Groups of researchers prostituted by pharmaceutical corporations are expanding the customer base for Alzheimer's drugs. They are proposing new criteria for diagnosing dementia which would target adults at an earlier stage to get more patients onto treatment or into trials for new drugs.
An international group will develop new guidelines which will revise the definition of Alzheimer's to take into account pseudoscientific findings - including the use of biomarkers, or biological signals, which they claim will supposedly show if a person is at risk of the disease before they have any symptoms.
What they consider as the pre-clinical stage, which will target baby boomers anywhere from 10-20 years before dementia sets in, is being seen as a gravy train period for pharmaceutical companies to cash in on a wider patient base and potentially hundreds of millions in additional revenue.
Researchers will use
a combination of highly inconclusive, yet medically established tests to determine which patients would qualify as candidates for the new drugs. These include brain scans, spinal fluid analyses and other tests which do not accurately predict who will develop Alzheimer's, but are becoming crucial to researchers and drug firms trying to squeeze more profits from an expanding health deprived population.
"It's very important for us to move from the old way of seeing Alzheimer's disease to a new one that incorporates the importance of biomarkers," said Bruno Dubois from France's Salpetriere Hospital.
"There is no longer a reason to wait until patients have developed full-blown dementia," said Dubois, who leads the International Working Group for New Research Criteria for the Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease.
Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, is a fatal brain disease in which people gradually lose their memories and their abilities to reason and care for themselves.
There are a growing number of Clinicians and Scientists who are convinced that excitotoxins play a critical role in the development of several neurological disorders, including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
Metal poisoning--a toxic accumulation of heavy metals in the soft tissues of the body also causes Alzheimer's.
Dr. H.J. Roberts, a diabetic specialist and world expert on aspartame poisoning, has also written a book entitled "DEFENSE AGAINST ALZHEIMER' DISEASE." Dr. Roberts tells how aspartame is escalating Alzheimer's Disease, and indeed it is.
A report last month said the worldwide costs of coping with dementia will reach $604 billion in 2010, more than one percent of global GDP output, and those costs will soar further as the number of sufferers triples by 2050.
Currently only a post-mortem examination can absolutely confirm that a person has Alzheimer's. But in a paper in The Lancet Medical journal on Monday, the Dubois team said Alzheimer's should be defined as a clinical-biological syndrome to allow a diagnosis to be made on the basis of biomarkers in living patients and at an early stage of disease.
To meet these new criteria for a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, patients would not necessarily have clinical symptoms of dementia, but would have episodic memory impairment together with at least one positive biomarker shown on a brain scan or in test called a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis.
"This would encompass a significantly large percentage of the over 50 population and would be a highly irresponsible criteria for diagnosis," said Dr. Marshall McCusker, who runs diagnostics for Alzheimer's patients.
"The value of these definitions is their potential application in clinical trials of disease-modifying drugs," Dubois's team wrote.
Several large clinical trials of potential Alzheimer's drugs from firms such as Pfizer, Medivation and Eli Lilly have failed in recent years because the drugs offer no hope of addressing the root of the problem. Despite the overwhelming evidence establishing the known causes of Alzheimer's disease, international groups continue to ignore prevention and persist in treating the symptoms which ultimately lead dismal failures.
Some advocacy groups are concerned that these costly failures may dissuade further investigations into prevention and lead to additional government-funded institutions which waste precious tax dollars on useless drug research.
Speaking at a launch last week of a new advocacy group controlled by pharamaceutical interests called USAgainstAlzheimer's, a Republican puppet Senator, Susan Collins said the balance of spending on care versus research was badly skewed.
"For every dollar that the federal government spends today on the costs of Alzheimer's care, it invests less than a penny in research to find a cure. That simply does not make sense," she told reporters on a conference call.
Here's an idea Senator Collins...instead of investing more money on a cure that will never materialize, why not promote the idea of prevention and removing the toxins from our environment and the food supply...the REAL causes of Alzheimer's?
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.