Dr. Leslie Norins has $1 million to offer anyone who can determine if Alzheimer's is caused by germs. A huge task worthy of a huge reward.
Dr. Norins is curious and wants to know if the most common form of dementia is actually caused by a germ and is infectious. He has offered to give someone $1 million of his own money to the person or group who can clarify is "Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia worldwide, caused by a germ?"
The article on NPR then states that by "germ" the doctor is talking about microbes such as bacteria, fungi and parasites, and viruses. He basically wants to know if Alzheimer's is infectious and can spread from host to host.
It seems like tons of people research dementia and Alzheimers, but does anyone ever question if it's infectious? Has anyone ever dumped money into such a thing to prove it one way or the other?
Is it possible that infections could cause this? We don't know, but that's why people should examine the possibility and find a way to prove or debunk the theory.
But this "germ theory" of Alzheimer's, as Norins calls it, has been fermenting in the literature for decades. Even 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.
If the germ theory gets traction, even in some Alzheimer's patients, it could trigger a seismic shift in how doctors and understand and treat the disease.
Sometimes I eat cherries while watching reruns of the Golden Girls. Just kidding. I bet you thought "what the heck are they talking about?" But that was just a pun on the topic.
Let's hope the doctor has to give up his million bucks because someone finally found scientific proof one way or the other.