Prion Disease Mismanaged
Neurodegenerative disease is the fastest-growing cause of death in the world. Misinformation and mismanagement are contributing to the surge. Alzheimer’s disease alone is killing 50-100 million people now. Experts suggest that the prevalence of brain disease will quadruple by 2050, if not sooner. These projections are based on the unpopular fact that most forms of neurodegenerative disease are highly infectious.
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 reasons are alarming. (The autism epidemic is on an identical trajectory, which is explained later in the post.)
The epidemic is worse in some regions of the world than others. Finland and Iceland are at the top of the list. The United States is third on the list, where deaths from Alzheimer’s disease increased 71 percent from 2000 to 2013. Over the same timeframe, deaths attributed to heart disease decreased 14 percent.
At a cost of $236 billion a year, Alzheimer’s disease is already the most expensive disease in the United States. The disease saw a 15.7 percent jump over 2014 numbers–the largest increase of all major causes of death. It accounted for 108,227 documented deaths (and thousands of undiagnosed and undocumented ones) in the U.S. alone in 2015. A similar pattern is emerging around the globe–some regions much more than others. In the U.S., nearly one in every five Medicare dollars is spent on people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. These costs will continue to increase sharply as baby boomers age and the prion contagion spreads, soaring to more than $1 trillion in 2050.
The epidemic is more widespread 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. Unfortunately, misinformed caregivers, family members, healthcare workers and others are caught in the crossfire of a deadly contagion known as a prion.
Dr. Stanley Prusiner, an American neuroscientist from the University of California at San Francisco, earned a Nobel Prize in 1997 for discovering and characterizing deadly prions and prion disease, also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.” Prions are a deadly and unstoppable form of protein that migrates, mutates, multiplies and kills with unparalleled efficiency.
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.
“Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease in. Aggregation of the β-amyloid (Aβ) peptide within the brain is thought to spark the AD pathogenesis. Many recent studies in transgenic mice have proven 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 deadly prions. We have evidence that Aβ can become a prion during disease,” said Prusiner. “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. 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 also known as prion disease. The spectrum includes Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and an extremely aggressive version known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Prusiner claims that all forms of TSE are caused by infectious proteins known as prions (PREE-ons). The prion spectrum varies in severity. It also varies depending on which region of the brain is impacted first. When the presenting symptom is memory loss, the diagnoses flow along the following chart.
Researchers have more questions than answers, but we know that neurotoxins, head trauma and genetics can all trigger neurodegenerative disease. Unfortunately, that’s where our knowledge gets fuzzy. Most diagnoses are a process of elimination. After eliminating all other possibilities, the guesswork begins:
- If the patient has a memory disorder, it’s Alzheimer’s disease.
- If they have a movement disorder, it’s Parkinson’s disease.
- If the patient shows both symptoms, flip a coin.
- If they ever had a concussion, it’s possibly CTE.
- If the person is incapacitated, it’s Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).
Prion disease causes memory loss, impaired coordination, and abnormal movements. Abnormal proteins are now associated with autism. In fact, it appears that the biggest difference between the neurodegenerative disease spectrum and the spectrum of autism disease is age.
It’s not known which patients with brain disease become infectious or when, but both CJD and Alzheimer’s patients are being mismanaged. Informed neurologists won’t touch patients with these symptoms because of the risk of transmission. They are making diagnoses from across the room.
“Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease behaves like Alzheimer’s disease on steroids,” said Dr. Jennifer Majersik, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Utah.
According to neuroscientists Dr. Laura Manuelidis, 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.
People and animals dying of prion disease contaminate the environment around them because infectious prions are in the urine, feces, blood, 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.
Caregivers and other stakeholders are caught in the crossfire of misinformation and mismanagement. At the most basic level, this means that a sneeze, a drinking glass and eating utensils are permanent pathways of disease transmission. Anything that ever comes into contact with the bodily fluids of a victim is impossible to sterilize.
“There is now real evidence of the potential transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Thomas Wiesniewski M.D. a prion and Alzheimer’s researcher at New York University School of Medicine.
On a larger level, it means that entire communities and watersheds are at risk of permanent contamination from just a single victim, not to mention thousands of infectious victims. Alzheimer’s disease is an environmental nightmare–it’s a real-world version of Pandora’s box.
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 adds to the claim. Meanwhile, there is absolutely no evidence to the contrary.
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. Only two labs in the U.S. were allowed to handle them for research purposes. Unfortunately, the CDC quietly took prions off the list because the regulation criminalized entire industries and several reckless practices.
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.
Wastewater treatment plants, for example, are spreading this infectious waste far and wide because they are incapable of stopping prions. All by-products and discharges from wastewater treatment plants, including biosolids, are infectious waste, which are contributing to the global epidemic of neurodegenerative disease among humans, wildlife and livestock.
