Alzheimer’s is getting more and more media attention recently because the disease is bordering on an epidemic. Nearly five-and-a-half million Americans are now living with the disease. A new case is diagnosed on average every 69 seconds. At this rate, by 2050 as many as 16 million people in the U.S. will have Alzheimer’s.
There has been a more than 9,000 percent increase in the domestic diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease since 1979. That year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, 653 people died of Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. Twenty-three years later, in 2002, 58,785 people died of Alzheimer’s.
“Actually, Alzheimer’s disease is a disease that didn’t exist 40 years ago. Alzheimer’s disease, even by another name, could not be found in any medical dictionary or textbook or taught in any medical curriculum. It only became an entity in the medical literature in 1979. And today it is apparently the number 4 killer of adults in the United States over the age of 65, behind cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and then comes Alzheimer’s disease. It appears to me, with no doubt, that it is due to what I call a ‘physician-caused disease’. Because doctors have encouraged people, in fact demanded that people give up saturated fat and cholesterol and move towards a cholesterol restricted diet to get their blood cholesterol down below 200, and they have created no less than 25 of these cholesterol diseases. And to me, Alzheimer’s disease is one of the big ones.” (Dr. Joel Wallach, “A Healthier and Longer Life”)
Why the dramatic increase of Alzheimer’s?
There are numerous reasons cited for the increase.
- Some will point to the increasing numbers of older persons in our population. While people 65 and older make up about 12% of the current U.S. population, that number is projected to grow to at least 20% in the next 20 years. Since Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects primarily older people, it’s only reasonable to expect the increase of people affected by the disease will also increase. According to estimates by the National Alzheimer’s Association, about 10% of the 65 and older population is likely to have Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia. But among people 85 and older, the incidence of Alzheimer’s increases to more than 47%.
- Others point out another reason for the increase is simply more accurate diagnoses. As a matter of fact, testing for Alzheimer’s disease is not very accurate and usually involves only physical tests that are meant to rule out other causes for a patient’s symptoms, such as Parkinson’s disease, a stroke or a brain tumor. The remainder of any testing for Alzheimer’s disease is usually just a series of psychological tests meant to measure a person’s mental abilities and faculties. Many patients today are misdiagnosed as having Alzheimer’s disease when in fact they suffer from senile dementia. There is no definitive test for Alzheimer’s until after a person dies when an autopsy can be performed.
- Still others say the increase cannot be explained simply by an aging population and creative diagnosis techniques. Many are becoming more convinced that, like every other disease that has increased many times over in the last 20 years or so, the direct cause is chemicals such as aspartame and others put in our foods and water, as well as a lack of essential minerals and vitamins.
“Now the best way to avoid Alzheimer’s is to eat a couple of eggs every morning for breakfast, not cooked in margarine or fried, you want to consume as much as 72oz of red meat every single month. I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s just a quarter-pounder a day, and you want to supplement with all 90 essential nutrients, and when you get to the Vitamin E level you want to have at least 2,000 international units of Vitamin E, and you want 500mcg of Selenium, and if you do that, even if you already have Alzheimer’s disease, you can honestly expect to have a significant amount of return of memory. Great studies done by University of California at San Diego and the Salk Institute that says by taking 2,000 icu of Vitamin E alone, even if you have advanced Alzheimer’s disease, you can get a significant amount of memory return.” (Dr. Joel Wallach, “A Healthier and Longer Life”)