Editor’s Note: In April 2019, Dr. Stanley Prusiner published conclusive evidence that Alzheimer’s disease is a prion disease. The implications are far-reaching. It impacts 50-100 million victims, their family, friends and caregivers. It’s time to reform policies and practices on many fronts to protect public health and animal health.
Neurodegenerative disease is the fastest-growing cause of death in the world. It will soon be the leading cause of death because of cover-ups and corruption at the highest levels.
Deadly proteins are at the heart of the epidemic, which is technically known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.” Infectious proteins known as prions (PREE-on) are driving the epidemic. Prions are unstoppable, especially those shed from humans. Prions migrate, mutate and multiply and they become more aggressive and more deadly long the way. TSE is striking down people of all ages. Rogue proteins also appear to play a role in the surging autism epidemic.
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.
“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. “The infections were thought to be caused by a slow-acting virus, yet no one had managed to isolate the culprit. Whether changes in protein shape are responsible for common neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, remains unknown, but it is a possibility that should not be ignored.”
“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).”
Meanwhile, government and industry are playing dumb in light of growing evidence about reckless policies and practices that are contributing to the epidemic. As such, misinformation and mismanagement are fanning the flames of a global public health disaster that’s spreading like wildfire. The human epidemic is so bad, it’s even killing wildlife. Sick animals are serving as the proverbial canary in a coal mine, while millions of people are being exposed and killed each year. Each victim spreads the disease.
“It is well known that CJD is transmissible via surgical or medical procedures involving prion-infected brain tissue. Our finding of infectious prions in skin is important since it not only raises concerns about the potential for disease transmission via common surgeries not involving the brain, but also suggests that skin biopsies and autopsies may enhance pre-mortem and post-mortem CJD diagnosis,” said Wenquan Zou, Associate Professor of Pathology and Neurology and Associate Director of the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. Zou led the study involving a consortium of research groups and researchers across Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, the NIH, and the People’s Republic of China.
“The level of prion infectivity detected in CJD skin was surprisingly significant, but still much lower than that in CJD brains,” cautioned Qingzhong Kong, Associate Professor of Pathology and Neurology at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. “Prion transmission risk from surgical instruments contaminated by skin prions should be much lower than that of instruments contaminated by brain tissue.” In the study, the Kong group assisted by the Zou group demonstrated that CJD patient skin is infectious using humanized transgenic mouse models.
Meanwhile, the medical world is protecting some people from infectious prion disease, but they aren’t protecting everyone from these neurotoxins. For example, neurologists rarely have physical contact with their patients. They are making diagnoses from across the room based on the presenting symptoms. If they observe a movement disorder, the diagnosis is Parkinson’s disease. If they see a memory disorder, it’s Alzheimer’s disease. If the person is totally incapacitated, the diagnosis is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It’s about as scientific as pinning the tail on the donkey with a blindfold on. Regardless of the diagnosis, these patients are all being sent home to die. Family and caregivers are not warned about the risks of caring for someone with neurodegenerative disease. It’s criminal negligence at best. Even patient advocacy organizations, including the CJD Foundation, are failing to sound the alarm. They are merely trying to calm fears about the disease as opposed to prevent it. Read what the science says and then compare it to the deliberate lies issued by gatekeepers.
Blood Infectious: There have been two reported cases of transfusion-associated vCJD infection in UK. The presence of infectivity in the blood of patients affected by CJD has been established by scientists. As such, CJD might be transmitted by blood transfusion and/or the use of blood derived products. A team of scientists from INRA and ENV Toulouse (France), in collaboration with the Georg August University (Germany) and the Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal (Spain), characterized the presence and distribution of CJD agents (sporadic and variant forms) in the blood. They quantified, by bioassays, the levels of infectivity associated with different blood fractions from CJD affected patients. The blood cells (white and red blood cells) and the plasma from a variant CJD affected patient contained infectivity. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212095648.htm Despite these facts, there is very little screening going on and very little that can be done to prevent infected donors from contaminating blood supplies. Your best bet is to bank your own blood for future needs.
Eyes Infectious: By the time symptoms of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) are typically discovered, death is looming and inevitable. In a new study, researchers report evidence of the condition’s infectious agent in the eyes of deceased sCJD patients, making the eye a potential source for both early CJD detection and prevention of disease transmission. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181120125755.htm Again, it’s very difficult to screen out prion carriers.
Skin Infectious: Scientists have detected abnormal prion protein in the skin of several people who died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The scientists also exposed healthy mice to skin extracts from two CJD patients, and all developed prion disease. The study results raise questions about the possible transmissibility of prion diseases via medical procedures involving skin, and whether skin samples might be used to detect prion disease. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171122150914.htm
“It is well known that CJD is transmissible via surgical or medical procedures involving prion-infected brain tissue. Our finding of infectious prions in skin is important since it not only raises concerns about the potential for disease transmission via common surgeries not involving the brain, but also suggests that skin biopsies and autopsies may enhance pre-mortem and post-mortem CJD diagnosis,” said Wenquan Zou, Associate Professor of Pathology and Neurology and Associate Director of the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.
