Prion Disease Surging Globally
Neurodegenerative disease has been surging around the world for the past 30 years. It’s the fastest-growing cause of death and it will soon be the leading cause of death. Infectious waste plays a significant role in the equation.
Alzheimer’s disease alone is taking the lives of 50-100 million people around the world now. Millions will die of the disease this year, while many millions more will be diagnosed, misdiagnosed and undiagnosed. The epidemic is more severe in some countries than others. Supposedly, no one knows the scope of the problem. The evidence being swept under the rug and the global misinformation campaign suggests otherwise.
A variety of factors can trigger neurodegenerative disease, including genetics, head trauma and neurotoxins.
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. Deadly, self-replicating proteins appear to be one of the common threads. Similar proteins appear to be associated with autism and the childhood cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
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. During that 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.
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 disease 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. Governments and industry are working diligently to keep prion disease off the public radar. The epidemic will persist. A cure does not exist. Ignoring the truth is making it worse.
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. Important reforms to policies to protect public health, however, have been elusive.
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.
“Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease in humans and will pose a considerable challenge to healthcare systems in the coming years,” Prusiner said. Aggregation of the β-amyloid (Aβ) peptide within the brain is thought to be an initiating event in AD pathogenesis. Many recent studies in transgenic mice have provided evidence that Aβ aggregates become self-propagating (infectious) during disease, leading to a cascade of protein aggregation in the brain, which may underlie the progressive nature of AD. The ability to self-propagate and the existence of distinct strains reveals that Aβ aggregates exhibit many properties indistinguishable from those of prions composed of PrPSc proteins. The evidence that Aβ can become a prion during disease, Aβ prions may be important for understanding the pathobiology of AD.”
Like prion diseases, misfolded alpha-synuclein and tau protein associated with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, respectively, have been reported in skin tissues of patients with these conditions. Skin could serve as a screen for early diagnosis, but also for monitoring the accumulation of the misfolded proteins in the brain of these neurodegenerative diseases. It also could be another pathway of transmission.
Prions + Pathways = Victims
“I learned that scrapie, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and kuru had all been shown to be transmissible by injecting extracts of diseased brains into the brains of healthy animals,” Prusiner said. “Whether infectious proteins are responsible for Alzheimer’s disease, remains unknown, but it is a possibility that should not be ignored.”
Prusiner isn’t alone. In fact, I challenge you to find any science that claims that Alzheimer’s disease and CJD are not transmissible.
“There has been a resurgence of this sort of thinking, because there is now real evidence of the potential transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Thomas Wiesniewski M.D. a prion and Alzheimer’s disease researcher at New York University School of Medicine. “In fact, this ability to transmit an abnormal conformation is probably a universal property of amyloid-forming proteins (prions).”
A study published in the journal Nature adds to the evidence about the transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease between people. A second study by the same scientist in early 2016 supports the claim. Meanwhile, there is absolutely no evidence to the contrary.
Claudio Soto, PhD, professor of neurology at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, and his colleagues confirmed the presence of prions in urine.
“Our findings open the possibility that some of the sporadic Alzheimer’s cases may arise from an infectious process, which occurs with other neurological diseases such as mad cow and its human form, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease,” said Claudio Soto, Ph.D., professor of neurology at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, part of UTHealth. “The underlying mechanism of Alzheimer’s disease is very similar to the prion diseases. It involves a normal protein that becomes misshapen and is able to spread by transforming good proteins to bad ones. The bad proteins accumulate in the brain, forming plaque deposits that are believed to kill neuron cells in Alzheimer’s.”
Soto also confirmed that plants uptake prions and are infectious and deadly to those who consume the infected plants. Therefore, humans, wildlife and livestock are vulnerable to prion disease via plants grown on land treated with sewage sludge and reclaimed sewage water.
Even wildlife and sea mammals are contracting brain disease from people because of the dumping of infectious waste on farms, ranches and forests. In addition to permanently contaminating the soil and water runoff, research has found that plants/crops grown in infectious prions uptake those prions and become infectious.
TSE is a spectrum disease that varies in severity and symptoms. The diagnosis 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.
According to neuroscientists Dr. Laura Manuelidis, at least 25 percent of Alzheimer’s diagnoses are actually Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (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.
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 CJD–the most aggressive version. The difference between these diseases is very slight and often indistinguishable to neurologists. Millions of people have CJD, which is clearly an aggressive prion disease. CJD has not been declared a reportable disease across most nations.
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.
As such, millions of caregivers are being misinformed, misguided and exposed to an aggressive prion disease. So are friends and family. 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.
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 (neurodevelopmental) 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 (biosolids) was prepared before the world of science knew about prions. The agency continues to cling to its 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 stop prions, adopting measures to prevent the entry of prions into the sewer system is advisable,” said the Toronto Department of Health, November 2004.
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 (biosolids) 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. When it comes to prion disease, 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.
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.
Crops for humans and livestock grown in sewage sludge absorb prions and other neurotoxins. They become become infectious. We’re all vulnerable to neurotoxins 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.
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Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, autism, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are among our strengths.