The March 21, 2007 edition of the New York Times featured an article
called "Prevalence of Alzheimer's Rises 10% in 5 Years." It began:
"More than five million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, a 10
percent increase from the last official tally five years ago, and a
number expected to more than triple by 2050." Alzheimer's disease, it
seems, now afflicts 13% of people 65 and over, and 42% of those past
The piece also reported "the startling finding that 200,000 to 500,000
people younger than 65 have some form of early onset form of dementia,
including a rare form of Alzheimer's disease that strikes people in
their 30s and 40s." The Times adds: "Apart from early onset cases, the
primary risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is age."
But, dear reader, there's a cow-shaped risk factor sitting in the
corner-ignored by the newspaper of record (and essentially all major
media outlets). And it's a very mad cow.
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has earned the pithy nickname
"mad cow disease" thanks to the invidious symptoms presented in
affected cattle, i.e. staggering, tremors, involuntary muscle spasms,
bewilderment, hypersensitivity to auditory and tactile stimuli, and
other examples of seemingly "mad" behavior.
Like BSE, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) is also a transmissible,
invariably fatal spongiform encephalopathy with a prolonged incubation
period that leaves sponge-like holes in a victim's brain. CJD,
however, is the human version and this includes a newly identified
variant of CJD, linked to BSE in British cattle.
How safe are Americans from being exposed to the human variant of mad
cow disease? In France, a nation with only 5.7 million cows, 20,000
are tested each week with 153 found infected in the year 2000. Out of
the nearly 40 million U.S. cattle slaughtered annually, only about
1000 are tested. You do the math.
Kirchheimer concludes: "The growing number of British victims of 'new
variant' CJD, mostly young people in their prime who contracted the
brain sickness from tainted meat, is a grim precursor to an uncertain
Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net .
Mickey Z. is the author of five books, most recently "50 American
Revolutions You're Not Supposed to Know: Reclaiming American
Patriotism" (Disinformation Books). He can be found on the Web at