“I mean stress is like an illness. It’s like this black box, we don’t have a lot of names for it, we should probably instead of saying stress we should… like Eskimos have 20 words for snow, we should probably have like financial stress and relationship stress, and within relationships, there’s parent and partner, and child, all the different qualities of stress. Because everybody has some, and as you know, some is good. But stress, like persistently elevated cortisol with a lack of reciprocal or protective hormones like testosterone, estrogen, things like that literally shreds the brain, like literally just atrophies parts of the brain.” – Dr. Nate Bergman
Nate Bergman, DO, MBA, is trained in internal medicine, geriatrics, and functional medicine and is passionate about using a multidimensional approach to prevent and reverse cognitive decline that emphasizes root causes including sleep, exercise, nutrition, and stress management.
Dr. Bergman’s knowledge and experience with treating cognitive decline comes not only from his research and his time on staff at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine; he also has first-hand experience.
While completing his medical training, Dr. Bergman struggled with severe memory loss. With the support of his family and a functional medicine approach that addressed the root causes of his symptoms, he was able to overcome this challenge, and today believes his brain is functioning the best it ever has in his adult life. His personal experience served to further cement his drive to study and treat patients who suffer from cognitive decline.
Today, Dr. Bergman continues to focus on brain health and the early prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease as the Chief Scientific Wellness Officer at the Kemper Center for Cognitive Health and Wellness. We recently sat down to talk about how he made the decision to pursue osteopathic and functional medicine, the impact of sleep and stress on brain health, and his hopes for the future of Alzheimer’s research.
In this episode we discuss:
- Dr. Bergman’s interests and background growing up, and how he became interested in medicine
- Why he chose to become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine over a Medical Doctor, and the difference between the two
- What led Dr. Bergman to pursue residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Geriatrics
- His own experience with memory issues during his residency training
- How he transitioned to Functional Medicine
- The meaning of cognitive health, and how Dr. Bergman approaches treatment
- The relationship between sleep apnea and brain health
- The different types of stress, and how they impact brain health
- Bergman’s view on the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s
- His role as Chief Scientific Wellness Officer at the Kemper Center for Cognitive Health and Wellness
- His hope for the future of Alzheimer’s and brain health research and care
- Three things Dr. Bergman does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
- One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
- What a healthy life looks like to him
- Mark Hyman’s UltraWellness Center
- The Institute for Functional Medicine
- University of Missouri School of Medicine
- Modifiable factors that alter the size of the hippocampus with ageing, Majid Fotuhi, MD
- 12 Weeks to a Better, Fatter Brain with Majid Fotuhi, MD
- The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shosana Zuboff
- Living Matrix software
- Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey, MD
- Framingham Heart Study
- White Matter Integrity in Obstructive Sleep Apnea before and after Treatment
- Adverse Childhood Experience Questionnaire
- STRAIN, Stress and Adversity Inventory, George Slavich
- This is Your Brain on Stress with George Slavich
- Social stress up-regulates inflammatory gene expression in the leukocyte transcriptome via β-adrenergic induction of myelopoiesis
- 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder: A randomized phase 2 controlled trial
- The End of Alzheimer’s by Dale E. Bredesen, MD
- Can Alzheimer’s Be Reversed? Dr. Dale Bredesen on the Dr. Oz Show
- The Rise of Pseudomedicine for Dementia and Brain Health
- AIBL: The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers & Lifestyle Flagship Study of Aging
- The Alzheimer’s Prevention & Treatment Diet by Richard S. Isaacson, MD
- The clinical practice of risk reduction for Alzheimer’s disease: A precision medicine approach
- MAPT Study: A multidomain approach for preventing Alzheimer’s disease: design and baseline data
- A 2 year multidomain intervention of diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk monitoring versus control to prevent cognitive decline in at-risk elderly people (FINGER): a randomised controlled trial
- Dr. Dean Ornish
- Well Designed Life by Kyra Bobinet, MD
- Ep 07 – Dr. Mark Hyman on Functional Medicine, the future, and community
- Ep 78 – Lifestyle and Brain Health with Dr. David Perlmutter
- Ep 99 – Dr. Axel Pflueger on Fighting Chronic Disease with Fitness
- Ep 103 – What to Eat When with Dr. Michael Roizen
If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
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Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.