Horrible Alzheimer's Advice from AARP

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation
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We clarify the news about brain health.  When someone gets the story wrong, we feel it is important to provide a more balanced perspective.  The AARP got it horribly wrong in this article about early diagnosis of Alzheimer's.

While laudable for its intent to protect the public from invalid claims about Alzheimer's diagnostic tests and treatments, this article is remarkably misleading. I would expect much better from such a trusted source as AARP.

The sensationalistic statement opening the third paragraph (falsely propagating the notion that there is no diagnostic test and no effective treatment for AD) is about as harmful a message as anyone could direct at this audience.  True, there is no single medical test to diagnose AD, but as the author eventually admits, primary care physicians can diagnose it with high accuracy through a series of routine diagnostic steps.  The medical literature shows that better than 90% accuracy is easily achievable when published guidelines are followed.

As for treatment, the willingness of writers to substitute the terms "drugs" and "treatment" for one another is deplorable.  I think most experts agree that the cholinesterase inhibitors provide only moderate, symptomatic relief for Alzheimer's patients who are already demented.  However, robust treatment that includes early intervention (prior to the dementia stage), physical activity, a proper diet, strict control of diabetes and hypertension, ongoing social/intellectual stimulation, and a combination of a cholinesterase inhibitor with Nameda, has shown a much more optimistic treatment result than a single drug shows when isolated from all other aspects of treatment.

Trusted sources like AARP are invaluable as consumer advocates and they play a key role in sorting bogus claims from real science.  But in this instance, they could have done a much better job in characterizing the truth.  Suggesting that people with a memory concern should "ignore it" is alarmingly irresponsible.

11 comments :

  1. In neurological diseases the natural treatments as Yoga and herbs could help us to treat them earlier.

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  2. As medicines we should also done experiments on alternative treatments that could be beneficial to treating the health problems.

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  3. ==================
    I recommend the BETTER BRAIN BOOK by Dr Pearlmutter of NYC.
    and the books EAT TO LIVE and FOOD as MEDICINE.
    ==================

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  4. The first three comments are dimwitted promotion of useless and often harmful "alternative" garbage.

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  5. The entire health care system is geared towards money making pharmaceuticals, that have no intention of finding a cure. Why should anyone find a cure to anything when there is a drug you can take for the rest of your life.

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  6. I agree with the earlier comment that many who leave messages here are promoting unproven science. This blog aims to clarify such distortions in the general press but I wrestle with how much I should censor the comments. To date, I have let most posts remain visible to the community and I have been generally satisfied with how the community "self-monitors". This is a nice example of such self-monitoring.

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  7. Invisions said it right. Why can't people see the truth about drug companies and most doctors. They are drug pushers, clear and simple. Donating money to help develop so called cures is a lie. It only promotes more drugs. No cures will ever be used. If they find a cure they hide it. Please people, open yours eyes and do something about it.

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  8. I have a family member with alzheimers and he was very healthy. They do need help with the chemical balance in the brain and good nutrition cannot do enough to control or erase the disease.The problem is that it its not diagnosed early enough.medicine, healthy diet, aerobics, meditation, memory games all need to be started earl y. I think a huge factor contributing to alzheimers is stress. Stress is a killer. Start early with relaxation and doing something relaxing that also challenges your brain.like puzzles, games, gardening, hobbies, etc. I believe that once the alzheimer has progressed too far then the medicine its definitely necessary. Stay began, stay healthy!

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  9. Stupid auto type! Thats stay vegan , not begun. And lastly, my heart goes out to all of you that has someone in their lives with alzheimers.

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  10. well to have alzheimers is the most terrible disease the people can have but we can prevent it reading, and doing games for our memory

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