Cognitive Health & Neurodegenerative Disease

Patients often tell me they would like to live as long as they reasonably can, provided they do not suffer cognitive decline. More often than not, people care less about how long they live and more about how well they live, specifically as it pertains to their brain.

Anyone who has seen a relative suffer from a neurodegenerative disease – such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease – can no doubt relate to the debilitating nature of these conditions. Unlike heart disease and cancer, which kill directly, the fatal impact of neurodegenerative diseases is often indirect.

While much is still unknown, data suggest that there are indeed things that can be done to ward off one’s risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease. Aside from genetics, the next most common risk factor we see is vascular disease.

The adage “what’s good for the heart is good for the brain” rings true here. Meaning, the factors that increase your risk for atherosclerosis – such as high blood pressure, smoking, and elevated apoB – also increase the risk of dementia.

Below is a collection of past articles and podcasts exploring such tactics. My hope is that this content can serve as helpful resources to dive deeper into this topic as well as support your ongoing longevity journey.

Cognitive Health & Neurodegenerative Disease

#18 – Richard Isaacson, M.D.: Alzheimer’s prevention

“Anyone with a brain is at risk for Alzheimer’s.” —Richard Isaacson

Targeting senescent cells for cognitive health

With the recent publication of the first clinical trial of senolytics for AD treatment, popular interest in these drugs has swelled, but is the excitement justified?

The MIND diet on trial: can diet choices impact cognitive health?

The results were lackluster, but a closer look leaves room for other explanations

Improving memory with transcranial neuromodulation

Research shows that noninvasive neuromodulation can improve performance in memory tasks. Is this technique simply a research tool, or is it a therapy of the future?

Can treating hearing loss improve cognitive trajectories and reduce dementia risk?

Age-related hearing loss is very common and has long been known to correlate strongly with cognitive decline. A just-published randomized trial sought to evaluate causality in this association. What do we know now?

#258 – AMA #48: Blood pressure—how to measure, manage, and treat high blood pressure

If you care about your brain, if you care about your heart and if you care about your kidneys, you need low blood pressure. I think we can say that as confidently as we can say almost anything in medicine.” —Peter Attia

#257 ‒ Cognitive decline, neurodegeneration, and head injuries: mitigation and prevention strategies, supplements, and more | Tommy Wood, M.D., Ph.D.

If you’re trying to maintain a basic set of cognitive functions, [it is important] to actively work on ways to increase headroom, increase absolute capacity throughout the lifespan. Because at some point capacity will decrease, but you want to push that out as far as you can.” —Tommy Wood

#255 ‒ Latest therapeutics in CVD, APOE’s role in Alzheimer’s disease and CVD, familial hypercholesterolemia, and more | John Kastelein, M.D., Ph.D.

“One of the things that is so dangerous about this disorder is that the plaque that you get in FH is a soft plaque.” —John Kastelein

#252 ‒ Latest insights on Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, exercise, nutrition, and fasting | Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D.

My perspective has shifted as any scientist that’s following data should… When new data comes out, you have to reassess things.” —Rhonda Patrick

#251 – AMA #46: Optimizing brain health: Alzheimer’s disease risk factors, APOE, prevention strategies, and more

The bottom line here is the earlier you were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the higher your risk of dementia.” —Peter Attia

Screen time and children’s cognition: a question of context

A recent review suggests that screen time may not be as bad for infants as many of us may think – but only under the right circumstances.

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