Reported by: Dr. Venkat S Karra, Ph.D.
Single infection before birth (during late gestation) was enough to induce long-term neurological changes and significant memory problems at old age says recent research published in Biomed Central‘s open access Journal of Neuroinflammation. It suggests that chronic inflammation can predispose the brain to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers from the University of Zurich, in collaboration with colleagues from the ETH Zurich and University of Bern investigated what impact immune system challenges (similar to having a severe viral infection) would have on the development of AD in mice. Results showed that a single infection before birth (during late gestation) was enough to induce long-term neurological changes and significant memory problems at old age.
Dr Irene Knuesel who led this research explained, “The AD-like changes within the brain of these mice occurred without an increase in amyloid β (Aβ). However, in mice genetically modified to produce the human version of Aβ, the viral-like challenge drastically increased the amount of Aβ at precisely the sites of inflammation-induced APP deposits. Based on the similarity between these APP/A aggregates in mice and those found in human AD, it seems likely that chronic inflammation due to infection could be an early event in the development of AD.
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