Caregivers At Risk In Battle Against Brain Disease

Spouses Of Those With Alzheimer’s Likely To Contract Brain Disease

Millions of people are becoming caregivers for friends and family members with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a silent epidemic that’s creating family crises around the world. In addition to the shock of the sudden dependency, at least some caregivers (family members and professionals) are being misinformed and exposed to deadly pathogens that can spread the disease.

“A good caregiver who understands the disease, its symptoms and progression is crucial to the overall well-being of people with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Fred Kobylarz, a dementia expert at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers University. “Alzheimer’s has become pervasive in the United States and around the world. It affects people in all walks of life,” Kobylarz said. “It is a problem that needs action and attention.”

Alzheimers disease epidemic

Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of cognitive impairment related to Alzheimer’s disease. Some people with memory problems have a condition called mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In MCI, people have more memory problems than normal for their age, but their symptoms do not interfere with their everyday lives. Movement difficulties and problems with the sense of smell have also been linked to MCI. Older people with MCI are at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, but not all do. Some may even go back to normal cognition.

The first symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease vary from person to person. For many, decline in non-memory aspects of cognition, such as speech, vision, and impaired reasoning or judgment, may signal the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists don’t yet fully understand what causes Alzheimer’s disease in most people. There is a genetic component to some cases of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Late-onset Alzheimer’s arises from a complex series of brain changes that occur over decades. The causes probably include a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

Read The Full Story About Alzheimer’s Disease and Risks To Caregivers.

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Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and the prion disease epidemic is an area of special expertise. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform

Firearm Debate Missing Key Points

Corruption Killing United States

It’s easy to blame violence in America on guns. It’s an easy target after a long series of massacres waged upon kids. It’s easy to blame violence on people with mental illness—sick people are another easy target. Unfortunately, guns and violence are just symptoms of a democratic system that is broke and a sick nation that is under siege on many fronts. Before we can end the violence, we need to remove barriers to a healthier nation.

gun control in America

Other symptoms of a sick society include suicide among our kids, elderly and veterans. The list also includes homelessness, drunk driving, substance abuse, and child abuse. We can’t afford to overlook white-collar crime, mortgage fraud, and corruption. And we can’t ignore the battles waged against law enforcement officers and their families. Wars waged (and lives lost) for phantom enemies and the enrichment of banks and defense contractors. Don’t forget the terror felt by families that have no health insurance. Or the threat of contaminated food, air and water.

In my opinion, violence in America is a symptom of weak citizens and an unhealthy government–a government that no longer serves its citizens and perpetuates injustice and tolerates fraud. The U.S. has pointed at similar conditions in other countries as fascist. Therefore, let’s defend this great nation from such a threat–real or perceived. We can’t afford to let this nation devolve into a state where majority no longer rules and the will of the people is often ignored. Healthy capitalism and free-market competition are becoming myths and illusions. Further erosion of our economic strength and national health are unacceptable.

stop corruption in America

Misguided corporations that serve only shareholder wealth and growth are forcing this country and others into moral bankruptcy. We can’t afford to fund our schools and healthcare systems, but we can bail out fraudulent banks. We can’t defend our citizens from Wall Street fraud, but we can buy bullets and bombs and wage war and spread our perverted version of democracy around the world. We recruit soldiers with lies and let them commit suicide on the streets when they return home. With values such as these, what exactly are we defending?

A handful of corrupt companies that our country defends so viciously are dictating the outcomes of elections and the agendas under our capitol domes. The people (including our kids, seniors and veterans) are caught in the crossfire of this injustice and the symptoms are exploding in classrooms, emergency rooms, neighborhoods and the workplace. Wall Street is creating a nightmare on Main Street. Only the stakeholders and shareholders can fix the problem. We need to demand reason, justice, fairness and a return to the American way–the values that our forefathers fought for so bravely.

government relations

It’s easy to point blame, but we have met the enemy and it’s us. We are all guilty for believing lies and not standing up for justice and democracy at every turn. We are all guilty for chasing the American dream and taking a few wrong turns. Greed, fear, complacency and misplaced trust are killing this great nation. If Wall Street has become the only barometer of a healthy nation, may god help us all.

