Jan 182014
 
Medical journalist Jerome Burne

In this second part of our interview with medical journalist Jerome Burne, he explains why coconut oil could ease Alzheimer’s. Here is the article he wrote for the UK Daily Mail about this: Can coconut oil ease Alzheimer’s? Families who’ve given it to loved ones swear by it . The article was published on 8 January 2013.

Jan 132014
 
Jerome Burne, Medical journalist

In this first part of our interview with medical journalist Jerome Burne, he explains how he had heard about ketones and the benefits for the metabolism at a lecture by Professor Kieran Clarke of Oxford University. Here is the article he wrote for the UK Daily Mail based on that news: Could this elixir hold the key to weight loss?

Jan 082014
 
Justin Smith, Producer/Director of Statin Nation

This is the first part of our interview with Justin Smith, Producer/Director of the investigative documentary Statin Nation. In it, he explains the background to his decision to make Statin Nation.

Since we filmed the interview, with the backing of a crowd-funding campaign which reached its initial target in record time, Justin has started to make Statin Nation II.

A few days ago, he published the first intro clip from Statin Nation II, which looks at the new cholesterol guidelines introduced in the US last month.

Apparently, these new guidelines are set to double the number of people taking statin medications.

The crowd-funding campaign to finance Statin Nation II is now close to its second target. If you want to see the rewards on offer and contribute to the crowd-funding campaign, visit the Statin Nation II web page.

Coming soon: Part 2 of our interview with Justin Smith, in which he explains why he thinks that there has been ‘consistent misinformation about what constitutes healthy eating’.

Jan 012014
 
Poster image for You must be nuts!

Poster image for You must be nuts!

I should introduce you to my friends Alph, Beel and Chah-Lee. They are puppets. You must be nuts! tells the story of how their exploration of the film’s interviews changes their lives.

Here’s the prequel:

The puppet family

Alph and Chah-Lee are husband and wife. They live in the UK.

Chah-Lee is the more health-conscious of the two. Every time a new diet becomes popular, she has been following it in the hope of returning to her once-slim figure.

Alph is the one I know best and through whom I met Chah-Lee and Beel. He is fascinated by current affairs and science. His iPad is his window on the world and we came to know each other through an online science discussion forum.

Beel is Chah-Lee’s Spanish father. He has travelled extensively and has lived in Spain, the UK, Latin America, the US and France. He met and married Chah-Lee’s mother while he was living in the UK.

Chah-Lee’s keen interest in health developed partly in reaction to seeing her mother gradually put on weight. As Chah-Lee was growing up, her mother started suffering health problems related to her obesity and diabetes.

As a result, after Beel had worked for many years as a senior executive, he and his wife decided to live in Spain. They set up ‘Beel’s Beach Bar’ together on its Mediterranean coast. Although Chah-Lee’s mother passed away a couple of years ago, Beel continues to run the bar.

The background to the puppets

Needless to say, Alph, Beel and Chah-Lee are fictitious characters. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Of course, Alph, Beel and Chah-Lee could be anyone – A, B and C – and they could be living anywhere in the world. Their dialogue is derived from various informal conversations with friends and colleagues over the past year about dementia, dietary advice, prescription drugs and/or what constitutes a healthy diet. It aims to cover all the typical questions which arise in any such discussion.

The puppets were kindly created for the film by Enrique Nicanor. His past credits include creating and animating the original puppets for the children’s TV series The Magic Roundabout and producing and directing the Spanish version of Sesame Street for its first three years.

Elisabeth Christ provided the voice of Chah-Lee, Enrique provided the voice of Beel and I provided the voice of Alph. Kaberi was the puppeteer behind Chah-Lee while Enrique was the puppeteer for Alph and Beel.

Amid the increasingly grim findings of my research and the challenges of caring for someone with dementia, Alph, Beel & Chah-Lee provided a welcome source of light relief. The two days of filming the puppet sequences were strenuous but fun. My father was our fascinated and patient live audience while we filmed the breakfast scenes over several hours on Saturday.

Wishing you a dementia-free 2014 … and beyond.

Jul 312013
 
My father on 4 May 2013

My father laying flowers at the bust of Rabindranath Tagore in the garden of Shakespeare’s Birthplace on 4 May 2013

The reason is quite simple: I wanted to share the information which I’ve been gathering while trying to treat my father’s dementia. By doing so, I hope to help others to avoid having to go through what my father has had to suffer … because what I have found – too late for my father, sadly – is that dementia is entirely preventible.

Until we started interviewing specialists for the film, I had found all the information online. However, the information is widely dispersed and often plagued by sceptical comments from ‘internet trolls‘. As a result, popular misconceptions persist, probably thanks to commercial interests.

For example, many people think Alzheimer’s is widespread today because people are living longer. In reality, Alzheimer’s/dementia hardly existed in 1960 even among 85-year-olds and the dramatic rise in incidence since then has been proven to have nothing to do with longevity.