Sewage treatment plants can’t detect or stop prions. Just ask the U.S. EPA and the industry trade organization—the Wastewater Effluent Federation. Sewage sludge (biosolids) and wastewater reclamation are causing widespread contamination. The EPA’s risk assessment on sewage sludge and biosolids were prepared before the world of science knew about prions. The agency continues to cling to it’s antiquated sludge rule crafted back in the dark ages. It does, however, consider prions a “contaminant of emerging concern.” Meanwhile, it’s promoting a public health disaster, including Alzheimer’s disease, autism and the ill effects associated with the Zika virus.
Sewage Spreading Prion Disease
Claudio Soto, PhD, professor of neurology at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, and his colleagues confirmed the presence of prions in urine. Soto also confirmed that plants uptake prions and are infectious and deadly to those who consume the infected plants. Therefore, humans, wildlife and livestock are vulnerable to prion disease via plants grown on land treated with sewage sludge and reclaimed sewage water. Therefore, humans, wildlife and livestock are vulnerable to prion disease via plants grown on land treated with sewage sludge and reclaimed sewage water. It’s more than theory. Wildlife are contracting deadly brain disease from people because of the dumping of infectious waste on farms, ranches and forests. Deer, elk, moose and reindeer are now contracting prion disease from humans. To help cloak the wildlife epidemic, it’s called chronic wasting disease (CWD). Deer with CWD are proverbial canaries in a coal mine. They are being killed by government sharpshooters to help cover up the problem. It’s insane.
Once unleashed on the environment, prions remain infectious. They migrate, mutate and multiply as they infect crops, water supplies, wildlife, livestock, sea mammals and humans. According to prion researcher Joel Pedersen at the University of Wisconsin, prions in soil become up to 680 times more infectious. From there, they migrate, mutate and multiply. Pedersen also found that sewage treatment does not inactivate prions. These unstoppable, deadly proteins represent a real-world version of Pandora’s Lunchbox.
“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,” Pedersen said. “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. Prions could end up in sewage treatment plants via slaughterhouses, hospitals, dental offices and mortuaries just to name a few of the pathways. The disposal of sludge represents the greatest risk of spreading prion contamination in the environment. Plus, we know that sewage sludge pathogens, pharmaceutical residue and chemical pollutants are taken up by plants and vegetables.”
When cattle are exposed to prions, it’s called mad cow disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (a smokescreen way of saying transmissible spongiform encephalopathy). Species barriers are a myth and part of the cover-up.
Wastewater treatment plants are collecting points for prions from infected humans. The sewage treatment process can’t stop prions from migrating, mutating and multiplying before being discharged into the environment where they can kill again. Wastewater treatment plants are spreading infectious waste far and wide because they are incapable of stopping prions. As such, all by-products and discharges from wastewater treatment plants are infectious waste, which are contributing to the global epidemic of neurodegenerative disease among humans, wildlife and livestock. Sewage treatment plants can’t detect or stop prions.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has confirmed that prions are in sewage and that there has been no way to detect them or stop them. As such, the EPA has never issued guidance on prion management within wastewater treatment plants. Unfortunately, the EPA’s risk assessment on sewage sludge and biosolids were prepared before the world of science knew about prions. The agency continues to cling to its antiquated sludge rule crafted back in the dark ages. It does, however, consider prions a “emerging contaminant of concern.” Meanwhile, its outdated risk assessments are promoting a public health disaster.
“Since it’s unlikely that the sewage treatment process can effectively stop prions, adopting measures to prevent the entry of prions into the sewer system is advisable,” said the Toronto Department of Health, November 2004.
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 high-volume, low-tech world of a wastewater treatment plant.
Sewage Spreading Neurotoxins To Food, Water Supplies
The risk assessments prepared by the U.S. EPA for wastewater treatment and sewage sludge (biosolids) 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 radionuclides because there is no answer. Most nations are making the same mistake. We’re dumping killer proteins on crops, parks, golf courses, gardens, ski areas, school grounds and beyond. Wind, rain and irrigation spread this infectious waste throughout our communities and watersheds.
Failure to account for known risks is negligent. Crops for humans and livestock grown in sewage sludge absorb prions and become infectious. We’re all vulnerable to Alzheimer’s and other forms of prion disease right now due to widespread denial and mismanagement. It’s time to stop the land application of sewage sludge (LASS) in all nations. Safer alternatives exist.
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. Learn more about the Alzheimer’s disease epidemic.
The Autism Connection
We can’t ignore that the global Alzheimer’s epidemic and the autism epidemic both began to rise in the late 1970s. They began to spike dramatically in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The spike in autism and Alzheimer’s disease are almost identical in terms of timing and trajectory. Is it just a coincidence or is there a common denominator at work?
In 2015, the CDC reported that 1 in 45 children in the United States now has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which includes Asperger’s Syndrome. Just a few years ago, the rate was estimated at one in 88. Boys are five times more likely to be autistic than girls. Utah, North Carolina and New Jersey have the highest rates of autism. ASD strikes one in every 32 Utah boys, and one in every 85 girls. In New Jersey, one in every 28 boys has ASD. Regional variations are a sign of an environmental factor at work.
