The Alzheimer’s Epidemic
Neurodegenerative disease has been surging around the world for the past 30 years. It’s the fastest-growing cause of death in the world and it will soon be the leading cause of death.
Alzheimer’s disease alone is taking the lives of 50-100 million people around the world now. The epidemic is more severe in some countries than others. As millions die, even more will be diagnosed. Millions more are suffering in silence with a misdiagnosis or no diagnosis. No one really knows the scope of the epidemic.
A variety of factors can trigger neurodegenerative disease, including genetics, head trauma and neurotoxins. Misinformation and mismanagement are fanning the flames.
Despite millions of deaths, experts suggest that the prevalence of the disease will quadruple by 2050, if not sooner. Unfortunately, there is a growing stack of evidence that Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other brain diseases are transmissible. They also are being misdiagnosed and undiagnosed at an alarming rate. Deadly, self-replicating proteins appear to be one of the common threads.
The epidemic is worse in some regions of the world than others. Finland and Iceland were at the top of the list just a few years ago. Now, countries in the middle East and Persian Gulf states have soared to the top of the list.
In the United States, for example, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease increased 71 percent from 2000 to 2013. Over the same time, deaths from heart disease decreased 14 percent.
At $236 billion a year, Alzheimer’s disease is already the most expensive disease in the United States. The disease saw a 15.7 percent jump over 2014 numbers–the largest increase of all major causes of death. It accounted for 108,227 documented deaths (and thousands more of undiagnosed and undocumented ones) in the U.S. alone in 2015. A similar pattern is emerging around the globe–some regions much more than others.
In the U.S., nearly one in every five Medicare dollars is spent on people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. These costs will continue to increase sharply as baby boomers age and the prion contagion spreads, soaring to more than $1 trillion in 2050.
Neurodegenerative Disease Vastly Underreported
The Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s epidemic is more widespread than anyone knows. Physicians have withheld millions of diagnoses from patients and their families. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, physicians in the U.S. only inform 45 percent of patients about their Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The same suppression is likely at work in most countries. Meanwhile, millions more go undiagnosed and misdiagnosed.
A groundbreaking study suggested that Alzheimer’s disease causes six times as many deaths as the official statistics indicate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that, in 2010, Alzheimer’s caused almost 84,000 deaths in the United States, a number derived from death certificates in which Alzheimer’s disease was listed as the main cause.
In reality, the study said Alzheimer’s was the underlying cause in more than 500,000 deaths in 2010 that were often attributed to conditions, such as pneumonia, caused by complications of Alzheimer’s. Those numbers make Alzheimer’s disease the third-leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. The study was led by researchers at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and published in 2013 in the medical journal Neurology.
Prions (PREE-ons) are a deadly and unstoppable form of protein that migrates, mutates, multiplies and kills with unparalleled efficiency. Prions cause fatal neurodegenerative disease in humans and other mammals by converting the cellular version of prion protein into a toxic form that erodes the brain and body. Prion disease often is described as a wasting disease that causes a loss of body mass and brain mass.
Dr. Stanley Prusiner, an American neuroscientist from the University of California at San Francisco, earned a Nobel Prize in 1997 for discovering and characterizing prions and prion disease. President Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 to recognize the importance of his research.
Prion disease also is known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.” Prusiner claims that all forms of TSE are caused by infectious prions.
TSE is a spectrum disease that varies in severity and symptoms. It depends on which region of the brain is impacted first and by what prion mutation. Few cases are identical in terms of symptoms and diagnoses. When the presenting symptom is memory loss, the diagnoses flow along the following chart.
In humans, the prion spectrum includes Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and an extremely aggressive version known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The difference between these diseases is very slight and often indistinguishable to neurologists. For example, millions of people have the severe form of Alzheimer’s disease, which is known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). CJD is clearly a prion disease. According to neuroscientists Dr. Laura Manuelidis, at least 25 percent of Alzheimer’s diagnoses are actually CJD, which is further up the prion spectrum. CJD, without dispute, is extremely infectious to caregivers and loved ones, but it has not been declared a reportable disease across the U.S. and many other nations.
