Alzheimer's

  1. Bigger isn't better when it comes to drug doses

    They just don't get it, do they?

    The feds have a little problem they created -- a monster called donepezil, sold as Aricept, and given to Alzheimer's patients.

    The problem: The drug doesn't work very well... and the feds even admit that much. It never should have been approved in the first place, because studies show no real improvement in global function, no decrease in the risk of institutionalization, and no long-term benefits.

    So how do you top that? Give people more of it!

    The feds approved a higher dose of Aricept on the basis of a company-funded study that found the bigger dose might improve cognition in some patients. On the other hand, it had no benefit over the smaller dose in regular functioning.

    Let me tell you what's really going on here: This drug loses its patent protection in November, and the Japanese company that makes it expects to lose billions of dollars. Pfizer, which markets the drug in the U.S. and Europe, could also lose big money.

    But the new formula will automatically get three years of patent protection, allowing the companies a chance to recover some of that money.

    See? Once again this isn't about giving people a needed remedy at a fair price. It's about grabbing as much cash while it's there to be grabbed.

    Facts are facts: This drug does very little for most Alzheimer's patients, and comes with some terrifying risks -- from physical illnesses such as nausea and vomiting to mental ones, like delusions and irritability.

    Other drugs used for dementia are as bad or even worse. Studies have even found that antipsychotic drugs commonly given to dementia patients send many seniors right to the grave.

    And if you think watching a loved one die is bad, try dealing with the guilt of knowing that your drug choices may have played a role.

  2. The weighty cause of cognitive decline

    There are certain diseases that everyone knows go hand-in-hand with obesity: diabetes, cancer, and heart disease come to mind. But here's a new one to add to the list:

    Obesity can contribute to Alzheimer's and other cognitive disorders.

    Researchers at UCLA studied the brain images of 94 people in their 70s over five years. They found that clinically obese people had 8 percent less brain tissue, and overweight people had 4 percent less brain tissue. Apparently their brains even looked 16 years older than those of normal-weight people.

    The researchers noted that most of the loss tissue came from the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain – the area responsible for decision-making and memory.

    With nearly one third of American adults tipping the obese scale, it's no wonder so many diseases like these are on the rise.

    Now if that's not a good reason to cut down on the sugar, I don't know what is

  3. Drugs increase death rate of Alzheimer's patients

    A study shows that the anti-psychotic drugs that are commonly prescribed to treat Alzheimer's could actually double a patient's risk of dying within a few years.
  4. Drugs increase death rate of Alzheimer's patients

    Let me bring you up to speed on the use of anti-psychotic drugs used to treat dementia patients.
  5. 5 ways to kick the snoring habit

    In a lot of cases, there are ways snorers can curb - or even eliminate - a lot of their nighttime "wood-sawing."
  6. Shocking link between snoring and dementia

    A lot of people think that if their eyes are closed for 8 hours, they're doing all they can to get good sleep. This isn't always true, especially for snorers.
  7. Green tea battles Alzheimer's

    Another study on green tea has found that it could be a weapon in the battle against Alzheimer's disease.
  8. Flu shots fall short…again

    According to reports, this year's flu season was the worst in three years - and they're saying it's because the virus that so many people had injected into their systems was completely ineffective against the flu.
  9. The cheapest way to avoid the dentist

    The Academy of General Dentistry (AGC) recently announced that the use of "a properly positioned" straw can help to significantly minimize the risk of cavities and other oral health problems.
  10. Don't quit your day job: Nightshift linked to cancer

    A new study has re-affirmed the old medical suspicion that night work can shorten your life.

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