This radio interview for Latitudes.org with David Perlmutter, MD, first published in 2008, is being re-posted. It was conducted by Albert Robbins, DO. Dr. Perlmutter is a renowned integrative neurologist, clinician, and author.
Perhaps with should start with the problem of Alzheimer’s since we are dealing with an aging population in Florida.
Dr. Perlmutter: I have taken quite an interest in Alzheimer’s. When you look at the statistics, they show that if we live to be 85 or older, our risk of getting Alzheimer’s is 50-50. That’s pandemic! So you flip a coin — and you’re going to get it or you’re not going to get it.
What I find distressing is that there’s a new television commercial in which a father’s health is failing and his daughter has to tie his necktie for him. The message is that everyone is grateful that he’s taking a certain medication, called Aricept. We’re supposed to be left with a feeling that there is hope, that there’s improvement and treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. I think the public really believes that.
Recently I gave a lecture at the Scripps Institute in San Diego, then in Palm Beach and Boca Raton (Florida). It’s an experience to watch the audience when I present material that shows this type of medication doesn’t work.
One article came out in a 2005 publication by the British Medical Journal. The authors had reviewed every peer-reviewed double-blind placebo controlled trial of this medicine. What they found was that because of flawed methods and small benefits there was no scientific rationale to recommend these types of medications. They conclude that the use of this type of drug, cholinesterase inhibitors, is not evidence-based. There is no evidence to support the use of Aricept in treating people with Alzheimer’s. There is no data to support it. I can tell you that about 99% of the neurologists in the country who treat Alzheimer’s write prescriptions everyday for these types of medications.