Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogen Spreading
Prions are the common thread between many neurological disorders that are killing people, wildlife and livestock around the world. Deadly prions (pronounced PREE-on) are contagious and unstoppable. They are known to migrate, mutate, multiply and kill with incredible efficiency. When we connect the dots between all forms of prion disease in humans and other mammals, we see an explosive growth rate around the world.
Prions are involved with neurodegenerative disorders in mammals, including humans. A Nobel-Prize-winning scientist claims that prions are behind many neurodegenerative disorders. He claims that these diseases all are Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE).
“The (human) brain diseases caused by prions includes Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), and other disorders known as frontotemporal dementias,” said Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner.
Prusiner earned a Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1997 for discovering deadly prions. U.S. President Barack Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 for his vital work. Prions are not science fiction. They have the attention of the entire scientific community and world leaders alike. The prion epidemic is one of the greatest public and environmental health threats in history.
Prions are such a formidable threat that the U.S. government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2003, which included a provision to halt research on prions in all but two laboratories. It classified prions as select agents that pose an elevated risk to food, water and health systems.
In addition, prions are causing a deadly epidemic among deer, elk and moose in North America called Chronic Wasting disease (CWD). CWD, like Alzheimer’s, is a neurodegenerative disorder that consumes the brain. Thousands of animals have died and are still dying of the disease, while spreading the infection before and after death.
Since we have a global prion epidemic among people and regional ones among wildlife, it stands to reason that livestock also are impacted (in my opinion) because the species barrier is a myth. Unfortunately, we don’t comprehensively test our food supply for prions, so we don’t know to what extent prion disease is, or isn’t, in global herds that supply meat, dairy, and other products. As we discuss later, these deadly proteins have likely made it into our water supplies, too.
These corrupt proteins might even play a role in autism. A study in Canada is underway. We might even find that some proteins play roles in cancer development. The prion protein, in particular, behaves somewhat like cancer cells—they both corrupt their neighbors. They both spread and kill. A key difference is that prions keep going and going. They can survive outside of a body in a very harsh environment. They can lurk in soil or on a feed trough forever—waiting for their next victim. If we manage these protein predators based on what we do and don’t know, we can start managing the pathways and overall health risks to humans, livestock and wildlife.
Protein science is a fresh arena and we still have many more questions than answers. However, we know enough to connect some dots around proteins and the various threats that they pose. Humans and animals that have prion disease are highly contagious. The prions are found throughout their body before and after death. The prions have been found in blood, urine, saliva, feces, tissue and milk of infected animals. Handling an infected animal or human is a risky proposition that requires extreme caution.
Ironically, most of these protein-based diseases exploded in the late 1900s. Have we created “Pandora’s Lunchbox” with our foolish food production and sewage sludge disposal practices?
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