Actor and songwriter Kris Kristofferson and some of those closest to him are speaking out about his health problems and their surprising cause.
Kristoffferson struggled with memory problems in recent years and was told he had Alzheimer's disease, but it appears he was misdiagnosed and all along has actually been suffering from the tick-borne illness Lyme Disease.
Articles in Rolling Stone and the entertainment magazine Closer Weekly reveal that the 80-year-old -- whose songs have been covered by the likes of Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin and Elvis Presley -- has struggled through a years-long medical odyssey.
...He was taking all these medications for things he doesn't have, and they all have side effects," she told the magazine. After the Lyme diagnosis, he dropped those medications and went through three weeks of treatment for Lyme..."It's like Lazarus coming out of the grave and being born again,"
...While Lyme disease can sometimes mimic Alzheimer's with dementia-like symptoms, there are effective treatments available for Lyme, including antibiotics -- unlike Alzheimer's, for which there is currently no cure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are about 329,000 cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. each year. Only about 30,000 are officially confirmed and reported to the CDC.
Doctor's often look for a hallmark bulls-eye rash around a tick bite, but not everyone infected has an obvious mark.
That's GREAT news for Kris Kristofferson and his family. I'm so happy to hear he is being medically treated now and getting better. What was additionally interesting and ironic, was this article in the news the following day:
Thursday 21 July 2016 - Could antibiotics reduce levels of Alzheimer's-causing plaques?
Neuroscientists from The University of Chicago find that treating mice with broad-spectrum antibiotics long term decreases plaques that cause Alzheimer's disease and elevate the inflammatory state of microglial cells in the brain....It is suggested that amyloidosis - the accumulation and buildup of beta-amyloid peptides into plaques in the brain - is key to AD onset and progression...In addition to decreasing amyloid plaques and activating inflammatory microglial cells in the brain, the study, published in Scientific Reports, showed that administering antibiotics made significant changes in the gut microbiome of the mice.
The gut microbiome changes indicate that the composition and diversity of gut bacteria could be fundamental in regulating immune system activity that influences AD progression....Compared with the controls, the antibiotic-treated mice experienced more than a twofold decrease in beta-amyloid plaques. There was an elevation in both the inflammatory status of microglia in the brain and signaling chemicals that circulate in the blood...."we're clearly changing the gut microbial population and have new bugs that are more prevalent in mice with altered amyloid deposition after antibiotics,"
You may be wondering what this has to do with AUTISM. I have long suspected that microbes were connected to both AUTISM and ALZHEIMER'S (and other diseases) and wrote about in 2012. Beta Amyloid was the connection:
What Is Causing Beta Amyloid Production In Alzheimer's And Autism? - "Immune system abnormalities that mimic those seen with autism spectrum disorders have been linked to the amyloid precursor protein (APP)......The amyloid precursor protein is typically the focus of research related to Alzheimer's disease. However, recent scientific reports have identified elevated levels of the particular protein fragment, called, sAPP-α, in the blood of autistic children."
"Beta -amyloid is not only of relevance in dementia processes but is also reported to modulate the response to environmental stressors in the brain, and is supposed to have antimicrobrial properties against different classes of microorganism, including some strains of streptococci." Since we like to connect the accurate dots here at Age of Autism, it seemed relevant that those two factors, beta amyloid and antimicrobrial poperties, may be important.
Children with an Autism diagnosis, including my daughter, can have positive and remarkable responses on antibiotics.
I also described the connections studied about mercury, microbial infections, Syphilis (GPI), Alzheimer's and Autism:
"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, [the bacterium that causes syphilis] could cause dementia and may be involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). ,,,
I must add in for those who may not know but Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete.
..Consider too that mercury has also been implicated in producing beta amyloid: "Concentrations of heavy metals, including mercury, have been shown to be altered in the brain and body fluids of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients....The release of beta-amyloid peptide (Abeta) 1-40 and 1-42 into cell culture supernatants after exposure to HgCl2 was shown .... These results indicate that mercury may play a role in pathophysiological mechanisms of AD."
Evidence of parallels between mercury intoxication and the brain pathology in autism.
"increased amyloid precursor protein;.....The evidence suggests that mercury may be either causal or contributory in the brain pathology in ASD, possibly working synergistically with other toxic compounds or pathogens to produce the brain pathology observed in those diagnosed with an ASD."
The biggest irony was at the bottom of that July 21st article:
Forget about a vaccine for Alzheimer's. With mercury in flu shots and the piling evidence of the damage being done to the MICROBIOME of MANKIND, the focus should be on STOPPING insults to the Microbiome and helping restore it to a healthy state. The brain and gut are connected. Here we see ANTIBIOTICS helping enormously by reducing Beta Amyloid. HOW? Because it appears they are killing microbes and in doing so, they are shutting down the body's over-production of Beta Amyloid.
From my 2012 article: 'However, the innate immune system can also be triggered by strokes and traumatic brain injury, which also increase beta amyloid levels. We call our hypothesis the toxic gain function hypothesis, as beta amyloid has a normal function, but if there is too much of that function, it becomes toxic.'
Brain injury has a huge impact on the gut and vice versa as we just learned last week - Stroke, Gut Microbiome, Inflammation and.... Autism.
I'll end here with my same conclusion from FOUR years ago but add that we are getting closer and closer:
It appears that Beta amyloid production could be a big clue in the recipe for regression and degeneration. There is research looking at STOPPING this process but not yet in Autism. WHY? Will 2013 be the year that Autism research becomes more honest and the "autism gene" will be put to rest?
Teresa Conrick is Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.