How to Help the Brain Regenerate | Dr. Kat Toups Shows The Way

Adiel Gorel

Prevent and Treat Dementia With Promising Research

Most of us have seen a loved one become forgetful, suffer mental lapses, and then become progressively more mentally infirm with age. It can be horrifying to see a parent or someone we love deteriorating in this way, and it can be equally horrifying to imagine that a similar scenario lies in wait for us in the future. Is mental decline something that we must resign ourselves to? Is dementia something that progresses only in one direction or can it be reversed? The research of Dr. Kat Toups suggests otherwise and holds out hope for rapidly aging populations everywhere.

“Dementia is not a death sentence.”

Functional medicine psychiatrist and researcher Dr. Kat Toups has been on my podcast earlier to tell her own story. She started to experience symptoms of dementia at just age 50 – memory loss, difficulty performing regular functions, brain fog, and so on. At the time she made changes to her life to resolve inflammation and then turned things around for herself to actually reverse her dementia. She realized that dementia is not a death sentence, as she told me – something that so many can take heart from.
This reversal of cognitive decline is something that Dr. Toups has studied extensively, having worked with people that have dementia and Alzheimer’s. She speaks at length about the clinical trial that she and her colleagues Dr. Dale Bredesen, Dr. Ann Hathaway, and Dr. Deborah Gordon had published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease recently. By conducting research on 25 people with mild symptoms, they found changes that were surprising but also hugely gratifying. After nine months, as many as 84% of those that participated in the study showed improvement. Several of them were also able to return to work, which was otherwise not possible due to the condition.

Nutrition, exercise, software – a multipronged approach.

Reducing the intake of inflammatory foods was seen to make a positive difference. A grain-free, dairy-free, whole food, organic, paleo-type diet with free-range meat, chicken, fish, lots of veggies, and healthy fats can significantly reduce inflammation. According to Dr. Toups, it isn’t just what people eat, but also when they eat that is important. Reducing the window for calorie consumption is also seen to make a difference.
Exercise is another important factor that contributed to the improvements in the study participants because of the way it increases BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor. All patients would exercise six days a week, doing a combination of strength training, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), balance training, aerobics, and so on.  
Another aspect was brain training. The study participants were exercising not just their bodies but also challenging their brains, literally forcing them to work out. Dr. Toups speaks about a program called Brain HQ that can be used on a computer or handheld device. In just a few minutes each day, this trains the brain on a lot of different domains and gets progressively harder as the user becomes more proficient. 
It is true that a lot of drugs professing to ‘cure’ Alzheimer’s or dementia have been ineffective or controversial. However, this study by Dr. Toups and her colleagues does hold out tremendous promise. Study participants underwent a battery of tests before and after the study, and a very significant number showed improvements. Their brain scans before and after the study actually showed that their brains had grown; that the hippocampus was bigger. Don’t miss this enlightening conversation with Dr. Toups about her research and more. 
Adiel Gorel

Leave a Reply Text