Millions of cases of deadly CJD are being misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease. Millions of patients and caregivers are being misinformed, misguided and exposed to an aggressive prion disease. Millions of people with prion disease have exposed us all to their infectious waste thanks to misinformation, mismanagement and negligence. Meanwhile, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is likely a form of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy—prion disease. In most of these cases, the trauma was the change agent that caused prions to misfold and become toxic. Once the neurodegeneration of CTE begins, are these victims shedding infectious prions? Hopefully, prion researchers will fill in this very important blank. Again, families and caregivers need to know if they are dealing with a TSE.
Unfortunately, Prusiner’s science is being ignored and we all are facing a public health disaster because of the negligence and reckless disregard for public health.
Prions are such a formidable threat that the U.S. government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, which included a provision to halt research on prions in all but two laboratories.
The U.S. government classified prions as select agents that pose an extreme risk to food, water and health systems.
Unfortunately, the Center For Disease Control quietly took prions off the list about two years ago because the classification threatened to criminalize some multi-billion dollar industries and many industry practices.
Misinformed caregivers, family members, healthcare workers and others are caught in the crossfire of a deadly form of protein. In fact, few family members are warned about the infectious nature of CJD. Meanwhile, hospitals throw out surgical instruments used on such patients. Neurologists prefer not to touch or even be in the same room as a patient with CJD. The CJD Foundation and other advocacy organizations also remain mum on the risk of transmission. The CDC remains silent. Is this cone of silence at all levels incompetence, negligence or criminal misconduct?
Abnormal proteins also are associated with autism. In fact, it appears that age is the biggest difference between the neurodegenerative disease spectrum and autism spectrum disorders. Both spectrums share common environmental causes and pathologies. Plus, CJD is taking the lives of more and more young adults and adolescents.
Prion disease is highly contagious, incurable and fatal. Despite all of the smoke and mirrors, prion disease is prion disease. It’s killing more and more mammals, including humans, every year. The hype about species barriers is ridiculous, reckless and irresponsible.
Victims should be quarantined because prions are in the urine, feces, blood, saliva, mucus, skin and cell tissue of all victims–all human byproducts that are washed, dumped, or flushed down sinks and toilets. One can assume that the waste is extra infectious when it comes from funeral homes, nursing homes, hospitals, dental offices, veterinarians, slaughterhouses and some laboratories.
In humans, most diagnoses are a process of elimination. After eliminating all other possibilities, the medical guesswork begins:
- If the patient has a memory disorder, it’s diagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease;
- If they have a movement disorder, it’s diagnosed as Parkinson’s disease;
- If the patient shows both symptoms, doctors flip a coin;
- If the patient ever had a concussion, it’s now ruled as CTE;
- If the person is incapacitated, it’s Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and very transmissible;
- If the victim is in the deer family, it’s chronic wasting disease instead of prion disease;
- If the victim is a beef or dairy cow, it’s called mad cow disease instead of prion disease;
- In other mammals, it’s called different things, but prion disease has been found in dolphins, elephants, mink, cats and many other species. The suggestion of a reliable species barrier against thousands, if not millions of mutations is ludicrous.
Prion disease causes memory loss, impaired coordination, and abnormal movements.
More Mismanagement Of Prion Disease
Unfortunately, the CDC quietly took prions off the highly regulated list of select agents because the regulation criminalized entire industries and several reckless practices. It also opened the floodgates to prion mismanagement.
