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Mad Cow Disease and Alzheimer’s - is there a connection?

Despite limited evidence, some researchers fear that just such a connection might exist. In his 2004 book, Brain Trust, biochemist Colm Kelleher argues that Mad Cow Disease (also known as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or BSE) has actually been in North American cattle since long before 1993 when the first case was publicly “discovered” in a beef cow in Canada’s Alberta province.

According to Kelleher’s research, undocumented cases date back at least a quarter century and may have tainted many a steak and hamburger already consumed. Further, Kelleher speculates that the infectious “prion” proteins that cause Mad Cow Disease and its brain-wasting human variant, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), could be a factor in the substantial increase in cases of Alzheimer’s disease in recent years.

Some other research bears out Kelleher’s claims; though blaming all of the increase in Alzheimer’s on rampant prions might be pushing it. Dr. Michael Greger, Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States, cites several studies detailing that as much as 12 percent of all senile dementia or Alzheimer’s cases diagnosed in North America these days may actually be cases of CJD.

“It would seem CJD is seriously underdiagnosed at present,” says Greger. He goes on to describe how the symptoms and pathology of both Alzheimer’s and CJD overlap. Also, he points to epidemiological evidence suggesting that people eating red meat more than four times a week for prolonged periods have a three times higher chance of suffering dementia than long-time vegetarians....


Source: Mad Cow Disease and Alzheimer’s...

Link: 29th suspected case of mad cow in Japan
Link: Canada: Cattle ate traces of animal remains
Link: Case of mad cow disease found in France - 18 Sep 2006

Date: 2006-09-27

Other EVANA-articles about this topic:
U.S. on mad cow: Don't test all cattle (en)

USA: Bush: Let them eat beef (en)

BSE: Dutch report mad cow case ()

Canada blames suspect feed for latest BSE case (en)

USA: This is your brain on meat (en)

Meat-and-bone meal smuggling scandal greater than suspected (en)

USA: Mad-cow scrutiny is scaled way back (en)

Canada has ninth confirmed case of mad cow disease (en)

Milk Might Transmit Mad Cow Disease (en)

Diabetics - Beware of Red Meat ! (en)

Patients' vCJD risk 'substantial' (en)

USA/Virginia Man Has Mad Cow Disease (en)

UK: Mad cow burgers ‘killed my son’ (en)

BSE News and Developments -28 - (en)

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