Alzheimer’s Continued

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In today’s NY Times Gina Kolata tries to give  rationale for diagnostic testing for Alzheimer’s without a treatment available.  There are many reasons not to do this.

1. The tests are not reliable.

2. the results will be misused.

3. the drug companies surely have an ulterior motive.

4. The tests are very expensive.

5. There  are undoubtedly false positives. Some people will get worried needlessly.

6. What will insurance companies and employers do withthe results?

Kolata compares plaque in the brain with cholesterol in the arteries. Yet she says the many people have plaque in their arteries yet never have a heart attack.  Could this be true of brain plaque and Alzheimer’s as well?

And finally she quotes a doctor who sees these diagnostic tests are a turning point resembling the early days of cholesterol testing for heart disease. But if we look  at the evidence we have, plaque in the arteries does not result in a hear attack in 50 % of persons. A very poor correlation. Check out Uffe Ravinskov’s book, Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You.

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