Beware of becoming a guinea pig in search for dementia drugs

You could call it the “Golden Ticket” to fame and fortune — finding a drug already in use that could also become a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

That prospect has sent researchers scurrying around to locate meds that can be repositioned as a magic cure. It’s happened before… and it’s happening again.

And you need to know the facts, because anyone over a certain age is in jeopardy of becoming the latest guinea pig in the search for a dementia drug.

Thinking clearly

Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine have just announced that a diabetes drug is the latest and greatest discovery for treating dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The Boston researchers have been looking at this particular med, called pramlintide (also known by the brand name Symlin), for several years now — first in mice, and now in people.

They recruited 50 volunteers for this new study, some with Alzheimer’s and others with “mild cognitive impairment,” which is often a precursor to Alzheimer’s.

And as fast as you can say pramlintide, the university sent out a press release saying that the drug can improve “learning and memory.”

Although it didn’t provide any details about that, the media still went wild. Headlines appeared saying “Good news! Diabetes drug may help treat Alzheimer’s disease,” other publications said we may have found a way to “cure” this memory-stealer.

But this is far from the first time that a drug — one already being prescribed for other reasons — has made headlines as an Alzheimer’s preventative, treatment and even cure.

What makes it even riskier, however, is the fact that your doctor can write you an Rx right now for one of these drugs off label. And that’s despite there being no real evidence that this and other dicey meds will do a darn thing to prevent memory loss, dementia and certainly Alzheimer’s.

We do know, however, the extensive damage these drugs can do to your body!

For example:

  • Two years ago, we were told that the incredibly dangerous diabetes med, Actos, was also some kind of miracle Alzheimer’s treatment. Actos (which is also known as pioglitazone) has been linked to countless cases of bladder cancer, bone fractures and an increased risk of serious heart problems.
  • Recently, statins were touted as a way to lower your Alzheimer’s risk — high doses of them, no less! But these cholesterol-lowering drugs have long been known to cause brain fog, as well as severe muscle pain and weakness, liver damage and new-onset diabetes.
  • And the “most common” side effects of pramlintide, the latest Alzheimer’s discovery, include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and headache.

There’s no doubt that dementia and Alzheimer’s are frightening, especially if you’ve experienced it firsthand with a loved one.

But as more and more of Big Pharma’s experimental drugs designed specifically for Alzheimer’s fall flat on their faces, expect to see plenty of risky meds already on the market being promoted to treat this mind-robbing condition, with no genuine proof they can help.

On the other hand, as I told you recently numerous natural approaches have been found to be extremely effective — such as combining vitamins C and E, which a study out of Canada found could reduce the risk of dementia by 40 percent. Or medium-chain fatty acids that are found in coconut oil — something that has shown real promise in helping those already suffering from Alzheimer’s.

And some very important research out of Georgetown University Medical Center last year found once again that resveratrol can help slow and even stop the progression of Alzheimer’s.

These are the things that researchers should be burning the midnight oil over. But for all we know Big Pharma is probably looking at ways right now to patient these natural substances and sell them for $1,000 a pill!

“Diabetes drug shows promise for safely treating, detecting Alzheimer’s disease” Boston University Medical Center, March 8, 2017,