Alzheimer's Disease Research

(Also Known As: Alzheimers Disease Research, Alzheimer’s Research, Alzheimers Research, Dementia Research)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

Alzheimer’s Disease Related Research


Some experts in the field of clinical research on Alzheimer’s disease have claimed that there are certain “myths” about the disease. The presentation of such myths seems to differ depending on the expert’s research experience and ideological stand about Alzheimer’s disease.

Two such experts with different views are Dr. Marwan Sabbagh and Dr. Peter Whitehouse. Both have published their own books on Alzheimer’s disease.

Sabbagh, in the book “The Alzheimer’s Answer” presents the following Alzheimer’s disease myths:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease is not treatable
  • Treatment simply extends the duration of the illness
  • Alzheimer’s is simply a diagnosis of exclusion
  • Alzheimer’s can only be diagnosed after death
  • People don’t die from Alzheimers

Dr. Sabbagh holds that the first and the last are not true, while the three others are only partially true—since:

  • There are now medications to treat Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Current treatment can modestly improve the quality of life
  • New technology and biomarkers now allow us to pinpoint a diagnosis with greater accuracy
  • Alzheimer’s Disease can nowadays be diagnosed during life with greater accuracy
  • People die of Alzheimer’s because it leads to loss of daily living ability, causing the person to be bed bound—leading to infections that can cause death.

Dr. Peter Whitehouse, on the other hand, in the thought-provoking book “The Myth of Alzheimer’s”, challenges the prevailing view that Alzheimer’s is a disease—and holds that it cannot be clinically differentiated from the normal process of aging. Whitehouse expresses that no two cases of Alzheimer’s are alike and that instead of focusing research on finding a “cure” for it, more funding should be allocated on care giving and end-of-life care. 7


Among the famous people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are: Ronald Raegan (40th President of United States of America), Charlton Heston (actor), Iris Murdoch (British novelist), Sugar Ray Robinson (boxer), E.B. White (writer), Rosa Parks (social activist).


A recent study, called Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM), investigated the effects of the dietary supplement Ginkgo Biloba in reducing the development of Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers have found that it is not effective in preventing the disease. So far, this GEM is the largest clinical study conducted on the effects of Ginkgo Biloba on memory loss—it was conducted at four clinical sites, for over eight years. 8


Since Alzheimer’s Disease has grown to be a more common diagnosis in America, the film industry naturally felt the urge to produce several films portraying the people suffering from the disease. The following award-winning films give a realistic, yet poetic, depiction of Alzheimer’s disease and the people affected by it:

  • Away From Her (2007) is a moving film about how a husband deals with the discovery that his beloved wife is afflicted with Alzheimer’s, her grace in managing the disease, the husband’s pain in being forgotten by her, and the challenges of caring for his beloved who has developed a friendship with another man
  • A Song for Martin (2002) is an intense and candid portrayal of how Alzheimer’s can affect a couples life and love affair.
  • Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch (2001) is a realistic depiction the life of novelist Iris Murdoch, from their early courtship with husband John Bayley to their struggle with Murdoch’s tragic illness. Based on biographical memoirs by John Bayley.

Could You Have Alzheimer's Disease?

Alzheimer's Disease Topics

Related Conditions

Amnestic Disorder – loss of memory, amnesia, memory deficit