Despite the catchy name, the two, massive research projects known as the “Decades of the Brain” were an absolute bust. They failed to produce a single, viable treatment—much less a cure—for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia.
Plus, after spending all of that time and money, mainstream medicine still doesn’t even know how to deal with the behavioral problems commonly exhibited by patients as their conditions progress.
In fact, according to a disturbing, new study published in JAMA, AD patients are commonly drugged into a stupor in an attempt to help manage their behavior…
Nearly 75 percent of AD patients prescribed heavy-duty opioids and sedatives
For this new study, U.S. researchers followed more than 700,000 community-dwelling adults who had been diagnosed by a physician with dementia. At the study’s outset, the patients were an average age of 82 years and had spent 100 days or fewer in a nursing home during the observation period.
(Meaning, even though the participants were older, their condition was not so advanced that they required full-time, year-round care in a nursing home. In fact, they had spent most of the previous year living at home!)
Yet, astonishingly, almost 75 percent of them were prescribed a heavy-duty drug that affects the central nervous system, including painkillers, sedatives, and antidepressants.
The top–prescribed medications were:
- hydrocodone (an opioid)
- tramadol (an opioid)
- quetiapine (an antipsychotic)
- sertraline (an antidepressant)
- gabapentin (an anti-epileptic, also used for pain)
- lorazepam (an anti-anxiolytic)
These drugs all produce serious side effects in the brain or nervous system. In fact, they can actually trigger the very behavioral issues they’re supposed to treat—including confusion, anger, aggression, anxiety, delusions, depression, emotional distress, irritability, and insomnia. Especially when taken in conjunction with other drugs, which is called polypharmacy.
Plus, none of those drugs are approved in the U.S. to treat dementia…much less the behavioral problems associated with dementia!
They do, however, cause falls, sedation, and even increased risk of death in these older folks.
Few treatment options, little training by doctors
In an interview, Dr. Donovan Maust, the study’s author and a geriatric psychiatrist from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said:
There just is not a lot of evidence that these medications are helpful in people with dementia. When I think about somebody who has dementia and the way the brain is changing, it seems like it’s not a great thing to be exposing their brains to these drugs when the brain is already having trouble dealing with changes going on from the dementia. Medications we use in patients of other ages work differently in brains with dementia.
I think it really speaks to how challenging dementia is to take care of. Many clinicians haven’t had a lot of training specifically in dementia. Doctors are just trying to provide some care, and sometimes it feels as if we’re not prescribing something, we’re not helping.
It’s a sad truth about the biggest health crisis older people face today…
Doctors don’t know how to prevent it or cure it. So they just try to “manage” the behavioral symptoms with drugs.
But, again, the drugs don’t actually work. In fact, they make things worse. Yet most doctors continue to prescribe them anyway…because that’s all they know how to do! It’s a vicious cycle, really.
Thankfully, there is some good news…
Nutritional approaches work in nine out of 10 people with AD
A few years ago, a group of researchers at the UCLA Longevity Center found that dementia could be reversed in nine out of ten people who follow a dozen simple nutritional and lifestyle steps.
I first reported on this major breakthrough four years ago in the lead story of the February 2016 issue of Insiders’ Cures (“The all-natural Alzheimer’s cure hiding in plain sight”). If you aren’t yet a newsletter subscriber, all it takes is one click!
Unfortunately, even though this research began years ago, most primary care physicians still don’t know about it. Not to mention, most doctors receive very little training about nutrition in medical school—so it’s not exactly top of mind for them as a treatment option.
So, I urge you to become your own advocate and check out my Complete Alzheimer’s Fighting Protocol. This innovative learning tool includes all the natural steps and nutritional advice used to prevent and reverse AD, as outlined in the original UCLA protocol. Plus, it contains important, additional steps, which I added based on 40 years of my own, personal research. To learn more about this comprehensive protocol, or to enroll today, click here now.
After all, experts expect that over the next five years, more and more people than ever will develop this deadly brain disease. And they’re starting to develop it at ages as young as 55 years! So take the steps to protect yourself—starting today.
P.S. Tune back in tomorrow for a full report on a safe, natural approach that can help improve cognition and alertness.
“In Alzheimer’s Disease, It’s Not Always Memory That Goes.” Medscape, 7/10/20. (medscape.com/viewarticle/933537#vp_1)
“Prevalence of Psychotropic and Opioid Prescription Fills Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults With Dementia in the US.” JAMA. 2020;324(7):706-708. doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.8519