I wish that guns were the problem and that gun reforms were the solution, but the current debate is off target, narrow-minded and reckless. In fact, this misguided discussion runs the risk of causing more harm than good. Given the present tone and ignorance, people who need to seek help with an emerging mental health issue are likely to suffer in silence to avoid being labeled “crazy” and “violent” or exposing themselves to bias, discrimination and possible violence. Anything that stands in the way of effective treatment will just compound the problems and contribute to an unhealthy country. Anything that stands in the way of a healthier nation must be confronted–whether it’s policy, greed, ignorance or funding. Obstructions to common sense and common will are unacceptable.

For example, people with mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of violence than perpetrators. Unfortunately, millions of our friends, family and neighbors with mental illness go undiagnosed and untreated because of the stigma generated by reckless and ignorant conversations. In addition, our healthcare system as a whole is too fragmented to identify most of our friends and neighbors with mental health issues and it’s improperly funded to help the majority of those who want help. Unfortunately, special interest groups have obstructed meaningful reforms that can save money, save lives and provide earlier intervention and better outcomes. Meanwhile, people shooting from the hip with reckless statements and solutions will drive people away from the behavioral health systems that can help them. We can’t afford any obstructions to a healthier America.

Furthermore, privacy laws protect the identities of a person who has been diagnosed with a mental health condition. Secondly, stigma, inadequate funding, poor integration of healthcare services and ignorance within our communities prevents millions of people with emerging or persistent mental health conditions from ever being diagnosed.

Therefore, universal background checks are not the silver bullet prescribed by some of those who are dominating the debate over responsible gun ownership. However, we should do everything within our power to keep guns out of the hands of all dangerous people, especially convicted criminals. Background checks and closing gun-show loopholes might help. I’ll let the experts wrestle with those issues. However, I challenge those who are rabid about defending the second amendment to defend our entire democracy, not just pieces of it.

government corruption

I don’t have all of the answers, but we can use the gun-reform conversation to again highlight the problem with our government and with ourselves. For example, according to a CBS News/New York Times polls, a common-sense measure such as universal background checks on gun buyers is favored by 92 percent of Americans. And that number includes 89 percent of Republicans and 85 percent of households with NRA members.

Meanwhile, a handful of so-called leaders—our state and national legislators—are holding the nation hostage on the orders of special interest groups and corporations. Why is the will of the people no longer part of the deliberative process in America the Beautiful? Why are the people tolerating this obstruction to a reasonable conversation and a vote?

These same leaders are obstructing constructive reforms in many aspects of government, including sustainable energy, safe food and water, and other common-sense solutions to pressing problems. As a result, our nation is getting sicker and poorer everyday. People are slipping through the cracks of this unresponsive system. Have we all lost our backbone for better and healthier government?

We all have blood on our hands and we all are victims for mismanaging this great democracy. Homeland security is a myth if we don’t defend our rights and speak out for our needs and for our neighbors. Homeland security is a myth if we don’t hold parents responsible for their own homes, including the acts (and health) of their children.

Fortunately, in modern society, we don’t have to exercise the second amendment to get our democracy back on track. The pen is mightier than the sword (and the gun) in our pursuit of a healthier America.

If we take care of our nation, our neighbors and our own families, violence will take care of itself. Step up on all levels. Be a responsible parent and an active patriot. Sign petitions. Write to your elected officials and your local media. Run for office. Demand inclusiveness, accountability, transparency and reform on all fronts. Demand responsiveness and less favoritism. Don’t tolerate fraud or corruption at any level. defend the entire constitution and the entire nation.

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If we want peace, health and prosperity, we must demand more from our leaders and from ourselves. Make elected and appointed leaders enforce the laws that we have and don’t let anyone stand above those laws. Silence is acceptance.

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Prions Found In Spleen, Muscle Tissue

Prion Disease Going Undetected

Prion diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (vCJD) are able to jump species much more easily than previously thought. A study published in Science today shows that in mice, prions introduced from other species can replicate in the spleen without necessarily affecting the brain.

