Thursday, July 28, 2016
INFECTIONS COULD TRIGGER ALZHEIMER'S
There could be a possible link between immune responses and plaque formation in the brain of an individual with Alzheimer's disease. The brains of these individuals are full of sticky, non harmful plaque made up of a protein called beta-amyloid. A new study suggests that when the brain's immune system goes awry the disease may be triggered. A group of Harvard scientists now believe the plaque may form to protect the brain from viruses, bacteria or other pathogens. Just as an overactive immune system can cause diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, it could be that the buildup of too much protective amyloid in the brain leads to Alzheimer's disease. James Hendrix, director of global science initiatives for the Alzheimer's Association feels if this theory holds true, there may be a vaccine against the pathogens. Scientists can pinpoint which virus or bacteria spurs the development of plaque. A lot more work will need to be done, but hopefully these findings will lead to innovations in treatment of this disease.