A huge new finding by Harvard researchers may have blown the lid off the disease.
A startling new study may have huge news for patients suffering from the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists at Harvard are proposing that a brain infection may be behind Alzheimer’s — or, more specifically, that some of the remnants of the brain’s battle against an infection may result in the disease, according to a Cure Alzheimer’s Fund statement.
If true, it would explain why there are strange little hard balls of plaque in the brains of people who have Alzheimer’s.
And it all may come from infections that are so mild that the patient doesn’t have any symptoms at all, but all the while underneath the surface a vicioius reaction wreaks havoc in the brain, resulting in Alzheimer’s eventually setting in. If true, it would be a stunning breakthrough that could, hopefully, one day lead to a cure, or at least more targeted treatment.
Scientists think it happens like this: a virus, fungus, or bacteria gets into the brain, the brain’s defense system rushes in to get it out and produces a cage of proteins, the microbe becomes trapped and dies, and the cage — the plaque seen in Alzheimer’s patients — is left behind.
“This research offers a major paradigm shift when it comes to Aβ and the important role it plays in the immune system,” said Timothy Armour, President and CEO of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. “Not only do these findings raise questions about the potential causes of Alzheimer’s, but they generate new avenues of inquiry into the therapies that may best target the disease.”