The four main subtypes of Alzheimer's dementia disrupt clear thinking and the recall of memories-even to the point of erasing the ability to dress, to drive, to speak, to live a normal active life. This simplification of the subtypes relates them to their root cause:
Inflammatory or HOT: Inflammation increases the presence of amyloid plaque which prevents synapses from connecting.
Atrophic or COLD: loss of synapse supporting (trophic) factors such as nutrients or hormones, with low levels that are insufficient to feed the brain, starving the neurons so they cannot grow and reproduce, the brain shrinks.
Type 1.5 or SWEET: this type is a combination of Types 1 and 2, both inflammatory and glucotoxic, causing an imbalance between the production and destruction of synapses-leading to shrinkage in the brain.
Toxic: chemicals, bacteria, viruses and heavy metals damage the DNA, causing plaques and tangles to interfere with normal growth of synapses.
These types can and do often overlap. Each subtype has its own “history” and presentation. Lab values will differ from type to type and will cause differences in how the brain is affected. Each subtype requires a specific type of treatment which will change how you eat, exercise and sleep, as well as how you manage stress.
Depending on the subtypes of Alzheimer's diagnosed, the extent of damage already done in the brain, and importantly, how closely the individualized treatment plan is followed determines the course of recovery. Each subtype requires its own treatment to bring about healing.
We all know heart attack survivors, cancer and stroke survivors. Now, Alzheimer’s is no longer a hopeless, fatal diagnosis. In the last few years there are people who have recovered from this disease. Cognitive impairment can be prevented and it can be reversed if caught early enough. And, the progression of the disease will be stopped.