Is Alzheimer’s an Infectious Disease?

Is Alzheimer’s an Infectious Disease?

by Chris Kresser

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Is Alzheimer's contagious?
Alzheimer's disease has become so prevalent that it begs the question: Is Alzheimer's infectious? iStock.com/PeopleImages

The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is rising sharply, but our understanding of this devastating condition remains incomplete. In an effort to develop more effective treatments, researchers have begun to explore new theories of what causes Alzheimer’s. One of the latest and most promising of these is that Alzheimer’s is an infectious disease, caused by pathogenic microbes like fungi, bacteria, and viruses.

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a crippling, chronic, and progressive neurodegenerative disease that is conventionally understood to be irreversible. It is characterized by memory loss, dementia, cognitive impairment, and the presence of amyloid plaques in the brain (1, 2).  Approximately 5.1 million people over the age of 65 in the United States are diagnosed with AD, along with another 200,000 under age 65. This estimate is predicted to increase by 10 million in the next 35 years (3).

In addition to those diagnosed, this disease changes the lives of more than 15 million family members and caregivers. Today, the estimated annual out-of-pocket expense plus the value of the approximately 18.1 billion volunteer caregiver hours approaches a staggering $440 billion (4). Unless there are advances in the cause and treatment of AD by the year 2050, that number will approach $1 trillion. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports that AD is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States (4, 5). James et al. (2014) suggest that AD-related deaths are underreported and estimate that it is actually the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer (6).

The History of Alzheimer’s Research

Alzheimer’s disease was first characterized and diagnosed over 100 years ago (7). Since that time, ideas on the pathology and treatment of AD have shifted from a focus on amyloid plaques in the brain as the cause (8), to misfolded tau proteins (9), to focus on the genetic heritability of the disease, to epigenetic influences (10, 11), to inflammation as a primary culprit (2), to medication-induced mitochondrial dysfunction (12), and to metabolically influenced mechanisms (13, 14, 15).

The breadth of Alzheimer’s research speaks to how elusive this disease really is. Despite the uncertainty of specific causal mechanisms, there are currently five prescription drugs that are used to combat the symptoms of AD. The last drug approved to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease was brought on the market in 2003.

Over the decade spanning 2002 to 2012, there were 413 AD drug trials performed; nearly four out of five of those clinical trials were sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. Trials were designed to test cognitive improvement, particular disease-modifying small molecules, and immunotherapies.

The overall success rate over that period of time was measured to be 0.4 percent (99.6 percent failure) (1).

Recently, a group of 33 Alzheimer’s researchers joined forces to raise awareness about a neglected piece of the Alzheimer’s puzzle: the correlation between the manifestation of this disease and the microbial world (16).

What If Alzheimer’s Is an Infectious Disease?

An infectious disease is one that is caused by a pathogenic microbe and may be spread directly or indirectly (17). Infectious disease rates have plummeted over the course of the past century due to advances in sanitation, vaccination, and treatment (18). Historically, once a disease is identified to be infectious in origin, treatment and prevention protocols have been successful.

The idea that Alzheimer’s disease may be an infectious disease is supported by a number of observations. There have been many correlations between common infectious and immune-challenging agents and the diagnosis of AD (16).

Could Alzheimer’s be an infectious disease? Some research says yes.

“Seeding” Alzheimer’s disease in mice. Researchers have successfully created senile plaques associated with AD by infusing dilute fluid from the neocortex of Alzheimer’s patients into mice (19). These results highlight a key pathogenesis for neurodegenerative disease in mice and open up avenues for research in human subjects.

Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. A link between type 2 diabetes and AD has been suggested as both diseases present with local inflammation and amyloidosis (misfolded proteins) and are both associated with the presence of a common microbial community that includes Chlamydophyla pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, and spirochetes (20).

Periodontitis and Alzheimer’s disease. There is a correlation between the diagnosis of AD and periodontitis (21). Researchers hypothesize that the microbes living in dental plaque biofilm invade the brain via the bloodstream or peripheral nerves and promote inflammation of the central nervous system, which is known to be associated with cognitive decline (21, 22, 23).

