Special report: Alzheimer's in the news

Behind the Headlines

Friday August 12 2011

Reports about Alzheimer's often feature in the news

Alzheimer's disease is a major topic in health news, covering everything from potential cures to possible ways of preventing the disease in the first place.

With an estimated 465,000 cases of Alzheimer's in the UK this news coverage is keenly read, not just by those whose lives have been affected by the disease, but also people worried that they might develop the disease in their later years.

Since 2007, Behind the Headlines has examined dozens of news stories on dementia and Alzheimer’s. This report, Alzheimer's in the news (PDF, 5Mb) looks back over this coverage to identify some of the more important stories and to examine those that were wide of the mark.

The report also identifies key themes and common problems in the news and aims to help readers judge future reports for themselves. Finally, we ask leading experts what research and experimental treatments they predict will be making headlines in the months and years to come.


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Joanne Drayson said on 16 August 2011

Not one mention of the research done by Judith Miklossy
Alzheimer's disease - a neurospirochetosis. Analysis of the evidence following Koch's and Hill's criteria.
It is established that chronic spirochetal infection can cause slowly progressive dementia, brain atrophy and amyloid deposition in late neurosyphilis. Recently it has been suggested that various types of spirochetes, in an analogous way to Treponema pallidum, could cause dementia and may be involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we review all data available in the literature on the detection of spirochetes in AD and critically analyze the association and causal relationship between spirochetes and AD following established criteria of Koch and Hill. The results show a statistically significant association between spirochetes and AD (P = 1.5 x 10-17, OR = 20, 95% CI = 8-60, N = 247). When neutral techniques recognizing all types of spirochetes were used, or the highly prevalent periodontal pathogen Treponemas were analyzed, spirochetes were observed in the brain in more than 90% of AD cases. Borrelia burgdorferi was detected in the brain in 25.3% of AD cases analyzed and was 13 times more frequent in AD compared to controls. Periodontal pathogen Treponemas (T. pectinovorum, T. amylovorum, T. lecithinolyticum, T. maltophilum, T. medium, T. socranskii) and Borrelia burgdorferi were detected using species specific PCR and antibodies. ------
Support and attention should be given to this field of AD research. Spirochetal infection occurs years or decades before the manifestation of dementia. As adequate antibiotic and anti-inflammatory therapies are available, as in syphilis, one might prevent and eradicate dementia.
Visit Miklossy's website
As for Borrelia here in the UK have a look at NHS choices for Lyme Disease and follow the comments on that page.

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