Inside the quest to find the ‘Alzheimer’s Germ’—if it even exists

| | September 14, 2018

Dr. Leslie Norins is willing to hand over $1 million of his own money to anyone who can clarify something: Is Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia worldwide, caused by a germ? By “germ” he means microbes like bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. In other words, Norins, a physician turned publisher, wants to know if Alzheimer’s is infectious.

In 2017, Norins launched Alzheimer’s Germ Quest Inc., a public benefit corporation he hopes will drive interest into the germ theory of Alzheimer’s, and through which his prize will be distributed. A white paper he penned for the site reads: “From a two-year review of the scientific literature, I believe it’s now clear that just one germ — identity not yet specified, and possibly not yet discovered — causes most AD. I’m calling it the ‘Alzheimer’s Germ.’ ”

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NPR reported on an intriguing study published in Neuron in June that suggested that viral infection can influence the progression of Alzheimer’s.

[Researcher Joel Dudley] noticed that herpes appeared to interact with human genes known to increase Alzheimer’s risk. Perhaps, he says, there is some toxic combination of genetic and infectious influence that results in the disease.

If a microbe is responsible for all or some cases of Alzheimer’s, perhaps future treatments or preventive approaches will prevent toxin protein buildup in the first place.

Read full, original post: Infectious Theory Of Alzheimer’s Disease Draws Fresh Interest

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