If you have a vested interest in Alzheimer’s research — like those covered in recent SJ-R articles (“Alzheimer’s at a crossroads”,”Drug may help slow disease’s progression”) — you should prepare to be disappointed.
Drug companies have invested billions researching drugs that suppress or remove amyloid plaques on the theory that these “gum up” the victim’s brain. The problem is, they work. Clinical trials have had to be abruptly halted when patients taking the drugs markedly worsened or died.
Now the developers are hoping the remaining drugs in trial will “hit their target.” Meaning, if they reduce plaque without killing or making the patient worse, they can declare victory and start selling them at $1,000-$2,500 a week. Note that definition doesn’t include curing or stopping Alzheimer’s.
A competing theory, published last year in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, posits amyloid plaques, rather than causing dementia, are actually the body’s last ditch effort to prevent destruction of the brain’s neurons.
What is suddenly triggering this amyloid response, and why is it accelerating? Three co-factors are implicated. First, our hysterical avoidance of essential natural fats; compounded by their replacement with carbohydrates, which are inflammatory; and finally, the zealous prescribing of statins to lower cholesterol, compromising this essential nutrient’s ability to transport fat to the brain without being damaged in the bloodstream.
If that’s a correct analysis, the solution to the accelerating rates of dementia — and also obesity, diabetes, celiac, and other “diseases of civilization” — over the last 30 years isn’t another expensive lifetime drug prescription.
The solution would be for the USDA to stop pushing commodity grains, especially processed flour and high fructose corn syrup, the FDA to recognize statins as the neurological equivalent of the thalidomide fiasco, and the ADA — the certifying organization for dieticians — to stop accepting major funding from cereal, candy bar, soft drink, and drug companies.
In other words, you’re on your own. Hold the muffin. Have some coconut oil.