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Alan MacDonald, M.D.

University of New Haven

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Alan MacDonald, M.D.
West Haven, United States

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Research Associate
University of New Haven


MD College of Physicians and Surgeons Columbia University in the City of New York, USA , 1974


See Bio Below: Alzforum Researchers Bios

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Member reports the following financial or other potential conflicts of interest:

1985 to Present: The investigation of Autopsy Alzheimer's Brain tissues for evidence of Borrelia burgdorferi. This approach was inspired by the model of Dr Hideyo Noguchi, who proved that Treponema pallidum infection in its tertiary phase was the cause of General Paresis.
Lyme borreliosis is recognized to, like syphilis,
have primary, secondary and tertiary manifestations,
In 1985 I requested Frozen Alzheimer's disease brains from Dr George Glenner who maintained a research Brain Bank at the University of California, San Diego. I received four frozen whole brains, after my credentials to undertake
research studies were approved by Dr Glenner and by the Institutional Review Board of the Medical staff of Southampton Hospital,Southampton, N.Y,
I had acquired experience in the primary isolation of Borrelia burgdorferi from human tissue in studies of the Erythema migrans lesion. I was in possession of positive and negative control material from earlier studies which I completed on Gestational Lyme Borreliosis. I commenced culture of 0.5cm cubes of flame sterilized thawed Alzheimer hippocampus
and observed the cultures for growth of Borrelia
spirochetes. I submitted a manuscript to the Journal of the American Medical Association, which was entitled"Borrelia in the brains of patients dying with Alzheimer's disease". The Editors were concerned that the words "Alzheimer's disease" in the title would create problems among the readership and returned
the manuscript for Title revision and agreed to
publish my report of positive culture results as a letter to the editor, with the words "dying with Dementia". [JAMA, 1986,256:2195-6] The classificaion of the cultured spirochetes from 2 patient autopsy hippocampus was substantiated
by positive immunoreactivity with Murine monoclonal antibodies H5332, and H9724; which were on hand in the laboratory courtesy of the generosity of Dr. Alan G. Barbour, at the Rocky Mountain Laboratory, NIAID,NIH, Hamilton Montana.
Subsequent studies of additional cases of Alzheimer's disease yielded more culture positive
cases. In 1987, the Editors of the first line Academic Pathology journal Human Pathology accepted a case report entitled "Concurrent Neocortical Borreliosis and Alzheimer's Disease. This was the first publication which allowed the use of the words "Alzheimer's" and "Borreliosis"
in the Title. Subsequent work revealed a culture positive case of Alzheimer's disease, from Dr. Glenner's Brain Bank, which disclosed a "cystic" form of Borrelia burgodrferi in tissue section, and Immunoreactive borrelia cysts with Dr. Barbour's gift of murine monoclonal antibody H9724 which recognizes the flagellin epitopes of
Borrelia burgdorferi and related Relapsing fever borrelia. This report was published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1988,539: 468-70.
I began work on Molecular Detection methods
for the Borrelia burgdorferi genomic elements
in Alzheimer's disease tissues; initially with
PCR detection of the Flagellin B transcriptome,
and subsequently with Fluorescein labeled specific DNA probes for In Situ DNA hybridization.
In 1993, Dr Judith Miklossy, published her first
paper on Alzheimer's disease and neuroborreliosis. Dr Miklossy has continued to produce multiple landmark manuscripts on Alzheimer's neuroborreliosis, the most recent in 2011 reviewing the evidence from the perspective
of Koch and Hill's Hypotheses.
My present research is the utilization of Molecular Beacons for in situ DNA hybridization
to detect Borrelia transcriptomes in Alzheimer's disease autopsy brain tissues. Such Tools have produced Image evidence via In Situ DNA Hybridization with Molecular Beacons and with Conventional FISH reagents, that the Alzheimer plaques bind and Hybridize with DNA probes which are uniquely specific for Borrelia DNA [Fla B ORF BBO 147]. The Alzheimer Plaques and the GVB bodies hybridize with these FIsH DNA probes, while the human autopsy brain tissue between the Plaques and the GVB bodies produces no hybridization signals.Based on these observations, it is my view that the ALZHEIMER Plaques in Neuroborreliosis related AD cases are Biofilm Communities, consisting of Granular borrelia, Cystic Borrelia, Cell wall deficient Borrelia and peripheral rim like areas of spiral borrelia. Water Channels are features of biofilms.
Empty spaces within Alzheimer Plaques also are consistent with Water channels of borrelia biofilms. The possibility of mixed species biofilms in AD Plaques has merit, and multi-s[ecies Infections are an open possibility in Neuroborreliosis related AD cases.
I continue my work on primary isolation of Borrelia from Alzheimer's brain tissue.
I believe that Molecular Beacons are the Ultimate FISH DNA/RNA probes, because Molecular Beacons are endowed with the property of Rejecting all
potential hybridization sites in Tissue if

EVEN a SINGLE BASE MISMATCH exists between the Molecular Beacon DNA probe and any potential
hybridization tissue site. FISH DNA/RNA hybridization is unique in allowing BACK Correlation with areas showing Hybridization with the DNA probes and tissue sites also showing
either AD Plaques or GVB foci by Conventional methods.
I have no competing financial interests in
my research.