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Friday, October 14, 2011

Could Alzheimer's Dementia Be Caused by a Virus?

The following is an article from Psychology Today, and is closely related to the concept of dementias being contagious or transmissible. I would not be at all surprised if in the future some pathogen were linked to all of the tauopathies, but for now it is just speculation. Nothing more than something to make you say, "Hmmmm!"

 

Could Alzheimer's Dementia Be Caused by a Virus?

Evidence links several common infections to the development of dementia.
Alzheimer's Disease is a slowly progressive illness of neuron loss leading to memory problems, cognitive impairment, and eventually death.   Since there appear to be no conventional medicine ways to prevent Alzheimer's and there is no known cure, there is a flurry of research trying to figure out what may cause the condition (besides genetics, which we can't do much about) and what might help the symptoms.
 
Today, we will take a peek at one of the more compelling theories about the cause of Alzheimer's -- it may well be due to an infection. Meaning exposure to certain parasites, bacteria, or viruses, particularly those that tend to inhabit the central nervous system, could bring on the disease. Even if you don't find Alzheimer's that compelling, if infectious agents contribute to its pathology, then you have to open your mind to the idea that many neurodegenerative processes could be due to (or accelerated by) infection.  Neurodegenerative diseases include many neurological illnesses, but also depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, and some other psychiatric illness.

What is the argument against infection as an ongoing contributing factor?  Well, where's the bug? Do a spinal tap - does the fluid grow any bacteria in culture?  Are there white blood cells (sign of active infection)?  Is there an elevated level of protein (a sign of viral infection)?  Over the last hundred years we've become pretty good at finding bugs.  It's hard to imagine them hiding from us, even in the protected environment of the human skull.  So if you bring up the idea of infections causing Alzheimer's disease to a physician friend and he or she scoffs at you -- that's why.  Where's the bug?
With that in mind, let's plunge forward into a very good review by Urosevic and Martins from the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, "Infection and Alzheimer's Disease: The Apoe epsilon4 Connection and Lipid Metabolism."

The whole theory is based on the following premise: there's a continuous, chronic infection supplying persistent live microorganisms, and their toxic products stimulate the host's (that's you) inflammatory response.  The pathogen itself damages the neurons, and the brain's inflammatory response also damages the neurons.

ApoE4 is the  Alzheimer's vulnerable genetic variant of apolipoprotein. ApolipoproteinE is basically a molecular key that helps cholesterol and triglycerides go from the circulation into the brain. Since we know that being a carrier of ApoE4 makes one more likely to get Alzheimer's, any theory postulating an infectious origin of Alzheimer's will have to explain why ApoE4 will leave more vulnerable as well. Fortunately, the infectious theory meets that criteria, as you will see below.

What infectious agents are we talking?  Some viruses immediately come to mind, specifically herpes viruses.  These little guys are exceedingly common and come in lots of different flavors, and are well known to hide out in nerve cells for the duration of the host's life (an easy example of "There's the bug.")  HSVI, associated with cold sores, infects people early in life and hangs out in the trigeminal ganglia (the nerve root of the trigeminal nerve that innervates a good part of the face).  Some people get cold sores, some people don't, but those who do are more likely to be ApoE4 carriers.  People infected with HSVI are also more likely to develop Alzheimer's.  ApoE4 mice were more likely to carry invasive HSVI and have brain colonization of the virus.
Other viruses implicated include human herpes virus 6 (cause of roseola, a common childhood illness of high fever followed by a characteristic rash), HIV, hepatitis C, and cytomegalovirus (a cause of mononucleosis-like illness and fatigue symptoms).  It is well known that HIV causes a form of AIDS dementia (which happens to be more common in carriers of ApoE4), so it would make sense that other common viruses that infiltrate the neurons might lead to other types of dementia.

All the common inflammation players (TNFalpha, IL-6, nitric oxide synthase) are involved in fighting off viral infections.  We know these players have a role in Alzheimer's pathology and in depression and bipolar disorder.  Interestingly, as we get older, our immune response becomes less aggressive, and it is perhaps then that the infectious agents hold sway, leading to Alzheimer's pathology.  Other inflammation-mediated brain disease occurs at different developmental stages - late adolescence and early adulthood for schizophrenia, and infancy for autism.

