All causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not clear and it is likely that there are several causes. Alzheimer’s disease causes changes or deterioration in certain areas of the brain that control thinking, communication, and behavior. Some of the deterioration may be related to a loss of chemical messengers in the brain (neurotransmitters)-acetylcholine, in particular-that allow nerve cells in the brain to communicate properly.
It’s not clear why these changes in the brain occur, but they are a major focus of Alzheimer’s research. Although most people who have Alzheimer’s disease do not have a family history of the condition, you are at increased risk for the condition if a member of your family has it.
Some theories have suggested that metals, such as zinc or aluminum, play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. But research has not found much evidence to support these theories. Experts agree that there is no reason to leave zinc out of your diet or to avoid items that contain aluminum, such as cooking utensils or soda pop cans.
Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other forms of neurodegenerative disease are collectively becoming the leading cause of death around the world. Alzheimer’s disease alone is killing 50-100 million people now. Millions more will contract the disease this year, while just as many will go undiagnosed and misdiagnosed. The vast majority of cases are preventable.
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.