It’s estimated that more than 44 million people around the world today are in the grasp of Alzheimer’s disease and its deadly spiral. That number is expected to triple or more within 25 years. The medical world knows very little about this family of neurodegenerative diseases, which includes Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and the most feared of all–Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
We know that these diseases are fatal (other than Parkinson’s) and that there is not a cure in sight. We know that these diseases are essentially identical and that diagnosis is not an art or science. Doctors basically determine what the patient doesn’t have and the process of elimination reveals that (voila) the patient must have dementia. Then doctors basically flip a four-sided coin to see what name to give it–Alzheimer’s, CJD, Huntington’s or Parkinson’s.
“It must be Alzheimer’s,” says the doctor.”But we aren’t absolutely sure.”
I recently heard of two cases where the Mayo Clinic diagnosed people with Parkinson’s in less than half of an hour, gave them a prescription and sent them home. One of those people has been falling down, drools and exhibits alarming behavior. I just don’t believe that a 30-minute observation really determined:
A. That it’s a complex prion disease.
B. Which prion disease has a hold on the man.
What if these people really have the very aggressive mutation–CJD? Shouldn’t families be given more than just a guess? Should they be told to take some precautions to avoid prion transmission?
That’s what an Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diagnosis looks like today. It’s far from scientific and full of risk for caregivers and family members as I explain below (and in the e-Book). I’m alarmed at what seems to be a general sense of dismissal at many levels in terms of diagnosis, treatment, precautions and regulations. We share an even more horrifying CJD diagnosis and progression in the book.
Again, world health officials are predicting that the number of Alzheimer’s victims around the world will triple by 2050, if not sooner. When you consider that the death rates from all other major causes of death, including cancer and heart disease, are on the decline, the spike in prion diseases (including Alzheimer’s) demands even more attention.
Now, let’s inject some science into that equation and see where facts can explain the Alzheimer’s contribution to a global prion epidemic. Deadly prions (pronounced PREE-on) are contagious and unstoppable. Prions migrate, mutate, multiply and kill with incredible efficiency.
“The (human) brain diseases caused by prions includes Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and other disorders known as frontotemporal dementias,” said Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner, who earned a Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1997 for discovering deadly prions.
U.S. President Barack Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 for his vital work. Prions are not science fiction. They have the attention of the entire scientific community and world leaders alike. Prions are a deadly form of protein that triggers the nervous system to consume itself, while attacking nerves throughout the body (including in muscle tissue of animals).
Prion disease is not limited to humans. The deadly prion epidemic is already taking its toll in nature. Deer, elk and moose populations in the United States and Canada, for example are being decimated by prion disease. In these species, the disease isn’t called by the human names, it’s been labeled as “chronic wasting disease” or CWD. The Canadian government recently announced that prion disease among wildlife is unstoppable. They are right. It’s unstoppable in people and all mammals, including livestock and ocean mammals, such as whales and dolphins. The species barrier is a myth. We can give it to animals and animals can give it to people. The scientific name for prion disease is Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE). It’s important to emphasize the word “transmissible.”
Once thought to be just age-related diseases among humans and even a genetic disease, we now know that prion disease also is an environmental nightmare. As more people and animals contract prion disease (regardless of source), the victims proceed to add to the environmental contamination, which adds momentum to an already established epidemic.
Alzheimer’s Disease Now An Environmental Disease
People and animals who contract prion disease can carry the disease for months and even years before they exhibit clinical signs of the disease and start their downward spiral. During this time, their body releases deadly prions through bodily discharges, including blood, mucus, saliva, sweat, milk, urine and feces. In essence, everything that an Alzheimer’s or CJD victim touches becomes contaminated. What makes this even more alarming is that it’s impossible to sterilize something once it has been contaminated by a person or animal with prion disease.
We now have a situation where the disease in people can infect wildlife and livestock. We now have a situation where infected wildlife and livestock can transmit the disease to humans just because of the contamination that they add to land (urine, feces, mucus and blood), which runs off into streams, ponds, lakes, groundwater and oceans–likely exposing food and drinking water supplies.
Even sophisticated healthcare systems have failed to grasp the severity and infectivity of prion disease and its ability to spread. For example, hospitals around the world have been sued successfully for spreading CJD to innocent patients. So far, these lawsuits have been limited to the use of contaminated surgical instruments. In these cases, surgeons use the devises on a person with undiagnosed prion disease. Unknowing to the hospital, the surgical equipment and the surgery room become permanently contaminated by the prions in the patient. Subsequently, the tools undergo an ineffective sterilization and are then used again and again in surgeries. Later, the prion patient is diagnosed and the trail of contamination is already in place. (Just Google it for the most recent examples. It’s still happening every day.) Dental offices represent the same risk. So does blood and organ donation.
Most health care systems are still misinformed and under-informed about the dangers that CJD patients pose to others. Therefore, these care facilities are exposing others and contributing to a global mismanagement problem. So are nursing homes, coroners and funeral homes.
Want more proof? Most coroners refuse to touch the body of someone who likely died of CJD. All dementia patients and their bodies demand special handling and burial to avoid infecting others. Call your local coroner and ask. Just Google “coroners and CJD protocol.”
If coroners and other insiders in the medical industry won’t take the risk, why aren’t caretakers being warned? Why aren’t other precautions being taken (see the link on the menu bar above about Sewage).
Alzheimer’s and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are indistinguishable. They are essentially the same disease. CJD is caused by a more aggressive mutation of prion than Alzheimer’s, but medical professionals cannot tell the difference. Only time will tell the difference (if there is one).
For the skeptics in the crowd, let’s dissect the issue from another angle. There is absolutely no question that CJD is highly transmissible and very aggressive. Doctors have no ironclad way to distinguish between Alzheimer’s and CJD (let’s assume that there is a difference between the two diseases other than the speed of mental decay). Since the medical industry now admits that 15-20 percent of Alzheimer’s cases are misdiagnosed and should have been classified as CJD, around 20 percent of “Alzheimer’s” patients are walking biohazards with CJD. These victims are absolutely exposing care facilities, caretakers, family and beyond (not to mention the contamination that they spread before the diagnosis).
Summary: Alzheimer’s is a deadly prion disease. There is no cure for prion disease in any animal. Prion diseases are transmissible. Prion disease is spreading via many pathways, including genetics. The pathways are expanding and uncontrollable. We have a global epidemic that is escalating. We have a global epidemic that is being mismanaged. Some populations and regions of the world are at a higher risk than others of Alzheimer’s and other forms of prion disease.
Gary Chandler is a prion expert. He is the CEO of Crossbow Communications, author of several books and producer of documentaries about health and environmental issues around the world. Chandler is connecting the dots to the global surge in neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and other forms of prion disease. The scientific name for prion disease is transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. The operative word is “transmissible.” Even the global surge in autism appears to be related.