Friday, August 20, 2010

Inducing Dementia

I found this post on Lynn MacTaggart's blog so interesting, I did what I usually don't do - copy something in its entirety. But this is a subject I have long felt very strongly about - the proliferation of pharmaceutical drugs in our society and others. We use drugs to combat everything. Every time we take a drug, even a simple pain reliever, it affects another part of our body. Especially note the last paragraph! Here then is Lynn's post:

Against holism

August 6th, 2010 by admin

Just occasionally, I come across a medical hero, a doctor willing to break the conspiracy of silence that exists among doctors about the damage caused by their tools.
My hero of the hour is an American psychiatrist called Grace E. Jackson.  Dr. Jackson is utterly, refreshingly horrified by psychiatric medicine. In fact, she is horrified by most forms of pharmaceutical medicine, period.  She spends her life lecturing and writing about the dangers of drugs and their ability to cause mental illness. 
So incensed is she about the current state of affairs that she felt compelled to self-publish a whistle-blower, entitled Drug-induced Dementia, which painstakingly catalogues a vast amount of scientific evidence showing that modern medicine is the primary culprit behind all forms of dementia, one of the most rampant epidemics of our time.

A new use for rocket fuel
One of her more outrageous snippets of information concerns the fact that in the 1950s, when doctors first began to treat psychiatric patients pharmacologically, they discovered that synthetic dye and rocket-fuel derivatives actually had what they considered some sort of medicinal effect. Thorazine (chlorpromazine), the first antipsychotic, was born. 

There was only one hitch – the drug caused the patient to become so lethargic that his symptoms aped those of sleeping sickness.  The doctors also noticed that over time, the drugs caused all the hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease:  abnormal gait, tremor, dementia and involuntary movement. They also stupefied the patient, flattening out all feeling or excitation — leaving behind, in effect, a vegetable.
Nevertheless, with a brand of logic peculiar to modern medicine, these debilitating side effects were welcomed, on the premise that they were a damned sight better than a crazed hallucinator.
In fact, doctors began to view the arrival of parkinsonian effects as a benchmark in a patient’s therapeutic progress:  proof positive that the drugs were actually working.

Not-so-subtle brain damage
The damage caused by psychiatric medicine is only the tip of the iceberg. I began to look into this issue myself and discovered a good number of the major classes of drugs that doctors give patients as they age bring on dementia.

Heart drugs, cholesterol lowering drugs, sleeping pills, antidepressants, narcotics, stimulants, including Ritalin, the ADHD drug given to children, anti-cholinergics, anti-epileptic drugs, to name just a few, all can damage the structure of the brain.
Anti-depressants shrink the hippocampus of the brain, and statins lower crucial fats, or lipids, which compose much of brain tissue.
Beta-blockers and other drugs that aggressively lower blood pressure, such as calcium channel blockers and ACE inhibitors, also  lower blood flow to the brain, creating all the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease

Even good old painkillers – the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory class of drugs – can cause a variety of cognitive changes, from delirium to disturbances in memory and concentration.
Many of these drugs actually shrink brain volume, destroying the crucial fatty structures of brain cells, or causing abnormal accumulation of tissue in vital brain structures. 

Drug cocktails Even though they represent only one-seventh of the population, the over-65s take one-third of all prescription drugs – and usually a cocktail of them.  The average senior is on six drugs at a time, many of which can affect the brain.  
Given the fact that some 90 per cent of Americans from their mid-fifties onward are taking at least one drug regularly, and nearly one-third are taking five or more drugs, it’s small wonder that dementia is one of the world’s fastest growing diseases, now absorbing $90 billion per year, or one-third of America’s entire Medicare bill. It’s now expected that one in four of us will have some form of dementia by the time we reach 80.
To put this cost into perspective, America is now spending about 1 per cent of the US’s entire gross domestic product on a largely iatrogenic (doctor-induced) condition. Medicine has reached the point where it is chasing its own tail, attempting to mop up with yet more drugs and treatments a vast and costly problem it has caused in the first place.

