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They just won’t give up

In trying to find a surrogate marker for cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease.

By which I mean that really, to anyone faced with Alzheimer’s disease, either in themselves or for a family member, the only real concern is if and how fast cognition will decline.

No ones gives a proverbial shit about the level of tau or any other protein in the brain: It’s their memory that they want kept intact.

Yet the drug companies, in their quest for an Alzheimer’s treatment, are forever pushing and hyping the results of studies that show that something they tried reduced the level of – fill in the blank – tau, tangles , amyloid, any other surrogate marker – in the brain, as a great way eventually reduce the chance of cognitive decline.

Has never worked so far, howver.

So no surprise that yet another study that involved “an active peptide vaccine designed to target pathological tau” was published in which the researchers proclaim that the protein was “safe and elicited immune responses in people with mild Alzheimer’s disease”.

That’s the part they want you to notice.

What they don’t want you to focus on is, as the researchers also had to note, in people with mild Alzheimer’s disease, this vaccine showed no effects on cognitive decline in the overall population”, although there may have been a sub-population, they add, that did benefit somewhat.

So why do they keep pushing these interventions on such a vulnerable and worried population of people when clearly none of them have worked much, and most of them not at all?

Easy, peasy: The potential upside to the drug companies – $$$$ – is massive, in the billions of dollars for anything that might get even a partial approval from health authorities.

So be prepared for lots more such findings about which you must always ask as a bottom line: But did it help the patients?

And how much?