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I Have Alzheimer’s or Another Dementia
Statements about Alzheimer's disease that people should not be making
I become increasingly frustrated by comments by those studying Alzheimer's disease which are stated as facts rather than as opinions. Here are two that I came across today:
“Alzheimer’s is like a slow-burning fire that you don’t see when it starts,” Schilling said. It takes time for clumps to form and for cognition to begin to deteriorate. “By the time you see the signs, it’s way too late to put out the fire.”
"It takes a long time to see things clearly. First, you must convince yourself that nothing can be done."
And there is the whole Alzheimer's disease narrative in a nutshell, after a certain point in time there is nothing that can be done. Alzheimer's is presented as a disease that relentlessly wipes out memory and personality with no end in sight. Anyone who suggests otherwise is a misguided idiot selling people false hope.
The narrative begins with a few false assumptions. One that plaques cause Alzheimer's disease and that the damage they do to the brain is irreversible. Since plaques cause the disease and since every effort to remove the plaques has failed than that means the disease cannot be treated unless treatment begins very early--even before one has any signs (other than the plaques) of Alzheimer's disease. But the plaques do not cause the disease (although amyloid oligomers may contribute to it). Oxidation and nitration likely cause Alzheimer's disease and oxidation and nitration can be partially reversed at any stage of the disease.
The use of misleading logic has also failed us. It is often said that if there were an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease we would know about it. But when people are presented evidence that there are effective treatments for Alzheimer's disease in the form of clinical trials or personal testimony--they decry the weaknesses of the trial design and the unreliability of "anecdotes." Even when they see visual evidence of the effectiveness of a particular treatment (CBD oil for example), they question whether the improvements were somehow doctored or the person must not have Alzheimer's disease to begin with.
Clinical trials are failing not because Alzheimer's disease is a non-treatable disease, they fail because people keep trying the same type of intervention over and over again. Certain antioxidant treatments (CBD oil, aromatherapy, panax ginseng, etc.) keep succeeding and yet because they do not fit the preconceived notions as to what causes the disease and methods for treating Alzheimer's disease, they keep getting rejected. It makes me profoundly sad.