Thursday, 15 December 2011

The drugs don't work

Well, not quite true but it does seem to be the case that the best known drugs used to treat dementia symptoms are pretty poor. People carry on prescribing them and consuming them because what else are they going to do?

These two examples are from the Alzheimer's Society website:

What are the benefits of cholinesterase inhibitors?

In clinical trials of all three cholinesterase inhibitors, people taking the medications performed better on memory and thinking tests than those taking a placebo, or inactive substance. The degree of benefit was small, however, and more than half of the recipients showed no improvement at all.

What are the benefits of memantine?

One clinical study showed that people taking memantine showed a small but statistically significant improvement in their mental function and ability to perform daily activities. But study participants with lowest cognitive functioning showed no improvement on either daily activities or overall function.

This kind of thing makes it all the more puzzling that there's a big campaign to encourage people to come forward and collect their diagnosis so that they can be 'helped' - presumably with these and equally pathetic drugs.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree. They did nothing for my mom. I'd rather have her unmedicated and be a 'real' person rather than a zombie. I heard that apples have the same benefit without the side effects as arricept. Don't know if that is true. But I think the doctors are getting kick backs from the pharmaceutical companies so that is why they prescribe, prescribe, prescribe.