Bone Marrow: We analyzed the bone marrow cells collected at autopsy from two individuals with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and, in both cases, cultured bone marrow cells were positive for infective prions. Bone marrow can be a helpful tool in the definitive diagnosis of prion disease at an earlier stage in the disease progression. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18976632 Don’t get a bone graft or a bone implant (dental implant). There is no way to tell how safe the cadavers are.
Human Growth Hormone: Worldwide, at least 226 cases of CJD, including 29 US cases, have been associated with administration of contaminated human growth hormone (hGH) from cadavers. Reported incubation periods ranged from 5 to 42 years (mean 17 years).
Urine: The misfolded and infectious prion protein that is a marker for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease – linked to the consumption of infected cattle meat – has been detected in the urine of patients with the disease. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140807103650.htm
“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.”
The extremely bad news here is that we are being duped into believing that recycling wastewater into drinking water is safe. It’s not. Prions in urine and feces and other sources are unstoppable.
Mucus: A nasal brush test can rapidly and accurately diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), an incurable and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder, according to a study. CJD is a prion disease. These diseases originate when, for reasons not fully understood, normally harmless prion protein molecules become abnormal and gather in clusters. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140807105545.htm also https://www.docseducation.com/blog/drilling-danger-%E2%80%93-prions-found-be-transmissible-aerosols
Milk: There is increasing evidence that prions are also present in body fluids and that prion infection by blood transmission is possible. The appearance of deadly prions in milk implies the possibility that milk of TSE-infected animals (from mothers or from livestock) serves as source of infection. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1762385/
“I thought it was counterproductive to keep calling these deadly proteins a virus when it wasn’t,” says Stanley B. Prusiner. “If you call it that and you believe it at some level, then you miss the next set of experiments.”
The word prion came from Prusiner’s pondering how “protein” and “infectious” might fit together. The operative word is “infectious.”
“What has made prions difficult to control is their infamous durability. Boil water for a few minutes, and all the bacteria and viruses will be gone. Not so for the prion: it will be just fine, ready to infect. How does it fare in a dry heat of 600 degrees C? No problem there, either. How about ionizing radiation? Bring it on,” said Philip Yam, author of the Pathological Protein and the former managing editor of ScientificAmerican.com. “The prion’s stubbornness caused many unfortunate medical mishaps in the days before researchers knew what they were dealing with. In the 1970s, electrodes used to treat epilepsy spread a human prion disease from one patient to another even though the electrodes had undergone standard sterilization and sat for 18 months before reuse. In a later test on monkeys, electrodes maintained their infectivity even after three bouts of sterilization. In the late 1980s, the processing of cadaver tissue—specifically, a brain lining called the dura mater that is sometimes used as a patch in neurosurgery—failed to inactivate prions from infected donors, leading to the transmission of a fatal brain disease to healthy recipients. In decontaminating an area that once harbored infected farm animals (such as sheep), U.S. officials spray down hard surfaces with a caustic solution such as sodium hydroxide (better known as plumber’s lye), turn over several centimeters of soil to bury any prions on the surface and deem the land off-limits for years. Such draconian measures are one reason why farmers dread the diagnosis, even with government reimbursement for the loss. Of course, such techniques won’t work in wild animals, which spread prions via their urine, feces and saliva.”
Hospital Equipment: The World Health Organization recommends disposing of any suspected prion-contaminated equipment entirely.
When a neurosurgery patient died from a rare and fatal brain disorder at a New Hampshire hospital, it sent a ripple of panic across the region, particularly for 15 people warned that they may have been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease through contaminated hospital surgical equipment. Everyone wondered who might spread this dire bug, and who might be at risk. But families of others who have suffered — and died — from the little-known but invariably deadly disease say that reaction is only the beginning of the fear, discrimination and rejection that CJD patients face.
Dentistry: A study has confirmed that prions – responsible for diseases like Mad Cow – can be transmitted and infective through aerosolized droplets of fluid, such as those produced during a dental procedure. Prions aerosolized by the action of the hand piece could potentially infect the doctor, staff and other patients.
Because there is a real risk of transmission of prion disease from dental instruments, appropriate family and medical history (including the risk for prion diseases) should be obtained from all patients, before all dental procedures. Dental professionals should maintain optimal and up-to-date standards of knowledge, infection control, and decontamination.
