Reporting on hype, hope around treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Alan Cassels

Alan Cassels

There seems to be no end of news reports about promising therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

With the aging of the population having become one of the more serious and complicated aspects of modern American health care, these typically age-associated conditions are driving a lot of research into new drug and other treatment approaches.

Despite high excitement and hope surrounding the latest treatments, journalists need to report responsibly on these drugs to avoid delivering false hope and ensure their stories are leavened with balanced, quality information. There is always a risk that reporters may too easily accept what drug manufacturers, geriatricians and others tell them about new therapies and not demand to see the research backing up their claims.

Alan Cassels (@AKECassels), a writer and drug policy researcher affiliated with the School of Health Information Sciences at the University of Victoria, has some tips for reporters covering treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

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