Could it be that Alzheimer’s disease stems from the toxic remnants of the brain’s attempt to fight off infection?
Provocative new research by a team of investigators at Harvard leads to this startling hypothesis, which could explain the origins of plaque, the mysterious hard little balls that pockmark the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.
It is still early days, but Alzheimer’s experts not associated with the work are captivated by the idea that infections, including ones that are too mild to elicit symptoms, may produce a fierce reaction that leaves debris in the brain, causing Alzheimer’s. The idea is surprising, but it makes sense, and the Harvard group’s data, published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, supports it. If it holds up, the hypothesis has major implications for preventing and treating this degenerative brain disease.
– The New York Times