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Tuesday 9 February 2016

Prevention is the best way of tackling Alzheimer's. So why is it being ignored and dis-credited?

Alzheimer's is such a cruel disease, and if like me you have seen at close hand a loved one experience this most awful disease you may find this article of interest - it is by Jerome Burne. I have shown the first part and the last part. So please use the link below to the full article he has recently published, and read for yourself the points and questions raised.

"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.

However a severe case of cognitive dissonance (believing in two contradictory ideas simultaneously) is gripping Alzheimer’s charities and experts as to the best way to tackle this epidemic. They declare their allegiance to prevention and extol the benefits of the likes of exercise and healthy eating (without specifying exactly what that involves) along with stopping smoking and keeping your brain busy.

But it seems largely for public show, like the obligatory affirmations of religious faith by American politicians on the campaign trail. The amount spent studying prevention is a few percent of the research budget which is heavily drug based. Not content with outsourcing the search for treatments to drug companies the charities and Department of Health actively seek to discredit and disprove any plausible and serious non-drug lifestyle therapy.

Anger at what the Alzheimer’s charities are doing:

Non-drug strategies top prevention chart:

A remarkable result with B vitamins:

Drug with lowest predicted benefit gets £2 million funding:

Combining non-drug therapies doesn’t raise risks:
This however is not a problem that happens with non-drug prevention approaches – exercise, diet, B vitamins and omega 3 and the like. In fact a combination is highly likely to be more effective than any single change. Better diet and more exercise combined do not generate side effects.

But we are not going to find out what improvements such combinations could produce while the charities and the government refuse to fund them and instead subject them to biased trials apparently designed to produce negative results.

Changing this commercially driven bias is obviously a huge challenge and the topic for another blog but it will involve doctors becoming much more informed about nutrition and making lifestyle treatments for chronic disease a public health issue and so less vulnerable to being side-lined by commercial values.

A starting place for such a change could be with the patients and carers themselves. It’s already happening in other specialities; diabetes patients are increasingly questioning the benefits of a low fat diet and reporting much greater benefits by going low carb.

So what about a donation strike by those who give time and money to Alzheimer’s charities until prevention becomes a guiding principle rather than a broken promise?"

Full article is here

Jerome Burne is the editor of HealthInsightUK. 

All the best Jan


chris c said...

A neighbour's husband had Alzheimers. He spent years in a home, and they even "cured" his pneumonia so he could have further years of suffering while they bled her dry of all her money. Another neighbour was institutionalised with Alzheimers in her early seventies, she used to be a rally driver and in the end she could no longer find her own house.

There's a massive connection to high glucose and high insulin, so naturally like diabetes it is treated with a low fat diet and drugs that don't do much.

Lowcarb team member said...

Many thanks for your comment Chris.
As I said at the start of the article, Alzheimer's is the most cruel-lest of diseases.
In recent times many are classing it as Type 3 Diabetes ... see this article here

I'm no expert - but I do think both diabetes and Alzheimer's have increased in recent decades - and could have something to do with diet?

As Alzheimer's has occurred in my family my decision to low carb (50) per day for almost eight years now - just makes sense. I don't want the blood sugar spikes caused by eating a wrong choice of foods. Do we need all the sugar, starch, processed foods in our diet? I don't think so ...

Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion and choices, but I thought this article by Jerome did raise some excellent points.

All the best Jan

chris c said...

The other edge of the sword is that the brain and nervous system are built of fat and cholesterol. Reduce that AND increase glucose and insulin levels AND decrease levels of fat-soluble and other nutrients for a few decades and here we are. :(

Lowcarb team member said...

Thanks for your recent comment Chris... and yes, as you say .... "here we are".

In recent decades the Healthy fats like those found in butter, avocados, cream, flax, cheese, nuts, and olive oil have been demonized ... wrongly in my opinion. Cholesterol is required to build and maintain membranes, yet many are still saying reduce it reduce it - take this statin, which will reduce it even more, and for many can also have un-wanted side effects.

In another article about Alzheimer's by Dr Hayman he says " The underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease begin with too much sugar on the brain. The cycle starts when we over-consume sugar and don’t eat enough fat, which leads to diabesity. Diabesity leads to inflammation, which creates a vicious cycle that wreaks havoc on your brain."
Link to article here

It is interesting to note that both Dr Hayman and Jerome Burne do mention the words diet and lifestyle choices...perhaps others will also give more thought to this?

All the best Jan