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Zen and dementia

This is the 22nd year that we’ve been producing a monthly issue of What Doctors Don’t Tell You, and people always seem to ask: Don’t you ever run out of things to write about? Thus far, we don’t seem to have any problems, but thanks for asking. 

It’s never a question I ask myself. But here’s one that I do ask myself: After writing about this stuff for 22 years, how come I still get angry about it every time? And it’s true, I do. I get angry about the number of people who die while taking a drug they believed was safe; I get angry that nobody ever gets called to account; I get angry that nobody seems to care. 

But anger’s counterproductive. So I developed for myself a Zen-like mantra to soothe my raging heart: Medicine is a delivery mechanism for drugs. 

Doesn’t sound like much, but it works. Because when you get that, everything else falls into place. Why don’t doctors take alternative treatments more seriously? Because medicine is a delivery mechanism for drugs. Why don’t they take a more holistic view of the patient and his or her illness? Because medicine . . .

I had to repeat the mantra several times over while researching our latest Special Report on dementia, one of the diseases that most of us fear over anything else. Now, the drugs don’t work for dementia. You might choose to point out that they don’t work for most everything, but they really don’t work for dementia and its main manifestation, Alzheimer’s. 

But that doesn’t matter to medicine, because medicine is a delivery mechanism . . . And, because it is just that, it isn’t very interested in other therapies. Tragically, when it comes to dementia, there are many alternatives that work so much better. 

In the Special Report, we champion one in particular: SPECAL. It’s had enormous success in helping patients and carers, so much so, in fact, that the disease usually doesn’t worsen, even though medicine has codified it as progressive and incurable. 

My Zen mantra explains why doctors have utterly ignored it, but it does not help us to understand the peculiar attitude of the Alzheimer’s Society towards it. The society—which purports to exist for the benefit of the dementia patient and carer—has vilified the therapy on its website, successfully starving the SPECAL charity of cash. 

Mantras for supposed ‘patient groups’ are welcome.

We also start a new column this month on pet health. As the veterinary profession in the UK is run along the lines of America’s healthcare system—aggressively interventionist and funded by insurance companies—we will have a rich field of material to mine.

Published 04 October 2011 11:04 by Joanna Evans
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vsstanton said:

I would like to say thank you for championing SPECAL we as a family have been using it on our mum for over three years now.  

She is still at home with dad and reasonably happy, for the most part we can keep her in 'green' which is a SPECAL term for happy and stress free.  

This is no mean task for someone who hardly remembers where the toilet is!

We all know what to say to keep her happy, what not to say!  and how to react...all thanks to our SPECAL training.

The course is fantastic, Penny and her staff are friendly, dynamic and supportive.

Everyone who has a relative who the suspect has Alzheimer's should consider looking into SPECAL ......... it works :)

October 4, 2011 11:52 said:

It's nonsense to say that drugs don't work for dementia. It's very individual. Aricept had a huge effect on my mother. She said it was like a fog lifting.

October 4, 2011 22:19

Jon1952 said:

There is an alternative treatment to drugs called Magnetic Pulsing, that has shown to help not only Alzheimers patients but also MS patients. You apply a small magnetic pulse to the head at 5 hertz for an hour, then again later in the day. I have one of these machines from Bio Medici, but as yet i have not had a chance to use it on anyone accept myself and my wife and we currently have neither of these diseases, so all i can do is point people in the direction of these devices and if anyone has any success in using it on a dementia patient then maybe they can comeback and report any success, or failure. The other thing we must not forget in the treatment is Folic Acid and Vitamins B6 And B12, which in high enough doses also helps. So combining both treatments will hopefully bring about positive results.

Please search out Magnetic Pulsers and make up your own mind.

October 5, 2011 21:12 said:

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October 11, 2011 21:43

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