Alzheimer's is part of mad cow disease. Has anyone heard this?

Started by

I heard a man speak the other day about diseases. I wondered about this myself but never heard anyone say it until this man. Why all the sudden would we have someone in everyone's family sick with it? It would be considered an epidemic by CDC if it were anything else.


Memory issues has been around since the beginning of time. We are noticing it more because modern medicine is helping our elders to live longer in a healthier body but with a damaged mind.

Back generations ago, the elders use to pass on in their 50's and 60's of other health issues as modern medicine could help the heart, cancer, or other serious diseases. Thus memory issues were only seen in those who had beat the odds and lived into their 80's and 90's. Back then anyone elderly with memory issues was labeled *senile*.

Each new generation, new meds to help one live to be 70's and 80's... and now into their 90's and 100's. Now there is talk about living to 110. But sadly modern medicine for memory issues hasn't caught up with modern times :(
^^ oops, should read the generations ago elders use to pass on in their 50's and 60's because we didn't have the medicine to help with heart, cancer, or other serious diseases.
Alzheimers is definitely not Mad Cow, aka spongiform encephalopathy. The brain images would look totally different. Talk to the Neurologist.
There are many diseases under the general term of dementia. Look up both terms ( dementia and mad cow disease) and read about the causes, symptoms, similarities. You wouldn't identify a cold as TB even if they are respiratory illnesses. We don't know what causes all kinds of dementia yet, but prions are not too likely for everything.
The doctor/man was saying that he wanted to do further investigative research into Alzheimer's because he thought at least "part" of what he was seeing he believed was indeed mad cow disease. He may have been saying that he thought some people were misdiagnosed.

My grandmother had two sisters and 5 brothers although I never knew about any of the brothers except one that I found his granddaughter through genealogy. In one of the three sisters, every girl child she had died of Alzheimer's (5), in another sister she had one daughter die of it and in my mothers immediate family she died with what they called dementia. I then found out in the brothers, the one member I found a man died of Alzheimer's.

Therefore my concern now is with my two sisters and I and wondering if it is of course genetic, which sounds like it is, or if possibly it was, where they all lived (Texas), what they ate, water supply, etc???? Common denominators.

We have already had one cousin about our age (70) diagnosed with Alzheimer's but she was diabetic and suffered strokes that her family did not notice. Anyway we are "next in line" so to speak and we want to stay clear of it, if at all possible. We do not want to put our children through what we went through caring for Mom, but for ourselves as well.
Read King Lear if you think that Alzheimers is a recent phenomenon. I actually know very few people whose elderly parents have Alzheimers . My mom has vascular dementia as the result of a stroke.
Stressed52, I can fully understand your concern of inheriting Alzheimer's... in my opinion from what I have read, and note I am not a medical researcher or a doctor, I think the jury is still out if all Alzheimer's can be passed from one generation to the next.

Our generation tends to keep our brain more active due to social media We are reading a lot via the Internet. My grandparents from a century ago didn't have that option unless they were able to read several books a week. My Dad's Mom read 3 books a week, and she never developed any known memory problems, she lived to be 91.
I wouldn't think it was mad cow, because the symptoms are very different. The disease in humans is called Creutzfeldt-Jakob and is caused by eating the brains of infected cattle or other humans. The onset of the disease is loss of coordination, with dementia and other cerebral effects not being seen until later.

Alzheimer's seems to be caused by the accumulation of substances in the brain that ends up killing the neurons. I imagine the cure for it will be enzymatic, so the brain can break down and vacuum out the substances that accumulate... or maybe these substances are Nature's way of saying that it is time for the next generation to take its place at the Elder table. Medicine seems to be able to keep the heart going forever now. Other organs, e.g. brain, liver, and kidneys may signal when enough is enough.
Perhaps people who say that folks use to live only till they were 50 or 60 should take a trip through an old cemetery. You will often find cemetery markers with people living to their 70s and 80s. If you made it through childhood and childbirth and weren't take by accident or war you had a good chance of living to an old age.
I don't think we have any evidence that Alz is related to a spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease), however there is a lot we don't know yet about the dementias. We would be wrong to limit any investigation into any possible cause.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support