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March 27, 2010


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Danny George

Great post, Mona. I think the prevention paradigm is the right way to be moving, just don't know if the continued fixation on amyloid should take precedence over other lifestyle factors that we know can postpone aging processes and prevent associated deficits (diet, nutrition, cog stimulation, social connections, etc). Also, supposing Morris is right, what is the economic burden of treating people who are presymptomatic going to be? Can we afford to pay for drugs over 2,3,4 decades?

Richard Taylor


Early on-set, MCI, and now here comes the words pre-clinical Alzheimer's (PCA). This house of cards/words is built upon a foundation the existence/composition/predictability/half-life/progression has yet to be confirmed by anyone but the truest of believers (who when confronted with evidence contradicting their beliefs immediate begin to explain away the results and rush right back to their original beliefs. There is no growing consensus about anything thing(s) about Alzheimer's other than there seems to be a growing consensus (mostly by folks who are not intimately involved and committed to the idea that there is such a discrete disease that should be called Alzheimer's disease) that the very idea of something called Alzheimer's Disease and all the ideas that have grown out of that idea have not over the the past 25 years been confirmed by replicated studies.

With each wave of technology and application hopes are raised that this new tool will at long last confirm what has thus far been a "myth". Now we are imaging, now we are looking at genes, now we are searching for bio markers in any shape or form to confirm the foundation created by the hopes of the alzheimer's industry.

No one knows all the variables associated with Alzheimer's Disease, so no one is able to manipulate and control for them. Can we cure something the cause of which we don't know? Depends on how you define cure. Depends on how bad you need to keep the hope alive. Depends upon luck, prayer, hope - but certainly not science as we know it. This rushing off in all directions all at once, letting technology define what we are seeing rather than letting technology confirm what we know to be there, this seductive belief that if we name something, that something exists. If it exists we can control and manipulate it because we have named it and therefore we can at least eventually understand, manipulate, and ultimately eliminate it through chemistry...all these this and thats don't make anything true - even if a lot of well intended-well credentialed folks say it is so, it is possible, it is closer today than it was yesterday and if only we spent more money fast we would for sure answer all questions sooner and better - this is nuts! They aren't, but the loop they have created and in which they are stuck, even if the loop is getting bigger is still an artifical loop of lots of very bright people spending lots and lots of money chasing themselves, each other, their own words/labels/pet theories.

And what is even more absurd is to expect those of us who see the Emperor as naked should be challenged to prove he is naked to those who see him/her as having clothes on - they are just invisible to the naked eye, and by reductionist science we will all someday soon eventually see how fully clothed s/he is.

I do have slipping cognitive abilities, but I still know a naked emperor when I see one.

In the mean time lots of us are standing around literally freezing to our deaths waiting for science to create a new ray of sun light to cure us of our nakedness. Make us some clothes - research solutions to the the consequences of being cold. Focus on today, not tomorrow and tomorrow.



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