Skip to comments....Alzheimer's might be transmissible in similar way as infectious prion diseases
Posted on 10/04/2011 5:52:10 AM PDT by decimon
HOUSTON -- The brain damage that characterizes Alzheimer's disease may originate in a form similar to that of infectious prion diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob, according to newly published research by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).
"Our findings open the possibility that some of the sporadic Alzheimer's cases may arise from an infectious process, which occurs with other neurological diseases such as mad cow and its human form, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease," said Claudio Soto, Ph.D., professor of neurology at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, part of UTHealth. "The underlying mechanism of Alzheimer's disease is very similar to the prion diseases. It involves a normal protein that becomes misshapen and is able to spread by transforming good proteins to bad ones. The bad proteins accumulate in the brain, forming plaque deposits that are believed to kill neuron cells in Alzheimer's."
(Excerpt) Read more at eurekalert.org ...
This was on FR a few weeks ago. I think they are complimentary. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2769347/posts
“... transmissible through a wound or bite?”
I have not been blessed with a scientific mind; however, it doesn’t surprise me that if you take infected brain matter and inject it into a mouse’s healthy brain.. the healthy mouse gets infected. I wonder if cancer cells are injected into a healthy mouse’s brain that the same thing doesn’t happen (i.e. the mouse gets cancer). Thus far, the research doesn’t seem to support that saliva contains the disease IMHO.
I don't know. Mad Cow spreads through ingestion, IIRC. Don't know about transmission through blood or other fluids.
While it's true dementia are related to prion ingestion, that's hardly news. More likely Alzheimer's is a common misdiagnosis. Alzheimer's is a general, broad-spectrum and poorly constrained definition for dementia from a variety of causes, some treatable or preventable.
A lot of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's are being ill-served and shuffled off.
How would you have those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s treated differently?
>> This was on FR a few weeks ago <<
Yep, you beat me to it — that fascinating article and the related FR thread about oral spirochetes.
(BTW, I now brush my teeth with baking soda!)
>> Alzheimer’s is a general, broad-spectrum and poorly constrained definition <<
Did you read the fascinating article linked above in post no. 4? If so, can you say whether it breaks new ground? Or was the association between Alzheimer’s and oral spirochetes already a well-established factoid?
Strange. In the last twenty years I have known three people who were diagnosed with Alzheimer s and in all three cases their spouses also got the disease within a couple of years.
>> the research doesnt seem to support that saliva contains the disease IMHO <<
The link in post no. 4 gives me exactly the opposite conclusion.
I don't know how common it is for spouses to get it.
If they disease is caused by spirochetes in the brain, I don’t see how brushing your teeth with baking soda now is going to prevent the problem, aren’t you already exposed?
Perhaps the plaque on one’s teeth would only affect that person (since it is acceptable to that body in question). The only issue that keeps popping up in my mind is how many care workers of people with Alzheimers come in contact with saliva from spoons, plates, tissues... yes, even a bite and don’t get the disease. My only concern is that this is one interesting study. I don’t want people to overreact and start putting on those Hannibal Lector face masks on people with Alzheimers (or quarantine them) without a LOT MORE study/research has been done. (not that I would want it then either. I just don’t want the medical/nursing home community to overreact is my point)
from the thread, brushing with Baking soda helps kill the bug.
>> I dont see how brushing your teeth with baking soda now is going to prevent the problem <<
I’m not a micro-biologist or epidemiologist or anything else like that, so I speak strictly as a rank amateur.
But two factors come to mind:
(1) It may be that the brain’s total “load” of resident spirochetes, prions and similar organisms is critical. In other words, exposure up to a certain threshhold may not be particularly dangerous. Therefore, “better late than never” may be a useful prophylactic
(2) Immune-system senescence is an important problem for the elderly. So with younger people, the immune system may usually be able to zap the pathologic micro-organisms into harmlessness — whether in the mouth or in the brain — whereas the elderly simply can’t mount the same level of defense. So good oral health may be even more important for the elderly than for the young.
At any rate, be sure to read the material linked at post no. 4. It was a tremendous eye-opener for me.
Interesting, wasn’t it?
>> My only concern is that this is one interesting study. <<
Science in general and medicine in particular aren’t likely to be strongly affected by just “one” study. But additional research and experimentation will be done. And if they can replicate the results, then the medical consensus sooner or later will change.
A perfect example is Marshall’s “discovery” (although he really wasn’t first) that certain bacteria are the cause of most stomach ulcers. His radical claim almost got him kicked out of the medical profession in his native Australia. But as more and more studies came to replicate his findings, he finally received full vindication.
(Moreover, it’s now almost a trivial medical matter to cure somebody’s stomach ulcer. A ten-day course of antibiotics and acid-reducers will usually do the job.)
Don’t be concerned about “one interesting study.” Just wait a few years for the rest of the story!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.