Against nature I tell you all this not simply to rant against the massive carnage caused by our faulty medical system, but also to illustrate the enormous repercussions that occur whenever we go against our truest nature.  The drug-caused dementia epidemic is simply the result of the ongoing refusal of our current medical model to consider the body as a holistic entity. 
In 1970, a German physicist named Fritz-Albert Popp stumbled upon the fact that human beings emit a tiny current of photons, or light from the DNA of every cell, which he labeled ‘biophoton emissions”. 
In his research, Popp discovered something else remarkable. If a medicine was applied to one part of the body, a large change occurred in the number of light emissions not only from where he’d applied the ointment, but also from distant parts of the body. Furthermore, the size of the changes correlated all over the body.
Popp soon recognized that this light was a communication channel within a living organism, a means of instantaneous, or ‘non-local’, global signaling.

Whenever we atomize anything, but most particularly the human body – taking it apart and attempting to treat it in separate pieces – we invite calamity.


California Girl said...

This is disturbing and fascinating. I am on three drugs daily and have been for years. It used to be four. I worry about it all the time.

Nancy, does the book go into alternatives for prescriptions or just expose the many problems the prescriptions have via side effects and long term effects.

Marguerite said...

Very interesting post and book! I have no doubt that many drugs contribute greatly to dementia. One drug in particular, Lipitor, for lowering cholesterol, has been proven to do so. All one has to do is read the possible side effects on any drug and they would probably not take them. Another big factor is diet. Dementia, as well as all degenerative diseases, are actually a result of a lifetime of poor eating habits. Everything we ingest affects our brain and our bodies.

Nancy said...

California - I'm not sure. I think I'll order the book.

Marguerite - Very good reminder to eat well.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

What a great post. This is fascinating, horrifying, and tragic. Our beliefs play as large a role in our health as our diets.

I'm going to have to check mctaggart's site more often.

Jen said...

Well, I think I will continue with my organic whole foods way of life and take nothing but my vitamins!

Whitney Lee said...

Quite disturbing! While I was pregnant it occurred to me that it's ridiculous that so much of what we ingest has to change during pregnancy. I figured it shouldn't be used at all if it can't be used while pregnant. The problem I run into is what to do in those instances that diet won't help-for example, my anti seizure meds. Please let us know what the book has to say!

Cloudia said...

All it will take to reveal todays medical barbarism is the passage of time.

Warm Aloha from Waikiki :)

Comfort Spiral


oh, geezzeeeee - i don't know whether to take the time to comment before i go empty all my meds! fantastic post, nancy! you know, i'm one of mctaggart's biggest fans - can't get enough of her stuff - thanks so much for this!!!

DJan said...

I am of two minds about the cholesterol-lowering medication, since both of my parents died of heart disease in their sixties, and I have familial hypercholesterolemia. Which means if I don't take it, doing everything right, my cholesterol is still well over 300. So I take it, but I'm sure not happy about it!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Now that I have no insurance I have been weaning myself from my medications. Seems like I have to add a new one or increase the dosage of allergy medications every year. Maybe I can just suffer through a couple seasons and let my body create some antibodies to fight the allergan. That is the principal behind the shots for allergies and immunizations.....

Midlife Roadtripper said...

This article doesn't mention the other drugs we utilize - like alcohol. Also, I believe dementia has become more prevalent as people live much longer now. 80? I think in the early 1900's the average life span was 45.

However, I don't doubt for a second that all the medications aid in our debilitation. Probably for many older people, six drugs a day is a modest amount. Have you ever seen the large Ziploc bags of drugs people carry into ERs? Can't mix all those and think anything good will arrive.

Interesting topic, Nancy. Much room for discussion.

建枫 said...


Hilary said...

Wow...this was a great post. Thanks for sharing it....I totally agree with her.....after 30 years of nursing, I am appalled at the flagrant use of medication.

Hilary said...

Wow...this was a great post. Thanks for sharing it....I totally agree with her.....after 30 years of nursing, I am appalled at the flagrant use of medication.

Umā said...

