Reforms Can Save Lives
Neurodegenerative disease and autism have been surging around the world for the past 30 years. A man-made environmental disaster is creating a public health disaster that’s still unfolding in many ways in most nations.
Neurotoxins are driving the epidemic more than age–in some countries more than others. Teenagers are now dying of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease–the most severe form of brain wasting disease. Children are contracting autism at an escalating rate and at an uneven rate. The pattern reflects human exposure to environmental toxins. There also is a pattern of mismanagement and denial around the world.
Alzheimer’s disease alone is taking the lives of 50-100 million people around the world now. As millions die, even more will be diagnosed. Millions more are suffering in silence with a misdiagnosis or no diagnosis. Misinformation and mismanagement are fanning the flames. Compounding the problem, the Alzheimer’s Association found that doctors have withheld millions of additional diagnoses. Coroners are keeping diagnoses off of millions of death certificates. Epidemiologists can only guess at the true size of the epidemic.
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. There is zero evidence to the contrary. Victims also are being misdiagnosed and undiagnosed at an alarming rate.
A variety of factors can trigger neurodegenerative disease, including genetics, head trauma and neurotoxins. Deadly, self-replicating proteins appear to be one of those neurotoxins.
Prions (PREE-ons) are a deadly and unstoppable form of protein that migrates, mutates, multiplies and kills with unparalleled efficiency. Dr. Stanley Prusiner, an American neuroscientist from the University of California at San Francisco, coined the term as a contraction of proteinaceous infectious particle. The operative word is “infectious.”
Prions cause fatal neurodegenerative disease in humans and other animals by converting the cellular version of prion protein into a toxic form that erodes the brain and body. Prions migrate, mutate and multiply. They get stronger as they move up the food chain. At the top of the food chain, humans are highly vulnerable to prion disease. The prions shed from humans are the deadliest and most aggressive. Mismanaging human prions is a big mistake.
Dr. Prusiner 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. 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.
Prions are a formidable threat. When the U.S. government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, it included a provision to halt research on infectious 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 criminalized multi-billion dollar industries and many industry practices.
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. Prion disease often is described as a wasting disease that causes a loss of body mass and brain mass.
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 been told that they have Alzheimer’s disease, when, in reality, it’s CJD–where it’s clearly infectious.
“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.”
Prion infectivity is highly concentrated in brain tissue, but it’s also in all bodily fluids and tissue. CJD transmission has occurred after patients were exposed to surgical tools previously contaminated by CJD victims. It’s also happening due to many other pathways.
According to neuroscientists Dr. Laura Manuelidis, at least 25 percent of Alzheimer’s disease diagnoses are actually CJD.
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.
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. Failure to quarantine CJD patients is negligent at best. Millions of people with prion disease have exposed us all to their infectious waste thanks to misinformation, mismanagement and negligence.
Meanwhile, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is likely a form of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy—prion disease. In most of these cases, the trauma was the change agent that caused prions to misfold and become toxic. Once the neurodegeneration of CTE begins, are these victims shedding infectious prions? Hopefully, prion researchers will fill in this very important blank. Again, families and caregivers need to know if they are dealing with a TSE.
Misinformed caregivers, family members, healthcare workers and others are caught in the crossfire of a deadly form of protein. In fact, few family members are warned about the infectious nature of CJD. Meanwhile, hospitals throw out surgical instruments used on such patients. Neurologists prefer not to touch or even be in the same room as a patient with CJD. The CJD Foundation and other advocacy organizations also remain mum on the risk of transmission. The CDC remains silent. Is this cone of silence at all levels incompetence, negligence or criminal misconduct?
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 disorders. Both spectrums share common environmental causes and pathologies. Plus, CJD is taking the lives of more and more young adults and adolescents.
In humans, most diagnoses are a process of elimination. The key difference is which region of the brain is attacked first and by which mutation of prion. Some prions now kill within weeks of showing clinical symptoms. Prions shed from humans are the most aggressive.
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. Prion disease is incurable and fatal.
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. As stated earlier, studies confirm that people and animals dying of prion disease contaminate the environment around them. Infectious prions are in the urine, feces, blood, skin, tissue, mucus and saliva of each victim. Infectious bodily fluids and tissue are contributing to the rapid spread of Alzheimer’s disease 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. Yes, research has found that plants/crops grown in infectious prions uptake those prions and become infectious.
Spouses of those with Alzheimer’s disease are 600 percent more likely to contract the disease, which is further evidence that the TSE spectrum is transmissible. 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 governments 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.
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