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Neurodegenerative Disease A Global Epidemic

February 10, 2017

Neurodegenerative Disease The Fastest Growing Cause Of Death

Death rates from heart disease and cancer are dropping globally due to advances in nutrition, medicine and disease management. Meanwhile, neurodegenerative disease is exploding. In the U.S., deaths from Alzheimer’s disease increased 71 percent from 2000 to 2013, while those attributed to heart disease decreased 14 percent. Similar trends are emerging around the world.

The actual epidemic is larger than anyone knows. Physicians are withholding millions of diagnoses from patients and their families. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, physicians in the U.S. only inform 45 percent of patients about their Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The same suppression is likely at work in most countries. Meanwhile, millions more go undiagnosed and misdiagnosed.

The most common forms of neurodegenerative disease include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease–the most aggressive and infectious of them all. According to Nobel Prize Laureate Stanley Prusiner, these brain diseases are on the same disease spectrum-prion disease. It’s also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.” The bodily fluids of TSE victims are infectious and deadly. This infectious waste is now an environmental nightmare.

prevent Alzheimer's disease

Researchers have more questions than answers about brain disease, but we know that neurotoxins, head trauma and genetics can all trigger neurodegeneration. Unfortunately, that’s where our knowledge gets fuzzy. Most diagnoses are a process of elimination. After eliminating all other possibilities, the guesswork begins:

  • Patients with a memory disorder are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease;
  • Patients with a movement disorder are told that they have  Parkinson’s disease;
  • Patients with both symptoms will be diagnosed with the flip a coin;
  • People who have had a concussion might be diagnosed with CTE; and
  • Patients who are incapacitated are diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).

Prion disease is a spectrum disease that varies in severity. It also varies depending on which region of the brain is impacted first. It affects most, if not all, mammals. Prion disease causes memory loss, impaired coordination, and abnormal movements. It’s not known which patients with brain disease become infectious or when, but both CJD and Alzheimer’s patients are being mismanaged. The most savvy neurologists won’t touch patients with these symptoms because of the risks. They are making diagnoses from across the room. Unfortunately, caregivers aren’t warned accordingly.

“CJD behaves like Alzheimer’s disease on steroids,” said Dr. Jennifer Majersik, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Utah.

Experts claim that at least 25 percent of Alzheimer’s diagnoses are not Alzheimer’s disease. These misdiagnoses are actually CJD, which is further up the prion spectrum. CJD, without dispute, is extremely infectious to caregivers and loved ones. 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 disease. Misdiagnosis and misinformation regarding prion disease is a matter of life and death. The mismanagement doesn’t end here.

Many factors are contributing to the epidemic. Unfortunately, it appears that Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are just as infectious as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Prions are now the X factor and they are not being accounted for by industry or government. Prions are an infectious form of glycoprotein that can propagate throughout the body.

Alzheimer's disease and caregivers

When the U.S. government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, it classified prions as select agents that pose an extreme risk to food, water and much more. TSE surveillance is important for public health and food safety because TSEs have the potential of crossing from animals to humans, as seen with the spread of mad cow disease. TSEs also have the potential of being transmitted from humans to animals. The most common example is chronic wasting disease among deer species. Deer, elk, moose, reindeer and many other animals are being exposed to infectious waste in sewage.

Prions are unstoppable. The pathogen spreads through the bodily fluids and cell tissue of its victims. The blood, saliva, mucus, milk, urine and feces of victims are infectious. Wastewater treatment doesn’t touch prions. In fact, these facilities are now helping incubate and distribute prions via solids and wastewater released. Once unleashed on the environment, prions remain infectious. They migrate, mutate and multiply as they infect crops, water supplies and more.

Unfortunately, prions linger in the environment, homes, hospitals, nursing homes, dental offices and beyond infinitely. Prions defy all attempts at sterilization and inactivation. If they can’t stop prions in the friendly and sterile confines of an operating room, they can’t stop them in the wastewater treatment plant.

Prions shed from humans are the most deadly. They demand more respect than radiation. They’re being ignored by regulators and industry alike. As such, food and water sources are being contaminated with the deadliest forms of prions. Homes, nursing homes, hospitals, clinics and restaurants are other examples of public places that are being contaminated by prions from victims of prion disease.

biosolids land application sewage sludge

The deadly prion spectrum also includes mad cow disease. Scientists have shown that infected tissues can transmit prion disease between animals. There is no species barrier. A new study published in the journal Nature renews concern about the transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease between people. A second study by the same scientist in early 2016 adds to the stack of evidence. There is no evidence that Alzheimer’s disease is not infectious to other mammals.

Although there are many causes and pathways contributing to prion disease, many pathways are being mismanaged around the globe. Not only are homes and hospitals exposed to the prion pathogen, so are entire sewage treatment systems. Wastewater treatment plants are prion incubators. Sewage sludge and wastewater pumped out spread the disease.

Sewage treatment plants can’t detect or stop prions. Just ask the U.S. EPA. Dumping sewage (biosolids) from billions of people on land and at sea spreads prions far and wide. It also spreads heavy metals, radioactive waste, carcinogens, pharmaceuticals and more. It’s time for the truth. It’s time for reforms that can safeguard us from a public health disaster.

public relations firm Alzheimer's disease

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Call 602-999-7204 or write to Gary Chandler to join our campaign and coalition for gary@crossbow1.com.

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