Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, September 09, 2018

Dr. Leslie Norins is willing to hand over $1 million of his own money to anyone who can clarify something: Is Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia worldwide, caused by a germ? By "germ" he means microbes like bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. In other words, Norins, a physician turned publisher, wants to know if Alzheimer's is infectious. It's an idea that just a few years ago would've seemed to many an easy way to drain your research budget on bunk science. Money has poured into Alzheimer's research for years, but until very recently not much of it went toward investigating infection in causing dementia.

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But this "germ theory" of Alzheimer's, as Norins calls it, has been fermenting in the literature for decades. Even early 20th century Czech physician Oskar Fischer -- who, along with his German contemporary Dr. Alois Alzheimer, was integral in first describing the condition --noted a possible connection between the newly identified dementia and tuberculosis.

If the germ theory gets traction, even in some Alzheimer's patients, it could trigger a seismic shift in how doctors and understand and treat the disease.

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Norins is quick to cite sources and studies supporting his claim, among them a 2010 study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery showing that neurosurgeons die from Alzheimer's at a seven-fold higher rate than they do from other disorders.

Another study from that same year, published in The Journal of the American Geriatric Society found that people whose spouses have dementia are at a six-times greater risk for the condition themselves.

Contagion does come to mind. And Norins isn't alone in his thinking.

-fta

#1 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-09-09 03:56 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

There is so much confusing and conflicting information right now about Alzheimer's that I can't keep up with it all. Maybe that's what happens just before a big breakthrough.

#2 | Posted by cbob at 2018-09-09 08:27 PM | Reply

I think we still know so little. Even this hypothesis seems so far from being seriously considered.

#3 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-09-09 08:28 PM | Reply

evacuate the white house!

patient zero lives there!

#4 | Posted by Tor at 2018-09-09 08:43 PM | Reply | Funny: 4 | Newsworthy 1

About seven or eight years ago, I actually was working with some researchers here in Kentucky who were investigating the amyloid plaques that Alzheimer's patients tend to have in common. But now that focus seems to have lost favor. I hope we're heading in the right direction now. I know a lovely lady who's sinking deeper into dementia every day. For that matter, I also know a woman with Huntington's Disease, which is equally devastating. By her 40s she had become incapable of driving. By 50 she could no longer live at home.

#5 | Posted by cbob at 2018-09-09 08:50 PM | Reply

There's also hypotheses along these lines for Autism, Parkinson's Disease and other cognitive disorders.

I know somebody who's working on a project along these lines with other unspecified acquired disorders. It's really cool stuff.

#6 | Posted by jpw at 2018-09-09 09:00 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

And ALS!

#7 | Posted by cbob at 2018-09-09 09:04 PM | Reply

My dad died from ALS and I have MS you should have seen my neurologist face when he found out. Then I had to break it to him I was adopted.

There is a current theory about MS that 2 childhood illness in a particular order is the cause. I don't remember ever having the second one though so I don't know.

Also a lot of research going into gut bacteria and auto immune diseases. Exciting times for sure.

#8 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2018-09-09 09:14 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Wow, Tao, that's really fascinating stuff about the two childhood illnesses. One of my all-time favorite rock & rollers, Ronnie Lane (Faces, etc.) had MS. I remember some speculation years ago about a connection to the mercury fillings in his teeth!

I really do think this gut bacteria issue is going to yield some useful information. I hope for your sake and so many others that a cure can be found. My sincerest best wishes for you.

#9 | Posted by cbob at 2018-09-09 09:26 PM | Reply

"Also a lot of research going into gut bacteria and auto immune diseases. Exciting times for sure."

I've read they may be having a break through in auto immune research specifically sarcoidosis,

#10 | Posted by Tor at 2018-09-09 09:30 PM | Reply

#9

There have been a lot of theories about MS over the years. So far nothing has panned out. Eventually they will check everything and find out what it is. Until then the drugs to reduce progression have gotten darn good. I have maybe had one relapse in the past 3 years.

#10

Don't know anything about sarcoidosis but things like MRI and CAT scans have really been fantastic for advancing research on tons of diseases. Autoimmune especially has benefited. When It was first suspected that I had MS the odds of having mobility loss at 12 years was over 50%. Here I am 14 years later working as a field service tech.

#11 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2018-09-09 09:54 PM | Reply

Flight Risk was seen motoring quickly away from the WH after reading this article.

#12 | Posted by Corky at 2018-09-09 09:56 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Last I heard, it was.

#13 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2018-09-09 09:58 PM | Reply

sarcoidosis is what killed bernie mac.

It's a weird condition by any standard.

#14 | Posted by Tor at 2018-09-09 10:14 PM | Reply

I know somebody who's working on a project along these lines with other unspecified acquired disorders. It's really cool stuff.

#6 | POSTED BY JPW AT 2018-09-09 09:00 PM | FLAG:

That is so cool. I read this and was thinking how on earth would anyone even begin to untangle this? What would your data set even be? I wish I had another life to get into this field.

#15 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-09-10 12:33 AM | Reply

"how on earth would anyone even begin to untangle this?"

Start by trying to induce it in white mice in a sterile AF lab in double blind tesst.

#16 | Posted by Tor at 2018-09-10 01:01 AM | Reply

MS certainly is one of those befuddling diseases. I remember years ago when they made a correlation with MS and tuberculosis.

The remissions nature of it makes a prime target illness for charlatans and miracle treatments. I had two friends succumb to it after decades of fighting it with everything imaginable... and I swear everything that came down the pike they were on to it.... purification diets, hopping on the bus to Mexico to silver dental filling removed.... don't get me started on all the holistic health gurus. It was sad to see them flee from something harder rougher scientifically applied medical procedures that can leave you feeling worse for a while... to the more palliative comforts of naturopathic or holistic methods.

It's interesting how autoimmune diseases are really in the forefront for treatment Chrones, IBS, MS Lupus, RA, Myasthenia gravis, Diabetes, Psoriasis, Gillian Barr, Graves disease, Celiacs... they've all benefitted from the research into containing or curing HIV.

#17 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2018-09-10 08:58 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Rightis yeah I hear about all the crazy "cures" on the ms forums. Lots of people spending a lot of money on hopes and dreams.

Than goodness I came along when the traditional medicine routes are much better. Very little temptation to try crazy stuff when the legit stuff is working well with only minor side effects.

#18 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2018-09-10 09:08 AM | Reply

Start by trying to induce it in white mice in a sterile AF lab in double blind tesst.

#16 | POSTED BY TOR AT 2018-09-10 01:01 AM | REPLY | FLAG:

I was thinking about studying the surgeons...

#19 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-09-10 10:31 AM | Reply

That is so cool. I read this and was thinking how on earth would anyone even begin to untangle this? What would your data set even be? I wish I had another life to get into this field.

We know of a large number of neurotropic viruses (ie Herpes viruses) and there is also evidence in the literature for genetic susceptibilities to various autoimmune or cognitive disorders. Start infecting mice with risk alleles inserted or protective genes deleted and see if pathological phenotypes occur that are similar to those observed in human cases.

#20 | Posted by jpw at 2018-09-10 03:26 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Rightis yeah I hear about all the crazy "cures" on the ms forums. Lots of people spending a lot of money on hopes and dreams.
Than goodness I came along when the traditional medicine routes are much better. Very little temptation to try crazy stuff when the legit stuff is working well with only minor side effects.
#18 | POSTED BY TAOWARRIOR AT 2018-09-10 09:08 AM

Do they mention sessions of oxygenation of brain?

#21 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2018-09-11 12:00 AM | Reply

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