Articles that misinterpret scientific testing ‘could cause dementia’

Reading a few misleading newspaper articles a week which misinterpret preliminary results of scientific testing – despite a tiny unrepresentative sample size and questionable methodology – can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, new research suggests.

Scientists have uncovered powerful evidence that reading uninformed tabloid articles covering a new ‘breakthrough’ in the fight against an incurable illness, not only serves to create symptoms of Alzheimer’s in humans, but can also considerably accelerate its’ effects.

US neuroscientist Dr. Peter Ian, who led the research, said: “We gave a small sample of patients an ill-informed article covering a research project involving a small number of mice – one half of which were given water and the other half coffee. It was found that the half given coffee generally had less symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s than the other half. Now the research was at a very preliminary stage, so the scientists involved didn’t really go on about it as they would have been preparing a similar test on human subjects, which as we know are somewhat different from rodents.

“The article, however, considered this to be definitive proof of coffee being a ‘miracle cure’ for Alzheimer’s disease. It had no basis whatsoever to say this and was seemingly written to make science more palatable to the mass market. The patients were asked to study this article and try and memorize as much of its’ content as possible.”

A key aspect of Alzheimer’s is sticky clumps of abnormal protein in the brain called beta amyloid plaques. Scientists found a marked increase of this protein in a small number of patients after reading the article.

“We have found that bullshit can easily enter the brain, and it appears to directly affect the disease process”, said Dr. Ian. “The patients were subsequently questioned about the article and most of them couldn’t remember any actual content or facts whatsoever. A lot of them were confused over its’ meaning and couldn’t work out why it had been written at all.”

The level of bullshit needed to deteriorate the human brain in this manner has been found to be equivalent to reading just 2 or 3 misrepresentative science articles published in tabloid newspapers or on internet search engine news sections per week.


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