Volume 3 Issue 6

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bovine tuberculosis is one of the most prevalent disease threats in American CAFOs. USDA data suggests anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of American dairy herds are infected at any given time. Theoretical Evidence for Person-to-Person Transmission of Alzheimer's All of this brings us to the most recent development, which has gained widespread media attention. A study published in the journal Nature reveals the first theoretical evidence for human-to-human transmission of prion-like proteins associated with Alzheimer's, introduced via a medical procedure involving contaminated material. As reported by Scientific American: "Between 1958 and 1985, a number of individuals with short stature received shots of human growth hormone extracted from the pituitary glands of cadavers... Some of these samples were contaminated with prions that caused certain patients to develop Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), a rare and fatal brain disorder. Treatments ceased once these reports came to light, but by that time an estimated 30,000 people had already received the injections. As of 2012, researchers have identified 450 cases of CJD worldwide that are the result of these growth hormone injections and other medical procedures, including neurosurgery and transplants." To investigate the plausibility of human-to-human transmission, researchers autopsied eight of the patients who died after contracting CJD from the now-banned growth hormone treatments. All had died between the ages of 36 and 51 — too young to have developed Alzheimer's. Yet six of them had the misfolded proteins found in Alzheimer's patients' brains, and four of them had amyloid deposits in their cerebral blood vessels. Previous animal research has also found that when tiny amounts of amyloid-beta proteins — which are a hallmark of Alzheimer's — are injected into mice or monkeys, they act as self-propagating "seeds," unleashing a chain reaction of protein misfolding that results in pathology that is very reminiscent of that seen in Alzheimer's patients. Another recent study out of Germany found that seeds of amyloid-beta can persist for months in the brain, and become pathogenic under certain circumstances. As noted by Scientific American: "All evidence pointed toward one possibility: Like prions, amyloid-beta seeds were in the growth hormone injections and infected these individuals... [H]ad the patients not died young, they would have developed the disease later in life." Alzheimer's Prevention Strategies Because there are so few treatments for Alzheimer's, and no available cure, prevention really is your best bet. As explained by neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, author of the book, Grain Brain, Alzheimer's is a disease predicated primarily on lifestyle choices. Diet is part and parcel of a successful prevention plan, and an optimized nutrition plan can set you on the right path in this regard. In terms of your diet and other lifestyle factors, the following suggestions may be among the most important for Alzheimer's prevention: Page 26 | Abby's Magazine - Abby's Magazine - November/December 2015 | Page 45

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