Sanitation and Alzheimer's Disease

  • F H Mughal
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Sanitation and Alzheimer's Disease

Research by the University of Cambridge suggests that the higher rates of Alzheimer's disease seen in industrialized countries may be due to those populations living in clean environments, with reduced contact with bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms.

It seems like the new research would link Alzheimer's disease with sanitation, under the hygiene hypothesis.

The research is available at:

University of Cambridge - www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/better-hygie...ease-alzheimers-risk

Happy researching!

F H Mughal

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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Sanitation and Alzheimer's Disease

While the "hygiene hypothesis" in general has some merit for several immune related diseases, the (purely correlation based) connection to Alzheimers they are trying to draw here seems quite suspect to me. There are so many other factors that correlate strongly with improved sanitation, which thus in turn would also correlated the same way with Alzheimers as they are suggesting...

During my studies I worked a bit with a Alzheimer's research lab, and while that is now probably outdated, their results pointed more at an environmental pollution factor that had an effect on a specific degradation of a Alzheimers related brain protein, which would in turn accumulate and block neurons.
As industrialized and more urbanized nations usually also face a higher industrial pollution load (or at least did during the lifetime of most of the current Alzheimers patients), that is at least an equally strong correlation as the "sanitation link".

Krischan Makowka
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Re: Sanitation and Alzheimer's Disease

Yes, I also feel the same way, as you do. There might be other impacting factors, which might be causing interference, and that might have resulted in the conclusions that they have drawn. I think, more research, and large-scale studies, are required to establish the connection.

Your result of implicating an environmental pollution factor is also very interesting. Could you kindly be more specific and identify that factor; or better still, have your research uploaded, in full, on this forum - - better late than never, as they say!

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F H Mughal

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Re: Sanitation and Alzheimer's Disease

F H Mughal wrote: Your result of implicating an environmental pollution factor is also very interesting. Could you kindly be more specific and identify that factor; or better still, have your research uploaded, in full, on this forum - - better late than never, as they say!


It wasn't my research obviously as I was just a student working in the same lab at the time, but I was intentionally vague to which factor exactly, because that is what they (back then) couldn't quite figure out. They concluded that it must be something that has an effect at a very small dosis (and could pass the brain/blood barrier) and only long time exposure would result in the accumulation of those protein fragments. But their focus was also more on the effect of these fragments and how it could maybe be reversed or slowed down, instead of actually finding the cause.


Generally speaking a lot of metal ions would make sense there (I think), as they often interact with enzymes which in turn then could cut the other proteins (differently than normal). I also remember reading some time ago that aluminum was suspected to be a potential candidate for that, but I really haven't looked into that for a couple of years so all of what I wrote might be outdated.

But I also guess we are getting way off topic now ;)

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  • caetano
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Re: Sanitation and Alzheimer's Disease

A small comment on aluminium... Indeed Al is a neurotoxic element, but it is worth noting that its bioavailability is somewhat limited when ingested orally (a lot of this is due to the chemical conditions throughout the gastrointestinal tract). Also, there are also many other factors that need to be taken into considerations such as its speciation. Hence this is probably one of the reasons that the many studies trying to link Al (particularly in drinking water) with AD have given contradictory or inconclusive results... and the WHO still has no health-based guidelines. However, it is also important to note that the link has not yet been dismissed.
Just for fun, try to find out how much Al is in your cup of tea or in your antiacids... luckily for us, things aren't that simple and it's not just a question of quantity :-)
Cheers,
Caetano

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  • F H Mughal
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Re: Sanitation and Alzheimer's Disease - and "Alzheimer’s Disease Epidemic Fueled By Sewage Contamination"

I have posted some information about wastewater reuse here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/40-gre...r-valentina-lazarova

While still on the same note, I came across a by article by Gary Chandler titled: Alzheimer’s Disease Epidemic Fueled By Sewage Contamination. The article sent shivers through my spine. It is available at:

alzheimerdisease.tv/alzheimers-disease-e...ewage-mismanagement/

The article is rather long. Briefly, the article says:

People are dying of neurological disease at an accelerating rate;

Pathogen associated with neurological disease is spreading uncontrollably. Research suggests that food and water supplies around the world have been contaminated with an unstoppable form of protein known as a prion (PREE-on);

The prion problem is getting worse with rising populations, rising concentrations of people, intensive agriculture, reckless sewage disposal policies and other mismanaged pathways. As the epidemic strikes more people, the pathways for prion exposure explode and intensify. Reckless sewage disposal policies and practices alone are putting billions of innocent people in the crossfire right now. Entire watersheds are endangered thanks to a deadly pathogen that migrates, mutates and multiplies;

Although there are many causes and pathways contributing to the prion disease epidemic, many pathways are being mismanaged, including sewage, biosolids and reclaimed wastewater. As stated earlier, blood, saliva, mucas, urine, feces, milk and cell tissue all carry infectious prions. These human discharges are flushed down toilets and sinks billions of times every day. We all have flushed away toxic or infectious waste that we would never throw on our garden or in our water well. The magic wand at the sewage treatment plant doesn’t phase most of these elements;

Sewage treatment plants can’t detect or stop prions in municipal waste streams. Despite this important technical detail, we’re dumping tons of infectious sewage on crops, gardens, pastures, golf courses, playgrounds and open spaces in our forests every day. Wind, rain and other natural dynamics put the sewage right back into our air, food and water supplies;

Spreading sewage sludge, biosolids, and reclaimed wastewater anywhere is a risk. Dumping them directly into our food and water is reckless, incompetent and criminal. We’re dumping prions into our lifecycle by the trainloads daily. Every nation is guilty;

The condensed sludge from all of these places is then dumped on our farms and ranches by the truckload. Plastic packaging and other large items are often visible in this waste, which means that treatment is extremely minimal. If the Pope waved his hand over the sewage, it would likely receive better treatment than what we see today. Nothing stops a prion, but you would hope that billions of dollars of wastewater treatment would at least take out pill bottles, syringes, needles and used prophylactics;

Thanks to more and more people dying from TSEs, sewage systems are more contaminated with prions than ever. Wastewater treatment systems are now prion incubators and distributors. Sewage sludge, wastewater reuse, biosolids and other sewage byproducts are biohazards causing bioterror. Thanks to questionable policymakers and profiteers, you are eating and drinking from your neighbor’s toilet–and the toilets at the local nursing home and hospital. We might as well dump sewage out of windows again;

Thanks to more and more sewage mismanagement, we’re dumping more deadly prions on farms and ranches than ever. The wastewater industry and their consultants have convinced agricultural operations around the world that sewage and biosolids are safe, effective and profitable for all involved;

As it turns out, today’s sewage isn’t safe. Sewage sludge isn’t an effective fertilizer. The business is profitable, though—until the sickness and disease sets in for the farmers, workers and the consumers. Until the land is condemned for being hopelessly contaminated—making everyone downstream sick.


After reading Gary’s article, I was just wondering whether one should think twice before reusing treated wastewater.

Can anyone comment on this?

F H Mughal

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  • caetano
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Re: Sanitation and Alzheimer's Disease - and "Alzheimer’s Disease Epidemic Fueled By Sewage Contamination"

Perhaps we should stick to commenting on peer reviewed scientific literature (i.e. "articles") or at least more credible non-peer reviewed sources. Your post relates to a blog and not an actual "article."
In a previous post you comment on mishandling of information and the (unwarranted) fears this can cause with regard to wastewater reuse projects. I believe that here you may be doing that exact same thing.

Caetano
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