CNN Documentary Highlights Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Combat Alzheimer’s

May 20, 2024 -

Concerned about his family's history with Alzheimer's, CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, took a personal journey to explore his own risk for Alzheimer’s. The evaluation was part of an hour-long documentary, "The Last Alzheimer’s Patient," during which Dr. Gupta shared groundbreaking research by Dr. Dean Ornish of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute. Specifically, as Dr. Gupta stated, “what is good for the heart is almost certainly good for the brain.” Dr. Ornish added, “The same lifestyle changes could reverse high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type two diabetes, obesity, early-stage prostate cancer can be slowed, stopped, even reversed. And now we're hoping to show that these same lifestyle changes may reverse the progression of early-stage Alzheimer's.”

Dr. Gupta also spoke with a number of people who participated in Dr. Ornish’s study and made changes that included a vegan diet, exercise, and mediation.

Citing concerns about his own brain health and family history, Dr. Gupta decided to undergo an evaluation himself with the help of Dr. Richard Isaacson, a neurologist, at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases.

 “Richard would certainly see me if I were sick, but he preferred to see me now, while I was healthy, fully believing he could help me maintain my brain, reduce my chance of dementia and even optimize my function.”  

Ultimately, Dr. Isaacson determined that Dr. Gupta is “a walking modifiable risk factor for Alzheimer's disease,” meaning he is not at an increased risk, but recommended Dr. Gupta go on a plant-based diet, get exercise, and monitor fluctuations in his blood sugar.

Now it’s your turn. There are lifestyle changes you can make that can potentially delay or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s, even if it runs in your family. Take the first step today and check out a recent BrainStorm by UsAgainstAlzheimer's podcast session with Dr. Rudy Tanzi on lifestyle  modifications.  You can also view UsAgainstAlzheimer’s 2022 Summit panel discussion, which offers tips on lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s.