Fungal Infection as a Risk Factor in Alzheimer’s Disease

Fungal Infection as a Risk Factor in Alzheimer’s Disease
A new study reports the finding of fungal cells and hyphae in tissue from different regions of the central nervous system (CNS) in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. The research article, entitled “Different Brain Regions are Infected with Fungi in Alzheimer’s Disease”, was published in Scientific Reports. AD patients present aggregates of misfolded proteins in different part of the CNS, a common feature shared with other neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Specifically, AD is characterized by the presence of extracellular deposits of amyeloid protein and intracellular accumulation of hyperphosphorilated tau protein. The precise cause of AD is still poorly understood although researchers have formulated different cause conjectures, such as the “amyeloid hypothesis” and the autoimmune cause, with no definitive agreement. One hypotheses relates AD pathogenesis to an infectious cause or infectious disease as a risk factor. This conjecture stems from several studies reporting genetic material of viruses and bacteria found in AD patients’ brains, namely herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) and Chlamydophila pneumoniae. This study included samples of frozen brain tissue from 11 patients plus four patients previously analyzed. Through several assays and molecular techniques, such as immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence analysis of tissue sections and DNA PCR amplification and sequencing, researchers identified fungal cells both intracellularly and extracellularl
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