Mind Games: The Future of an Alzheimer’s Treatment and Why It’s So Controversial (Podcast)

FDA Adviser Dr. Caleb Alexander of John’s Hopkins talks about Aducanumab/Aduhelm: a groundbreaking Alzheimer’s treatment sent to market in one of the most controversial FDA approvals ever.

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9 thoughts on “Mind Games: The Future of an Alzheimer’s Treatment and Why It’s So Controversial (Podcast)”

  1. My understanding is that there is a graveyard full of drugs that were developed to fight Alzheimer’s that have proven to be of the most limited value.

    Dale E. Bredesen, MD author of END OF ALZHEIMER’S (which title he reportedly blames on someone else, book title guy or marketer maybe) has determined that the drugs to treat Alzheimer’s have always focused on the disgusting buildup of the Amyloid beta proteins or whatever they are called that build up in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The stuff is typically gross and causes problems in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, particularly in the higher levels.

    My description here is going to veer off a bit from Dale’s because I’m trying to be simple. The brain can injured from all kinds of things. Trauma, (bumps, concussions), pathogens like bad microbes or bacteria, toxic metals, mold toxins, nutrient deficits, allergic reactions, high glucose levels…,

    From what I recollect reading in Dale’s book years ago, the brain when traumatized, weak or whatever, may produce the Amyloid proteins. They can serve some beneficial functions in some instances, perhaps causing bad microbes, parasites or bacteria, stray heavy metal molecules or whatever, to get trapped. (Been a while since I read the book, so please excuse any bad details that I’m conveying… but continue reading for a rather accurate or partly helpful overview…) The proteins are bit of a response to a problem, not the main problem itself. Maybe one could think of scar tissue or puss as an analogy. The drugs that are typically being developed to fight Alzheimer’s (from what I remember reading) are typically being developed because they drug companies think if they can stop the protein buildup, they can stop Alzheimer’s. However the proteins are secreted in response to the problem rather than being the main problem, BUT they can be an independent problem, like puss or scar tissue can be. But it isn’t the whole picture and that is why the meds that merely tackle the protein buildups, essentially is wasted ammunition.

    However Dale Bredesen believes there are over 30 separate causes for the condition that falls under the umbrella term Alzheimer’s. Though his book is highly rated on Amazon about 4.5 stars from some over 3,000 reviews, it appears the negative reviews, might possibly be upvoted as the most helpful ones. If Dale, is right, then specific treatments for different causes of Alzheimer’s need to be developed rather than the magic bullet the drug companies have been searching for. If making money is the goal of the drug companies, they prefer to hope that one drug can be developed that can be sold to the entire market. It makes it easier to persuade investors or backers to dump money into a single product that can capture an entire market, than to work on all the many causes (genetic or whatever) and develop more targeted drugs.

    I might further note that some of the critical reviews of Dale’s book THE END OF ALZHEIMER’S, still give Dale credit for the way he describes Alzheimer’s scientifically, but many and some who have Alzheimer’s find the cost of trying to go through the multiple tests for all the problems to be prohibitive for their budget. And the book and his protocol, in order to intercept the cause of the Alzheimer’s of any particular person, puts forth a lot of proposals and recommended tests that mostly overwhelm people. Obviously, the complexity of the book is even harder to follow when people are already suffering from decreased brain function.

    In any case, I’m now of the belief that Alzheimer’s is not a single ailment following a single developmental path, and that the FDA and pharma companies that are still working on a single bullet to tackle Alzheimer’s are wasting their time. Drug pharma people might rather research Dale’s book and try to work on some approaches that will benefit the segments of the group of Alhzeimer’s patients.

    I know one guy, who was forgetting his phone number, which he had for many years, and later found a study that showed use of red wine was helpful for memory. And his memory lapses diminished when he started to drink some red wine each day. I’m not saying this is an answer or is beneficial for everyone and having alcohol around people can also cause many alcohol related problems. But, is tocopherols or polyphenols(sp?) or other micro-nutrients in some red wine helpful for some people?

    And can a drug company make any money off it? Or does the additive effect of alcohol that is frequently cautioned against interacting with some medications, increase the effectiveness of the micro-nutrients in the red wine?

    I can understand the desperation people have. I can understand the FDA’s willingness to push forward a drug that has theoretical benefit (showing that the protein buildup in the brain is reduced) but has not been shown to stop the overall weakening of brain function.

    Is there a similar situation that developed with anti-cholesterol medication? It is assumed that cholesterol is the problem (rather than possibly being a symptom of inflammation) and is it correct that these medications (to lower cholesterol) really haven’t been shown to have overall health benefits or reduce heart disease?

    1. Thomas, I think your analysis was pretty much on point. I personally believe that the amyloid plaques in the brain are a protective mechanism, as Thomas said, like a scab on your skin that protects the underlying tissue until it heals. Pick off the scab early, and the injury won’t heal. Medications that target the removal of amyloid plaques are addressing the wrong problem. The drug companies have it all wrong and are just trying to make money, like they always do. They are capitalists just like all businesses are, and I don’t blame them for that.

      I agree that Bredesen’s recommended tests are expensive and can be difficult to understand, but I believe you can follow his basic protocol (sleep, nutrition, exercise, stress management, and cognitive training) and have a great chance of avoiding dementia, or reversing its early stages, without any drugs. This is what I am doing, and as a 70-year-old who is heterozygous for ApoE4 and have a mother and grandmother who both had Alzheimer’s, it’s working for me thus far!

      1. That is good to hear Deborah. Your clear writing is a good indication that you are still very sharp mentally. And I also appreciate your grasp of following the “basic protocol” without getting bogged down in struggling with an in-depth attack on each and every one of the possible specific causes without really yet knowing if there are other underlying causes (as I suppose happens when someone only develops an interest in maintaining mental health after suffering from a period of mental decline).

        Again, I’m glad you are doing so well and that you shared your positive experience in following a protocol that has much more promise than the drug that Sharyl Attkisson just reported on.

  2. Sharyl, I’ve got to take a moment and ask you to properly focus on the real AD story

    What you’re focusing on is yesterday’s news; let me bring you up to date

    The definitive work on curing AD is being done by the team at Zhittya Medicine—creators of a proprietary therapeutic angiogenesis technology

    Because of FDA intransigence (no, that’s obviously not a new story) they’ve taken the trials outside of the U.S.

    Update yourself on the full scope of their research at zhittyamedicine.com

    Parkinson’s Disease, as well as many other conditions. is being targeted by them as we speak; You should be the one telling their story—both for your own enlightenment and for your readers’.

    .Check them out and you can stop fooling around with all these no-longer-important snippets of information you’re currently flogging to inform about AD


  3. Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s , and Dementia Quantum leaps in Medicine I believe is going to come from re-engineering proteins delivery ..Example; There are Some Acids that control Nerve activity that can be used to induct in proteins . Also in plants like Magic Mushrooms has the Propertes to Right away effect Brain Functions so you use those properties to Re-Engineer to pigy back New medicines to Nuerons in the Brain delivering active New medicines to stop diseases ? Most current medicines have trouble delivering to Brain to stop diseases currently .So the New idea is to Re-engineer chemical properties that can deliver new active medicines right to the Brain like Magic Mushrooms or THC in Marijiauna can do ? Think of this as building a Fast New Highway right to the Brain with No side tacks in Medicine being lost in transit ?

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