Dementia may have worked its way up to the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. I think dementia is particularly devastating because it has such a profound effect on both the patient and their families. The costs of dementia far exceed the cost of heart disease and cancer combined. So, obviously it’s a terribly important personal and public health issue. Unfortunately over 200 drug trials have been done in the last decades with only one oral drug approved (which has very limited benefits) As you recall, the one IV drug approved recently was so controversial that all the independent doctors who recommended the drug not be approved resigned when the FDA approved the drug over their objections. The drug did nothing clinically but made the brain scans look better so that was enough for the FDA.

So, the conventional approach to dementia is for your primary care doctor to possibly run a blood test or two…if they are aggressive you get a brain scan…if they are not you get a referral to a neurologist and he checks a few labs and gives you a pill that’s been around since 1996 that does nothing to the underlying causes of dementia and whos benefits are no longer measurable after 12 weeks. Most doctors will shake their heads and tell you there is really not much that can be done for you. It’s common, it’s progressive and there is really nothing you can do about it.

Luckily there is a neo conventional approach. Dr. Dale Breseden who wrote the book The End Of Alzheimers and who heads the Buck Institute in California understands that dementia is caused by multiple factors therefore one medication is never going to address all the multiple factors and therefore the medication approach alone is never going to be the answer.

Dementia is an epidemic and it increases as populations adopt Western Lifestyles. So if something about our lifestyles is causing dementia…if we change our lifestyles can we affect dementia. Most doctors will say no but they have never tried a program to change lifestyles so they never see any benefits.

Dementia can be broken down into 5 categories…atrophic, inflammatory, toxin related, vascular and traumatic. Each category obviously has to be handled differently. Dr. Breseden has put together a program that other doctors can use that thoroughly evaluates patients for mold, lyme, nutrition, stress, sleep, supplement use etc. and develops a detailed care plan for IMPROVING BRAIN FUNCTION AND BRAIN SIZE. There are programs that will take a brain MRI and measure all the different parts of the brain so when you work on a patient you can actually share with them whether the intervention is working or not. It’s a very holistic approach that I don’t think many health care providers have time or training for.

The RECODE program, as Dr. Breseden has developed it, is a step by step evaluation of the different causes of brain deterioration and a step by step treatment approach based on the testing done. I see a lot of records from neurologists and other doctors… never have I seen anything close to what Dr. Breseden has put together. So here’s the part where I recommend an existing program that you can access locally. Unfortunately, just as there is no Dean Ornish treatment center in Central New York, there is no RECODE program that I know of locally. As an aside, ask your cardiologist if he supported attempts to bring the Dean Ornish program to the area. The Dean Ornish program isa well established, medicare approved approach that uses diet, exercise, and stress management to reverse heart disease without surgery. You would think that with all these local hospitals cranking out the major heart surgeries they would have at least a passing interest in a non surgical approach but nothing doing. Zero point zero interest and I know because I personally tried to bring this program to Syracuse but without support from even one cardiologist (and I wrote to every cardiologist office and all 4 hospitals). I don’t have the patient base to hire all the necessary personnel.

So, no Dean Ornish for the heart but yes to the RECODE program for the brain  because I can do this without outside help. I have just finished the RECODE course which involved hours and hours of studying nutrition, toxicology, gut health, brain imaging, brain training, supplement use etc. I have my Nurse Practitioner, Nancy Popp also getting trained up because it’s a lot of work for the patient and the practitioner but it will be worth it when we make a difference in patient’s lives. I didn’t sign up for this program to make money…we doctors are doing fine thank you even without a raise from medicare or the insurance companies for years. I took this course and will offer this program because it’s a critical health care issue and no one else in the area is offering the program.

I am still working out the costs and program details…some of which will be covered by insurance but whatever the cost is, it’s trivial compared with the tremendous cost of nursing home care or even adult home care. My clinic is already full, I don’t need more patients but local patients need this care and I am going to make it happen. I don’t need a certain number of patients to be successful.

Working on memory loss is not going to be easy. It involves making real changes in lifestyle and I think there will be a fair number of people who simply can’t make the necessary changes but for those patients and families struggling with dementia we finally have real choices. Don’t call my office…check out this link for further info and contact info. By the time this is in print I should be up and running and available through this link.


You don’t have to change doctors. You do not have to join my concierge program. This is a completely separate program for people who have been told…”there is really nothing to be done.” I don’t think that’s true any longer. You can just watch your loved one slip away into that dark night of dementia or you can try something different.

I was struck recently by a comment made by one of my patients. He ran into a local doctor who was prominent in the community but had retired prematurely due to signs of dementia. My patient, very interested in nutrition, suggested to his wife that they embark on a nutritional approach to treat their illness but the family stated they’re going to stick with the conventional approach. Well, the conventional approach is infective medicines, worsening condition over time until the nursing home. Why would you settle for that approach when something else is available? It could be due to inertia but it shouldn’t be due to ignorance anymore, The RECODE program offers you something previously unavailable to Central New York. You want easy? Let’s talk quantum physics but if you want results…check out the RECODE program. It’s your brain, it’s your family, it’s your future…it’s in your hands and it’s up to you!

Until next month…get well and stay well.


Dr. Barry