$1,000,000 Reward for Anyone Who Finds the ‘Germ’ that Causes Alzheimer’s

Pic from

Currently, more than 44 million people around the world are suffering from Alzheimer’s. Each day, 303 people die of the disease and each year, we lose 110,000 people to the progressive, neurological disease. Yet the cause is unknown, there is no cure, and there are no proven ways to prevent Alzheimer’s. Decades of research and billions of dollars have investigated the amyloid plaques and tau protein tangles found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Unfortunately, none of this has produced results useful for patients.

The good news is that researchers are finding increasing evidence that Alzheimer’s is an infection caused by a germ. Germs were found to be the cause of other diseases once considered mysteries such as tuberculosis, Zika, Legionnaire’s, malaria, and even HIV. Yet there has not so far been a thorough search for a germ that causes Alzheimer’s.

Finding a Germ that Causes Alzheimer’s

At this time, virtually none of the $1.6 billion in Alzheimer’s research funding is dedicated to finding an Alzheimer’s germ. This is why Dr. Leslie Norins, founder of a group called Alzheimer’s Germ Quest, Inc., is offering a $1,000,000 reward for proof the ‘Alzheimer’s Germ’ is the cause of the disease.

Ever since Dr. Norins received his medical degree from Duke in the early 1960s, he took an interest in dementia and began reading up on the condition. After living among those with dementia in a community in Naples, Florida and studying the medical literature about the disease, he noticed a pattern. “It appeared that many of the reported characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease were compatible with an infectious process,” Norins told NPR. “I thought for sure this must have already been investigated, because millions and millions of dollars have been spent on Alzheimer’s research.” But aside from scattered interest through the decades, this wasn’t the case.

Why Dr. Norins’ Believes a Germ Causes Alzheimer’s

In his white paper, Dr. Norins offers ten clues why he believes that a germ is to blame for causing Alzheimer’s. Here is a summary of each one:

1. The normal human brain contains many bacteria. Spirochetes and oral bacteria have been repeatedly identified to cause many diseases, as have viruses including herpes virus.

2. It is not unusual for pathogenic organisms to invade the central nervous system. Examples of this include bacteria such as meningococcal meningitis and neurosyphilis and viruses such as zika, measles, chicken pox and HIV. Recently, herpes 6A and 7 were spotlighted as excessively present in Alzheimer’s diseased brains.

3. Bacteria can produce substances which damage the nervous system. For instance, C. tetani spores manufacture a toxin which harms motor neurons (lockjaw). The toxin made by spores of C. botulinum blocks nerve transmission, causing paralysis (botulism).

4. Amyloid beta, a prominent protein accumulating in the Alzheimer’s brain, can be incited by various microorganisms. A recent paper describes its production being stimulated by herpes virus, and suggests it plays a protective role.

5. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and prions can trigger inflammation, which has become an emerging topic in Alzheimer’s research.

6. A serious disease in older adults may be caused by virus from a childhood infection which has remained hidden in the patients’ nerves for decades, only to surface as they age, e.g. chickenpox virus (herpes zoster) later erupting as shingles. Alzheimer’s developing in seniors may be the delayed manifestation of an infection much earlier in life. For instance, patients who had untreated herpes infection earlier in life developed Alzheimer’s at a greater rate than non-infected people.

7. Various drugs known to cure infections have been reported to have a beneficial effect on Alzheimer’s patients. For instance, certain antibiotics which kill bacteria seem to improve Alzheimer’s patients.

8. Alzheimer’s may be transmissible in some households. According to an article in the May 2010 Journal of American Geriatrics, caregivers whose spouses had dementia had greater risk of dementia themselves than did caregivers whose spouses did not have dementia. The authors attributed the caregivers’ Alzheimer’s to a proclivity caused by the stress of caring for patients with the disease. The study was not designed to detect possible transmission, and data are not complete enough to be conclusive.

9. Alzheimer’s may be transmissible in the neurosurgical operating room. According to the Journal of Neurosurgery, neurosurgeons, who of course operate on brains, were reported to die from Alzheimer’s at an unusually high rate compared to other causes.

10. Alzheimer’s may be transmissible to non-human primates. Scientists injected Alzheimer’s brain material into several species of non-human primates. After prolonged observation periods, usually over 40 months, of 61 inoculated from 19 Alzheimer’s brains, three produced the disease in the animal recipients.

The Germ Theory Has Been Around Since Dr. Alois Alzheimer Discovered the Disease

According to NPR, Dr. Norins’ germ theory isn’t new—it has been fermenting in the literature for decades. Early 20th century Czech physician Oskar Fischer — who, along with his German contemporary Dr. Alois Alzheimer, was integral in first describing the condition — noted a possible connection between the newly identified dementia and tuberculosis.

Will we see a day when dementia is prevented with a vaccine, or treated with antibiotics and antiviral medications? Norins thinks it’s worth looking into. For more details on the reality of an Alzheimer’s vaccine, please read my article on the subject here.

Scientists and Non-Scientists Can Participate in the Challenge

The $1 million prize described above will go to the scientist or team providing persuasive evidence—within 3 years— that a particular infectious agent is the cause of most Alzheimer’s disease. Non-scientists are also asked to rise to this challenge to help speed Alzheimer’s research by offering encouragement and helping to fill in the knowledge gaps about the possible role of germs in causing Alzheimer’s disease. Learn more here.

Planning for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

Do you have a loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia? I sincerely hope for a cure in our lifetime! However, since there unfortunately isn’t one to date, persons with Alzheimer’s disease and their families face special legal and financial needs because they must pay privately for “long-term care,” which is the care needed as a result of Alzheimer’s disease, but is care that our American health insurance system does not cover. Contrast this care to the care that someone with brain cancer needs . . . chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are all covered by health care insurance. But because there is no current medical treatment to remove the plaques and tangles in the brains of persons with Alzheimer’s, our healthcare system says that the care these patients need is not healthcare, but rather long-term care. At the Farr Law Firm, we are dedicated to leveling the playing field those suffering from Alzheimer’s and their loved ones so that a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s does not result in driving a family into bankruptcy.

Through the process of Life Care Planning and Medicaid Planning (also-called Medicaid asset protection planning), we help protect a family’s hard-earned assets while maintaining your loved one’s comfort, dignity, and quality of life by ensuring eligibility for critical government benefits such as Medicaid and Veterans Aid and Attendance.

If your family is facing a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or any other type of dementia, please call us as soon as possible to make an appointment for a consultation:

Medicaid Planning Fairfax, VA: 703-691-1888
Medicaid Planning Fredericksburg, VA: 540-479-1435
Medicaid Planning Rockville, MD: 301-519-8041
Medicaid Planning Washington, DC: 202-587-2797

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

Leave a comment

Thank you for your upload