DNA from Bacteria in Brain May Promote Tau Clumping, Study Suggests

DNA from Bacteria in Brain May Promote Tau Clumping, Study Suggests
DNA from various species of bacteria, some of which — like E. coli — have been identified in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, can cause the tau protein to fold incorrectly and form the toxic, clump-like structures increasingly thought to play a key role in disease progression. The study points to bacterial DNA as a potential initial cause of protein misfolding in Alzheimer's, and suggests that targeting this DNA might be a way of not only treating the disease, but also preventing it. “This study shows that bacterial DNA can promote tau aggregation in vitro [a lab study]. Many more studies need to be done to confirm and extend these observations in order to fully understand the potential role of bacterial DNA in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease,” Claudio Soto, a study author, said in a press release. The study, “Bacterial DNA promotes Tau aggregation,” was published in the journal Scientific Reports. Alzheimer’s is characterized by the formation of amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain, which disrupt communication between nerve cells and cause their death. These abnormal protein clumps have the ability to spread among cells, being a primary cause of disease progression. While amyloid plaques have been seen as the most important disease-causing mechanism in Alzheimer's, recent studies suggest that tau clumps also play a major role in disease progression. Exactly what causes tau to misfold is not well-understood. However, growing evidence suggests that bacteria might be to blame. In fact, scientists have found that Alzheimer’s patients have higher levels of bacteria in their brains compared to the general population. And some species with these excessive levels may not only invade neurons but can also be found in the s
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.