Rossman MD, Kreider ME
Proc Am Thorac Soc4p453-6(2007 Aug 15)
Familial aggregationOccurrence of a given trait shared by members of a family (or community) that cannot be readily accounted for by chance. refers to occurrence of a given trait shared by members of a family that cannot be readily accounted for by chance. For example we hear that certain diseases “run” in families, or we note that an entire family unit suffers from an inflammatory disease such as obesity. While it has long been understood that acute infections like tuberculosis, polio, and HIV are communicable, it is less well appreciated that the same can be said for the chronic pathogens which cause Th1 diseases.
The reigning explanation for familial aggregation is that people pass down faulty genes to their offspring. However, the theory is not supported by solid evidence. Scientists have failed to find genes that might cause any major chronic inflammatory disease. In the case that they have found a relationship between a gene and a disease, statistical significance is usually so low that environmental influences such as bacteria could easily be causing the genetic mutations. To date, no form of gene therapy has proven effective for treating inflammatory disease.
Related article: Transmission of bacteria and onset of chronic disease
Growing evidence suggests that the Th1 pathogens, rather than faulty genes, are the driving factor behind familial aggregation.
Just like other forms of bacteria, the Th1 pathogens can be passed around. Although Th1 diseases are not obviously contagious, they are communicable – meaning that transmission of chronic bacteria requires close contact and is seen often within the family unit. The pathogens can also be transmitted from person to person through bodily fluids released during coughing, sneezing and other intimate contact.
The Th1 pathogens gradually mutate genetic pathways and cause disease by a process known as successive infection.
Several studies have shown that spouses have a greater chance of developing the same disease as their partners - a phenomenon that can best be explained if familial aggregation has an infectious cause.
Family members are much more likely to have a disease when a family member has the disease. This is especially true of diseases between mother and child: chronic diseases are often said to “pass down the maternal line.”
It should be noted that none of the above studies take into consideration the fact that spouses and siblings very often develop different forms of chronic disease. If researchers were to look for the incidence of Th1 disease among family members and take into account all possible inflammatory diagnoses, all of the above numbers would be notably higher.
As evidenced by progress reports on the Marshall Protocol site, there are a substantial number of spouses who both suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases. There are also entire families on the MP - with each member using the treatment to eliminate his or her own pea-soup.
When one considers how often chronic diseases co-occur within a family unit – heart disease, arthritis, bipolar disorder, breast cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s disease – it becomes increasingly plausible that nearly all inflammatory diseases are communicable and that this communicability results in familial aggregation.
As would be expected for the Th1 diseases, which are transmitted via proximity and contact, even people who are not related pass diseases to each other.
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