“An increase in brain inflammation, such as that caused by age, diabetes and obesity, is known to increase risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. Now scientists at UK's Southampton University are about to start a three-year study, using brain tissue generously donated by people who died with Alzheimer's disease, to see if inflammation caused by infections such as those of the urinary tract or chest, also speeds up progress of the disease.” – medical news today
In an announcement released on Wednesday, study leader Delphine Boche, Lecturer in Clinical Neurosciences at Southampton, says: "Many of the known risk factors for Alzheimer's, like age, obesity and diabetes, increase inflammation in the brain and we think that infections could be another risk factor." "There is already evidence that the immune system is on high alert in people with Alzheimer's and we think that an extra trigger, like an infection, could tip the balance and make immune cells switch from being protective to harmful," she adds.
Alzheimer's Research UK has already put £300,000 into the project. The money is part of the charity's £20m investment in leading dementia research in the UK.
The study started in January 2013, and will add to the growing pile of evidence that shows how the immune system is implicated in Alzheimer's disease. The Southampton team believes that in Alzheimer's, the immune system goes beyond its role as protector of the body and starts causing damage, li...