The usual suspects: why techno-fixing dementia is flawed

Karin Rolanda Jongsma, Martin Sand

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Dementia is highly prevalent and up until now, still incurable. If we may believe the narrative that is currently dominant in dementia research, in the future we will not have to suffer from dementia anymore, as there will be a simple techno-fix solution. It is just a matter of time before we can solve the growing public health problem of dementia. In this paper we take a critical stance towards overly positive narratives of techno-fixes by placing our empirical analysis of dementia research protocols and political statements in a framework of technology assessment. From this perspective, it becomes obvious that a techno-fix is just one of many ways to approach societal problems and more importantly that technologies are way less perfect than they are presented. We will argue that this narrow scope, which focusses on the usual suspects for solving illnesses, reduces dementia to organismic aspects, and may be counterproductive in finding a cure for dementia. We conclude with outlining how the narrow scope can be balanced with other narratives and why we should have a reasonable scepticism towards the usual suspects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)119-130
    Number of pages12
    JournalMedicine, Health Care and Philosophy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


    • Biomedical
    • Dementia
    • Health policy
    • Narration
    • Technology assessment

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