Most patients with Dementia can be Cured

Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA

The diagnosis, treatment and reporting of dementia is a massive and previously unrecognised scandal. Most cases of dementia could probably be cured in a week or two – maybe a little longer with some patients.

Around the world there are estimated to be around 50 million people suffering from dementia – though this figure is probably on the low side. One half of all the patients admitted to nursing homes are said to be suffering from dementia.

Millions of patients who have been diagnosed with dementia are being looked after by their families. Many family members have had to abandon their jobs and their normal lives in order to find the necessary time to provide care for their loved ones. Millions more patients have been dumped in hospitals and nursing homes where they sit or lie, waiting to die.

The commonest diagnosis for all these patients is Alzheimer’s disease. It is widely reputed that two thirds of patients with dementia are suffering from Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s has in many countries become the default diagnosis. If a patient has dementia then they will be assumed to be suffering from Alzheimer’s and little or no effort will be made to find any other diagnosis. The drug companies, the big charities, the media and even some doctors seem to promote the view that the words ‘dementia’ and ‘Alzheimer’s’ are pretty well interchangeable.

The prognosis for those diagnosed as suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is a gloomy one for, despite many promises, there is still no cure for this disease, nor is there any sign of a cure on the horizon.

Sadly, many dementia sufferers who have been diagnosed as suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have been misdiagnosed. They are suffering from something quite different and could be cured – often completely and frequently within weeks or even days.

Some people believe that dementia is a normal part of the ageing process (hence the term ‘senile dementia’), but it is not. The word ‘dementia’ is a general word for the symptoms displayed as a result of a number of different diseases. In much the same way that ‘cancer’ and ‘infection’ aren’t specific diseases.

When someone displays symptoms of dementia, it’s the doctor’s job to identify the underlying cause.

Besides Alzheimer’s, other disorders that can cause dementia include: advanced syphilis, vitamin B12 deficiency, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Down’s Syndrome, Pick’s disease, strokes, late-multiple sclerosis, brain tumours, hormone deficiencies, chronic alcoholism, drug abuse (of both illegal and prescription drugs), head injuries, and idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus and a number of others.

It is sloppy and unprofessional to make a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s as a default diagnosis and to claim that dementia is incurable is as absurd as saying that all people with broken legs will never walk again or that all patients with chest infections will die.

Patients who have normal pressure hydrocephalus show clear signs of dementia but they can be permanently cured with a simple operation. Millions of patients appear demented because they have been over-dosed with tranquillisers and sedatives. These patients will recover completely if their unnecessary medication is stopped or reduced. And huge numbers of patients who have all the symptoms of dementia, and who may have been given the default diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, will show a dramatic improvement in a couple of weeks if what they have wrong with them is an undiagnosed vitamin B12 deficiency – treatable with simple injections of the missing vitamin.

Through ignorance and laziness on the part of doctors, and as a result of deliberate misinformation spread by a deadly combination of drug companies and specialist charities, millions of patients have been given a default diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease without proper investigations ever being conducted.

The hidden, underlying problem is that medical policy relating to the classification, diagnosis and treatment of dementia is defined and directed by drug companies which have for some years controlled the medical establishment and which run medicine so that their own commercial interests are best served.

The cost to individuals, and to the community at large, is too large to measure.

The result of the propaganda efforts of the pharmaceutical industry (and the charities with which the industry is now linked) is that there is no doubt that if you asked 1,000 people to name the commonest cause of dementia at least 999 of them would say ‘Alzheimer’s disease’. Indeed, most of the 1,000 would probably tell you that ‘dementia’ is just another word for ‘Alzheimer’s’ and that the two are synonymous.

Alarmingly, a similar result would be obtained if you asked 1,000 doctors to name the commonest cause of dementia.

They would, of course, all be completely wrong.

Alzheimer’s disease is not the same thing as dementia.

And Alzheimer’s disease isn’t even the commonest cause of dementia.

As I have pointed out, these myths about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have not come into being by accident. On the contrary, they are the result of a very deliberate campaign of propaganda and misinformation. And the propaganda has been managed very deliberately and ruthlessly and with absolute no regard for the health of patients.

For purely commercial reasons, the drug companies (and their chums the big Alzheimer charities) are desperately keen to convince people that Alzheimer’s and dementia are the same thing. It is in the interest of the drug companies to diagnose every case of dementia as Alzheimer’s disease.

Drug companies don’t want patients to be diagnosed with disorders such as vitamin B12 deficiency or with normal pressure hydrocephalus because they won’t make money out of those patients.

It is, of course, all about the money.

Drug companies favour Alzheimer’s disease for very simple reasons.

First, Alzheimer’s disease tends to be chronic. It lasts for years. The drug companies love chronic diseases. Providing pills for patients who need medication for years is far more profitable than providing pills for a one or two week course

Second, most of the other major causes of dementia do not need expensive drugs. Patients who have acquired the symptoms of dementia because they are short of vitamin B12 can be treated with very inexpensive injections of B12. Patients who appear demented because they are being heavily dosed with tranquillisers or sleeping tablets will recover if their drugs are reduced or stopped. And patients who have normal pressure hydrocephalus can be cured with a very simple and cheap operation which requires virtually no input from the pharmaceutical industry – leaving absolutely no chance of profits for drug companies.

So, how big is this scandal? How many patients are involved? How many patients are currently sitting, or lying, in nursing homes, care homes, hospitals or the spare rooms of hard-pressed relatives because they have been misdiagnosed as suffering from Alzheimer’s disease when, in reality, they could be treated quickly, easily and cheaply?

Officially, the figures show that around two thirds of dementia cases are caused by Alzheimer’s. That is, without a doubt, a massive exaggeration. My professional estimate is that at least half of the patients diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s are actually suffering from something quite different with prescription drug confusion, vitamin B12 shortage and normal pressure hydrocephalus being the three top diagnoses which are missed.

It is difficult to think of a bigger scandal in modern medicine.

Alzheimer’s should be the very last diagnosis made when a patient is showing signs of dementia. It should not be the first diagnosis and it should certainly never be the default diagnosis.

I believe that anyone with dementia should be properly investigated for vitamin B12 deficiency or normal pressure hydrocephalus because, apart from dementia and confusion caused by prescription drugs, they are the commonest cause of dementia which are easily and permanently curable.

If the patient is shown not to have NPH or vitamin B12 deficiency and they are not taking regular doses of tranquillisers, sedatives and sleeping tablets, then, and only then, should doctors investigate the possibility that they might have Alzheimer’s.

Vernon Coleman’s book Dementia Myth contains information about dementia in general and about the main curable causes – including Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, vitamin B12 deficiency and the overuse of tranquillisers and sedatives. Dementia Myth is available as a paperback and an eBook on Amazon.

Copyright Vernon Coleman May 11th 2020