New Alzheimer’s theory: Could be the result of an infection by ‘viruses, bacteria and fungi’

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WEB LEAD amyloid SPL
Brain of healthy 70-year-old (left) compared with brain of 70-year-old with Alzheimer's (right). Credit: Jessica Wilson/Science Photo Library
[I]n some places, Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of death, and the number of Alzheimer’s patients is expected to triple by 2050. However, it is also one of the few major diseases that cannot be treated, prevented or cured.

According to recent hypotheses that have firm empirical support, amyloid beta may, in fact, be a tool that the brain uses in order to fight the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s: infections by pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi. Many different pathogens have been linked to Alzheimer’s; one that has been studied quite extensively is herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).

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[In 2018], a study involving over 34,000 Taiwanese patients found that people who were infected with HSV-1 were 2.56 times more likely to get dementia, but that undergoing treatment for HSV-1 lowered their risk of Alzheimer’s by over 80 percent.

Perhaps if researchers seriously consider the role of pathogens and examine their interactions with amyloid beta as well as the role of blood-brain barrier more carefully, then we will finally be able to overcome our current impasse in finding a cure.

Read full, original post: Could Alzheimer’s Be a Reaction to Infection?

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