Use It or Lose It: Reversing Alzheimer's with the TEAM Protocol

Peggy Sarlin’s Awakening from Alzheimer's interview with Dr. Vincent Fortanasce

Dr. Fortanasce believes the reason we get Alzheimer’s is from our SAD lifestyle.

  • S is for sedentary, stressful and sleepless.
  • A is for aging population with the average age of death at 81.
  • D is for diet full of trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. (Amounts of high fructose corn syrup have risen from 6,000 tons in 1980 to 9,600,000 tons today).

He has developed the DEAR program with

  • D standing for changing one’s diet,
  • E for changing one’s exercise,
  • A for accentuating the brain’s reserve, and
  • R for rest and recovery.

He has also developed the TEAM program for Treatment of Early Onset Alzheimer’s and Mild cognitive impairment.

Habits we develop as children follow us into adulthood. In the development of Alzheimer’s the initial degeneration begins in the hippocampus. Recent memories are stored in the hippocampus. The key is to “Use It or Lose It.” To address this, do something novel that is not automatic for you. Secondly, do something emotional. Research and autopsies show it is key to have social interactions. The TEAM protocol is designed to stimulate the limbic system of the brain where the hippocampus resides. All the five senses feed into the hippocampus.

During the eight week program, step one is isometric exercise. Simply tighten your fists or push one hand against the other, etc. Relax and repeat six times. Then do the same with your legs. Do this for 6-10 minutes.

Step two: Stimulate the sense of smell. Select three things for the patient to smell. After smelling the first item the patient is asked “What memory does this bring back?” Have a discussion about it. Repeat for the remaining two items. The memories can be hurtful or happy.

Step three: Stimulate the sense of taste. Repeat activities in Step two using three foods.

Step four: Music. Pick their favorite songs. Sing along with them and let them end by singing alone. What memories are stimulated?

Step five: Photographs. Have the patient look at the photos and recall the activity and, most importantly, the emotion.

Step six: Touch. The human touch is essential for good brain health.

Do the activities naturally with a caregiver, family and friends that are around. It can end up lasting four to five hours a day and is creating a social network for the patient. Tests are given before starting the program, at four weeks and at the end of the eight weeks. On average, patients score 3 out of 10 to start and 7.5 out of 10 after the eight weeks.

For supplements, Dr. Fortanasce recommends fish oil, turmeric, alpha lipoic acid, B12, folate, Juice Plus, and 4-8 ounces of wine with resveratrol. All the details of the DEAR and TEAM program can be found in his book The Anti-Alzheimer’s Prescription.

About the Author

Dr. Joanne Quinn

Executive Director of the Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine

Joanne has an extensive background in science with a Ph.D. in Holistic Nutrition. She has studied both allopathic and alternative approaches to health care, studying alternative therapies since 1989. These include Neurotransmitters and Brain Chemistry with Apex, Iridology with Bernard Jensen, Rayid with Dennis Johnson, Dark Field Microscopy with GastonRead more