Today is the designated World Alzheimer's Day. Held on September 21st of each year, organizations and advocacy groups focus efforts on raising awareness--advocacy speak for marketing and fundraising.
"Although advocacy groups have some legitimate interests in common, industry is the one with the deep pockets, usually much more than these organizations can raise from individuals or foundations.
Therefore advocacy organizations have increasingly been shown to advocate for clinical guidelines, drugs, and policies that are not in the best interests of patients--but more in line with industry sponsors."--from book proposal Alzheimer's Disease: The Brand
“We are the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care,
support and research.”—Alzheimer’s Association
Organizational learning is a process of detecting and correcting error. Error is for our purposes any feature of knowledge or knowing that inhibits learning. When the process enables the organization to carry on its present policies or achieve its objectives, the process may be called single loop learning. Single loop learning can be compared with a thermostat that learns when it is too hot or too cold and then turns the heat on or off. The thermostat is able to perform this task because it can receive information (the temperature of the room) and therefore take corrective action.
If the thermostat could question itself about whether it should be set at 68 degrees, it would be capable not only of detecting error but of questioning the underlying policies and goals as well as its own program. That is a second and more comprehensive inquiry; hence it might be called double loop learning. When the plant managers and marketing people were detecting and attempting to correct error in order to manufacture Product X, that was single loop learning. When they began to confront the question whether Product X should be manufactured, that was double loop learning, because they were now questioning underlying organization policies and objectives. -- Double Loop Learning in Organizations by Chris Argyris Harvard Business Review 1977
First-loop learning identifes a drug or drug class that lowers the targeted plaques or tangles. Now when we consider the second-loop learning--things get uncomfortable. We need to question the defined target. Our first-loop brain has verified that the problem is "solved". But what about patients with normal cognition having brains riddled with plaques? Do we have the right target? Is it possible to identify a monotherapeutic target for a chronic disease with metabolic derangements?
What we actually need is whole-system redesign.
Even when one is diagnosed with an illness, it should not define them.
Photographer Allison Hess