Editor’s Note: In April 2019, Dr. Stanley Prusiner published conclusive evidence that Alzheimer’s disease is a prion disease. The implications are far-reaching. It impacts 50-100 million victims, their family, friends and caregivers. It’s time to reform policies and practices on many fronts to protect public health and animal health.
Neurodegenerative disease and autism (a neurodevelopmental disease) 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, which points to environmental factors. 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.
Read the full story about prion disease
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.