Has the Alzheimer’s Association been misleading people by confusing every memory loss incident as Alzheimer’s Disease? Not shockingly, it seems that a great many of these campaigns are paid for by pharmaceutical companies with something to gain in the long-term. Alzheimer’s drugs are a big thriving business. Let’s face it, no one wants to grow into a shell of themselves that can’t remember their children’s’ names. It seems like in most cases, massive informational campaigns are seeded into the public prior to FDA approvals for the very drugs they seek to “inform” us about.
A year ago, Alzheimer’s support groups – particularly the Big Pharma-subsidized Alzheimer’s Association -aggressively sponsored a documentary that featured the dementia of country singer Glen Campbell. Campbell had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease despite the well-documented fact that Campbell was infamous for his chronic heavy use of brain-damaging, dementia-inducing, addictive, and very neurotoxic drugs like cocaine and alcohol. Therefore, in reality his dementia was most likely caused by his neurotoxic drug abuse which likely was worsened by the fact that he had also used a lot of brain-altering psychotropic prescription drugs simultaneously. Popular performers like Campbell, who are frequently on mentally- and physically-exhausting concert tours, are well-known to over-use chemical cocktails of illicit and legal drugs, which, when used simultaneously, have far worse than additive adverse effects on the body and brain.
The experience of the equally early dementia victim and legendary long-term user of illicit brain-altering drugs, Robin Williams, was similar to Campbell in that both used excessive amounts of psychotropic substances that had adverse effects on their brains, livers and psyches. Williams had recently been diagnosed as having Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body dementia (both of unknown etiology!). His desperate act of suicide came in the context of newly-prescribed psychiatric drugs that had been prescribed at Minnesota’s Hazelden facility. The prescription drugs were well-known to cause suicidal thinking.
So what is causing memory loss? According to Havard University, medications are. They have an entire guide that cites their findings.
“medications are common culprits in mental decline. With aging, the liver becomes less efficient at metabolizing drugs, and the kidneys eliminate them from the body more slowly. As a result, drugs tend to accumulate in the body. Elderly people in poor health and those taking several different medications are especially vulnerable.”
“The list of drugs that can cause dementia-like symptoms is long. It includes antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-Parkinson drugs, anti-anxiety medications, cardiovascular drugs, anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, narcotics, sedatives.”
“Alzheimer’s is distinguished from other dementias at autopsy by the presence of sticky beta-amyloid plaques outside brain cells (neurons) and fibrillary tangles within neurons (all indicative of cellular death). Although such lesions may be present in any aging brain, in people with Alzheimer’s these lesions tend to be more numerous and accumulate in areas of the brain involved in learning and memory.”
“The leading theory is that the damage to the brain results from inflammation and other biological changes that cause synaptic loss and malfunction, disrupting communication between brain cells. Eventually the brain cells die, causing tissue loss and cell carcasses or scars. In imaging scans, brain shrinkage is usually first noticeable in the hippocampus, which plays a central role in memory function.”
Then there is the case of statins and their potential relationship with cognitive decline. The Harvard Guide made no mention of statins. It all stemmed from an article back in 2010 in the Scientific American which put on display statin use and their links to memory loss. The article’s focal point was on the drugs Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor, the most popular cholesterol lowering medications. The article focused on users of the medications citing cognitive issues such as memory loss and brain fog. The FDA’s complaint entity, MedWatch, was filling up with entries regarding lapses in brain function by users of all three listed medications. Fat is the brain’s main fuel and cholesterol plays an essential role in the formation of neuronal connections. This was much more than conspiracy theory, it had legs.
Many considered the idea that statin medications contribute to cognitive decline a conspiracy theory. Soon following, a major study was conducted that many regarded as ultimate proof that statins don’t contribue to cognitive decline and in fact, help the brain. But the study does not firmly take any such position.
Mid-life dyslipidemia appears to play an important role in the development of AD amongst a host of other risk factors that affect vascular health. Results from observational cohorts have been mixed, though many of the highest-quality studies have found a protective effect for statins. Laboratory data have supported numerous potential mechanisms for statin benefit including lipid reduction, vascular protection, and changes in cell-signaling and amyloid processing. However, short-term clinical trials of statins in AD patient populations have failed to show a sustained benefit in cognitive outcomes, perhaps due to an already advanced and irreversible disease process. Trials have not specifically addressed statins’ role in the primary prevention of AD, and such trials would be very challenging, if not impossible to conduct. Future studies should assess statin use during a critical period of risk in mid-life to explore effects on the later development of AD.
So what is the truth about Alzheimer’s Disease? Is it less prevalent than we think? Are high incident numbers merely propped up by medication uses, and in some cases, drug and alcohol abuse? We may never know the full truth.
I leave you with a few quotes to consider.
“No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable…for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death.” – President Ronald Reagan
More than 50 conditions can cause or mimic the symptoms of dementia.” but “Alzheimer’s (can only be) distinguished from other dementias at autopsy.” — from a Harvard University Health Publication entitled “What’s Causing Your Memory Loss? It Isn’t Necessarily Alzheimer’s”
“Medications have now emerged as a major cause of mitochondrial damage, which may explain many adverse effects. All classes of psychotropic drugs have been documented to damage mitochondria, as have statin medications, analgesics such as acetaminophen, and many others.” – Drs Neustadt and Pieczenik, authors of “Medication-induced Mitochondrial Damage and Disease”