Health

"The maddening saga of how an Alzheimer’s ‘cabal’ thwarted progress toward a cure for decades"

Interesting and sad, and offers another example of a very tough problem. Science needs to enforce standards against nonsense. There should be a very, very high threshold for believing claims of a perpetual motion machine. And for much else. (I once read that before the relatively recent proof of Fermat's Last Theorem a distinguished math professor used to regularly get "proofs" submitted to him. He got enough, in fact, that he printed some postcards and charged a grad student for sending them out. The cards read something like, "Dear Sir and/or Madam: Thank you for submitting your proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. Your first error appears on page ___, line ___." The grad student had to fill in the blanks.)

But thresholds against very unlikely things and nonsense should not develop into an awful groupthink that mindlessly claims authority where there is no good ground for claiming such authority. A theory of Alzheimer's that repeatedly failed but was stubbornly adhered at the cost of discouraging virtually all other theories is a good example.


"Physicians urge greater focus on role of chronic inflammation in overall health"

As I've written by now many times on this blog medicine currently ascribes almost all of the ills of old age to chronic inflammation

. . . researchers at 22 institutions describe how persistent and severe inflammation in the body is often a precursor for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, diabetes and autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders.

The researchers point to inflammation-related conditions as the cause of roughly 50 percent of all deaths worldwide.