“10 People Died with Alheimer with Using this Dangerous Drugs”
That’s the headline I read when doing some research earlier this week. While the sentence composition was off kilter, it still caught my eye and drew me in.
Since this was identified as a ‘Medic Articles’ site, it must all be true, right? Upon opening the page, I noticed how the layout and design made it difficult to read. I dismissed this as the website being old or just poorly designed and went straight to the article.
The article immediately began with new warnings regarding prescription drugs for alzheimer (sp) treatment, mentioning the potential serious conditions associated with the drugs. It continued on about the drugs and its effects, including referencing a Canadian health association’s safety review. As I continued reading, red flags began popping up, making me extremely leery and irritated.
As mentioned earlier, the article was on a website touting medical articles – so that means it’s reputable, right? Wrong. Beside the headline, my first clue was the incredible amount of typos and grammatical errors within the article, including the spelling of Alzheimer’s. Of the six times Alzheimer’s was mentioned, only once was it spelled correctly.
Here’s another sample of sentence structure and typos, “----- is a prescription alzheimer treatment Drug used to treat the symptoms of mild, moderate and severe dementia related to Alzheimer’s disease.” Isn’t ‘mild, moderate and severe’ covering all the levels of dementia? Are there other levels? Now, I’m no expert on exact phrasing but isn’t Alzheimer’s a disease associated with dementia, not the other way around? In addition, there is no explanation as to what this drug is supposed to do for the patient in the first place.
Next red flag. When I read this sentence, “new warnings are the result of a…”, my curiosity sent me to search for the date of the article to determine when these ‘new warnings’ were announced. Well, there is no date for when the article was published or written. So, we have no idea how ‘new’ these warnings may be. In fact, there is no writer, publisher or credit given as to the origin of the article.
Finally, the reason I chose to read the article…remember the “10 People” who died? Surprise! There was absolutely no mention of this in the article. Not a single word.
Upon further review, I found the website’s About Us section at the bottom of the page. It states, “Newspaper is your news, entertainment, music fashion website. We provide you with the latest breaking news and videos straight from the entertainment industry.” I clicked on the website’s “About” icon nearby to see if there was more information but it and the “Contact” icon both sent me to the top of the same page that I was already on. Dead end.
Okay, while it took about 30 minutes of my life, at least I learned that there are sites out there that prey on people’s emotions and vulnerability when searching for valuable information to help them address serious health issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Its disturbing that there are people who actually thought this site was of value. That’s what really bothers me. I found this particular site on a Facebook dementia support group page where numerous times, this and related articles were shared (It looks like from a fake poster who gets paid to send people to these websites - more on that, another time). Unbeknownst to them, these families who are struggling with dementia and Alzheimer’s in their life, are getting their mis-information through these sites and led astray.
If you’re a Memory Care facility or caregiver, make your families aware of these questionable websites. It’s unfortunate, but have them question the validity of the information, articles and origins. When on social media, review the profiles of those who post articles linked to these worthless websites. Help them understand, just because its on the Internet or even labeled a ‘medical article’, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Offer them resources and websites that are credible and trustworthy.
These families and their loved ones are going through some of the most difficult times in their life. Your guidance and assistance will go a long way towards giving them the peace-of-mind and information they deserve.