Paracetamol and Alzheimer’s
Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA
In 1971 it was shown that phenacetin, a very popular but rather deadly painkiller, might cause Alzheimer’s disease. This didn’t matter very much because phenacetin had been banned because of the damage it did to the kidneys.
However, back in 1948, it had been shown that phenacetin is known to be converted into paracetamol in the body. The analgesic effect of phenacetin is a result of the paracetamol.
So, the big question, which, as far as I can find out, no one has ever asked is: is it the paracetamol which causes the Alzheimer’s disease?
The research is now forgotten and ignored. But it scared me because paracetamol is used daily by millions and is generally regarded as a safe drug. The trouble is that no one in the medical establishment cares, and apart from my diary (and this website) there is nowhere for me to draw attention to it.
And here’s another scary thought.
Some decades ago it was found that aspirin could cause an incredibly rare disease called Reye’s Syndrome when it was given to children. And so it was recommended that children be given paracetamol instead of aspirin.
And the drug Calpol, which is widely used to ease mild pains in children, and also used by many parents as a sleeping aid, contains paracetamol.
Could it possibly be that all this explains the rising incidence of Alzheimer’s disease? Could paracetamol be the cause of the fact that Alzheimer’s is now the commonest cause of dementia?
This worries the hell out of me.
And now it can worry the hell out of you because as far as I can find out no one is doing any research to find out.
Oh, and there’s something else.
Guess which drug is now widely recommended for the treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Even though the preliminary evidence rather suggests that paracetamol could be the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, the drug now widely prescribed for the treatment of the disease is – paracetamol.
There’s a desperate need for some fairly simple research. It wouldn’t take much work, time or money.
But researchers aren’t interested. It isn’t new and exciting and where is the money going to come from? Most medical research is funded, directly or indirectly, by drug companies and why in the hell would they want to do research which might dramatically reduce the number of patients needing expensive treatments? If the research proves that paracetamol is a cause of Alzheimers, and the number of patients is reduced then drug company sales and profits would crash.
Knowing all this, and knowing that nothing whatsoever is being done about it, drives me mad. Or, more accurately, since I’m probably mad already, it’s dangerously likely to drive me sane, which would be worse.
Copyright Vernon Coleman March 2019
Taken from Tickety Tonk – Vernon Coleman’s seventh diary (now available as an eBook and a paperback on Amazon).