Episode description:

“What we do is meaningful, it’s real, our effects are real. I can say that now. We still have people that read our studies and say: ‘This is random…It does not do anything … It is not possible…’, but it is, it really is. You only have to see it 10 times, but now I have seen it hundreds of times since we have been following people now for 5, 6 and 7 years in the clinic, we started in 2013”

We review the genetic, medical, environmental, and lifestyle factors that increase the likelihood of someone suffering from memory loss. Dr. Isaacson describes his successful efforts at intervening in these areas leading to improvements in his patients’ cognitive functioning. Careful history taking, cognitive evaluation, and detailed laboratory testing point the way towards individualized recommendations in contrast to a one size fits all model. Attention to vascular risk factors along with exercise, diet, inflammation, and supplements are keys to minimizing memory loss. Specific findings mentioned in our conversation include data on the usefulness of cocoa flavonoids, a certain formulation of curcumin, high doses of DHA, and some early suggestion that a particular antidepressant may favorably impact the presence of amyloid in the brain. Studies have documented that specific interventions can in fact prevent or delay memory loss in at-risk individuals.


Our guest:

Richard S. Isaacson, M.D. serves as Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic (APC), Weill Cornell Memory Disorders Program, Assistant Dean of Faculty Development, and Associate Professor of Neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine & New York-Presbyterian. Dr. Isaacson specializes in Alzheimer’s (AD) risk reduction and treatment, mild cognitive impairment due to AD, and preclinical 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. He has published novel methods on using a precision medicine approach in real-world clinical practice of AD risk reduction.  He led the development of Alzheimer’s Universe (AlzU.org) a vast online education research portal on AD (>2 million unique visitors since 2014). Dr. Isaacson is committed to using technology to optimize patient care, AD risk assessment and early intervention. The APC also studies digital biomarkers using a wearable biosensor and aims to rigorously evaluate the effects of personalized, evidence-based multi-modal interventions on cognition, serum/radiologic biomarkers of AD, and calculated AD and cardiovascular risk.