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Case studies.
Queniborough, Lympstone, Sardinia


On this page I will be providing details and observations of ongoing case studies- updated as info. comes in.

1.Queniborough, nr.Leicester, vCJD research.

The latest research into the vCJD cluster tells us nothing about the cause or incubation period of the disease or why there is such a high incidence of vCJD/CJD in Queniborough.
The proposal is that slight spillage of brain material, as a result of splitting the skull, followed by a wipe only, clean of the carcass, has raised the level of mutant bovine prion to a very high level in the food chain in the area. It is suggested that this traditional practice of splitting the skull was employed by local butchers from whom victims’ families had purchased beef. However this practice was fairly common in throughout the UK at the time. No evidence is presented to show the distribution of the practice.
There are many problems with this proposal.

In the eighties and much of the nineties, brain and spinal cord material was used at high level in many processed meat products consumed throughout the UK– pies, soups, pasties, patties, burgers, gravies, sauces and purees. The tiny additional fraction of brain material entering the food chain from this spillage would be totally insignificant in terms of total dose.
Therefore no additional risk in terms of meat products has been established for Queniborough.
There is no experimental evidence that shows beef products in the food chain can transmit BSE in animals. Work with homogenate is not satisfactory because we don’t eat homogenate .Science must be precise.
There was a case of classical CJD 12 years ago in a road where 2 vCJD cases subsequently occurred – This was ignored by the team but is significant.
There’s recently been a case of Feline Spongiform Encephalopathy (FSE) which was also ignored.
The pattern within this and other clusters such as Armthorpe and Adswood is of cases very close together (200M ) which strongly suggests it is environmental topography and not eating beef that is the key to finding the cause.
Only when we know the cause and whether it is acute or chronic in nature can we hope to estimate the incubation period.The claims that this research gives us a good indication of the incubation are incorrect because they can't point to a time ( a day, a month, a year?) when the alleged infection occurred.
We have carried out preliminary research at Queniborough and Armthorpe, Doncaster and have identified the following potential risk factors:
Queniborough – our main findings.

Many Local people reported chronic pollution incidents in the 80s and 90s from a, now closed, dyeworks in Queniborough. Manganese is used in dyes. A yellow dust would often settle around the village.This could be breathed in, lodge in sinuses, get in the eye. The eye(retina and lid) contains very high levels of prion protein and TSEs are thought to start here.Oxidising agents may be in the form of a di thiophosphate head lice shampoo.The risk may only be when this gets in the eye. Exposure to similar pesticides by spray drift could also be relevant here.
The nearby village of East Goscote was built after the war on the site of an old munitions dump. Shortly after, the houses in Ringway road were built where 1CJD and 2 vCJD cases have occurred, 300M across the fields in Queniborough.
There’s anecdotal evidence of 11 cases of ME/CFS on one side of the high street.( The Ringway is off the high street) This is interesting because ME does resemble moderate Mn toxicity.(I'm an ME sufferer, my own intracellular Mn is near the top of ref. range)
We took several soil, water and herbage samples around Queniborough. Levels of Manganese are mostly high to v.high in the area.This may reflect soil treatments as much as natural levels- more research needed.
Sewage sludge spraying, with drift, has been carried out on some of the fields. Reactive metals, such as Manganese, are usually concentrated in these treatments.

Compare our findings in another CJD clusters : ie In Slovakia there was a major problem with Mn pollution; very high natural levels of Mn that underpinned the local subsistence diet; bio concentration in some of their foods; brain tissue analysis revealed Mn levels 10x normal in the CJD victims (unpublished data from Dr David Brown, Cambridge Uni.)
This is only a start and we’ll keep you posted as our studies progress. CJD is a complex multi factorial disease like Alzheimer’s.Some of the above points will probably turn out to be red herrings- But you have to sift through all the likely factors. We are not paid for this work and have to do it in our spare time and we bear most of the expenses ourselves so progress can be slow.

Armthorpe OS map
Queniborough OS map



Lympstone cliffs and manganese deposits in lower cliff.

2.Lympstone, East Devon: vCJD

There have been 2 cases of vCJD in Lympstone, a village on the Exe estuary. It's worth noting that there have been a significant number of vCJD cases on the coast/hinterland. One of our correspondents, who lives near by, drew my attention to some Manganese sources in the area: old Mn mines just north of Lympstone and a Geological survey of the Estuary cliff area at Lympstone which can be read in full at - www.devon.gov.uk/geology/ESC.pdf
I quote from this study
'The origin of scattered soft black pebbles in the breccia seen in the bay south of the bridge under the railway (at Lympstone) is uncertain. They now occur as crumbling lumps in the cliffs, and would have been hard rock when they were deposited. Since then they have been broken down within the rock by chemical reactions and the soft manganese rich powder that remains tells us very little of what the original rock was.'
The Manganese is present as small hard rocks and deposits of a putty like consistency. I couldn't find any examples of the soft rich powder referred to above.These samples are mostly very low down the cliffs and below the high tide mark. It's unlikely that this is being spread by wind. Its probable that small amounts will be dissolving in the river and the natural Mn levels are much higher in the river basin. Changes are occuring due to erosion that could potentially have increased the risk over recent years.

There are many other relevant points in the survey such as the presence of other potential free radical generating metals:
volcanic rocks - which are known to contain high levels of reactive metals such as Mn (cf TSEs are often found in volcanic environments : scrapie in Iceland, the Cheviots, Manna Island, Sicily; Kuru in New Guinea etc )
'iron stained clay, coating the sand grains' - sand/excavations are common at CJD sites
granitic strata.

Beef seems highly unlikely again. There's no reason why BSE prion material, that was so common in the |UK, should be dangerous in Lympstone (and a handful of other places). One of the victims was a long serving Marine from the Lympstone barracks. Due to the suspected long incubation period this long service would be expected if, as I believe, the location is biologically significant. It seems unlikely that he would have bought and consumed beef from the local butcher. The local butcher may however have supplied the barracks and this would be easy to check.

There are a number of other factors of interest. There's a garden centre/nursery in the village in which pesticides are often sprayed. Our correspondent, who suffers from a chemically generated CFS caused by a series of acute exposures, reported severe symptoms from this spray drift when he lived in the village. On moving he experienced considerable health improvements.
This part of the estuary is known as 'tornado alley' and this would be relevant to airborne pollutants.
The river exe has been the subject of several pollution incidents over the years.
There's a sewage works near the Barracks.
I've taken samples from the area and am awaiting the results of the analysis.

There's no obvious answer to this but the Mn and OPs are suspicious -the route of exposure is problematic.The key lies in the environmental/biological common ground shared by the two victims dating back over a couple of decades.

3/8/01

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