Herpes simplex virus 1 and Alzheimer’s disease. Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1) is quite common in the general population; roughly 70 percent of people over the age of 50 have been exposed to it. HSV1 was first proposed to be associated with AD nearly 35 years ago (24). This hypothesis was made plausible when researchers discovered a technique to test for the HSV1 virus in the human brain (25). After adjusting for known risk factors (age, education, APOE status) Letenneur et al. (2008) discovered a significant correlation between patients with primary or reactivated HSV1 (as measured by immunoglobulin M) and AD diagnosis (26, 27).

Atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Atherosclerosis has been compared to AD because both diseases present with inflammation; are associated with viral and bacterial infection, including HSV1 and Chlamydophila; and are characterized by plaque formation. Researchers hypothesize that both are caused by a chronic immune challenge (infection) that induces cholesterol 25-hydroxylase expression (plaque) to protect the body locally against infectious agents (28).

Biotoxins and Alzheimer’s disease. A connection has been made between biotoxin exposure and a distinctive type of AD that affects younger people that is characterized by some combination of stroke-like speech impairment, partial Gerstmann’s syndrome, impaired ability to read, inability to interpret visual information, or impaired motor skills. This AD-type is “cortical” (14) and has now been reported in the literature as “inhalational Alzheimer’s disease” (IAD), a manifestation of chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS) resulting from biotoxin exposure (29, 30).

If AD Is Infectious, What Can You Do?

Given the vast physical, mental, emotional, and financial burden that Alzheimer’s disease places on us, there is a dire need to be proactive. If the pathogenesis of AD includes an overlooked infectious component, there are many things that you can do starting today to decrease your odds of “contracting” this neurodegenerative disease.

It is not inaccurate to say that “health” is the best way to fight infection, but more specifically, a thriving, functioning immune system and a mindful perspective (31). An immune system under constant stress will slowly and steadily begin to malfunction over time, making our bodies more permissible to strange and pathogenic ecosystems (32, 33).

The best way to support your immune system and overall health is to provide your body with the information that it needs to operate and to make sure that the information delivered is in fact received. The receipt of this information is influenced by your overall gut health (34). Once gut health is considered, the required information from your environment comes from:

  • Nutrient-dense, whole foods. Hyper-concentrated food products (sugar, flour, processed seed oils) containing preservatives and artificial ingredients crowd out nutrients that only come from whole foods.
  • Quality sleep. Reconnecting with your natural circadian rhythms to facilitate growth, repair, and cellular cleanup in your body is incredibly important immune support. (35)
  • Natural and functional movement. Frequent, low-intensity natural movement distributed throughout the day supports a dense vascular network that assists in the delivery of nutrients to your cells and the removal of waste from them. (36)
  • The sun and spending time in natural environments. Vitamin D synthesis from exposure to the sun is an important part of overall health. Spending time in natural environments is not only nutritious but can expose you to immune-supportive microbial communities and relieve you of chronic stressors that are present in indoor environments. (37)
  • Support from your community. There is a large body of evidence illustrating the importance of feeling socially connected for your overall health. Lack of connectedness and support decreases your immune function. (38)
  • Happiness and a sense of purpose. Immune stressors come in all forms, and emotional stressors play a large role. Your mindset influences the amount of perceived stress you have, which can have a profound influence on your immune health. (39, 40).
An “infectious disease” does not only manifest as an acute sickness; it may also manifest from chronic, progressive, and cumulative insults to the immune system over time.

Although I believe that Alzheimer’s (as well as most other modern diseases) is multifactorial and has several causes, the recognition that Alzheimer’s disease may be the result of a progressive, chronic infection may initiate new treatment options for this debilitating neurodegenerative disease.

  1. The bacteria Borrelia, which cause Lyme disease and Relapsing Fever have been found throughout the beta-amyloid plaques that are the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s in the brain.

    They were found using highly accurate Molecular Beacon DNA probes developed by Alan MacDonald MD FCAP, founder of the non-profit Dr Paul Duray Research Fellowship Endowment Inc.

    Further, the Borrelia bacteria have been found in autopsy Alzheimer’s and Lewy body dementia brains hiding inside parasitic nematode worms. The worms shelter them from the immune system and antimicrobials.

  2. It really is devastating to know how Alzheimer’s Disease is on the rise each and everyday. Which is why we need healthy foods from a young age to prevent it from happening.

