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Podcast: The problematic promise of a ‘cure’ for Alzheimer’s disease

Michael Joyce is a writer-producer with HealthNewsReview.org and tweets as @mlmjoyce

Click here to read more stories about real people harmed by misleading messages, or share your own story.

Alzheimer’s is a disease in which the cause is unknown, and a treatment hasn’t been found.

Despite this, the Alzheimer’s Association features fundraising commercials that promise “breakthroughs … a cure … (and) the first person to survive Alzheimer’s disease is out there.”

In this podcast we explore whether such promises are irresponsible, unethical, and potentially harmful. You’ll hear from: A gerontologist, a bioethicist ,a geriatric neurologist, and three people whose lives have been deeply impacted by the disease.

Over the past 12+ years we’ve written 200+ articles related to Alzheimer’s disease.

For a condition in which the risk factors are unclear, the cause or causes unknown, and the near-term prospects for slowing or halting its progression unlikely … it certainly generates a mind-boggling amount of hyperbolic news coverage. Some of the most misleading seems to fall into these categories:

And that’s just a very, very partial list. That’s why we created this resource for journalists:

5 questions to ask when writing (and reading) about new Alzheimer’s drug research

There are some ideas and themes mentioned in the podcast you may want to dig into deeper. These links will be a good starting point:

You can find a full listing of all our podcasts HERE

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