Dental professionals may be in a unique position of risk and transmission for prion diseases, a new study shows. While the 2003 Mad Cow scare is old news, Creutzfeldt–Jakob (CJD) disease is still a significant concern in medical facilities. The focus of this concern is preventing transmission of this incurable and dangerously resilient pathogen, which has been shown to linger on traditionally-sterilized equipment, leading to the iatrogenic infection of two otherwise healthy patients. As a result, decontamination measures were improved and no further patients have been infected while under medical care in the US.
However, dental professionals are still at risk for transmitting prion diseases, as prions can resist temperatures of up to 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit. This is far above the standard autoclave temperature, and furthermore, antibacterial agents like alcohol and even formaldehyde are ineffective. Only extremely high temperature treatment or certain chemical denaturants are effective in preventing the disease from spreading, most of which are not commonly kept in the dental office.
Prions resist the conventional sterilization procedures and hence the dentists must be aware of such diseases so as to opt standard methods of infection control and decontamination for such infectious agents. This review article divulge the dentists with a brief overview of the characteristics of prions, the risk of transmission and the implications for infection control in dentistry. As dental pulp originates from richly innervated neural crest cells, it is theoretically possible that the dental pulp of individuals infected with CJD may be infectious.
A recent communication in 2007 titled “Advise for dentists on re-use of endodontic instruments and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease” issued by the UK Department of Health has advised dentists to ensure single use of endodontic reamers and files as a precaution to reduce any potential risk of transmission of vCJD as endodontic files used in the treatment of pulp cavity contain blood and peripheral nerves known to carry the PrPs and their intricate surface topography enable to trap the proteins. The dental professionals should have up-to-date knowledge about transmission, diagnosis, infection control and decontamination procedures regarding prion diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4860911/
Aerosols: A study has confirmed that prions – responsible for diseases like Mad Cow – can be transmitted and infective through aerosolized droplets of fluid, such as those produced during a dental procedure. https://www.docseducation.com/blog/drilling-danger-%E2%80%93-prions-found-be-transmissible-aerosols
Coroners: Coroners are very aware of prion disease and prion infectivity. Across the country, funeral homes and crematoriums are routinely refusing to accept the bodies of CJD patients out of fear of infection, despite health guidelines that say that — with standard precautions — embalming and burial is perfectly safe.
“It happens a lot,” said Robert Kassai, a New Jersey funeral director who also sits on the board of the CJD Foundation, an advocacy group. “There are many, many instances where families call me saying they’ve been turned away.”
Some families report that their loved ones who died from CJD were removed from the hospital, placed in double body bags and taken directly to a crematorium with no warning. Others report that funeral workers forced pallbearers to wear medical gloves and told mourners to stand far back from the gravesite and to disperse quickly after the ceremony.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends placing the body in a leak proof pouch prior to moving. The bag should be lined with absorbent material to prevent leakage of body fluids. In instances where there is excess fluid, a double bag can be utilized. After transporting, all surfaces (i.e. stretchers, cots) should be disinfected with bleach.
Avoid unnecessary manipulation of the body that would force purging of body fluids and risk opening of incision sites. If warranted, the casket can be lined with a leak proof sheet. An open casket for viewing should not be prohibited. However, if an autopsy has been performed, family members of CJD patients should be advised to avoid superficial contact (such as touching or kissing the patient’s face) with the body.
For the sake of argument, let’s start with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Let’s hear what the government experts are saying about the most aggressive disease and then let’s compare those statements with the science that we just reviewed:
NIH: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare, fatal brain disorder that can be experimentally transmitted from one animal to another, as well as from human patients to other humans and animals. It affects about one person in every one million people each year worldwide. The low random incidence of CJD indicates that person-to-person transmission probably does not occur through normal contact. There is no evidence that CJD is contagious through casual contact with someone who has CJD. Spouses and other household members of people with sporadic CJD have no higher risk of contracting the disease than the general population. However, exposure to brain tissue and spinal cord fluid from infected persons should be avoided to prevent transmission of the disease through these materials.
To protect themselves, health-care professionals should employ universal precautions when handling blood and spinal fluid samples from patients with CJD. When performing medical/surgical procedures and post-mortem examinations, the most important safety rule is to avoid self-induced injury from instruments used in the course of removing and processing tissues for pathological examination. In particular, avoid contact between contaminated material and skin with cuts or abrasions.
Normal sterilization procedures such as boiling or irradiating materials do not prevent transmission of CJD. Whenever possible, contaminated instruments and other materials should be discarded as medical pathological waste or destroyed by incineration. When this is not possible, special disinfection methods may be employed. Re-used instruments and materials should be kept moist until they can be appropriately decontaminated and cleaned. Detailed guidelines for infection control during patient care, for disinfection and disposal of CJD-contaminated material, and for performing an autopsy and embalming are available in the document, “WHO Infection Control Guidelines for Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies.”
