Cure CJD

Heather Larson's experiences in helping find the cure for CJD

Does lack of copper trigger CJD?

For someone like me with a family full of dead fCJD victims, I wonder every day what the trigger is. Does something trigger CJD? Or does a lack of something trigger CJD? Here’s a great new study out of North Carolina State University that says a lack of copper can contribute to the misfolding of prions. This is just the kind of stuff that makes my day!

From the Science Blog link above:

“We believe that a prion protein’s normal function is to serve as a copper buffer in the human body, binding with copper ions and keeping those ions from damaging human tissue,” Hodak says. “We wanted to determine whether this was the normal function of the prion, and then look at how that binding affected the prion’s structure.”

To me, the prion’s normal function is to kill my family members. Brilliant scientific minds have the power to change this.

I so look forward to this being solved in my lifetime. To all the great researchers, please keep up the good work. You are ALL my rock stars.

Thank you.


June 26, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Dear Heather,

    I am the Coordinador (and Founder) of the Mexican CJD Surveillance Center in Mexico. I read about your concern for CJD treatment. Are you attending the CJD2009 meeting in DC? I will be a speaker and will present the nascent Mexican CJD Foundation, established with members of a gCJD family.

    I have some relatives in Scottsdale/Chandler and sometimes visit the area, perhaps one day we can meet, either there or in DC.


    Dr. Victor Sanchez.

    Comment by victor sanchez | June 28, 2009

  2. Hi Dr. Sanchez,

    I did see you were on the list of participants for the CJD Family Conference in DC this year. I won’t be able to make it, but would love to meet up with you the next time you’re in the area. It would be interesting to get the Mexican perspective on CJD and see what is happening with it in your country. What is gCJD? I’ve heard of sCJD, iCJD, vCJD, nvCJD, and probably a couple others aside from obviously fCJD, but what is gCJD?

    Heather Larson

    Comment by CureCJD_Heather Larson | June 30, 2009

  3. Heather, I can speak for the rest of my family that we appreciate your blog. My father is currently hospitalized in downtown PHX and shows signs of CJD. My dad was an extremely healthy guy, he ate healthy, took supplements religiously, and exercised almost daily. The onset for his symptoms started in September. What I find very interesting is that in September, just before we started to show symptoms, he started a new supplement called, “Rawone for Men” ( This is the only supplement of his that contains Copper (2mg). I am going to bring this up to his doctors tomorrow, to see if they feel this could help them in anyway.

    Comment by bgp | November 27, 2010

  4. I am new to this conversation as my father just passed away in Feb. of 2012 of cjd. I would like to know more about copper and cjd does anyone have any more information about this?

    Comment by Cara Albright | July 23, 2012

  5. I believe this is the one and only time I have heard of copper in CJD research; others may know more. If you know more about copper and prions, please comment (and post links) here. ~Heather Larson

    Comment by CureCJD_Heather Larson | July 28, 2012

  6. Dear Heather and Cara,

    Please accept my sympathy for your loss. I commend you for your work in trying to puzzle this problem out.

    Have you read anything from Mark Purdey? To my knowledge, he has done more to uncover the causes of CJD than many others combined. Most people are unaware of how much faith we put in modern precepts of medical science without examination. It can lead one down unproductive paths.

    Here is a description of some of Purdey’s work: Perhaps it will assist your inquiry. I have read nearly everything Purdey has published and my own view is that he has exposed a rich vein of ore for research leading to prevention of several disease entities. Some of his discoveries have been verified in unrelated research which, to my mind, is the most compelling proof of all.


    Comment by Alfonzo Luz | November 26, 2012

  7. Al, I seem to remember something about BSE occurring spontaneously in different places, but I could be thinking of scrapie… I’ve read so much of this stuff in 8 years, it is all getting fuzzy at this point. Nothing surprises me though. Obviously we have missed something big or we would have cured this mess by now!

    Comment by CureCJD_Heather Larson | November 26, 2012

  8. I don’t beleive simply a lack of copper is the cause of human/animal TSEs alone. Mark Purdy stressed that a lack of copper PLUS enviormental contamination of radioactive metals such as silver, maganese, stronium, ect… plus possibly another factor like UV exposure in high altitudes or super sonic frequencys from airliners or millitary jets seem to cause a chain reaction (my understanding of he science is not very good). I think, from what I understand, in the case of most TSEs that you need to be exposed to high levels of maganese (not naturally occuring maganese, like the maganese used in airline production from a factory), low copper levels (PrPc binds to copper to act as an antioxidant buffer to Ultraviolent radiation or something. If copper is depleted, PrPc will bind to metals sharing similar atomic mass and shape, ie. Maganese or silver) most likely these metals need to be radioactive so the DNA is damaged and this Prion isoform (PrPsc) spreads across the brain. He thinks what causes he holes in the brain is UV damage and not the actual prion. Think of the healthy prion as a barrier, like your skin protects your internal organs feom sun damage, the prion protects your brain from places like and eye, which has no skin.

    There are cases of copper deficency with no TSE disease involved, as there are cases of maganese poisoning with no TSE disease involved. I don’t beleive eating infected beef or animal parts have anything to do with prion transmission.

    I emplore whoever researches prions to take this route and not simply examining the prion protien alone. There is clearly enviormental involvment based on Purdys research on various clusters of TSEs around the world. Don’t listen to mainstream science all of the time.

    Comment by Sheldon | November 7, 2013

  9. Thanks for the comment, Sheldon, I appreciate it! I have often wondered if there might be a “perfect storm” effect that causes prion disease. I know many of “us” always wonder what the cure or cause could really be… I know in my own experience, I have a grandfather who is a carrier and still alive into his late 80s while 2/3 of his children have died. Why did he never develop prion disease? It’s a billion dollar question. I wonder about Purdy’s theories on environmental hazards. I have wondered over the last 9 years about everything from vegan diets to paleo diets to copper to manganese to inflammation… Keep looking, scientists. Keep looking!

    Comment by CureCJD_Heather Larson | November 8, 2013

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