Tic tock, it was 1 am and I could not get to sleep.  I knew I would be focusing my next blog on sleep research and the connection to preventing dementia, but I made the mistake of looking at still another news item on my all things aging Goggle alert.  Pfizer, one of the largest US pharmaceutical companies is suspending all the research and development for new medications for both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. A thunderous statement, not only for our generation that is aging into the cross hairs of dementia diagnoses, but a decision that has implications for all those who follow behind us. 

This was announced in Newsweek no less,  so it is not being swept under the media rug in some obscure research journal: http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIwjJTuqjo 

Why after millions of dollars invested do they want to stop all trials? Money, money and money. The company has decided to give the extra cash from the new tax cuts for corporations to their shareholders.  They will stop making expensive research efforts to find a cure for the only major disease that does not have a cure. Complicated neurological drugs require long development times and patents do not last that long. Making and bringing to the market any any medication is a long process and only some pay off for the company creating it.  The insinuation is that they would rather invest in stomach drugs that come to market quicker and make an easier return on investment. So yes the business of making medications belongs elsewhere than business. 

Yes, the drug I refer to as the brain genie, adu,  is still in the third phase off clinical trails and returning enough positive results to continue.  The next report is in late 2019. Biogen, the company that is responsible for adu is hanging in there for now. At times like this I try to see some positive connections.  Could Pfizer’s pulling out be recognition that they will not get the first real medication for Alzheimer’s to market first?  Or maybe the days of all the big Pharma companies gambling to find that vital but expensive drug are over.

Add on to that news,  some good news from across the ocean,  Lancet reports: http:://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/this-may-be-the-1st-new-alzheimers-drug-in-years/ar-BBHLu81?ocid=se  Using a tried and true inexpensive drug like Metformin for diabetes may have some good alternative benefit for fighting the brain deterioration of Alzheimer’s. It is very possible that we can look to research being done outside the US for simpler solutions.  

Making serious life style changes for those already advanced in years may be a lot to ask.  We are a society that wants a pill to cure things but be aware that active measures not a passive pill may be the only game left in town.

Yes, I have written here in my blog under the healthy aging category about the many ways to help improve your health-span.  Next week I will get back to how good sleep can be a powerful tool in your health arsenal specifically in fighting the onset of dementia.   

But for now I need to sleep.