New research has looked at the impact of an immune system challenge in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Results in mice show that a single late gestation infection is likely to induce significant memory problems at a older age.
These mice, after infection, showed a persistent increase in: inflammatory cytokines, amyloid precursor protein and altered cellular localisation of Tau. Further if the immune system was challenged again, these effects were strongly aggravated. Amyloid β is strongly associated with Alzheimer’s disease in humans. When mice were genetically modified to produce this protein. Post infection levels, of Amyloid β, were dramatically increased in the precise areas where inflammation-induced amyloid precursor protein was deposited.
From this research it appears that chronic inflammation caused by infection could be an early development in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. This has important repercussions in our treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. By having a better understanding of what maybe is causing Alzheimer’s disease the pharmaceutical market can develop more targeted therapies to prevent say the build up of amyloid precursor protein and diagnostic tests to detect its localisation.
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