Video Series Informs About the Possible Role of Germs in Alzheimer’s

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by Mary Chapman |

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Addressing fundamental questions about the possibility that Alzheimer’s disease might be brought about by infections, Alzheimer’s Germ Quest has released a series of eight videos, each about one minute long.

Alzheimer’s Germ Quest supports research into the prospective infectious quality of the disease the Alzheimer’s Association says affects one in 10 people age 65 and older. It also sponsors the $1 million Alzheimer’s Germ Quest Challenge Award for investigators, for which the deadline for submissions is Dec. 31, 2020. The prize winner will be announced no later than March 31, 2021.

Video subjects include brain microbes, prospective evidence of transmittal, slow-surfacing infections such as herpes zoster, and possible positive effects of antibiotics.

“Historically, research has proven many illnesses not initially suspected of being infectious are linked to germs including polio, ulcers and malaria,” Leslie Norins, MD, PhD, and CEO of the privately held Alzheimer’s Germ Quest, said in a press release.

In the videos, questions and answers are explained by Norins, a veteran medical publisher and former infectious disease and immunology researcher who five years ago became interested in what was known about the causes of Alzheimer’s. 

After a two-year study of scientific literature, an Alzheimer’s Germ Quest webpage states, he tried to advance research into causes of the disease by writing a white paper titled “It’s Time to Find the ‘Alzheimer’s Germ,’” and by developing sponsorship of the challenge award.

The videos may be viewed here.

In the video titled “Can Disease Germs Get Into the Brain?,” Norins discusses three ways germs can enter the brain without the skull being broken: via the bloodstream, the eye and the nose.

“Could Alzheimer’s Be Transmitted by Brain Surgeons?” raises the question about why medical specialists such as brain and neurosurgeons who have handled blood and brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients have been shown, in at least one tabulation, to have had a greater prevalence of death caused by Alzheimer’s. Norins calls for more research.

In “Could Alzheimer’s Be Transmitted to Caretakers?,” Norins broaches a Utah study which showed that caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients were six times more likely than caregivers of non-Alzheimer’s patients to develop the disease.

The video “Could There Be An Antibiotic for Alzheimer’s?” discusses research that showed Alzheimer’s patients declined less when they happened to be on two different antibiotics. Again, Norins calls for more study.

In the video “Can An Early Illness Cause Brain Disease Years Later?” Norins talks about dormant germs that resurface decades later. Another video, “Why is Inflammation Getting Attention,” discusses the possible causes of inflammation.

There also is a video titled “Why Have Amyloid Plaques Gotten So Much Attention?” Here, Norins gives the history of the protein in Alzheimer’s patients, and why it’s being studied.

The production titled “Do Normal Brains Contain Any Germs?” dismisses the notion that if there is such a thing as an Alzheimer’s germ, it would be first germ of any kind to arrive in a normal brain.