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Success Stories: Neal T. - 51% Reduction
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Neal, a 40-year old school principal, went to his doctor because of chest pain. Slender and physically active, at first he refused to believe that it could have represented heart disease. He started to really worry when he had to stop mid-step while coaching basketball. The pain passed within 30 seconds, but Neal mentioned it to his wife, who promptly insisted that he discuss it with his physician.

His primary care physician, skeptical of heart disease, had Neal undergo a simple stress EKG, i.e., a stress test without nuclear or ultrasound imaging. While it was normal, Neal did experience some of his chest discomfort. To help clarify the issue, Neal’s primary care physician asked him to undergo a CT heart scan. His score: 339, in the 99th percentile for men in his age group. Even worse, 200 of the 339 points of plaque scoring were in the left main stem artery, the shared trunk of the left anterior descending and circumflex coronary arteries. Heart attack here is fatal immediately.

Neal ended up with a heart catheterization because of the crucial location of his plaque, as well as the equivocal symptoms and stress results. Thankfully, only mild plaque of no more than 30% severity in the left main stem artery was identified. Thus, it was unlikely to account for Neal’s symptoms and there would be no benefit from a procedure like bypass surgery. So we were free to pursue his program of prevention.

Through lipoprotein testing, Neal proved to have high LDL cholesterol comprised almost entirely of small LDL particles, along with a moderate to severe deficiency of vitamin D.

One year of effort to correct his patterns included fish oil, niacin for small LDL, and changes in food choices. A repeat heart scan 15 months later showed a score of 161―a 51% reduction!

Dr. Davis Comments

Neal now holds the Track Your Plaque record for the biggest drop in heart scan score, the largest degree of plaque reversal we’ve ever seen. After the initial gut-wrenching scare to Neal and his family on first learning of his high heart scan score at age 40, the enormous drop in his score brought a big sigh of relief.

We tell critics that, not only is reversal possible, but huge amounts of reversal can be achieved in many people.

Now, I wish I could tell you that everybody who engages in our program drops their score like Neal. But, that’s not true. After all, Neal is our current record-holder. All we can do is help you tip the odds heavily in your favor. But, if recent trends are any indication, I predict that we’re going to be seeing hordes of people following in Neal’s footsteps.

Just a few short years ago, even we didn’t believe this much reversal was possible. The proof is in the pudding.

What does a dropping heart scan score look like?

Most of the time, when someone drops their CT heart scan score, it’s tough to tell the difference with the naked eye just by looking at the scan images. You can hold up the “before” and “after” images of plaque side by side, yet often not be able to tell. The difference can be subtle and tough to distinguish just by looking.

In other words, after a heart scan, a computer “scores” the plaque. While the computer has no difficulty in distinguishing a reduction in score, differences of 5, 10, 15% are difficult, perhaps impossible, to gauge with the naked eye. We’ve wanted to display images many times to showcase our successes, but the before and after contrast has been relatively disappointing despite substantial drops in score—until now.

We recently announced that we set a new record for drop in heart scan score: a 51% reduction in score. That’s why we thought that our new Track Your Plaque record holder would be more likely to allow you to see this change with the unaided eye. As we’ve recently talked about in our Track Your Plaque Newsletter and Dr. Davis in his Blog, Track Your Plaque participant, Neal, dropped his heart scan score 51% after a little more than one year of effort. You’d have to believe that this big a change has to be easily visible . . .and it is.

Here are sample images from Neal’s heart scan that show the visible regression of plaque:

       BEFORE                                                                                 AFTER


 

 

 

 

 



 

You’ll notice that white plaque (centered on each image) has shrunk visibly in length, with the current length roughly half that of the original length on the first scan. (Several additional cross-sectional “slices” that are not shown displayed a similar phenomenon. The slightly wider appearance of the plaque on the “after” image is likely just an artifact of slightly different image position.)

The magnitude of plaque reversal was so significant that it is immediately obvious even to the naked eye. The heart scan score generated from Neal’s initial scan was 339. The score generated on the later scan was 161—a 51% drop.

Can Neal continue this process, this seemingly impossible quantity of plaque reversal? Only time will tell. As our record holder, we have high expectations. We are, after all, in some ways, charting new territory for heart disease reversal. But the Track Your Plaque approach remains the number one most powerful method to gain control over coronary plaque, sometimes to enormous degrees like that achieved by Neal.

What does this mean?

Step back for a moment. What does reversal to this degree really mean? It may mean, to the properly informed, an end to heart disease.

You and I will encounter tremendous resistance to this notion. After all, testing and procedures for coronary heart disease are the number one source of revenues for hospitals in America. We are now proposing to have a solution that shuts off this considerable flow of revenue, totaling billions of dollars.

That’s how revolutions are started: An inkling that things could be different, that there may be a better answer than the one offered every day in countless offices, hospital rooms, and catheterization labs.

Seeing is believing. Let’s start a revolution.


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