We all agree that Alzheimer’s is a dreadful disease and something has to be done about it because there’s no treatment and it’s costing billions. So prevention would be a good idea, wouldn’t it, especially since if it works it would both cut your risk and save vast amounts of money.
If you aren’t confused about whether taking omega-3 will keep your brain sharp or is simply a waste of money, you haven’t been paying attention. Last week the media carried reports of a new study that found that taking a gram of fish oil a day didn’t protect elderly people from failing memory and poorer thinking skills.
Do you believe there is a new drug for Alzheimer’s just over the horizon? That there is no truth in the popular idea that B vitamins might cut your risk of getting this dreadful disease?
Well you are wrong on both counts but it’s not your fault, you’ve quite reasonably fallen for some very sophisticated marketing. Let me explain.
The obvious problem with the recent government announcement that doctors will be paid for diagnosing people with dementia, is that there is no approved form of treatment. This is because research funding has all concentrated on finding a drug that will slow the disease down or even stop it in its tracks.
Vitamins are attacked as being ineffective and possibly dangerous a couple of times a year in the press, usually following a study in a medical journal. The implication is that it is better to stick to drugs that have been properly tested and found to be safe and effective.
And a dietician usually adds that you won’t be missing out if you avoid supplement because you can get all the minerals and vitamins you need from a “healthy balanced diet” (HBD)… (Read More…)
When my father was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (which affects a different part of the brain from Alzheimer’s) a couple of years ago, his consultant advised my wife and me that there was no conventional medicine which could treat his condition. When we asked what we could do instead, her suggestion that we could explore “alternative” treatments … (Read More…)
Is putting all our eggs in the drug basket really the best way to beat Alzheimer’s? Just as we can’t rely on drug companies alone to beat antibiotic resistance, so we can’t rely on a pharmaceutical silver bullet for Alzheimer’s. Tackling antibiotic resistance needs heavy investment in drugs that will be used sparingly for a short time. The pharma model prefers drugs for as many people as possible for as long as possible. (Read More…)
Have you had one of those nasty moments recently when it is clear that your memory is failing? Confidently rushing up stairs to get something then realising you have no idea what it was; meeting someone you know perfectly well and being unable to remember their name. A few of these moments and a name that none of us forgets comes all too easily to mind: Alzheimer’s…. (Read more…)