A group of researchers has written an editorial in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease calling for more research to investigate the role of microbes in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Some studies have linked infections such as herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), certain bacteria and fungal infections to the disease, and the researchers are calling for more funding for research to investigate the links between Alzheimer’s and microbial infections.
Dr Simon Ridley, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“There is growing evidence for the role of the immune system in Alzheimer’s and active ongoing research looking at how an inflammatory response might contribute to the disease. There is some evidence to suggest that infections in general could ramp up the immune system and contribute to the progression of Alzheimer’s, but there isn’t conclusive evidence to suggest that a particular infectious agent or microbe could be directly responsible for causing the disease. There are many avenues being explored to understand the initial events that trigger the development of Alzheimer’s and this is an important part of the research process for ruling in and out particular hypotheses. There is no evidence that Alzheimer’s can be passed from person to person like a virus. Continued research funding into diseases like Alzheimer’s is important to build a clearer picture of the genetic and lifestyle risk factors for the disease and use this knowledge to develop preventions or treatments.”
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