In this very recent study of mice, scientists were able to inject the extracts of mouse brains from mice with Alzheimer's (or an experimental mouse version of it) into mice with no signs of Alzheimer's Over time, the injected mice began to develop plaques and mouse dementia, while mice that weren't injected didn't develop the problem.

There are also suspected bacterial causes.  The "spirochetes" are a type of sneaky bacteria that are known to infect nerves (as in syphillis and Lyme disease).  Some spirochetes that cause gum disease are found in the mouths of Alzheimer's patients and healthy folks, but in the Alzheimer's patients, they are found in the brain more often than in healthy folks.  Certain spirochetes have been found in the amyloid plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's (once again - there's the bug).

Chlamydia pneumoniae is an intracellular bacterial pathogen also implicated in Alzheimer's dementia.  Not surprisingly, it is better known as a common cause of pneumonia and other acute respiratory infections, but infected immune cells could presumably carry Chlamydia pneumoniae from the upper respiratory tract to the brain if the blood brain carrier is compromised in some fashion.  Chlamydia pneumoniae has been injected into mouse brains and causes amyloid deposits, which anyone will agree is suspicious behavior.  Once again, ApoE4 comes up, as ApoE4 seems to allow for greater bacterial load and numbers of infected cells.

ApoE4 is not only a bad guy when it comes to Alzheimer's in the modern world.  Carriers are at greater risk of atherosclerosis, stroke, and poor recovery from head injury.  And ApoE's role as a molecular marker and director of where lipoproteins go is key.  Lipoproteins are how fat and antioxidants are carried throughout the body.  It is probably not a coincidence that major conditions leading to weight loss without any particular effort are infectious disease and Alzheimer's (along with cancer and melancholic depression).   ApoE4 in particular is associated with poor clearance and recycling of lipoprotein particles.  It's just not a very efficient key.  If everything is going along just fine, maybe we don't need a particularly efficient key.  Add stress or infection, though, and you have a greater need for metabolic efficiency.  If you fall behind on cleanup and recycling, garbage builds up in the brain, causing major problems.

9 comments:

  1. Despite modern advancements in the medical field, there are still some diseases like Alzheimer's which science has yet to solve. Until the experts can find the proper treatment for such a disease, care-giving is the best treatment we can give to Alzheimer's patients.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My name is elena homson i am from USA, I am here to give my testimony about a doctor who helped me in my life. I was infected with HERPES in 2014, i went to many hospitals for cure but there was no solution, so I was thinking how can I get a solution out so that my body can be okay. One day I was in the trabaco side thinking where I can go to get solution. so a lady walked to me her name is kutrila telling me why am I so sad and i open up all to her telling her my problem,that i have herpes genital she told me that she can help me out, she introduce me to a doctor who uses herbal medication to cure HERPES and gave me his email, so i mail him. He told me all the things I need to do and also give me instructions to take, which I followed properly. Before I knew what is happening after two weeks the HERPES that was in my body got vanished . so if you are you are having herpes or any kind of disease listed below and you also want cure, you can also email him at:
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    ReplyDelete
  3. Herpes cure man is here, My names is Juliet I want to use this opportunity to thank a great man DR.IBUDU, For what he has done for me i was diagnosed of genital herpes almost lost my life if not for a friend of mine who introduced me to DR.IBUDU through his email (tinalovespell@yahoo.com) so i contacted him and he told me that he has the power to cure me if only i will obey his rules and regulations i deliberately said i should give it a try so i told him i was willing do anything and he told me to provide some items for the spell of which i cold not get the items so i paid some amount of money to acquire the items for my cure he later ask me to go for medical checkup in any hospital or clinic and i went for the checkup and to my greatest surprise that i was cured totally unity to tell everyone that DR.IBUDU has the power to cure u if only u will believe him just contact him on email at: tinalovespell@yahoo.com or call him on +2348078467513

    ReplyDelete

  4. God bless Dr. Temi for his marvelous work in my life, I was diagnosed of HERPES since 2012 and I was taking my medications, I wasn't satisfied i needed to get the HERPES out of my system, I searched about some possible cure for HERPES i saw a comment about Dr. Temi, how he cured HERPES with his herbal medicine, I contacted him and he guided me. I asked for solutions, he started the remedy for my health, he sent me the medicine through UPS SPEED POST. I took the medicine as prescribed by him and 14 days later i was cured from HERPES, Dr. Temi truly you are great, do you need his help also? Why don't you contact him through doctortemiherbalhome@gmail.com whatsapp him on +2348112252378