  3. I have read that over exposure to copper can lead to early onset Alzheimer’s. A vast majority of homes are now plumbed with copper water lines. This started in the early 70’s. Could there be a correlation? Maybe. Copper is used to kill tree roots and it works perfectly to keep slugs and snails out of ones garden. If it kills other or deters other organisms then it probably isn’t good for humans. Just one humble plumbers opinion.

    • If that turns out to be the case, then chelating excess minerals out of the body might be a good strategy, in addition to other dietary strategies. Dr. Russell Jaffee has a good video on Youtube about chelating out mercury and other toxic metals using Vitamin C (“Vitamin C for Heavy Metal Detox”)

      Also – side note – here’s a quote from Dr. Andrew Weil’s website: “A study published in August 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that copper can trigger the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and speed its progression.” So I’d say you’re onto something, Dave.

    • re: copper pipes

      The water itself may be a bigger concern than the pipes in most places. Water treatment residues may be quite antagonistic to the microbiome, especially chloramine.

      Added fluorides also need a look on this issue, and both Cl and Fl in water need some consideration as thyroid antagonists.

  4. Please look at Alan McDonald MDs research on Alzheimers and how he has found Borrelia burgdorefi (Lyme disease bacteria) in all of the Alzheimer brains he has studied.

      • Not at all… there are many, many things people can do to support brain health… check into coconut oil and Alzheimer’s; MCT oil; autophagy and intermittent fasting. Even if there is a virus in the body increasing our chances of succumbing to Alzeheimer’s, there are many, many things we can do to increase our odds of living to a ripe old age with well functioning brains.

  5. There is a difference between claiming Alzheimer’s disease is an infectious disease and claiming that chronic bacterial, viral, and fungal infections are one of the causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Very little substantial evidence exists for the first; some evidence exists for the second.

    Oxidants and particularly peroxynitrite are likely the main cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Through oxidation and nitration, peroxynitrite inhibits the synthesis and release of neurotransmitters involved in short-term memory, sleep, mood, social recognition, and alertness, limits the flow of blood and the transport of glucose in the brain which can lead to delusions, damages tissue, prevents the regeneration of neurons in the hippocampus, and contributes to the death of neurons.

    The number of factors that can increase peroxynitrite in the brain are multiple. They include but are not limited to high glucose levels (from a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates), high sodium intake, high fructose consumption, various pesticides and herbicides, air pollutants, mercury, aluminium fluoride, sodium fluoride, bisphenols in plastics, certain chronic bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, psychological stress, sleep apnea, certain medications (such as chronic acetaminophen use and bisphosphonate osteoporosis drugs), and various genes.

    Preventing the formation and scavenging peroxynitrite through dietary intervention, moderate exercise, and antioxidant supplements may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and perhaps partially reverse it early on (the Bresden protocol, for instance). More powerful antioxidants such as eugenol and linalool in various essential oils via aromatherapy and ferulic acid, syringic acid, maltol, p-coumaric acid, and vanillic acid in Korean red ginseng and heat processed ginseng have partially reversed moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

  6. Can you please tell our communities what essential oils you took and how much? There is a huge market out there that are promoting Essential Oils that are Not giving out the potential dangers.

    • I began using rosemary essential oil for my mother who had Alzheimer’s disease. After a month she asked “why have you been giving this to me every day for a month” and noticed that I had moved something on her shelf. My sisters and I later used a combination of other oils including clove, sweet orange, sage, and bay laurel. She would smell two or three of these oils for a few seconds each morning. She was able to recognize her home again, recognize objects (such as a rose and sugar), could remember her name and spell it, could complete simple phrases, recite the alphabet, and count numbers, basically stopped having delusions, slept better, and became much more alert and aware. She only became a bit more lucid and her short-term memory improved slightly.

      She had Alzheimer’s disease for three years before we started aromatherapy. She lived another five years before dying of other causes (severe esophagitis and heart failure both of which may also have been caused by the drug Fosamax).

      Eugenol (in rosemary, clove, lemon balm, and bay laurel essential oils among others) helps with cognition and linalool (in lavender lemon balm, and sweet orange, for instance) results in less anxiety and better sleep.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20377818

      http://benthamscience.com/journals/current-bioactive-compounds/volume/2/issue/1/page/57/

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/

      Essential oils should not be ingested as they can potentially do damage to the liver and kidneys. Most essential oils require a carrier oil when used in massage therapy as otherwise they can be caustic to the skin. Essential oils high in eugenol can in some cases increase anxiety and blood pressure. Individuals can have allergic reactions to different essential oils.

