Musings of a phenomenologist

Science, psychiatry and random musings

I’m starting to think they do it on purpose

Posted by soveda on May 8, 2009

Here we go again, the BBC website has some more marvellous reporting of research. This time the article is : Trial drugs “reverse” Alzheimer’s
O rly…

This is the BBC story, note the headline, yes that really does say

Trial drugs “reverse” Alzheimer’s

But if you read further than the headline it says:

In mice, the treatment helped restore long term memory and improve learning for new tasks Nature reports

In mice, not human beings, in mice, so it isn’t Alzheimer’s Disease then is it, it’s an animal model of the condition. It may be a good model but it isn’t in humans…

I’m ranting I know but this sort of headline gives false hope to so many people and my frustration grows and grows with each article.

This is the important quote:

HDAC inhibitor treatment for humans with Alzheimer’s disease is still a decade or more away, she said. (Lead researcher Professor Li-Huei Tsai)

Here is the Nature article (paywalled). Now as preliminary data it seems interesting but even if (and it’s a reasonably big if) the mechanism for memory impairment is the same in humans as in mice there is no point extrapolating to treatment in humans from this study.

Oh and they still haven’t altered the Galantamine crop story.

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