Medicine isn't really medicine if it causes dangerous side-effects. A lot of prescription drugs today are simply band-aids being put over wounds caused by an imbalance of the body - and by the body I mean the whole body, physical, mental, and spiritual. I really believe we have to start respecting ourselves as whole in this way.

This is a fascinating subject, thank you for posting this!

Raksha said...

I have to admit I have a real prejudice against articles like this one, which usually make me furiously angry before I finish with the first paragraph. The reason is that I desperately NEEDED psychoactive drugs for debilitating panic attacks beginning when I was 19, and yet for some reason doctors would almost never prescribe them for me.

On the rare occasions when I was able to get a prescription (15 Valiums or derivative, no refills, for emergency situations) I never abused them. They worked for me as well as they worked for my sister, who developed a massive Valium addiction that contributed to her death (a possible suicide) at the age of 34. Certainly after my sisters death, I was even more careful than before never to take more than one no matter how severe the panic attack--again, on the rare occasions when I was able to get a prescription at all. I must have gone through hundreds of attacks in my life with no medication whatsoever.

That's the reason I fly into a rage whenever anyone even starts to talk about the dangers of over-medication. Sometimes in the past I would lose my temper and actually start yelling at the speaker, because I ENVIED all those over-medicated people I kept hearing about and wanted to be one of them! Even now the rage I feel over being under-medicated and for the most part UNMEDICATED for most of my life when I needed help just to function is so intense I am practically shaking as I type this.

So I'll cut the rant short, as much for my continued sanity (such as it is) as everyone else's. My point is that if this article can cut through that kind of intense bitterness and actually make me think along alternate lines even for a minute, it must be pretty convincing! I can definitely see the rationale behind it. The human body is meant to function as an integrated system, after all. No drug can affect only one system without having possible undesired side effects on other systems, and if a few more drugs are introduced to counter those side effects, I can see where a domino effect could result, and serious iatrogenic illnesses develop over time.

More to the point, I know several people who could very likely be in that position right now. One is a dear friend who is 84 years old and who has started suffering from dementia in recent years. It isn't all the time, but it's heartbreaking, because normally he's sharp as a tack. I am not sure what medications he's taking, but reading that dementia is on the increase certainly makes me stop and think.

I have another friend who is a lot younger (65) but who has been taking at least eight medications every day for various conditions for years. She doesn't have dementia now, but that doesn't mean she isn't a prime candidate for developing it in later years.

Anyway, thanks for posting this article. And thanks for putting up with my rant. Just don't ever suggest--don't even gently hint!--that I not try Ritalin for my ADD if I ever get the opportunity. I have no idea if it would work for me or not, because I've never taken it. But then I probably couldn't afford it even if I could get a prescription (no health insurance).


Lori said...

Wow! I so appreciate this post and any post that is bringing this kind of information to people.

I learned the truth of this the hard way when I was way over medicated after my neck injury. In a two years time span I was on over 20 different medications. Any time I fought taking a new drug I was told I had to take it or it would be seen as not cooperating by the work comp company. I was a walking zombie that couldn't leave my house for 2 years. After a little over 2 years of being on 3 narcotics and 17 other medications, I went to a pain program in which they proceded to take me off everything. The doctor in charge was out raged over this. He considered it a crime. He said I was on enough narcotics for a 300 lbs man. I was 115 lbs! So they slowly weened me off and I got my life back. What was so ironic is that I was still in horrible pain when I was on all the drugs! They taught me alternative ways to deal with pain and even though I was still in pain, I at least had a clear head.

I also just got done experiencing this with the woman I care for. Her mom had a stroke and has been in the nursing home for rehab. She had been getting worse and worse. She was having a hard time staying awake and feeding herself. She ended up being given drugs for someone of which as oxycotten...almost killed her..but it forced us to ask for a list of all the drugs she was being given. We went home and looked them up and holy cow we couldn't believe how all the side affects counteracted one another and how they were giving her things she doesn't need, including an antidepressant. The thing is it was in her records that she did not want antidepressants ever. So now they have been taking her off some of them and weening her off the anti depressant. Miraculously she is not falling asleep all the time, doesn't have the shakes, is able to feed herself and is doing tons better!!

