Neurodegenerative disease is the fastest-growing cause of death in the world. It’s quietly become a public health disaster and it will get worse.
Alzheimer’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) are essentially the same disease at different points on the same spectrum. Misdiagnosis, suppression of diagnoses, misinformation and mismanagement are contributing to the epidemic. Alzheimer’s and CJD are part of a spectrum disease called transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.”
One of the most drastic prion diseases is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). About 70 percent of all people who develop CJD die within one year of being diagnosed–some only last a few months.
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 animals 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.
“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,” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A variety of factors can trigger neurodegenerative disease, including genetics, head trauma and neurotoxins.
Essentially, prion diseases are illnesses that attack your brain. These diseases trigger normal proteins found in your brain, causing them to fold in abnormal ways, with dire consequences.
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.
“I learned that scrapie, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and kuru were transmissible by injecting extracts of diseased brains into the brains of healthy animals,” Prusiner said. “Whether prions are responsible for common neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease is a possibility that should not be ignored”.
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 the most severe form of prion disease in humans. CJD often kills within weeks or months of diagnosis (a definitive confirmation requires an autopsy).
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.
“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. “The level of prion infectivity detected in CJD skin was surprisingly significant, but still much lower than that in CJD brains. Further investigation is necessary to determine whether extra precautions should be taken during non-neurosurgeries of CJD patients, especially when surgical instruments will be reused.”
“Infectious prions are detectable in skin samples of patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease,” Zou said. “The prion-induced diseases are significant because they are infectious diseases that can be transmitted interspecies and intraspecies. Prions generated in the brain are detectable in skin tissue far earlier than the prion-caused brain damage.”
Prion infectivity is highly concentrated in CJD patient brain tissue, but it’s also in all bodily fluids and tissue. Inter-personal CJD transmission has occurred after patients were exposed to surgical tools previously contaminated by CJD brain tissues. It’s happening due to many other pathways.
All prion diseases are devastating and some progress faster than others. Mad Cow Disease has been shown to lie dormant in animals for as long as 2.5 to 5 years, and in humans it can lie undetected for years. Others, however, progress rapidly.
Doctors can only diagnose CJD conclusively by doing a brain biopsy or an autopsy. Diagnostic tests, MRIs, spinal fluid tests and electroencephalograms can also lead professionals towards an accurate diagnosis of CJD.
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.
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. It 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.
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.
There are many sources and pathways for deadly prions. However, we can’t ignore the biggest pathways. The cruel irony of prion disease is that victims become part of the greater problem. Studies confirm that people and animals dying of prion disease contaminate the environment around them. Infectious prions are in the urine, feces, blood, skin, mucus and saliva of each victim. These infectious bodily fluids are contributing to the rapid spread of Alzheimer’s and other mutations of prion disease.
“There has been a resurgence of this sort of thinking, because there is now real evidence of the potential transmissibility of Alzheimer’s,” says Thomas Wiesniewski M.D. a prion and Alzheimer’s 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. Even wildlife and sea mammals are contracting brain disease from people because of the dumping of infectious waste on farms, ranches and forests.
Spouses of those with Alzheimer’s disease are 600 percent more likely to contract the disease, which is further evidence that it is a transmissible disease. Caregivers, family members and others are in harm’s way.
Surgical instruments infected with prions, for example, are impossible to sterilize and hospitals throw them away. Meanwhile, caregivers and family members are not warned. CJD victims are not quarantined. They are sent home to die in many cases. Reckless.
Many factors are contributing to the epidemic. Prions are now the X factor. Industry and government are not accounting for prions or regulating them. They are ignoring the threat completely, which violates the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 in the United States. Other nations also are ignoring laws developed to protect food, air and water.
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.