Alzheimer’s dementia is a continually growing concern and the money spent to find a “cure” is staggering. Unfortunately, a dementia cure remains elusive.
Some time ago, researchers determined that the brains of those who had died from Alzheimer’s dementia had higher levels of two types of proteins: neurofibullary tangles (NFT) and amyloid plaques (AP). Everything seems to have gone downhill from there.
It seems quite appearant to me that these proteins are the end result of a problem, not the problem itself. In other words, decades of abuse to the cells of the brain (specifically in the neocortex and hippocampal regions of the brain in AD sufferers) kills off brain cells. The resulting debris shows up as these NFT and AP proteins.
Since I am a relatively small and insignificant voice when it comes to how we spend research dollars in regards to neurodegenerative disorders, researchers have thrown tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars towards the goal of eradicating these pesky little proteins.
The thought was, that if we could destory these proteins by gearing up the immune system, then everything would be hunky dorey. As if a single compound could undo 30, 40 or 50 years of damage to the brain cells in a few short months.
As far as I am concerned, we have the answer to neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s dementia. It’s called prevention, and we have loads of research data to back it up. These protective factors include, but are not limited to:
- Continuing to challenge your brain
- An anti-diabetic lifestyle
- High intakes of polyphenols found in coffee, tea, cocoa and dark chocolate
Combining all of these factors can have a massive impact on the development of dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions. While any single research study on prevention may be able to be downplayed and belittled, the combined weight of the research can no longer be ignored.
This is a lifestyle-mediated disease and “treatment” will likely never be possible.
But we live in a society that doesn’t care about prevention. We want to throw more and more money at a cure rather than educating the general public about how to prevent dementia. Heck–first we even have to let the public know you CAN prevent it!
So, the news that Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, is halting any current efforts to treat Alzheimer’s dementia using drugs targeted at these abnormal proteins seems like a good idea to me.
But the money that has been wasted already sickens me. This is money that you yourself may have donated to a walk, climb, run or crawl to cure Alzheimer’s and ended up in the pockets of the big drug companies via grants awarded for ongoing research.
So what have you done lately to protect YOUR brain?