Prions and Prusiner win Nobel Prize

The study reinforces the concern that thousands of people in the United Kingdom might be silent carriers of prion infection, potentially able to pass a lethal form of the disease to others through surgery or blood transfusions.

Prions are infectious pathogens, primarily composed of the misfolded form of a protein called PrP. Normal PrP molecules that are converted into the misshapen type then aggregate in the brain to form hard, insoluble clumps — with fatal consequences.

Previous studies have judged the ease of cross-species transmission by looking for clinical symptoms as well as the presence of prions in infected animals’ brains. Results from these studies suggested that in many cases there is an effective ‘species barrier’, with most inoculated animals seemingly free of prions at the end of their lives.

Prions In Lymph System 

But prions don’t just replicate in the brain — they also affect lymphoid tissue, such as the spleen, tonsils and appendix. So Vincent Béringue, a prion researcher at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research in Jouy-en-Josas, France, and his colleagues used mice that had been genetically engineered to express either the sheep or human version of PrP to look beyond the brain.

chronic wasting disease caused by prions

The researchers injected prions from elk, hamsters and cattle into the brains of the engineered mice — all species barriers that are supposedly very hard to cross — then looked for prions in the spleens and brains of the mice at regular intervals after exposure.

As expected, few of the mice had detectable prions in their brains. When those expressing human PrP were inoculated with the BSE prion, only 3 out of 43 had detectable prions in their brains at the end of their lives. But in lymphoid tissue it was a different story, with 26 of 41 spleens testing positive for prions, even though the mice showed no clinical symptoms of BSE. The research shows that prions jump species into lymphoid tissue much more easily than into brain tissue.

“If you extrapolate that to the human situation, you can imagine that there are more people infected sub-clinically (without symptoms) in lymphoid tissues such as the spleen, who may never develop prion disease,” says Béringue.

That’s a concern because these carriers could infect others, for example by blood transfusion, organ donation or contaminated surgical instruments. Once passed human to human, the infection could in theory then affect the brain and cause lethal vCJD, says John Collinge, director of the Medical Research Council Prion Unit at University College London, who wrote an analysis to accompany the Béringue paper. “The main adaptation — that the incoming BSE proteins have triggered the formation of human prions — has occurred,” he says.

mad cow disease and prions

An epidemic of BSE among cows, dubbed ‘mad cow disease’, in Britain in the 1980s, led to stringent controls on meat production and the use of surgical and dental instruments. Human cases of the disease, vCJD, were first seen in the mid-1990s. That sparked fears of a devastating human epidemic, but only around 200 people have died from the disease since then, and cases have been tailing off.

But two recent surveys of tissue samples from removed appendixes suggest that as many as 1 in 4,000 people in the United Kingdom could be carriers. Béringue’s findings could help to explain these results, says Collinge. “These estimates suggest there may be 15 to 20,000 people in the United Kingdom incubating the disease,” he says. “Maybe they predominantly have an infection restricted to the lymphoreticular system.”

Collinge warns that “all efforts should be made” to assess the prevalence of prion infection in the United Kingdom by analyzing surgical and autopsy tissues, and to investigate whether blood tests for vCJD can detect the infection in silent carriers.

“Maybe they will never develop prion disease themselves,” he says. “But it’s precisely those people who present a risk to others.”

Alzheimer's disease epidemic


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Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and the prion disease epidemic is an area special expertise. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform

Mad Cow Disease Related To Alzheimer’s Disease

Prions Link Mad Cow Disease, Chronic Wasting Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease

Prion disease is being mismanaged around the globe, which is contributing to the migration, mutation, and exponential growth in the deadly contagion. Our food, water and healthcare systems are now critical pathways that must be guarded much more closely.

