A new study shows that infections could be the cause of Alzheimer’s

A new study shows that the brain’s response to infections could be the cause of Alzheimer’s.

A new study shows that infections could be the cause of Alzheimer’s

With over 353,800 Australians living with Alzheimer’s disease, it should come as no surprise that dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia. Worse still, there is no known cure. Dementia can happen to anybody, but it is more likely to occur to people over the age of 65.

Although there is no definite cause of Alzheimer’s, a new study published last week in the US journal Science Transitional Medicine suggests that it could stem from the brain’s past attempts to fight infection. The study’s findings are being hailed as ‘revolutionary’ and could lead to potential treatments for the prevention of dementia.

One of the study’s authors, Australian Rob Moir, who is an assistant professor in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, explained to US media outlet PBS Newshour just what it is that this breakthrough research shows.

“Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and the neurodegeneration you see with it is thought to be caused by a little protein that forms this concrete-like substance in your brain called amyloid. Amyloid, it turns out, is actually an antimicrobial pit pod, that is to say it is a natural antibiotic that defends against infection in the brain and if you get a virus or bacteria that gets into the brain, it rises to do battle with it and binds to it and then entraps it in these long fibres and eventually entombs it forever.

“And as they mount in number, eventually they start to be toxic to our own cells, and that leads to the neurodegeneration. So, that’s what I bet it does. Was it important? Well, we are not saying this directly but what it certainly is very provocative in terms of suggesting is that there is an infection in AD, maybe low level, maybe many different pathogens increase into the brain and it has to form this amyloid around them and this is what drives the disease.”

And how could this contribute to future treatment or prevention of Alzheimer’s disease?

“If it does turn out to be an infection, there is a possibility of treating people before they get AD with vaccines, to target those particular bugs so that the pathogens don’t get a chance to infect the brain,” said Prof Moir.

Should this research be true, scientists could develop drugs that target the immune system to help stave off the onset of dementia. In the meantime, to help minimise your chances of developing Alzheimer’s, try to stay healthy, practice good hygiene and cross your fingers.

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    COMMENTS

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    June
    3rd Jun 2016
    10:21am
    Wow now that is interesting and a whole new angle to be looked at. Thanks for this article.
    biddi
    3rd Jun 2016
    12:06pm
    Perhaps dementia is "part of" getting older. The researchers always think of something else.
    How many more innocent animals are going to suffer and die to keep the men (and women)
    in white coats in business? Why aren't they open as to what exactly what they are doing to animals behind securely locked doors?
    Precious 1
    3rd Jun 2016
    1:00pm
    I quite believe this is the answer..if i look back in my family history its wasnt a thing anybody had or even talked about 75 years or earlier..they used maybe have one in the village in UK who have been like it and called slow.
    people didnt live as long either to have it. Also rotten teeth!!...


    ..
    Precious 1
    3rd Jun 2016
    1:03pm
    Great article too very impressed and more hope for iur long lifers too.
    Also having plenty of company as well.
    i know I feel a different person when i have a day out with a friend or attend my social club..its life changing for me ..i come home after those two days completely worn out after all the talking.laughing.and the brain using lololol
    Incognito
    4th Jun 2016
    7:07pm
    More the reason to keep your immune system pumping, vitamin c does not stay in your body so you need to have some everyday. Medication is not the answer, just another excuse for big pharma to make money.


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