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    ReplyDelete
  5. I am Frank from New York. I was in trouble when doctor told me that I have been diagnosed with Genital Herpes... I thought about my Family, I know my Family will face a serious problem when I'm gone, I lost hope and I wept all day, but one day I was searching the internet I found Dr. Ekpiku's contact number. I called him and he guided me. I asked him for solutions and he started the remedies for my health. Thank God, now everything is fine, I'm cured by Dr. Ekpiku herbal medicine, I'm very thankful to Dr. Ekpiku and very happy with my hubby and family. email him on ekpikuspelhomeofgrace@gmail.com or ekpikuspelhomeofgrace@hotmail.com call +2348073673757 OR whatsup him OR http://ekpikuspellhomeofgrace.blogspot.com/ THESE ARE THE THINGS Dr. Ekpiku. HERPES. HIV/AIDS. CANCER.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies


    1. I can’t believe this. A great testimony that i must share to all

      HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS patient in the world i never believed that

      their could be any complete cure for Herpes or any cure for

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      you that few months now i have not had any pain, and i have just

      went for text last week and the doctor confirmed that there is

      no trace of any herpes system on my body. Glory be to God for

      leading me to this genuine to Dr CHARLES I am so happy as i am

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      Delete


  6. Hello people,I have been affected with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) for more than 3 years now and I have tried all my level best to get cure but non work for me I have tried so many treatment but there was No result until a friend refer me to Lady Helen who cure her brother from herpes simplex virus,At first I was scared to contact her because I have tried both medical and herbal treatment with a lot of money and nothing work.After two days I decided to contact Lady Helen and I promise to give the last try and she reply me saying that my herpes simplex virus (HSV-2) will be cured and gone for just 4 days and she ask me to pay $535 which I did and within 4 days my (HSV-2) was gone.I went for test and the doctor say I am no longer affected with (HSV-2).Please people if any of you is affected with herpes simplex virus,Then contact Lady Helen now and stop wasting your money for treatment that will never work because she is the solution to your herpes simplex virus and within 4 days you will see result her email is cureyourgenitalherpesnow@gmail.com (cureyourgenitalherpesnow@gmail.com) contact her now and be free from herpes simplex virus.

    ReplyDelete

  7. I have been suffering from (HERPES) disease for the last four years and had constant pain, especially in my knees. During the first year, I had faith in God that i would be healed someday.This disease started circulating all over my body and i have been taking treatment from my doctor, few weeks ago i was searching on the internet if i could get any information concerning the prevention of this disease, on my search i saw a testimony of someone who has been healed from GENITAL HERPES VIRUS by this Man Dr Agbaka and she also gave the email address of this man and advise we should contact him for any sickness that he would be of help, so i wrote to Dr Agbaka telling him about my (HERPES VIRUS) he told me not to worry that i was going to be cured!! hmm i never believed it,, well after all the procedures and remedy given to me by this man few weeks later i started experiencing changes all over me as the Dr assured me that i have cured, after some time i went to my doctor to confirmed if i have be finally healed behold it was TRUE,
    So friends my advise is if you have such sickness or any other at all you can email Dr Agbaka on agbakaherbalhome@gmail.com ,,,agbakaherbalhome@outlook.com OR call his mobile phone at ;+2349038002051 Sir i am indeed grateful for the help, i will forever recommend you to my friends!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I can’t believe this. A great testimony that i must share to all HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS patient in the world i never believed that their could be any complete cure for Herpes or any cure for herpes,i saw people’s testimony on blog sites of how Dr uwawa prepare herbal cure and brought them back to life again. i had to try it too and you can,t believe that in just few weeks i started using it all my pains stop gradually and i had to leave without the herpes the doctor gave to me. Right now i can tell you that few months now i have not had any pain, and i have just went for text last week and the doctor confirmed that there is no trace of any herpes system on my body. Glory be to God for leading me to this genuine to Dr uwawa I am so happy as i am sharing this testimony. My advice to you all who thinks that their is no cure for herpes that is Not true ,j Here is his email: dr.uwawaspellcaster150@gmail.com, OR call his mobile phone at ;+2348054265852 Sir i am indeed grateful for the help, i will forever recommend you to my friends!!!

    ReplyDelete