Is Western Medicine Clueless about AD?

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

It is not always the most important stories that get the most press. Often times, a provocative title or a contrary view can drive news circulation to impressive heights. A story published this week by Natural News has had a lot of online coverage and I wanted to comment on it here.

The title of the story, "New Research Proves Western Medicine is Clueless about Alzheimer's Disease", is indeed provocative. However, despite the sensationalistic slant, this is really not news. Practically every published story includes the comments that the disease is poorly understood and no cure is available. I think both of those comments communicate that scientists the world over, not only those in the "west", have not yet figured out this complex disease.

If taken literally, the term "clueless" really distorts the truth. I contend that the research community has learned much about the disease in the past twenty years. For example:
  • They understand that there is a pretty clear distinction between the early-onset form of AD and the more common late-onset form.
  • They have identified some twenty risk factors that increase likelihood for AD and other forms of dementia.
  • They have gained much insight into possible genetic factors that may drive disease progression in individuals with certain genetic profiles.
  • They have developed treatments that operate on at least two distinct mechanisms (cholinesterase inhibition and glutamate blocking) that improve symptoms in most patients and slow disease progression in some.
  • They have developed a host of additional treatments, operating on novel mechanisms, that are currently progressing through the FDA pipeline.
  • They have developed multiple bio-markers for diagnosing the disease with increasing certainty.
While we have a long way to go and everyone recognizes as much, it seems to me that this particular article was probably written to attract attention and not to inform the public in a meaningful way.


  1. That article you cited is interesting, but, yes, it obviously was extreme.

    I take that source, and all other internet sources, including yours, with a grain of salt substitute.

    Nevertheless, I often find some useful comments that send me on more searches, including your reference to cholinesterase inhibition and glutamate blocking.

  2. Jim Purdy has exactly the right approach - read from lots of sources, recognize that all of them have an agenda, make your own decisions about what might be useful and then research it further.