TARGET 8: Memory pills on shelves in Columbia labeled "hoax"

6 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Monday, May 01 2017 May 1, 2017 Monday, May 01, 2017 6:00:00 PM CDT May 01, 2017 in Target 8
By: Hanna Knutson, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The FTC and New York's attorney general charged Quincy Bioscience, the maker of Prevagen, with fraud. The charge accuses Prevagen with making false and unsubstantiated claims. Prevagen is an over-the-counter supplement promoted as helping with memory loss and strengthen brain function.

The company says Prevagen is made up of jellyfish proteins and sells for between 40 to 90 dollars for a 90 day supply.

Dr. Joel Shenker, who specializes in neurology at the University of Missouri, says almost all of the patients he sees either have dementia or are worried they might. He said the jellyfish protein doesn't do what Quincy Bioscience says it does.

"The manner of which you’re getting it in this Prevagen product can’t work. What they’re claiming can’t be true," Shenker said.

Shenker said when you eat a protein your body is getting the amino acids not the protein itself just like when you arrange letters it creates a word. 

So, when Prevagen's maker claims that your body is absorbing the jellyfish protein, Shenker says, that's false - it's absorbing the amino acids.

The FTC says Prevagen has made more than $165 million on the pills so far. 

Amelia Cottle is a caretaker for her husband Brian Cottle, who has Alzehiemer's disease.

Cottle said her husband has never tried Prevagen, but says the company knows exactly who to target.

“People will always continue to hope. We want there to be a cure. We want our loved to get better. We want ourselves to get better,” Cottle said.

Cottle said, once she found out about her husband's diagnosis, she tried many different things.

"From a personal stand point, doing what we could do and doing things that could try to help him. We tried dark juices and drank gallons and gallons of that," she said.

With an incurable disease like Alzheimer's, some people will turn to anything and the amount of Alzheimer cases continues to rise.

According to the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Missouri, more than 5 million Americans will be living with Alzheimer's by 2050, and the number could rise as high as 16 million. 

Jessie Kwatamadia, an executive director for the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Missouri, said the disease is a health care crisis. 

"The fact of the matter is, as long as you have a brain you are in danger of having Alzheimer’s disease," Kwatamadia said.

And mid-Missouri is no exception.

"The number is escalating. Right now, by 2017 we have over 110,000 people that we know that have Alzheimer’s disease in the state of Missouri. By 2025, we are looking at 130,000," Kwatamadia said. 

Shenker estimates about half the people with Alzheimer's disease are not being diagnosed.

"There are people who are walking around with symptomatic Alzheimer's disease. Some of these people are serving in political office, some are flying airplanes, some are practicing physicians, some are just regular ordinary folks going about their day appearing to do just fine cause they have routines and people have adapted to their routines" Shenker said.

KOMU 8 News went to grocery stores and pharmacies in Columbia and most stores didn't carry Prevagen.

However, a few did, and one store was even sold out of the pill at the time.

KOMU 8 News also reached out to Quincy Bioscience , which declined an interview due to a pending litigation. It did, however, send back a media fact sheet.

The sheet mentions the lawsuit against the FTC by stating:

"There is no alleged consumer harm that would require immediate action. Therefore, there is no reason for a short-staffed and lame-duck FTC to have brought this case now."

The sheet also points to Democrats, saying the case was authorized by two commissioners - both led by Democrats.

Since Prevagen is labeled as a supplement and not a drug, it is exempt from the FDA drug approval process and has looser restrictions.

The FTC lawsuit is asking for Prevagen customers to get their money back.

Though a pill won't cure memory problems that come with age, Shenker says there are some things to help your memory. But, he cautions that dementia and Alzheimer's disease are incurable and anyone can be affected.

Shenker says there are a couple of things known to be helpful in improving or maintaining brain function:

  • Physical activity
  • Complex thinking- puzzles or things to keep the mind engaged
  • Not smoking
  • Having good control over blood pressure
  • Following a Mediterranean diet

"People who do these things, as they go forward in time, their future memory loss becomes less as compared to people who don’t do these things," Shenker said.

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Columbia education leaders are concerned Gov. Eric Greitens is playing partisan politics with the state's board of education... More >>
3 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 11:21:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
BELLE - The mayor of Belle, who is also a volunteer firefighter, crashed into the back of an ambulance that... More >>
3 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 10:32:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
BELLE - Abatement Officer Tony Baretich is under investigation for 13 complaints that were formally filed against him after he... More >>
3 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 8:16:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in Target 8
COLUMBIA - The city council met Monday night to hear the Visitors Bureau proposal to change the city's current definition... More >>
4 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 6:12:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The state of Missouri has announced an increase to the state's minimum wage Monday. Businesses will... More >>
4 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 6:01:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
FULTON - Police arrested a woman after she allegedly attempted to steal a car from a shop, then broke into... More >>
4 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 3:23:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Jack and Katie Hanney know probably better than anyone else that life can throw curve-balls when least expected.... More >>
4 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 3:03:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Mayors from across Missouri met in Columbia Monday to discuss a variety of policies they say are negatively... More >>
4 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 2:13:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - As videos surface of package thieves targeting many neighborhoods, residents are talking about the need for security cameras.... More >>
4 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 2:11:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The owner of the Broadway Hotel still plans to request a TIF from City Council for a $20... More >>
4 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 2:00:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors charged an inmate at the Boone County Jail with damaging the facility after he allegedly flushed his... More >>
4 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 1:53:33 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal investigation will look into possible civil rights violations by police in the St.... More >>
4 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 1:44:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
FAYETTE - The special prosecutor in the case against a woman accused of bullying a teenager has filed more charges,... More >>
4 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 1:06:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - With the holiday season upon us, more people will be traveling, and Columbia Regional Airport announced another way... More >>
4 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 12:51:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The governor of Missouri has appointed 16 people to help review child abuse cases after the state... More >>
4 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 12:35:38 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
POTOSI (AP) — An eastern Missouri police officer has died following an off-duty accident. The Daily Journal newspaper in... More >>
4 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 11:22:00 AM CST November 20, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - Authorities are investigating a possible explosion that led to a structure fire in Moberly Sunday night. The... More >>
4 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 10:25:00 AM CST November 20, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Federal authorities are working to seize more than $491,000 of suspected drug money found during... More >>
4 days ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 7:47:11 AM CST November 20, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 63°
7pm 62°
8pm 59°
9pm 58°
10pm 56°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
7:00p
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
6:00p
Family Guy
6:30p
Family Guy
7:00p
iHeartRadio Music Festival, Night 2

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
7:30p
Trolls Holiday Special
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
iHeartRadio Music Festival, Night 2
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld