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Is Your Diet Feeding Alzheimer’s Disease?

Richard S. Isaacson, MD is a Preventive Neurologist who conducts clinical and translational research at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Florida. He founded and directed the first Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic in the United States in 2013 at Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian. He previously served as Assistant Dean of Faculty Development and Associate Professor of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine & NewYork-Presbyterian. A graduate of the accelerated 6-year B.A./M.D. program at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine, Dr. Isaacson specializes in AD risk reduction in patients with no cognitive complaints and a family history of the disease, and pre-clinical AD. His clinical research has shown that individualized clinical management of patients at risk for AD dementia may be an important strategy for optimizing cognitive function and reducing dementia risk. His recent work focuses on developing simple blood tests to make an early diagnosis, and track both disease progression and response to various risk-reducing therapy. He is also helping to launch an NIH-funded trial where people can learn about their risk factors, take free cognitive tests, and get personalized advice powered by artificial intelligence on their cellphones at home at RetainYourBrain.com.


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Why is diet considered one of the most potent tools in protecting the brain against Alzheimer’s disease?

Even though we’ve made enormous strides in Alzheimer’s diagnosis and treatment over the years, your diet is still one of the major keys when it comes to prevention. And for good reason. When it comes to brain health, food isn’t just fuel, it becomes part of you. You literally are what you eat.

I’m excited to welcome Dr. Richard Isaacson, MD, to our show today. Dr. Isaacson is a Preventive Neurologist at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases. In 2013, he founded and directed the first Alzheimer’s prevention clinic in the US. He’s also the author of several books, including The Alzheimer’s Prevention & Treatment Diet: Using Nutrition to Combat the Effects of Alzheimer’s Disease.

You already know a healthy diet is important for your overall health. But the truth is, an unhealthy diet has significant negative effects on your brain, even causing areas like the hippocampus to shrink. If you want to understand how to use nutrition to better your long-term brain health, this episode is for you.

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"Anyone can make a brain healthy choice today to have a cumulative positive effect tomorrow."

Dr. Richard Isaacson

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**This week’s show notes are taken from the video — enjoy!**

  • This is why diet is so important in Alzheimer’s prevention. [4:50]
  • Studies show you only have to eat this many times a week to delay cognitive decline by two years. [6:19]
  • Even though Dr. Isaacson always wanted to be a doctor, this is what got him to focus on the brain and Alzheimer’s disease. [7:48]
  • This has been the focus of Dr. Isaacson’s work over the last decade. [9:22]
  • Here is a glimpse at some of the research Dr. Isaacson is working on to make Alzheimer’s detection quick and easy. [10:29]
  • If you’re worried about cognitive decline, here are some things to look for and be aware of. [13:18]
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia begin in the brain before symptoms, as early as this. [16:21]
  • This is typically how Alzheimer’s and dementia is diagnosed. [18:18]
  • What is the truth about Alzheimer’s being the third type of diabetes. Dr. Isaacson explains the connection. [20:02]
  • These are some of the key principles of eating for your brain health. [21:37]
  • If you’re travelling or busy, try to eat these foods. [23:41]
  • This is how Dr. Isaacson views nutritional supplements. [26:12]
  • Studies show that certain supplements can have this effect on cognitive decline. [28:01]
  • These are the three things Dr. Isaacson recommends for better brain health. [29:41]
  • If you want to learn more about Dr. Isaacson and his research, visit his website, here.
  • To participate in different brain health studies, visit yourbrainstudy.org or retainyourbrain.com.
  • Don’t forget to order Dr. Isaacson’s book, here.

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