Pharmaceutical industry panics; experts admit prescription drugs don’t work for dementia and they probably never will

Monday, July 31, 2017
By Paul Martin

by: Isabelle Z.
Sunday, July 30, 2017

With 47 million people around the world suffering from dementia and 115 million people expected to have the illness by 2050, finding ways to prevent and treat it is a matter of urgency. When the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference was held this year, many of the experts on hand were a lot more focused on non-medical therapies, which is something that the profit-minded pharmaceutical industry is probably not very happy about. However, medications simply are not doing anything to help this problem, and in many cases, they are actually making it worse.

At the conference, the first Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention and Care was presented, bringing together dozens of international experts to discuss this growing problem. They shared some interesting discoveries that could make a huge dent in the number of future dementia patients, and their findings were also published in The Lancet.

According to the commission, there are nine risk factors that boost a person’s chances of developing dementia, and they say that more than a third of dementia cases stem from these factors.

Increasing education during early life by staying in school until at least age 15 and dealing with hypertension, obesity and hearing loss in midlife can reduce the incidence of dementia by 20 percent combined, the researchers say. Later in life, quitting smoking, exercising more, managing diabetes, boosting social contact and treating depression can slash dementia incidence by a further 15 percent.

In fact, USC Keck School of Medicine Psychiatry Professor Dr. Lon Schneider said: “The potential magnitude of the effect on dementia of reducing these risk factors is larger than we could ever imagine the effect that current, experimental medications could have.”

On the other hand, it is estimated that finding a way of targeting the genetic risk factor gene ApoE could only prevent around one out of every ten cases.

Non-pharmacologic approaches better for Alzheimer’s patients

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