Microbes in the brain may play a role in triggering Alzheimer's disease

A robust discussion at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) 2019 in Los Angeles will include five expert speakers with differing views discussing their findings and viewpoints on this emerging, provocative topic.

Statement From Maria C. Carrillo, PhD, Alzheimer's Association Chief Science Officer

"Ideas in this area of research are still evolving; there is now growing evidence that microbes such as bacteria and viruses may play a role in degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's. Possible roles in Alzheimer's disease for microbes such as bacteria and viruses, and the genes related to them, have been studied for decades, but more research is still needed."

"While this is not a new idea, we are seeing new evidence that microbes and/or viruses in the brain may be triggering immune reactions that are related to the buildup of amyloid plaques and tau tangles, which are the hallmark brain changes of Alzheimer's disease. This reinforces the idea that good overall health is good for the brain."

"More evidence is accumulating that loss of cognitive function in Alzheimer's — changes in memory, thinking, and reasoning — is caused by several different disease processes in the brain, rather than just one. This research reinforces the complexity of Alzheimer's disease, and it highlights the importance of sharing data freely and widely across the research community. No stone should be left unturned in the vigorous search for better treatments, prevention and a cure for Alzheimer's disease."

"The Alzheimer's Association offers multiple platforms — including AAIC, our journals, and other international meetings and symposia — for robust discussions about all potential causes, treatments and preventions for this terrible disease. On behalf of the 14 million Americans projected to have Alzheimer's by 2050 and their families, it is imperative we pursue all legitimate areas of research."


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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