The Whitworths of Arizona, bringing science to you in everyday language.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Treat? Oh Yes! Cure? Not Yet.

We love comments. Agree with us or disagree. That's great. But recently, we've been receiving comments from people advertising cures by this miracle herbal therapy or that patent drug. We cannot support such claims of a cure and no such comments will be published.

We support alternative and complementary therapies. We believe that such non-drug and drug-accompanied treatments can decrease symptoms and the need for drugs and increase quality of life. However, neither they nor any drug can, at this time, CURE diseases like Parkinson's, Lewy body dementia or Alzheimer's. These disorders are hidden for many years, with little or no symptoms, while the damage-causing proteins, such as Lewy bodies, grow and spread. By the time there are enough symptoms present for a diagnosis, the proteins are so numerous and widespread that a cure is as likely as one for Stage IV cancer.

A cure is coming, and some of the clinical trials now in the works sound very hopeful. For starters, researchers are working on ways to identify the presence of disease-causing proteins early on. This will mean that people who feel perfectly healthy will need to be tested...remember there are no symptoms for years!

Researchers are also working on ways to eradicate the damaging proteins, once they are found in the body. Started soon enough, there is hope that these treatments may actually provide a cure. Started after diagnosis, these same treatments could not promise a cure-- but they might decrease symptoms and improve quality of life. However all of this research has many years to go before it is available to the general public.

In the meantime, we will not publish comments advertising "cures." To do so is to encourage our readers to spend hope, money and effort uselessly. Instead, we urge you to investigate all the well-researched ways that non-drug therapies can improve the effectiveness of traditional drugs to decrease symptoms and increase quality of life for both the person with the disorder and their care partner.

* Acronyms:
LBD: Lewy body dementia
PlwD: person living with dementia
PlwLBD: person living with LBD
DLB: dementia with Lewy bodies
PDD: Parkinson's disease with dementia
MCI: mild cognitive impairment
MCI-LB: the form of MCI that precedes LBD
BPSD: behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia

For information about Lewy body disorders, read our books:
A Caregivers’ Guide to Lewy Body Dementia
Managing Cognitive Issues in Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia

Helen and James Whitworth are not doctors, lawyers or social workers. As informed caregivers, they share the information here for educational purposes only. It should never be used instead of a professional's advice.

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