CDC: Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are a family of rare progressive neurodegenerative disorders that affect both humans and animals. They are distinguished by long incubation periods, characteristic spongiform changes associated with neuronal loss, and a failure to induce inflammatory response.
The causative agents of TSEs are believed to be prions. The term “prions” refers to abnormal, pathogenic agents that are transmissible and are able to induce abnormal folding of specific normal cellular proteins called prion proteins that are found most abundantly in the brain. The functions of these normal prion proteins are still not completely understood. The abnormal folding of the prion proteins leads to brain damage and the characteristic signs and symptoms of the disease. Prion diseases are usually rapidly progressive and always fatal. Website promotes information that is 20 years old.
Mayo Clinic: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease may occur spontaneously, be inherited, or be transmitted by contact with infected tissue, such as during a transplant or from eating contaminated meat. People have developed CJD after being exposed to infected human tissue during a medical procedure, such as a cornea or skin transplant. Also, because standard sterilization methods do not destroy abnormal prions, people have developed CJD after undergoing brain surgery with contaminated instruments.
The condition causes personality changes, anxiety, depression, and memory loss, usually within a few months. Many people lapse into coma. Because no effective treatment exists, the focus is on alleviating pain and relieving symptoms.
To help ensure the safety of the blood supply, people with a risk of exposure to CJD or vCJD aren’t eligible to donate blood in the United States. This includes people who:
The UK (NHS): The U.K., as well as some other countries, also has certain restrictions regarding blood donations from people with a risk of exposure to CJD or vCJD. In theory, CJD can be transmitted from an affected person to others, but only through an injection or consuming infected brain or nervous tissue. There’s no evidence that sporadic CJD is spread through ordinary day-to-day contact with those affected or by airborne droplets, blood or sexual contact. But in the UK, variant CJD has been transmitted on four occasions by blood transfusion. Sterilization methods used to help prevent bacteria and viruses spreading also aren’t completely effective against the infectious protein (prion) that causes CJD. But tightened guidelines on the reuse of surgical equipment mean that cases of CJD spread through medical treatment (iatrogenic CJD) are now very rare. There are also measures in place to prevent variant CJD spreading through the food chain and the supply of blood used for blood transfusions.
Hong Kong: The mode of transmission of sporadic CJD is unknown. To prevent the disease from spreading, tissue or organ transplant from any CJD patients or re-use of potentially contaminated surgical instruments should be avoided.
Meanwhile, in light of all of these precautions, no one is saying a word to the families of the victims. Many CJD patients are sent home to die with their friends and families in close quarters. It’s criminal.
The only way to absolutely confirm a diagnosis of CJD is by brain biopsy or autopsy. Most cases are going undiagnosed and misdiagnosed.
According to neuroscientist Dr. Laura Manuelidis, at least 25 percent of Alzheimer’s diagnoses are actually CJD. That means that there are millions of people walking around with this highly infectious prion disease. They are following in the footsteps of millions of others who died ahead of them. As a result, we our world is more contaminated with these neurotoxins than we realize. It’s getting worse by the day with mismanagement. Of course, caregivers and others are caught in the crossfire.
Without dispute, CJD 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.
Prions In Sewage and Wastewater Reclamation: “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,” said prion researcher Joel Pedersen at the University of Wisconsin. “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. 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.
Grains, Fruits, Vegetables: Grass plants can bind, uptake and transport infectious prions from the soil, according to researchers. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190122125537.htm
The incubation period of prion diseases can be decades. Prion carriers don’t always know they are infectious when operated on, and hospitals don’t routinely use the extreme sterilization protocols recommended for prions.
“You can’t kill a protein,” said UCSF’s Kurt Giles, DPhil, associate professor of neurology, IND researcher and senior author on the second of the two new studies. “And it can stick tightly to stainless steel and other surfaces, even when the surgical instrument is cleaned. As a result, he said, “We’re advocating a precautionary approach. People are living longer. There could be undiagnosed neurodegenerative diseases that – if they’re caused by prions – mean infection could be a real worry.”
Aggregates of prions form amyloids. But amyloids also are proteins called amyloid-beta, tau, and alpha-synuclein. The accumulation of these proteins in amyloids — as plaques, tangles, and Lewy bodies — are signature indications, and perhaps causes, of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. These amyloids, like prions, stick to surgical instruments and survive standard sterilization procedures. They, too, are hard to stop.
The only thing that keeps such amyloids from being considered prions has been infectivity. But recently, at least one team of scientists found circumstantial, controversial — and stomach-churning — evidence that amyloids from patients with these diseases may be infective. What if Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease can be transmitted via surgical equipment or even utensils at restaurants?
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.
Your life might depend on who you believe and what you do about it. As you can see, there is a pattern. Science says one thing, while government and industry say another. Think for yourself. Prions + pathways = victims. You don’t get a second chance with 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.