      Aromatherapy has the advantage that the potent antioxidants in various essential oils can be almost directly inhaled into the hippocampus–a part of the brain severely damaged in Alzheimer’s disease.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21160452

    • I may have included too many links in my last reply (hopefully, this won’t end up being a double post).

      My mother had Alzheimer’s disease for three years when we (my sisters and I) began to use aromatherapy. We started with rosemary and then later added clove, bay laurel, thyme, sage, oregano, and orange. She would smell a couple of essential oils each morning for a few seconds under each nostril. As a result of the aromatherapy, she recognized her home again, could recognize objects (calling a flower a rose, asking if it was sugar in a salt shaker, etc.), stopped having delusions, slept better, became more verbal (although only slightly more lucid), had some small improvements in short-term memory, and became much more alert and aware. She lived another five years before dying of causes unrelated to Alzheimer’s disease.

      Essential oils high in eugenol (rosemary, clove, bay laurel, lemon balm, nutmeg, etc.) help improve cognition and essential oils high in linalool (lavender, orange, and lemon balm, for instance) help reduce anxiety and improve sleep. In the Jimbo study, a combination of rosemary, lemon, orange, and lavender led to improvements in personal orientation related to cognitive function in people with dementia at 28 days (the strongest impact was on patients with Alzheimer’s disease). Jimbo used a diffuser; direct inhalation may be better for cognition in that fewer of the beneficial compounds are “lost” in the air.

      Most aromatherapists warn that essential oils should not be taken internally as they can potentially do damage to the liver and kidneys. Most essential oils require a carrier oil when used in message therapy because they are caustic to the skin. Essential oils high in eugenol can increase anxiety and agitation in some people with Alzheimer’s disease (perhaps because clove oil was once used in dental operations and thus has a negative association for some). Essential oils high in linalool have a mild sedative effect but in regards to memory this may be offset by deeper sleep. A few essential oils such as rosemary and sage may increase blood pressure. Some people are allergic to specific essential oils.

      The advantage of aromatherapy is that the aromatic compounds that are excellent antioxidants almost directly enter the hippocampus through the nose. Certain essential oils can thus partially reverse the nitro-oxidative stress that is at the heart of Alzheimer’s disease.

  7. Is everyone ready ,? I have a revelation . The cause of Alzheimer’s is cooking in modern day skillets [Teflon, aluminum]. It was unheard of before the inception of these skillets around the early 70’s . Which correlates time wise . It takes like 10 to 20 years for the material to build up in the brain which from the early 70’s would be the 80’s and on ,when you 1st started hearing about this problem.

    It’s simple reasoning, when you cook [ high temp] in these type skillets the chemicals come of on the food and when ingested lodge in the brain , pure and simple .

    If everyone went back to iron or stainless steel [ skillets] the condition would be irradicated . foundation of nutrition the bible .

  8. My mother (UK resident) developed Vascular Dementia, under the Alzheimer umbrella. She also had an underactive thyroid (as have I) and the local Alzheimer’s Society were beginning to think that the underactive thyroid had something to do with it. I should add nobody told us that the medication was to be taken on an empty stomach and before food, so that rendered the medication non effective though she did live till 93 only dying because while recovering from a thigh operation in hospital her food went into her lungs rather than her stomach and she died.

    • I’m reading this all as very curiously … as my Dad had a type of Dementia Alzheimer’s and suffered a Lung infection and vomited bowl till his heart stopped … they brought him back to life, then we agree on an OP as the Doc. said that if he suffered a obstruction of the bowels and rupture of the bowels they could safe his life like this ..but they didn’t find any sign of this and said that it was then an intestinal paralysis… afterwards he was in a state of coma, not 100% breathing by himself, no real neurological reactions, and we had to make the decision, as we didn’t want him to suffer even more .. we were taking care of him at home… I’m still devastated .. and think one should have studied more information and did more … We didn’t agree on doing an autopsy, which I regret now in a way..

      What is a tight operation? And food spreading to the lungs.. I think that that could have been a cause now, too with my Dad.. as he had coughing issues before, perhaps reflux.. we went to the Docs, and even to the same hospital 2 weeks before the lung infection, and already vomiting symptoms at home came occurred …

      Sorry, for bring all this “unrelated” in depth details up in this forum..