Not surprisingly, mad cow disease, clinically known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), has been rampant in the U.S. for decades. The human form of mad cow is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The USDA and FDA have done a very good job of keeping this under wraps, as well as displaying a healthy disregard for human life by their neglect as well as their silence. The testing on cattle raised for food in the U.S. is ‘careless’ and ‘irresponsible’ according to The World Health Organization (WHO). The mismanagement goes much further than mad cow disease.

mad cow disease and prions

Testing one cow out of every 2,000 animals slaughtered is reckless, since the disease is unstoppable in soil, water and other areas infected by victims. Because of this fact, no one knows how many infected cattle enter the human food chain; however it is certain it leads to CJD and Alzheimer’s disease.

Food Safety and WHO Precautions

WHO has issued a warning stating that the U.S. is violating the guidelines set forth for the prevention of BSE or mad cow disease making its way into the human population. WHO states that the U.S. is inadequately testing the brains of human dementia victims and is likely missing hundreds of human cases of Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (CJD), caused by the reckless management of prion pathways, including human sewage, sewage sludge and biosolids.

The warning goes on to state that the feeding of infected animals to other animals must be ceased immediately. The feeding of slaughterhouse waste (which also goes into the sewage systems around the world), including blood, feathers and excrement, to other farmed animals is causing major health risks to all who eat beef, or any other farmed animal. Deer, elk, sheep, pigs and chickens can all carry this disease in different forms.

Prions and Prusiner win Nobel Prize

Prions Connect Alzheimer’s CJD and Mad Cow Disease

CJD and Alzheimer’s disease are caused by an infectious prion, which is (not) a virus. A prion is a protein, but a mutated protein that is somewhat different in shape. These prions fold into an abnormal pattern, at which time they begin killing off brain cells by the millions.

Steven Strittmatter, Professor of Neurology at Yale University, comments, “It’s too bizarre that these two diseases would share this common protein.”

Further, a well-known physician said, “The most frequent misdiagnosis of CJD among the elderly is Alzheimer’s disease. Neither CJD nor Alzheimer’s can be conclusively diagnosed without a brain biopsy, and the symptoms and pathology of both diseases overlap,” said Michael Greger, M.D.

The gestation period for this prion can be years or even decades. The problem with this is that many people infected will not even show signs of the disease for years, and the final death toll may not show up until it’s too late to actually do something about the rest of the population. Also, since CJD is often mis-diagnosed, getting the true picture will be difficult.

Regrettably, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders indicates that there is not one single diagnostic test for detecting CJD. The only way to confirm a diagnosis of CJD is by brain biopsy or autopsy. The biopsy is a dangerous procedure because it means removing a part of a person’s brain, and getting the part that is infected is not likely. And, when testing in either autopsy or biopsy, surgeons performing the test have to take extreme care to be certain they don’t become infected themselves. Strict surgical and disinfection procedures must be followed to perform this kind of test.

I’d venture to say that most doctors would do just about anything BUT this, in order to avoid the risks involved, as well as the time and expense; hence – misdiagnosis.

Alzheimer's disease epidemic

Alzheimer’s Disease Epidemic

Today, Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. It is the only disease that causes certain death, because it cannot be prevented by medicine, or cured or even slowed down.

From 2000 to 2008, in the U.S. alone, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have risen sixty-six percent (66%). An estimated 5.4 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s in 2011.  This includes people over the age of 65, and younger people who have young-onset Alzheimer’s.

Scientists believe it is Mad Cow gone rampant and have found a possible link to this horrible brain-wasting disease – and most other types of dementia. A link to Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and others has also been made.

Dr. Greger explains, “Mad-Cow disease is caused by unconventional pathogens called prions–literally infectious proteins–which, because of their unique structure, are practically invulnerable, surviving even incineration at temperatures hot enough to melt lead.”   Sadly, pigs can also carry the disease and since they are slaughtered long before any symptoms can surface, it is difficult to diagnose.

land application sewage sludge

According to Dr. Greger: “Laboratory experiments show that pigs can indeed be infected by Mad-Cow brains– and hundreds of thousands of downer pigs, too sick or crippled by injury to even walk, arrive at U.S. slaughterhouses every year.”

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Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and the prion disease epidemic is an area special expertise. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform