A completely irresponsible meme

Why are there so many cases of Alzheimer's disease?

Just to see how quickly this attracts hits, here is a link to the Lancet. The Lancet is a distinguished medical journal that has recently estimated the incidence of dementia at 24.3 million people worldwide, with one new case every seven seconds. This will increase to 81 million by 2040.

Here is a link to a respected Johns Hopkins study suggesting that 13% of Alzheimers cases are actually Creutzfeldt-Jakob "Mad Cow" disease.

Dementia is a sad and debilitating condition. I have seen what it does to families, though I saw the effects of bouts of vascular dementia, as I recall it being, not of an accelerating and total condition like Alzheimer's. There are hundreds of varieties of dementia.

CJD is also a horrible illness which provokes dementia. Links between it and alzheimers diagnoses which have been speculated upon for over thirteen years have not been proven. But if our society can grossly misunderstand the collection of terms which 'autism' covers and expose children to danger by positing what appears almost certainly to be a false link with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine--and if we can propagate that false connection--why are we not as citizens discussing this apparently serious one?

13% of 81 million is around 10.5 million people. 81 million is a low-to mid level projection of dementia suffering. 13% is a figure derived from autopsies that have taken place. Autopsies are not automatic in most countries, for reasons of cost and expertise, as far as I can tell, though I would welcome any medical reader with information.

Here are some medical links. If you have time, educate yourself. I do not pretend to fully understand the science, and the clue to this post is in the title; I am curious about propagation of concern, and about questions that reveal the ignorance of the poster, as mine does, across the web.


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