Dubious Amyloid Theories of Alzheimer’s and Drug Treatments Keep Getting Hyped


On HealthNewsReview.org, pharmaceutical policy researcher Alan Cassels critically reviews a spate of effusive news coverage about a tiny, experimental study of a drug treatment for Alzheimer’s. “(T)he Boston Globe story wins the prize for using the most terms that Gary Schwitzer counsels journalists to strenuously avoid in health stories like ‘quite ecstatic’, ‘exceeded their expectations’, ‘significant breakthrough’ and ‘in a different league’,” writes Cassels.

Cassels asks a Canadian Alzheimer’s expert to comment on the study: “I’ve seen this stuff for 25 years and they should stop misinforming people about amyloid plaque. We don’t know if amyloid plaque is a precursor or an after-effect of the disease. Testing to get rid of it hasn’t worked for decades–so we’re beating a dead horse. We need more basic science.”

Some journalists fire another “silver bullet” at Alzheimer’s amyloid target (HealthNewsReview.org, March 24, 2015)


  1. Yeah, the press announces the “cure for cancer” with stunning regularity too. It makes me angry but I can’t imagine how it makes people who actually have cancer feel. So much for “responsible reporting”.

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