Cynical Approach

Mom had a recent exchange with an individual who was claiming that a cure for Alzheimer's had been found.  The site the individual referenced was full self-referencing links and weak claims such as "...a 2006 study claimed...".  There was no reference to the study by name, the involved scientists or links to published materials.

The cure in question was the basic heart healthy lifestyle approaches we've referenced here such as diet, exercise, learning a new skill, and steps to lower your blood pressure.  All of these things are good things to do for lots of reasons.  They may help you stave off Alzheimer's.  Will they cure it? No.

The exchange was interesting because the person claimed that the site was the only one telling the truth and that peer reviewed studies were skewed.  The person asked Mom where she got her information an scoffed when Mom replied that the Alzheimer's Association was a primary source of information for her.  The individual went on to explain that the Alzheimer's Association has no interest in actually finding a cure for Alzheimer's because their funding would dry up.

This is the part that I find terribly cynical.

Organizations which raise funds which are directed towards finding a cure for a particular disease or condition are set up to organize the effort of raising awareness, collecting, and distributing funds.  They are focused on their particular disease.  They're not profit engines.  They may raise millions but they also give away millions.  In the case of the Alzheimer's Association, they give 79% of funds raised for care, support, research, awareness and advocacy.  The rest is split between administrative costs such as salaries (6%) and fundraising (15%).  The fundraising costs would include direct mailers, email efforts and the like.

Would the Alzheimer's Association or similar organization shut down once a verified cure for the malady of focus is found?  Yes.  I believe they would.  It would be a good problem to have.  If they didn't shut down, they may transition to focusing on a related condition.  For example, the Alzheimer's Association may decide to start focusing on finding the cure for Frontotemporal Dementia (FtD).  They would have a reasonable basis for such a decision.  A cure is found.  They have success.  They also have the structure and resources at hand to try to bring about a cure for a similar disease.

I'm fairly confident that the connection between Mom and the other individual is pretty much severed at this point.  It's not a big loss.


  1. I know I have forwarded articles or posted them to Facebook, and I know progress has been made from what I have read, but I hope you don't feel that I am trying to force information on you, or even forcing choices. I do try to share articles from sources I trust, like the BBC, for example.

    From what I have read, Alzheimer's is anticipated to impact more and more of the population if nothing is done. I have a history of dementia in my family, but I am not aware of Alzheimer's having occurred yet at all, unless it has been misdiagnosed. It is in all of our interest to share good information on this disease.


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