These two chronic diseases have more in common than you might think
What do Alzheimer’s disease and cancer have in common? Quite a lot, as it turns out – and it’s the patients who suffer.
Chronic diseases as Big Pharma cash cows
On the surface, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer aren’t much alike. True, both are chronic conditions with an often bleak outlook for those affected, but the underlying disease processes and risk factors are quite different – not least because cancer, unlike Alzheimer’s, manifests in a bewildering variety of ways.
Furthermore, the mainstream has little time for preventative strategies for either cancer or Alzheimer’s. Mainstream ‘prevention’ of Alzheimer’s appears to mean giving drugs to healthy people in order to prevent the development of the neurofibrillary tangles implicated in the disease process. Of £21 million recently earmarked for Alzheimer’s/dementia research in the UK, not one penny was for prevention. It’s a similar picture at the UK’s largest Alzheimer’s research charity. Approved treatments for both conditions feed directly into the coffers of the pharmaceutical industry: chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer, and drugs like donepezil, rivastigmine and galantamine for Alzheimer’s. And much as with cancer, so-called complementary or alternative treatments for Alzheimer’s are given short shrift by the patient organisations and charities that reflect mainstream medical thinking.
The saying, “There’s no money in prevention,” applies to Alzheimer’s just as much as it applies to cancer. And since there’s not much more money in things like coconut oil or DHA, it’s unlikely the mainstream research institutions will be dipping into the moth-laden recesses of their wallets any time soon. Let’s hope that the promising research strands covered briefly in this article are followed-up soon by a smaller, innovative player – before Big Pharma’s products become the only game in town.
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