Prion Contamination Fueling A Public Health Disaster
As the world comes to grips with the threats associated with global warming and climate change, it’s time to connect more of the dots on the horizon. Neurodegenerative disease, for example, is the fastest-growing cause of death in the world. It’s been steadily rising for more than 50 years. It’s been mismanaged for more than 50 years, which has cost millions of lives. Today, millions more are caught in the crossfire of misinformation, disinformation and mismanagement.
Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and Parkinson’s disease are more accurately defined as prion disease. We would all be better served if we connect the dots and refer to this collective scourge as prion disease. The different names are by design to help cloak the problem.
Prions are a deadly form of protein. We all have healthy prions in our bodies. When prions become dysfunctional, all hell breaks loose. It’s the neurological equivalent of cancer, radiation poisoning and more all rolled into one.
Prion disease is described as a wasting disease that causes a loss of body mass and brain mass.
Prion disease is clinically known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). As the name suggests, TSEs are transmissible via bodily fluids and tissue (milk, blood, saliva, mucus, urine, feces, tissue and skin). What this means is that deadly prion contamination is building up in the world around us. Misinformation and mismanagement are making the problem worse.
A variety of factors can trigger prion disease, including genetics, neurotoxins (prion exposure) and head trauma. Prion disease consumes the mind and body. No two cases are identical. The tragedy is that prion disease is a pathway disease. Most pathways are being hidden and mismanaged. Prions are a real-world version of Pandora’s box.
All forms of prion disease are fatal. It appears that all forms of prion disease are infectious, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Unlike a virus or bacteria, a prion cannot be stopped. Prion disease is fatal. Prion disease is highly infectious. With every transmission, the prions involved mutate, migrate and multiply. Prions are the ultimate killing machine. Science, however, uncovers the smoking gun.
Dr. Stanley Prusiner, an American neuroscientist from the University of California at San Francisco, 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.
Important reforms to policies to protect public health, however, have been elusive.
Prusiner’s most recent study confirms that Alzheimer’s disease is a prion disease, which means that millions of people with Alzheimer’s disease (and millions who died ahead of them) are highly infectious. Prion diseases are fatal, transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) that affect humans and other animals.
“This shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that amyloid beta and tau are both prions, and that Alzheimer’s disease is a double-prion disorder in which these two rogue proteins together destroy the brain,” said Prusiner.
The prion pandemic impacts more than humans. Most, if not all, mammals are susceptible to prion disease. Mad cow disease and chronic wasting disease are part of the same pandemic. The prion pathogen has been building up in our food, water and communities for decades.
Prions are such a formidable threat that the U.S. government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. The U.S. government initially classified prions as select agents that pose an extreme risk to food, water and public health. After reconsidering the regulatory threat to multiple industries, all prion regulations were dropped by governments around the world.
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