      All best wishes.

  9. I heard of a case where AD was completely reversed by administering Viagra (Sildenafil).

    I tried low dose Viagra with my mother [mmse score 16] for 2 months but did not see any positive response. [the dosage was 1/4 25mg pill every 48 hours for 10 days followed by 1/2 25mg pill every 48 hours for 10 days, followed by one 25mg pill every 48 hours for 1,5 month.]

    I was able to find some studies on mice:

    Orejana L, Barros-Minones , Jordan J, et al.
    Sildenafil Decreases BACE1 and Cathepsin B Levels and Reduces APP Amyloidogenic Processing in the SAMP8 Mouse. Journals of Gerontology Series A-Biological Sciences & Medical Sciences.2015; 70 (6):675-85.
    http://biomedgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/07/24/gerona.glu106.full

    Cuadrado-Tejedor M; Hervias I; Ricobaraza A; et al.
    Sildenafil restores cognitive function without affecting beta-amyloid burden in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2011; 164(8):2029-41.
    Treatment of aged Tg2576 animals with sildenafil completely reversed their cognitive impairment. 
    The dosage of sildenafil we used in the transgenic Alzheimer’s disease mouse model is 15 mg·kg−1·day−1 (injected), which is equivalent to 85 mg·day−1 in humans, using the BSA-based dose calculation (Reagan-Shaw et al., 2008).
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3246665/
     
    Puerta E, Orejana L, Barros-Minones L, et al.
    Sildenafil ameliorates cognitive deficits and APP amyloidogenic processing in a senescence-accelerated mouse model. European Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014; 24: S631.
    experimental data show that sildenafil increases the expression of proteins involved in synaptic plasticity and memory, enhances neurogenesis and modulates antiapoptotic pathways
    https://www.ecnp.eu/about-ecnp/history/past-ecnp-meetings/past-congresses/berlin2014/programme_overview.aspx#!sessionid-04301_abstractid-3655
     
    Puzzo D et al.
    Phosphodiesterase 5 inhibition improves synaptic function, memory, and Aβ load in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. J Neurosci. 2009;29:8075– 8086.
    We found that a concentration of 3 mg/kg fully restored memory (Fig. 2D). Then, we tested the minimum time needed for sildenafil to have a positive effect on spatial working memory. We found that daily injections of 3 mg/kg sildenafil improved APP/PS1 mouse performance after 2 weeks (Fig. 2E).
    http://www.jneurosci.org/content/29/25/8075.full

      • Thank you Marcus for your kind suggestion,

        I am familiar with Dr Dale Bredesen’s work and have contacted his office for more info [he will expand in a book he is writing]. It seems that I have tried allmost all of his approaches.

        Untill now with the guidance of 2 functional medicine proctitioners and my own research and extensive testing we’ve done:
        – General supplementation with D3, B12, Probiotics, Omera oils, Mg, Q10, kelp and many more.
        – Gut microbiome restoration (after testing with Genova GI effects)
        – Natural progestode cream.
        – Yoga, breathing exercises. (deep breathing made her worse for many hours)
        – Mind exercises, daily walking
        – Ketogenic diet for 5 moths (monitored with blood keto meter)
        – Low dose Sildenafil
        – Liposomal Phospatidyl Choline
        – The 23andme test revealed MTHFR 677+/- & MTHFR 1298 +/-, so now I supplement with methylB12 and folate.

        Nothing of the above has managed to halt the progression. The only thing that has proved that helpes is Solgar’s Phospatidyl Complex supplement.

        She has average weight and has lived in Greece a healthy life. The only earlier signs of imbalances were her lifetime aversion to perfumes and her relatively poor sleep.

        Sorry for my long answer but I am always looking for new clues.

        Thank you
        [email protected]

        • Hello Alex,
          I am not a doctor and you will get the best advice from a doctor that practises functional medicine, but I do have some tips for you.
          First I recommend a toxicity and essential elements test. Besides showing the deficiencies in elements it also shows the toxins. The toxins *may* be a reason that treatment does not work. Especially aluminum is very toxic and prohibits magnesium to function. It is a relatively cheap test.

          I also suggest to read the article of Dr Bredesen carefully and let the functional practitioners pay attention to all 36 points. To heal a sick body needs a lot of good care.

