Alzheimer’s Disease from an Unsuspected Source

It has been known since 1906 that the Dementia of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), is due to Beta-Amyloid, a sticky substance that accumulates in the brain destroying neural function. Billions of dollars are being spent to determine the structural source of Amyloid formation, without any success. Meanwhile, 5.1 million Americans currently have the disease and AD is expected to increase with population trends. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the US and fifth leading cause of death for those age 65 and older. The National Institute of Health held a State-Of-The-Science Conference in April 2010 and issued a statement on “Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Decline” at the opening session, “currently, no evidence, of even moderate scientific quality, exists to support the association of any modifiable factor “such as nutritional supplement, herbal preparations, dietary factors, prescription or non- prescription drugs, social or economic factors, medical conditions, toxins, or environmental exposures, have reduced risk of Alzheimer’s Disease”. At conclusion of this important conference, a summation was issued “that there remains important and formidable challenges in conducting research on these cognitive diseases particularly in the area of PREVENTION

Conclusions such as these, express disappointment that research, emphasizing genes,now requires another direction in order to further understand both the cause of AD as well as its prevention and treatment. Recent editorials in leading medical journals have also expressed the need for new insights. It was only in 1982 that two doctors in Australia discovered that bacteria can survive in the acid medium of the stomach and nest into the walls of the stomach causing gastritis, peptic ulcers and cancer. Doctors Warren and Marshall were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1985 for their landmark contribution to medical advancement. The bacteria found by the doctors were named Helicobacter Pylori (HP). Subsequently, blood and breathing tests were developed to identify patients with HP infection. Patients testing positive for HP may or may not have symptoms related to the chronic infection of gastritis; those with peptic ulcers have typical symptoms. Confirmation of Infectious Gastritis can be confirmed by gastroscopy with biopsy. Treatment is with antibiotics.

It is of interest that a writing in 2006,by O’Connor, Taylor and Hughes, all from the CDC, stated that “evidence now confirms that noncommunicable chronic diseases can stem from infectious agents.
Furthermore, at least 13 of 39 recently described infectious agents induce chronic syndromes. Identifying the relationships can affect health across populations, creating opportunities to reduce the impact
by preventing or treating infection. Yet the strength of causal evidence varies widely, and detecting a microbe does not prove causality. Nevertheless, infectious agents likely determine more cancers, immune mediated syndromes, neurodevelopmental disorders, and other chronic conditions, than currently appreciated. To capitalize on these opportunities, clinicians, public health practitioners, and policymakers
must recognize that many chronic diseases may indeed have infectious origins”.

It has been known for years, that patients, suffering from B-Amyloid deposits, must have an underlying condition that produces Amyloid from a chronic infection of an organ or body part or from chronic inflammatory disease. The list of diseases include Tuberculosis, Bronchiectasis, Chronic Osteomyelitis, Chronic Pyelonephritis, as well as Inflammatory Bowel disease, various kinds of Arthritis,Familial Mediterranean Fever, and several other rare conditions. The most common, and likely of most cases of AD, is unsuspected chronic Infectious Gastritis due to Helicobacter Pylori. It is a fact that patients with a positive blood or breathing test for HP are highly likely to have an associated chronic gastritis. The gastritis is due to H.Pylori which colonizes and infects the lining of the stomach forming a chronic infection, which lasts for a lifetime unless treated. It is reported that 50% of the world population have chronic H.Pylori infection. U.S. statistics reveal that 20% of our citizens have H.Pylori infection. Blood testing for the presence of HP infection should be part of every comprehensive medical examination. This is the best preventive for avoiding AD, at present, except for identifying and treating the source of H.Pylori.

The most overlooked missing link in the chain of HP infection is the question, where does HP originate? The answer is rarely mentioned in most articles. However, bacteriologists are well aware that Helicobacter Pylori is endemic in the intestines of water fowl that frequent our reservoirs. The EPA and CDC check our water supplies and find frequent contamination with HP. However, there is very little regulatory power for those agencies as far as could be determined. Various water boards along the Eastern seaboard report that it is not required for water boards to test local water supplies for HP.

Since the world-wide medical profession was not aware of the existence of HP, with its ability to cause widespread infection in the stomach, until 1982. It is still strange that many doctors have yet to incorporate HP testing in their practice, or even relate to the correlation between HP infection and chronic gastritis. This fact has also seemed to escape notice in the majority of medical writings. The fact that HP is a Class-1 Carcinogen, ( World Health Org and American Institute of Medicine) the cause of most cancers of the stomach, along with ulcers and gastritis, and exist in most water supplies, has also escaped notice. It is reasonable for Public Health authorities to institute measures for testing our water supply for HP, along with already required pathogens. A former CEO of Pfizer, stated in his recent book ” that “clean water has saved more lives than all the pharmaceuticals ever produced”. (H.Mckinnell) Clean unpolluted water should be a major goal to improve health of the public, to prevent Helicobacter Pylori infections, and Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as Cancer of the stomach. HP, a bacterium, is the most common cause of Alzheimer’s Disease by infecting the stomach wall and causing chronic infection ( Gastritis), which is where the Amyloid causing AD is generated, subsequently spreading through the body and brain. With 5,000,000 Alzheimer’s patients in the U.S.,at present, it is time for action. Significantly, most of these patients are cared for in institutions at great expense to taxpayers. It is time for preventive action!

BY SIDNEY W. ROSEN MD MPH FACP FACG July 25, 2010

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