As we continue connecting the dots, we can’t ignore a devastating brain disease in members of the deer family known as chronic wasting disease (CWD), a neurological epidemic in nature that shares the same timing and trajectory as autism and Alzheimer’s disease. Read more about the causes and correlation between autism, Alzheimer’s disease and chronic wasting disease. http://alzheimerdisease.tv/autism/
They are all symptoms of a much bigger problem. Brain disease speaks volumes about a deadly form of environmental contamination caused by sewage mismanagement.
Studies suggest that two-thirds of the autism epidemic is environmentally caused, which explains the regional variations from one part of the country to another.
“I suspected that connection between environmental status to the rate of autism might exist, but the signal is much stronger than I expected,” said researcher Andrey Rzhetsky, PhD from the University Of Chicago.
In support of an environmental cause, we can’t ignore that the global Alzheimer’s disease epidemic and the autism epidemic both began to rise in the late 1970s. They began to spike dramatically in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The spike in autism and Alzheimer’s disease are almost identical in terms of timing and trajectory. Chronic wasting disease began to soar at the same time. The surge in brain disease correlates with the increasing amounts of sewage sludge dumped on farms, ranches, forests, parks, golf courses and playgrounds.
The risk assessments for these practices failed to account for heavy metals, pharmaceutical residue, radionuclides, carcinogens and a deadly form of protein known as a prion (which was unknown to the world of science at the time). Thanks to reckless policies and practices, the neurotoxins are being spread like fertilizer.
Background On Municipal Sewage Sludge
In 1972, world leaders admitted that dumping highly toxic sewage sludge into the oceans killed entire underwater ecosystems and threatened public health. Some nations stopped the dumping immediately and started dumping it on land or burning it in incinerators. The most responsible cities started putting sewage sludge in landfills. Meanwhile, the United States allowed cities to keep dumping sewage sludge at sea for another 20 years. It finally passed the Ocean Dumping Ban Act of 1988, when beaches along the east coast were forced to close because of high levels of pathogens from sewage that washed up on shore.
The law prohibited all dumping of industrial waste and municipal sewage sludge into our oceans after December 31, 1991. It did nothing however, to keep cities such as Boston and Los Angeles from dumping millions of gallons of raw sewage directly into the oceans every day, but with the help of the U.S. EPA, the Act did redirect millions of tons of deadly toxins and pathogens from our oceans to farms, ranches, national forests, city parks, golf courses, playgrounds, fair grounds, race tracks, sport fields and beyond. From there, the pathogens began contaminating food, water and air as they were soaked up by crops, swept away by rainwater and picked up by windstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes and dumped on innocent citizens where they live, work and play. The runoff still contaminates our oceans after it filters through our creeks, lakes and rivers.
After the 1991 ban on ocean dumping, the EPA instituted a policy of sewage sludge reuse on agricultural land. It hired a PR firm to spin a new brand for the death dirt. They crafted the clever name “biosolids” to help disguise the hazards. The EPA promoted biosolids recycling throughout the 1990s. Unfortunately, the risk assessments were severely biased and flawed. The proof is in the pudding.
This new form of sewage dispersal has sparked a public health disaster that’s still unfolding in the form of autism, Alzheimer’s disease, west Nile virus, Zika virus, chronic wasting disease, meningitis, hepatitis, and other threats to public health. The risk assessments for these practices failed to account for heavy metals, pharmaceutical residue, radionuclides, carcinogens and a deadly form of protein known as a prion (which was unknown to the world of science at the time). The practice sparked a public health disaster in exchange for healthier oceans and a very profitable new industry. The EPA even took its show on the road and convinced other nations to use its faulty risk assessments to justify multi-million dollar contracts for these new corporations. Countries such as Canada took the bait hook, line and sinker and never conducted its own risk assessments. Chronic wasting disease is now rampant in Canada and it recently jumped the Atlantic to Norway’s reindeer herd. It’s spreading across the U.S. like wildfire as we spread more pathogens and lies. Land application sites often involve locations where poverty is high and economic prosperity is low, which means resistance is low. Sludge tends to be dumped where minorities live, leading to allegations of environmental racism. Unfortunately, contaminated food and water make it back to the cities where the infectious waste originated.
Treated sewage sludge has been used in the UK, Europe and China agriculturally for more than 80 years, though there is increasing pressure in some countries to stop the practice of land application due to farmland contamination and public outrage. In the 1990s there was pressure in some European countries to ban the use of sewage sludge as a fertilizer. Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, and others introduced a ban to safeguard public health.
Earth News is a division of Crossbow Communications. Earth News is a syndicated environmental news service. The company covers a variety of health and environmental issues, including biodiversity, chronic wasting disease, climate change, deforestation, endangered species, global warming, neurodegenerative disease, neurotoxins, wildlife conservation and more.