Wastewater treatment plants are collecting points for prions from infected humans. The sewage treatment process can’t stop prions from migrating, mutating and multiplying before being discharged into the environment where they can kill again. Wastewater treatment plants are spreading infectious waste far and wide because they are incapable of stopping prions. As such, all by-products and discharges from wastewater treatment plants are infectious waste, which are contributing to the global epidemic of neurodegenerative disease among humans, wildlife and livestock.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has confirmed that prions are in sewage and that there has been no way to detect them or stop them. As such, the EPA has never issued guidance on prion management within wastewater treatment plants. Unfortunately, the EPA’s risk assessment on sewage sludge and biosolids were prepared before the world of science knew about prions. The agency continues to cling to it’s antiquated sludge rule crafted back in the dark ages. It does, however, consider prions a “emerging contaminant of concern.” Meanwhile, its outdated risk assessments are promoting a public health disaster. The neurotoxins found in sewage, including heavy metals, also are contributing to the global spike in autism, which follows the same timing and trajectory as the spike in neurodegenerative diseases.
“Since it’s unlikely that the sewage treatment process can effectively deactivate prions, adopting measures to prevent the entry of prions into the sewer system is advisable,” said the Toronto Department of Health, November 2004.
Sewage Spreading Brain Disease To Wildlife
Once unleashed on the environment, prions remain infectious. They migrate, mutate and multiply as they infect crops, water supplies, wildlife, livestock, sea mammals and humans. According to prion researcher Joel Pedersen at the University of Wisconsin, prions in soil become up to 680 times more infectious. From there, they migrate, mutate and multiply. It’s a real world version of Pandora’s Lunchbox.
“Our results suggest that if prions enter municipal wastewater treatment systems, most of the agent would bond to sewage sludge, survive anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids,” Pedersen said. “Land application of biosolids containing prions represents a route for their unintentional introduction into the environment. Our results emphasize the importance of keeping prions out of municipal wastewater treatment systems.”
Pedersen also found that sewage treatment does not inactivate prions. Therefore, prions are lethal, mutating, migrating and multiplying everywhere sewage is dumped.
Prions could end up in sewage treatment plants via slaughterhouses, hospitals, dental offices and mortuaries just to name a few of the pathways. The disposal of sludge represents the greatest risk of spreading prion contamination in the environment. Plus, we know that pathogens, pharmaceutical residue and chemical pollutants found in sewage sludge are taken up by plants and vegetables.”
Thanks to the mismanagement of infectious waste, including sewage, the animal world is contracting prion disease from humans. They also are passing it among themselves via their own bodily fluids. Species barriers are a myth.
Unfortunately, prions linger in the environment, homes, hospitals, nursing homes, dental offices and beyond infinitely. Prions defy all attempts at sterilization and inactivation. If they can’t stop prions in the friendly and sterile confines of an operating room, they can’t stop them in the wastewater treatment plant.
Sewage Spreading Brain Disease To Food, Water Supplies
The risk assessments prepared by the U.S. EPA for wastewater treatment and sewage sludge are flawed and current practices of recycling this infectious waste is fueling a public health disaster. Many risks are not addressed, including prions and radioactive waste. They don’t mention prions or radiation because there is no answer. Most nations are making the same mistake. We’re dumping killer proteins on crops, parks, golf courses, gardens, ski areas, school grounds and beyond. Wind, rain and irrigation spread these contaminants and many more throughout our communities and watersheds.
Failure to account for known risks is negligent. Crops for humans and livestock grown in sewage sludge absorb prions and become infectious. We’re all vulnerable to neurotoxins and right now due to widespread denial and mismanagement. It’s time to stop the land application of sewage sludge (LASS) in all nations. Safer alternatives exist.
In 2015, the CDC reported that 1 in 45 children in the United States now has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which includes Asperger’s Syndrome. Just a few years ago, the rate was estimated at one in 88. Boys are five times more likely to be autistic than girls. About one out of every 100 adults has ASD, but that ratio will rise as young victims age.
Studies suggest that two-thirds of the autism epidemic is environmentally caused, which explains the regional variations from one part of the country to another.
We can’t ignore that the global Alzheimer’s disease epidemic and the autism epidemic both began to rise in the late 1970s. They began to spike dramatically in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The spike in autism and Alzheimer’s disease are almost identical in terms of timing and trajectory. The surge in chronic wasting disease among deer also follows the same trend line. These devastating diseases are symptoms of a much bigger problem associated with toxic and infectious waste policies and practices that shifted at the exact same time.
