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Can Alzheimer's be Prevented or Delayed?

Evidence

 

The Jury is In! - the evidence has been reviewed - the jury findings are:

Will diet, medications, life style or anything else delay or prevent Alzheimer’s:  NO!

The Minneapolis Star – Tribune for August 29th, 2010 ran a story from the New York Times by Gina Kolata with the headline: “Avoiding Alzheimer’s Proves Sadly Elusive.”. The sub headline was more to the point: “An exhaustive study of medical research finds no evidence that pills, a healthy diet or anything else can ward off the disease.

The headlines were based on a sort of science court hearing conducted by the National Institutes of Health. They appointed a jury of 15 medical scientists who had no vested interest in Alzheimer’s research to hear the evidence and reach a judgment based on the evidence presented. For a day and a half they listened to the evidence presented by the researchers. This jury also heard from scientists from Duke University who had been commissioned to look at the body of evidence consisting of hundreds of research papers.

“The studies included research on nearly everything proposed to prevent the disease: a. exercise, b. mental stimulation, c. healthy diet, d. social engagement, e. nutritional supplements, f. anti-inflammatory drugs g. or those that lower cholesterol or blood pressure, even h. the idea that people who marry or i. stay trim might be saved from dementia. And they included research on j. traits that might hasten Alzheimer’s onset, like not having much of an education or being a loner”.

“But the jury’s verdict was depressing and distressing. So far, nothing has been found to prevent or delay this devastating disease, which ceaselessly kills brain cells, eventually leaving people mute, incontinent, unable to feed themselves, unaware of who the are or who their family and friends are.”

NO evidence of even moderate scientific quality exists to support the association of any modifiable factor (such as (1.) nutritional supplements, (2.) herbal preparations, (3.) dietary factors, (4.) prescription or non prescription drugs, (5.) social or economic factors, (6.) medical conditions, (7.) toxins, or environmental exposures) with reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Medical Directors Association (AMDA) in their official publication “Caring for the Ages”  December 2010, also commented on the findings of the NIH Jury of medical experts. “NIH Panel Finds No  Alzheimer Prevention to Endorse” “Current knowledge about the epidemiology of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline has not provided enough evidence to recommend specific, preventive interventions, according to a “state of the science” report issued by a panel of experts assembled by the National Institutes of Health…..”A wide range of modifiable factors have been reported to be associated with risk for Alzheimer’s disease…However, the overall quality of evidence from these studies is Low, the panel said and it did not find enough evidence to draw firm conclusions about the association of modifiable risk factors with cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s disease…there are no proven interventions that prevent cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s disease…”

 While there are reasons to follow good sensible practices to improve general health, the “researchers have to be careful about implying that any measures will protect against this degenerative brain disease.”

Unfortunately there have been many loose and wild claims made in the recent past about such claims that have now been discredited.

I have tried to blow a whistle on this nonsense in the past. See the below essays on this website:

"AARP's Startling Story: "Boost Your Brain Health" - A Hoax"

 

"The Vigorous, Active Mind Will Avoid Alzheimer's - A Myth and a Cruel Hoax"