Although it is tempting to simply make this a regular analysis of the Minneapolis Star and Tribune reporting, that would be very disrespectful to those whose families have been devastated by some form of this condition. No, the collective effect, understanding, treatment, and, yes, exploitation of this near-ubiquitous disease demands constant scrutiny and clarification. By ubiquitous, I mean that a day does not go by when we do not see some story re Alzheimer’s disease — both good and bad. I stumbled over one of the “good” stories today while listening to taxpayer supported radio that was quite heart-warming:
The fact that one must listen to a Youtube ad for 5 seconds before viewing this illustrates the “exploited” part a bit…
The fact is, though, that the concept of what exactly causes dementia is evolving rapidly. No longer is this simply some type of mysterious “spell” that is somehow cast on an individual condemning them to a slow, dwindling life of forgetfulness and functional loss. Rather, it seems increasingly evident that our brains are becoming more and more vulnerable to infection with pathogens that are not of the classic variety. Judith Miklossy MD, a Swiss pathologist with one of the largest collections of postmortem brain specimens from demented patients in the world, feels strongly that organisms such as Borrelia (Lyme disease), treponema denticola (a cousin of the syphilis spirochete that most of us have in our mouth as part of our normal oral flora), herpes viruses, and others are largely responsible for the changes that occur once our immune system becomes senescent enough to lose its ability to cope.
Of course, a lot of this immune deficiency is created by modern diets, lifestyles, common drugs, corrupted microbiomes, and perhaps even exposure to cell phones and other common forms of electromagnetic energy. The general public discussion needs to shift away from the passive acceptance of Alzheimer’s as bad luck to a more aggressive approach to preventing it. The latter is likely to be a complicated argument about a number of things that we do to ourselves and other things in which modern medicine is simply not interested. Something as simple as rinsing your mouth with an essential oil after eating might reduce the frequency of “micro-bacteremia” (bacteria that transiently is released into the bloodstream that can find its way into your little brain) thereby reducing the risk of dementia over time. More science is needed here, yes, but perhaps some of the money being granted to commercial interests to develop the 20th cholesterol-lowering drug (most of which are unnecessary in managing cardiac risks), perhaps we might invest more into why bergamot oil kills bad bugs with no evidence of resistance simply by smelling its pleasant aroma.