Let’s start somewhere else. With a disease that we’ve made some progress on: schizophrenia.
Here are your symptoms:
Behavioral: social isolation, disorganized behavior, aggression, agitation, compulsive behavior, excitability, hostility, repetitive movements, self-harm, or lack of restraint
Cognitive: thought disorder, delusion, amnesia, belief that an ordinary event has special and personal meaning, belief that thoughts aren’t one’s own, disorientation, memory loss, mental confusion, slowness in activity, or false belief of superiority
Mood: anger, anxiety, apathy, feeling detached from self, general discontent, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, elevated mood, or inappropriate emotional response
Psychological: hallucination, paranoia, hearing voices, depression, fear, persecutory delusion, or religious delusion
Speech: circumstantial speech, incoherent speech, rapid and frenzied speaking, or speech disorder
Onset Age: 12-40 [source]
Treatment: Antipsychotics. They seem to help alleviate symptoms, both positive and negative.
Wow. I thought I was reading an article about Alzheimer’s. You are. Bear with me.
Behavioral: aggression, agitation, difficulty with self care, irritability, meaningless repetition of own words, personality changes, restlessness, lack of restraint, or wandering and getting lost
Cognitive: mental decline, difficulty thinking and understanding, confusion in the evening hours, delusion, disorientation, forgetfulness, making things up, mental confusion, difficulty concentrating, inability to create new memories, inability to do simple math, or inability to recognize common things
Onset Age: 41+
Treatment: Cholinesterase inhibitors and. Memantine. The inhibitors slow the process that breaks down a key neurotransmitter. Memantine regulates the neurotransmitter responsible for learning and memory.
The main difference in this article is memory loss. That’s the main symptom difference that we can’t explain between schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. You know what else changes in those onset ages? The subjects ages. And while I have my own theories for why, I think it’s save to say that people start losing their memory as they get older. These diseases effect the same areas of the brain.
Here are some results from an exhaustive study comparing symptoms of Elderly Schizophrenics [ED] to those with Alzheimer’s in the annesiac mild cognitive impairment stage [AD-aMCI]. Take a look at the data here, and read the entire study if you dare. The point is these numbers are practically indistinguishable.
|Test/subtest||ES group||AD-aMCI group||p value|
|GM index||80.0 ± 16.2||77.8 ± 10.5||0.58|
|AC index||91.0 ± 14.7||98.6 ± 11.7||0.046|
|DR index||76.3 ± 17.2||58.8 ± 8.6||<0.001|
|GM-DR||3.6 ± 10.7||19.9 ± 8.6||<0.001|
|Information||10.1 ± 3.7||11.2 ± 2.8||0.37|
|Digit symbol substitution||8.0 ± 2.7||11.6 ± 2.3||<0.001|
|Similarity||9.9 ± 3.2||12.5 ± 2.2||0.024|
|Picture completion||8.5 ± 4.0||11.2 ± 1.8||0.037|
|Block design||8.4 ± 2.7||11.5 ± 1.9||0.0018|
We don’t know much about the brain. And the nature of science is to broaden fields. To specify. This is about simplification.
Here’s the theory: these are the same disease. We call schizophrenia Alzheimer’s after you turn forty. Assume for a moment that I’m right. That these are the same disease.
We’ve made progress on schizophrenia. Some people with schizophrenia have made full recoveries. So if Alzheimer’s is schizophrenia, then Alzheimer’s is curable.
There is hope after all.
So how do we cure schizophrenia? We don’t treat symptoms. Some people say that theirs is in “remission” but they only say that because of how we convey the nature of the disease.
So, if for whatever reason, you’re still with me. Alzheimer’s and Schizophrenia are the same disease. How can I say that they are curable? It’s the nature of the human mind. It has all the same hardware it had when you were born. It’s perfectly designed and capable of a full recovery.
Here is the brain model that lead me to these solutions.