course, the earlier you get somebody, the more likely that you will stop it ever developing the disease. But even MCI because it becomes its own marker, because when somebody has MCI they have memory problems so they come to you, at that stage we’ve seen repeatedly when we reverse their diet and exercise and all that pattern, and address their particular weaknesses. Someone could be eating all the plant-based food they want but if if they have sleep apnea and they don’t address the sleep apnea, forget about it, that’s going to start affecting the brain. So if you address their particular weaknesses and build upon their strengths, repeatedly we’ve seen this reversal of cognitive decline in our own clinic. So the data has been there. The data we’ve actually laid out in the book, as far as big studies throughout the country, and then we saw in our clinics in Loma Linda and other places, definitely further corroborated and supported that fact significantly.
Me: When I read your book, there’s two things in particular that rocked my world, and the first one was just your willingness to say this can be reversed, these things that we’re showing you, it can be reversed. I’m honored to have the opportunity to talk to you. I get the opportunity to talk to a lot of the leading neurologists in the country and they’re afraid to say that and it leaves people without hope because they will not tell people, this can be reversed, and you stand right up and you say that. Why don’t others?
Dr. Dean Sherzai: So first of all, we wouldn’t say things that are not fact and science based. For example, some things that other people say, like for example, we won’t name the doctor that says he has reversed Alzheimer’s. He has not. He has not been able to reproduce that, and we wouldn’t say that. You can slow the disease down and studies have shown that, that even if you have Alzheimer’s, with a comprehensive approach you can slow it down.
But with MCI, it’s not just us, others have shown that MCI can be reversed, as Ayesha just quoted. Just nutrition was shown reverse the disease. Just exercise by itself. Now you add exercise and nutrition, I’m talking about a personalized approach to it, plus all these other variables, absolutely you can reverse this at the MCI stage.
P:S: If you want to watch the entire hour-long Facebook Live I did with the Sherzais, it’s available here: https://youtu.be/-1PMveo77BY