September 23, 2018

Herpes May Play a Role in the Development of Alzheimers

26 June 2018, 04:45 | Rodolfo Wallace

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David Reynolds, chief scientific officer of Alzheimer's Research UK, said this element was significant. "This is a great example of the power of open science to accelerate discovery and replication research".

As they explain in their paper neurological magazine "Neuron", they studied the brains of almost 1,000 people dead and found increased presence -up doubled two herpesviruses (of HHV-6A and HHV-7) in people with Alzheimer's neuropathology, compared to those without had Alzheimer's when they died.

Over the course of their research, it was found that those who were on the supplement with the fish oil maintained cognitive abilities and quality of life far more than those taking the first combo of supplements. The research team created computer models that mapped the genes that were disrupted or activated during the progression of Alzheimer's. These viruses often have no symptoms, infect many people in their childhood and will stay dormant in the human body. In most cases, though, the virus is latent. Scientists, however, state that it cannot yet be said with certainty that, in fact, herpes can cause or exacerbate the now incurable neurodegenerative disease.

The researchers have clearly mentioned that there is no evidence to prove that these viruses cause Alzheimer's.

In more recent years, dementia researchers have leaned towards the amyloid hypothesis - where sticky plaques made from amyloid proteins accumulate outside nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain, potentially killing or blocking them.

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"Our work identified specific biological networks that offer new testable hypotheses regarding the role of microbial defense and innate immune function in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's", said Joel Dudley from the Institute for Next Generation Healthcare at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "I think they're like gas on the flames of some pathology that may be immune-driven". But until recently, it was only a theory, not confirmed by evidence.

The study also suggested that the presence of the herpes viruses in the brain could influence or control the activity of various genes linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's.

Scientists have found that Alzheimer's could be triggered by viruses that can affect the brain. Moreover, the link between the virus and the disease was found to be rather strong even when compared to samples from people with other types of neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers have been down this road before. They tested the brain samples from the Mount Sinai Brain Bank, he said and were so surprised at the finding that they tested additional samples from other brain banks and found same results. That's unlikely to be the end of the story.

Viruses that sneak into the brain just might play a role in Alzheimer's, scientists reported Thursday in a provocative study that promises to reignite some long-debated theories about what triggers the mind-robbing disease.

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