Excellent discussion of Alzheimer’s research and failed treatments, in the context of a claim of an infectious component

I have to compliment the people at ACSH for this excellent essay on dementing diseases in the release for today.

Covers a lot of ground on an important and devastating problem. The major dementing disease is Alzheimer’s but there is multi stroke and traumatic, also Parkinson’s. In the infectious prion caused diseases are Kuru (rare one found in cannibals), Jakob Creutzfeldt (mad cow) Disease.

You may know there are encephalopathies that are caused by infection that could produce dementia or brain-damage disability, enteroviruses, Herpes Simplex, in fact many viral infections can cause encephalitis/meningitis that could cause encephalopathy.



4 responses to “Excellent discussion of Alzheimer’s research and failed treatments, in the context of a claim of an infectious component

  1. An excellent summary that splashes the cold water of reality on all the hype pushed by the media and the biomedical research establishment. As with most disease statistics, many of the major problems are definitional. It is likely that there are many subtypes of dementia but there is a tendency to lump almost all under the name “Alzheimer’s Disease”. Is the incidence of dementia increasing out of proportion to the increase in life expectancy? My opinion is that it is impossible to say with any reasonable degree of certainty. Probably most all types of dementia increase with age. And with the increasing medicalization of so many things that used to be taken for granted as being just part of life, it is likely that the incidence of dementia in years past was somewhat underestimated. My favorite part of the article was the life expectancy graph at the beginning–an absolute dagger to the heart of environmentalists, food nannies, and all those other hysterics who claim that we are killing ourselves with what we eat, drink, breathe, smoke, etc. That is truly the elephant in the room and these people should be required to stand at the blackboard and reproduce this graph 500 times.

  2. “The Nature researchers examined the brains of eight people who died from CJD after becoming infected by the “old” hGH when they were young. Prior to their death, none of the had clinical symptoms of AD. But, of the eight cases where CJD was confirmed, six of the brains had plaque deposition which looked just like brains from AD patients.”

    And it could have been coincidence. That is the two have nothing whatsoever to do with each other.

  3. I switched off when I saw if came from Prof. John Collinge himself.

    This is the man who caused the BSE panic by writing to every doctor in the UK to make them look for CJD patients, then claimed there was an epidemic when referral rates increased, gaining himself an nice cushy job with lots of funds for his “CJD surveillance Unit”. Now referral rates have stabilised and the supposed vCJD is now non-existent – look at the CJD surveillance unit’s own numbers :

    So, guess what, he pops up again with another “dementia is an infectious disease” story to get himself some of the Alzheimer’s funds.

    There are times when I wonder whether this was another Wakefield.

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