          And I suggest to be extremely careful with the products that you buy. For example, I recommend omega-3 with a certificate that they are free of toxins, and probiotics that are guaranteed to work. I saw a video of Dr Den Boer on Youtube where he explained that he could not get his patients better with probiotics and bought twelve samples of top brands and send them to a lab to test them: only ONE passed the test. The one that passed the test used Lactobacillus Acidoacidophilusphilus NCFM. The “NCFM” is important. Since many doctors recommend the probiotics “Prescription Assist” I am confident that they also are OK.

          Best regards,
          Marcus

        • Hi Alex. You might look into Souvenaid. It’s a purchasable medical food based off Wurtman’s work at MIT in regards to synaptic formation. There’s some preliminary results from an ongoing trial you can check out.

          • re: You might look into Souvenaid.

            If the Wiki page on that is representative of available products, concerns that caught my eye are:
            • DHA&EPA too low (under 2g/day)
            • Folic acid shows lack of MHTFR awareness
            • B12 form unspecified, and matters
            • Vitamin C dose is nearly homeopathic☺

  10. When I read comments like “eat more fish, you won’t get Alzheimer’s,” it reminds me that we don’t know what causes the disease but we sure wish we did, and we’re willing to invent just about anything to make ourselves feel better in the meantime.

    NO simple lifestyle changes related to exercise and/or diet HAVE BEEN PROVEN to prevent Alzheimer’s. Too many people with wildly diverging backgrounds and lifestyles suffer from it. We’re unable to accurately predict who’s going to get it based on good or bad habits, or even on who in the family had it before. One tiny example — my mother was a linguist who kept very busy well into her 70’s, studying new languages and literature until she got Alzheimer’s. “Keeping your mind active” just didn’t work in her case. Genetics was probably a bigger factor, since her mother had Alzheimer’s. I’m not saying it’s not important to keep your mind active, just that doing so won’t guarantee you won’t get Alzheimer’s.

    The less we know about a disease the more likely we are to invent all kinds of interesting explanations and cures. Once we finally do know, all these silly magic bullets will disappear.

    Having said that, the thesis of Chris’s article makes sense to me in general terms. Inflammation is a feature of the Alzheimer’s brain. Inflammation is the body’s immune response to invaders in the form of toxins, bacteria and other organisms. If there is enough inflammation in the body for a long enough period of time, its effects can be felt all over the body. If taken as a whole, the numerous “recommendations” provided here result in less inflammation, then they’re worth doing. They’re worth doing anyway as part of a healthy approach to life.

    • Well, I’m pretty much sure that Alzheimer is a disease of civilization, i.e. triggered by the evolutionary mismatch. Genetics is a crappy argument…genes themselves are inert unless you pull the trigger with the environmental factors. Said that, nobody claims that if you follow the mentioned rules you are bulletproof and immune to diseases, but on the other hand the opposite is most likely to be true: if you don’t follow them, you are much more likely to be doomed…

      • Would you like to wait until the “miraculous” world of science will discover with certainty the cause and explain the mechanism behind or it’s more reasonable to take your life in your hands NOW?

        • If you read had bothered to read my entire letter you’ll note that I endorse all the lifestyle changes one can make to eliminate inflammation and improve health — not because we know with 100% certainty that they’re going to prevent Alzheimer’s, but because they’re the right changes to make for our health overall.

      • Unfashionable but absolutely true. Evolution is not the dumb trial and error process most believe. The genome is a baseline but outcome is highly variable, modulated by the environment. And a badly distorted environment may lead to unpredictable outcomes.

  11. What about man-made toxins? Given the link between Parkinson’s and pesticides one would think that Alzheimer’s might also be caused in many cases by the thousands of chemicals we are exposed to every day, many of which are unstudied and potentially hard for are body to get rid of. Not to mention the natural neurotoxins like lead and mercury. I think there are many places to enter the degenerative loop, for example infections that overwhelm, damage or evade the immune system or it could be the immune system worn gets worn down by toxins and stress and can’t fight off chronic infections. And of course things like nutrition are critical minimizing damage from both toxins and infections. The infectious approach would still seem to be overly simplistic. Much like ME/CFS, infections play a role and some are even “cured” by treating the infections but not everyone or even most people because the causes most chronic diseases are many and multi-factorial.

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