…and those crazy Lyme doctors might have been right. Yes, there does appear to be some concern now that the abnormal protein accumulating in the membranes of individuals with documented dementia — AKA “Alzheimer’s disease” — may actually simply be the immune system’s reaction to infection. Physicians familiar with the management of chronic Lyme disease, who have been told that there is no such thing, can perhaps now be exonerated for being absolutely correct about this organism. In an important position piece published in Science Translational Medicine, “Alzheimer’s would be triggered by a normal immune response gone astray or into over-drive in response to bacteria or other pathogens.” as reported in USA Today. Of course, there are hundreds — maybe even thousands — of patients seen prestigious clinic such as the hallowed Mayo who have been told that they are simply “demented” and that there is very little else that can be done for them other than perhaps prescribing a do nothing drug such as Aricept which itself is only indicated for the very minimal delay of progression. This type of sad story held up by the medical sanhedrin occasionally creeps into pop culture as was recently the case with Kris Kristopherson. Who knows? Maybe if physicians such as Joe Burriscano or Richard Horowitz or any one of the other “Lyme literate MDs” who have been systematically reviled and at times prosecuted by various medical communities and boards of medical practice had been around in the time of Ronald Reagan’s later years, he might have enjoyed a much more gentle decline. Glen Campbell might have continued to play music. People like Aaron Copeland, Charles Bronson, Charlton Heston, and others who seem to have experienced the sudden mental fallaway of “Alzheimer’s disease” before their time, might have been far healthier and contributed more with a completely different type of medical approach. Peter Falk in 2009 seemed to suddenly slip into dementia after a series of dental operations. This would seem to fit the narrative of infection, particularly with organisms such as Borrelia (the spirochete the cause of Lyme disease) and treponema denticola (a spirochete common in our oral flora that is very similar to syphilis), being the underlying cause.
The lesson here is that science is almost never “settled” whether it be a matter of what actually is causing climate change or why a person in their 50s might be suddenly losing their memory. Dr. Judith Miklossy, a Swiss pathologist, has studied the postmortem specimens of brains from patients who have suffered classic Alzheimer’s disease. Almost 30% of them were infected with Borrelia and another 60% of them were demonstrably infected with spirochetes from the oral flora. Numerous studies have been published in the past several years to confirm what every Lyme literate doctor already knows: these organisms or “stealth pathogens” do indeed need to be treated until they are gone or of little clinical significance. Individuals with Lyme disease need to be followed carefully over the years for subtle evidence of recurrence and growth. Individuals with mild symptoms whose diagnosis is often missed and who actually may feel quite well could actually be the unlucky ones. Their first iindication of illness might be a devastating loss of memory and function.
Harvard basically admitting that they have missed the boat by a parsec is in some ways gratifying, but in many ways downright sad.