(Natural News) The facts about Alzheimer’s disease are truly alarming: Over 5.7 million Americans have been diagnosed with this condition, and by 2050, that number is projected to increase to nearly 14 million. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than breast and prostate cancers combined. Every 65 seconds an American is diagnosed with this disease, and one-in-three seniors dies with some form of dementia. In 2018, Alzheimer’s treatment will cost the nation $277 billion, a number which is estimated to reach $1.1 trillion by 2050.
Over the past two decades, billions have been spent on Alzheimer’s research, but with very little success. Most, if not all, research funding has been directed at trying to reverse the build-up of amyloid plaques – a type of protein which is often found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients after they die. However, well-respected researchers like Dr. Thomas J. Lewis, Ph.D., insist that the startling lack of progress in Alzheimer’s research is the direct result of this hyper-focus on only one possible cause of Alzheimer’s.
Dr. Lewis recently told Natural Health 365, “The biggest myth is that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by amyloid plaque.” Instead, Dr. Lewis insists, Alzheimer’s is a “multi-factorial” condition which is largely caused by chronic inflammation. (Related: Five early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease.)
“No funding for opposing views”
After 20 years of fruitless research, with Big Pharma giants like GlaxoSmithKline spending billions on the development of anti-amyloid drugs to no avail, it seems obvious that the research community should concede defeat and turn its collective search for answers in a different direction. That isn’t happening though, and unbelievably, the National Institutes of Health has committed a further $100 million to amyloid research, despite the fact that, as Dr. Lewis claims, this theory has been “shot down.”
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There simply is no funding available for researchers with opposing views about what causes Alzheimer’s disease. (Related: High levels of homocysteine linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia.)
Autopsies reveal the truth
Though it is true that many Alzheimer’s patients’ autopsies do reveal a build-up of amyloid plaques on the brain, this is by no means a totally consistent trend.
Natural Health 365 reported:
Autopsies have shown that many patients who die without having experienced any cognitive impairment have amyloid plaques – while others who died with Alzheimer’s disease have no plaques at all.
This is proof, says Dr. Lewis, that amyloid plaques can’t be the only cause of disease. And he notes that Harvard researchers have theorized that amyloid plaques are part of an immune response, and may even be beneficial.
Dr. Lewis believes that it is chronic inflammation caused by other conditions like diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome that lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. As noted by Natural Health 365, inflammation can be triggered by many things, including poor nutrition, chronic lack of sleep, toxins, exposure to pesticides and other chemicals, as well as both viral and bacterial infections. It is logical, therefore, that decreasing inflammation by increasing exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, getting sufficient sleep and so on, can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s in later life.
Natural Health 365 reported:
In a landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that improvements in indicators of heart health – such as lowered blood pressure – were associated with a lower incidence of dementia. “Earlier diagnosis and better treatment of heart disease and stroke lowers risk of dementia,” the team concluded.
Clearly, there are various avenues of research well worth exploring regarding the causes and treatment of Alzheimer’s. After 20 years of failed amyloid plaque research it’s time for the medical community to stop wasting its time and change direction.
Learn more at Dementia.news.
Sources for this article include: