Alzheimer’s disease may occur after infection with an ordinary virus

Experts working at Tufts University in the US have unveiled recent findings that prove that Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by a virus.

Bacteria and viruses: what distinguishes them?

Both viruses and bacteria are microbes. Thus, the latter are small and easily confuse them. However, these are two very different things. In order to fully combat those who cause the disease, it is best to make a clear, adequate and accurate identification.

Approximately 225,000 individuals in the country develop Alzheimer’s disease annually, the majority of them once they reach the age of 65. If this type of dementia is recurrent, its origin is still hotly debated within the scientific community. However, experts agree on several points: amyloid plaques and tangles of tau protein found in neurons have a role in the classic symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. L ‘ignition Gaining patients’ brains adds to this toxic side.

What is the explanation for this phenomenon? Various possibilities are given by experts. Genetic factors appear to play a major role in sporadic cases of Alzheimer’s disease, which are the most frequent conditions. However, there is another possible reason for the occurrence of the disease: a downregulation of the synthesis of amyloid proteins or the action of a microorganism often resembling a virus.

VZV or virus varicella zoster It belongs to the herpes virus family. Nearly 90% of the international population has been in contact with the latter at least once. It is known to cause two diseases: chickenpox and herpes zoster. After that, it takes refuge and remains in the brain. As the years progress, it can increase tenfold and have an impact on health.

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Performing laboratory tests on cultured neurons

Experts from Tufts University in the USA have revealed conclusions that integrate the so-called virological hypothesis about the origin of Alzheimer’s disease. The latter claims that the virus is in the brain – most often the herpes virus 1 or HSV-1 – or it is “activated” by ambiguous aspects, and generates symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

The results reveal a pathway that can cause Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, we learned that infection with VZV causes inflammation. The result will be activation of HSV-1 in the brain.

Enough experiences?

Scientists have infected human neural stem cells with two viruses. Next, they went looking for different signs of Alzheimer’s disease: amyloid plaques and tau clumps, glia (this is the proliferation of glial cells in the brain), not to mention neuroinflammation. Their findings reveal that the unique VZV virus does not cause the formation of amyloid plaques and tau clumps, in the same way as HSV-1. In fact, this would cause neuroinflammation and glia. This means, according to experts, that it will be an indirect effect of the VZV virus.

Furthermore, they discovered that infection of cells, where HSV-1 is present, by virus The latter VZV becomes active again and causes the classic Alzheimer’s changes. It is a double effect of two common and generally not dangerous viruses. However, laboratory reports claim that a second exposure to VZV leads to the activation of already present HSV-1. And there, unfortunately, it can cause serious health problems.

These tests alone have proven insufficient and not robust enough to validate the causal relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and VZV and HSV-1, even if trials tend to validate it.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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