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February 24, 2011


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Richard Taylor

Hello, this study is beyond interesting, and beyond suggesting something. The gold standard of the diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease was to look for certain physical characteristics in the brain, at autopsy of someone who had formerly been diagnosed with demetnia, probably of the alzheimer's type. If these were found, and no other physical characteristics of other forms of dementia were found that for sure this was proof the owner/user of this brain was formerly living with Dementia, for sure of the Alzheimer's type. Now, or at least again, it has been discovered that lots and lots of brains of folks diagnosed with Alzheimer's contain the "tell tale" signs of other forms of dementia. Which came first? Which was the dominating form of dementia? And for some time now brains of folks who had no symptoms of dementia had the same physical characteristics of folks who lived with the symptoms of alzheimer's disease, but these folks exhibited no symptoms of dementia.

This new finding is a brain quake that shakes every cure pill study that assumes this group of people have alzheimer's disease, this group does not. Every diagnosing physician should be shaken by these results. Given the stigma and myths currently being promoted to raise "awareness", and incidentially also promoting fund raising for more cure research should the term Alzheimer's Generation be used to describe the Baby boom generation. Can we really have an "Alzheimer's breakthrough Act" when more than half the folks diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease have in fact a mixed form of dementia? And what of the cure pills tumbling down the pipeline towards the mouths of those of diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, even if (an if of gigundo proportions) they have evidence of this form of dementia, the most probably have other forms of dementia too. And what of the hope/hype of a world without alzheimer's disease? Perhaps we already live closer to this world than we are led to believe. But this lessen the symptoms, lessen the burdens, lessen the signma and myths that come with living with the symptoms of dementia?

Of course not. The demon (Alzheimer's disease) seems to be if not naked at least partially naked. And the new parts of his/her body don't look like Alzheimer's disease. There is a monumential mountain of assumptions build upon the claim that Alzheimer's Disease is a distinct form of dementia, it is by itself a curable form of dementia.

And now we are faced with more of the naked truth. Striped of the press releases about breakthrews and lights at the end of the tunnel, now comes yet another fact to be avoided in discussions of more money for research, hope for a cure, champions of Alzheimer's disease. Yet, now those living with the diagnosis end up being the ones once again standing naked. Their symptoms of dementia still show, but the name tattooed across their heads no long rings true. What to do?

Wait, I am sure the vested interests in Alzheimer's Disease will come up with a way for us to rationalize these results. Just wait for the next cheer practice. I'm sure they will find a way to scare us away from the logical conclusions of this new finding and back into their world of trust us, we are the experts.

I think not, I hope not.



I like Richard's new term for AD: "dementia of this or that type." Maybe we should not only stop looking in the brain after death for the type of dementia, but stop looking in the living brain for dementia. Maybe it originates in the liver or gut. And maybe that's why all the brain meds end up making dementia worse.

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