Third Provocative Fact (the case of Jack Gordon from Iowa):
Lewy-Body dementia is the second most common dementia in humans. It is recognized at autopsy only by the presence of round bodies mostly composed of a viscous protein called alpha-synuclein. There are both intraneuronal Lewy bodies found inside brain neurons, and extracellular Lewy-bodies that float around the brain between brain cells.
They are toxic to the brain. This is was what plagued Robin Williams before he committed suicide. He was quite sick and was probably headed for assisted living within a year or two.
A Lyme patient from Iowa – Betty Gordon contacted us in 2014 about her husband who was dying. Betty had a diagnosis of Lyme disease. And she was convinced her husband had it too. Was his dementia also due to Borrelia bacteria?
Betty donated a large sum of money, and this helped fund many aspects of our research and of course Jack’s brain-autopsy. Not only did we find the Lyme bacteria in Jack’s brain, but also he clearly had Lewy-Body dementia.
Shortly after Jack Gordon’s brain-autopsy and the discovery of a link between Lyme and Lewy-Body Dementia, Alan decided to look at another chronic neurological disorder often associated with Lyme disease: Multiple Sclerosis.
What this means to patients?
Lewy-Body Dementia is the second most common form of dementia in America. If these patients can be found in the earliest stages it is possible that antibiotics could halt the formation of alpha-synuclein. Treatment would have to be aggressive and prolonged. If we better understand how alpha-synuclein is formed, we would have additional treatment options. (Later we will see why adding an antiparasite medicine like albendazole might be the first step.)