According to a 2010 study by the Centers for Disease Control, Utah, North Carolina and New Jersey have the highest rates of autism. ASD strikes one in every 32 Utah boys, and one in every 85 girls. In New Jersey, one in every 28 boys has ASD. The numbers are likely still rising.
Thanks to modern sewage disposal and antiquated risk assessments, we’re witnessing a public health disaster that’s still unfolding in the form of autism, Alzheimer’s disease, west Nile virus, Zika virus, chronic wasting disease, valley fever, meningitis, hepatitis, and other threats to public health.
Read more about the autism epidemic and its connection to infectious proteins and other neurotoxins that are spreading through biosolids and wastewater reclamation. Please contact us to share your insights, opinions and support for critical reforms.
Background On Deadly Sewage Sludge
In 1972, world leaders admitted that dumping highly toxic sewage sludge into the oceans killed entire underwater ecosystems and threatened public health. Some nations stopped the dumping immediately and started dumping it on land or burning it in incinerators. The most responsible cities started putting sewage sludge in landfills. Meanwhile, the United States allowed cities to keep dumping sewage sludge at sea for another 20 years. It finally passed the Ocean Dumping Ban Act of 1988, when beaches along the east coast were forced to close because of high levels of pathogens from sewage that washed up on shore.
The law prohibited all dumping of industrial waste and municipal sewage sludge into our oceans after December 31, 1991. It did nothing however, to keep cities such as Boston and Los Angeles from dumping millions of gallons of raw sewage directly into the oceans every day, but with the help of the U.S. EPA, the Act did redirect millions of tons of deadly toxins and pathogens from our oceans to farms, ranches, national forests, city parks, golf courses, playgrounds, fair grounds, race tracks, sport fields and beyond. From there, the pathogens began contaminating food, water and air as they were soaked up by crops, swept away by rainwater and picked up by windstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes and dumped on innocent citizens where they live, work and play. The runoff still contaminates our oceans after it filters through our creeks, lakes and rivers.
After the 1991 ban on ocean dumping, the EPA instituted a policy of sewage sludge reuse on agricultural land. It hired a PR firm to spin a new brand for the death dirt. They crafted the clever name “biosolids” to help disguise the hazards. The EPA promoted biosolids recycling throughout the 1990s. Unfortunately, the risk assessments were severely biased and flawed. The proof is in the pudding.
This new form of sewage dispersal has sparked a public health disaster that’s still unfolding in the form of autism, Alzheimer’s disease, west Nile virus, Zika virus, chronic wasting disease, meningitis, hepatitis, and other threats to public health. The risk assessments for these practices failed to account for heavy metals, pharmaceutical residue, radionuclides, carcinogens and a deadly form of protein known as a prion (which was unknown to the world of science at the time). The practice sparked a public health disaster in exchange for healthier oceans and a very profitable new industry. The EPA even took its show on the road and convinced other nations to use its faulty risk assessments to justify multi-million dollar contracts for these new corporations. Countries such as Canada took the bait hook, line and sinker and never conducted its own risk assessments.
Chronic wasting disease is now rampant in the U.S. and Canada. It recently jumped the Atlantic to Norway’s reindeer herd–again via human sewage. The jump blows holes in much of the smoke and mirrors used to sweep CWD under the rug in North America. This infectious waste known as biosolids is killing more than wildlife.
Land application sites often involve locations where poverty is high and economic prosperity is low, which means resistance is low. Sludge tends to be dumped where minorities live, leading to allegations of environmental racism. Unfortunately, contaminated food and water make it back to the cities where the infectious waste originated.
Treated sewage sludge has been used in the UK, Europe and China agriculturally for more than 80 years, though there is increasing pressure in some countries to stop the practice of land application due to farm land contamination and public outrage. In the 1990s there was pressure in some European countries to ban the use of sewage sludge as a fertilizer. Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, and others introduced a ban to safeguard public health. Others should follow their example.
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Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, autism, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are among our special areas of practice. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform email@example.com.