Because of personal experience I now use alternative methods...focusing on what I put into my body, getting appropriate sleep and taking things that don't harm my health. Thankfully I have a medical doctor that believes exactly like you talk about in this article and will not prescribe traditional medis unless it is a must like my thyroid medicine but in addition she prescribes vit D and magnesium also.

I think more and more people are waking up from the slumber that traditional medicine wants to lead us into. Doctors are not God. They are practicing medicine and they do NOT have all the answers.

Thank you for this great post! Sorry for my post of a comment. :)

Lori said...
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Lori said...
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Rob-bear said...

You've struck upon an interesting challenge, Nancy. Our pharmacy hands out an information sheet on every medication I receive. These sheets list all the "side effects" one might expect. And there are always a pile of them.

The things that are supposed to help us often harm us. Sadly. You have given us more information about this problem.

On the other hand, as Raksha notes, some of the things we take, while a bit problematic, are life-savers.

Damned if we do; damned if we don't.

Nancy said...

Thank you all for your comments. I totally agree with all of you. It is something we need to look at, and think about, as our doctors write prescription after prescription. Like Rob-bear said - we're damned if we do, and damned if we don't.

Maybe we need to ask our doctors to look at alternatives before putting us on a medication. Or at least look at us as a whole. People are more than their parts. We are integrated, complex, entities. I especially found the part about Dr. Popp, and the light that emits from every cell of our DNA, interesting. And how that light focuses and changes when something is added to the body. What does that mean? Why aren't we studying that? Is it because pharmaceutical companies make a fortune on our need for drugs?

Raksha - Your rant is fully justified. Especially if you thought I am against all drugs - especially psychotropic drugs. I just want doctors to think about our whole being before whipping out a prescription pad to fix one part, only to break another. That being said, some drugs are necessary for some people to function and survive. And I thank the heavens they are available!

Mental P Mama said...

Wow. I'm glad I have a pill swallowing phobia. It limits my intake....

Rose said...

Thank you for sharing this information.

Gemel said...

Great post.

I try not to take anything unless I really have to because these findings.

I think that many people just take pills without thinking of what harm they could do to them, the real worry is how many children are now on pills of some sort.

alaine@éclectique said...

Nancy, thanks for this post, although very frightening for me as I have been put on a calcium channel blocker, on top of one for high blood pressure!

Sylvia said...

It is shocking to know, but it's true and I know it. Around a week ago, my Mum realized she was taking some kind of medicine that induced Parkinson - and it's not even a Psychiatric medicine. She stopped taking it. And that Ritalin... As a teacher, I had several children who were taking it and I've seen no improvement. I never trusted it. It is awful to drug children just because we don't know how to deal with the problems (which most of the times aren't real problems at all). This is an excellent aricle. I just wished more persons in my country were concerned to keep up to date with this knowledge - the lesser the victims would be! A big hug to you. Thank you for sharing.

Rob-bear said...

You've come upon a really important insight, Nancy:

"Maybe we need to ask our doctors to look at alternatives before putting us on a medication. Or at least look at us as a whole. People are more than their parts. We are integrated, complex, entities."

Simple solutions do not work or complex creatures. Which is why I'm so glad I have a doctor who considers a wide range of issues in illness, and options for treatment.

Pat said...

This is both fascinating and scary. I take a LOT of medication daily. I need to wean myself off of them, with doctor's permission, of course.

Butternut Squash said...

Hi Nancy,

I've been out of town for a while. I just saw this and I really appreciate that you put this post up. I agree vigorously that we over medicate in this country for all kinds of illness. Yes, I know medication is necessary, but time, meditation, and healthy living can heal so much. I really think that the medication should be the crisis remedy rather than the first choice.

Great post.

Linda Pendleton said...

Good information, Nancy. Our society is over-medicated. What I have seen in others who take anti-depressents is a "numbness" a lack of "emotional feeling." Robots in some ways. The other day I heard a TV ad for a new medication...I believe it was for arthritis...and by the time they got done with the side-effects, you might as well be dead. Patients don't question doctors enough. After all Doctors are not gods, although some think they are. :-)