For example, if the annual cost of dementia was a company, by 2030 it would exceed Google, Apple, Wal-Mart, and Exxon Mobile. And it isn't selling over-priced computers (of which I own several), data, oil, or cheap sweaters--its major commodity might just be fear. Or it would rank as the 18th largest economy if considered as a country.
My biggest beef with the history of Alzheimer's Disease begins with how we have interpreted the early history. The first patient assigned the eponymous diagnosis was 51 years of age when examined by Alois Alzheimer. He would have classified this as pre-senile dementia or what we now call early onset Alzheimer's Disease. That fact is hardly mentioned.
The historian, Jesse F. Ballenger provides a clear perspective on the drivers of the financial incentivization of Alzheimer's Research. The clear shift of Alzheimer's as a psychiatric disorder toward a somatic illness appears to be a major facilitator.
I speak to groups and communities about Alzheimer's Disease and my personal journey with my dad. In my experience, the most value was keeping my father home as long as manageable. I also speak of what we know about prevention. The data supporting theories of metabolic derangements common to chronic diseases of aging is strong but we aren't getting the message.
Alzheimer's disease: The Brand explores not only the political and societal driver of a monotherapeutic cure but how the medical industrial complex evolved as a perfect storm. Recall the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Enthusiastic CEOs speak optimistically about market expansion and their newest pipeline entrants. They often seem unaware of the patients represented by the "growth" data points and forward thinking statements--nestled within their safe harbors.
The trailer below, Monster in the Mind is from a soon to be released documentary. I have not had the opportunity to see the whole movie but I will bet it doesn't corroborate the scare tactics of big R&D. The zombie apocalypse is replaced with solid science, hope, and prevention strategies that make good sense.