Tech & Science Yet More Evidence That Viruses May Cause Alzheimer's Disease

07:11  13 july  2018
07:11  13 july  2018 Source:   gizmodo.com.au

SA introduces free meningococcal vaccines for kids in Australian first

  SA introduces free meningococcal vaccines for kids in Australian first South Australia will become the first state in the country to introduce a vaccination program for the B-strain of the deadly meningococcal disease. From October 1, children under four will be able to get the Meningococcal B vaccine for free, while from early next year students in Years 10 and 11 and young people aged 17-20 will also have access to the free program.It follows a report from an expert group developed to find the best possible approach to combat the disease.

For decades, the idea that a bacteria or virus could help cause Alzheimer ’ s disease was dismissed as a fringe theory. But not so much anymore. On Wednesday, a team of researchers from Harvard Medical School reported in the journal Neuron the latest bit of evidence suggesting herpesviruses can

For decades, the idea that a bacteria or virus could help cause Alzheimer ’ s disease was dismissed as a fringe theory. But not so much anymore. On Wednesday, a team of researchers from Harvard Medical School reported in the journal Neuron the latest bit of evidence suggesting herpesviruses can

a close up of a tattoo© Image: Dr John Hierholzer; F. A. Murphy, CDC For decades, the idea that a bacteria or virus could help cause Alzheimer’s disease was dismissed as a fringe theory. But not so much any more. This week, a team of researchers from Harvard Medical School reported in the journal Neuron the latest bit of evidence suggesting herpesviruses can spark the cascade of events that leads to Alzheimer’s disease, a fatal form of dementia that afflicts up to 80 per cent of Australia's 425,000 dementia patients.

The researchers studied how neurons in mice responded to the presence of herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1), the virus that causes cold sores.

Mutated bananas in Northern Territory being tested for ability to withstand Panama Disease Tropical Race 4

  Mutated bananas in Northern Territory being tested for ability to withstand Panama Disease Tropical Race 4 Trials of 'mutated bananas' on a research farm in the Northern Territory are being watched closely by Australia's $600 million banana industry for their ability to withstand the deadly Panama Disease Tropical Race 4.

For decades, the idea that a bacteria or virus could help cause Alzheimer ’ s disease was dismissed as a fringe theory. But not so much anymore. On Wednesday, a team of researchers from Harvard Medical School reported in the journal Neuron the latest bit of evidence suggesting herpesviruses can

For decades, the idea that a bacteria or virus could help cause Alzheimer ’ s disease was dismissed as a fringe theory. But not so much anymore. On Wednesday, a team of researchers from Harvard Medical School reported in the journal Neuron the latest bit of evidence suggesting herpesviruses can

In a separate experiment involving a 3D model of the human brain grown in a dish, they also studied human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), the germ responsible for causing the childhood skin disease roseola. These viruses are usually caught early on in life and stay dormant somewhere in the body, but as we age, they almost always migrate up to the brain.

Some of the mice used in the experiment were genetically bred to have neurons that could create the human version of amyloid beta (or amyloid-β). Amyloid-β is a protein normally produced in the brain. But in Alzheimer’s patients, it clumps together to form the plaques that are thought by many experts to slowly destroy the brain.

Many scientists had long assumed that amyloid-β was essentially a waste product, with no meaningful purpose. But the researchers had earlier shown that amyloid-β might actually serve as a first line of defence against fungal and bacterial infection.

Hobart teenager dies from suspected meningococcal infection

  Hobart teenager dies from suspected meningococcal infection Tasmanian health authorities say a Hobart teenager has died from a suspected meningococcal infection and close contacts are being given antibiotics.Tasmanian health authorities were advised of the girl's death after laboratory tests showed evidence of the disease.

Viruses that hide in the brain might influence Alzheimer ’ s disease . However, the findings do not prove viruses cause Alzheimer ’ s . But the theory that Alzheimer ’ s starts from sticky plaques that clog the brain has had more support.

Alzheimer ' s disease (AD), also referred to simply as Alzheimer ' s , is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time.

In the current study, both viruses seemed to provoke an identical reaction. The mice’s brains grew new deposits of amyloid-β plaques practically “overnight,” according to senior author Rudy Tanzi, a geneticist specialising in the brain at Massachusetts General Hospital as well as Harvard Medical School.

And the mice bred with these human-like neurons were able to better fend off brain infection than mice without them.

New meningococcal case reported in Tasmania, with baby hospitalised

  New meningococcal case reported in Tasmania, with baby hospitalised A three-month-old baby is being treated for meningococcal disease at the Royal Hobart Hospital, in the third case of the disease detected in Tasmania in just over a week. How To Get A Home Loan With 5% Deposit Find out more on Finder Sponsored by Finder.com.au Public health authorities said the baby boy was in a stable condition after tests last night and this morning confirmed the presence of meningococcal. Authorities said a public health response had begun following the new case, with antibiotics being provided to family and close contacts.

Researchers found the most abundant viral material were two viruses that infect most people Share this story. New evidence suggest that childhood viruses play a role years later in Alzheimer ' s disease . The findings don’t prove viruses cause Alzheimer ’ s , nor do they suggest it’s contagious.

The study points to the viruses as possible accomplices that drive disease progression but does not suggest that Alzheimer ’ s may begin after they are HHV-6A is a usually symptom-less virus that infects people later in life. HHV-7 infects more than 80 percent of infants, often causing a rash.

The same effects were also seen in the petri dish.

“The seeding of amyloid is what causes the deposition of plaque,” Tanzi told Gizmodo, “and herpesviruses and other microbes can rapidly seed amyloid-β.”

The study is the second in recent weeks to support the role of viruses in Alzheimer’s disease.

That first study, also published in Neuron and led by researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, found evidence that certain herpesviruses are more abundantly present in the brains of people who died with Alzheimer’s; it also suggested that genes belonging to these viruses directly interact with human genes that raise the risk of the disease.

The timing is no accident, Tanzi said. His team has corresponded with the Mount Sinai team for years, and they had originally planned to release their results at the same time (both will be published in the same print July edition of the journal).

It was the Mount Sinai team, Tanzi notes, that suggested the Harvard team look at HHV-6 as well as HSV-1 in their experiments, since that was the virus they had started to zero in on in their work.

Borce Ristevski's son will not give evidence

  Borce Ristevski's son will not give evidence Borce Ristevski’s estranged son will no longer give evidence in a court hearing to decide whether his father goes to trial over the murder of Karen Ristevksi. The prosecution told the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday that Mr Rickard would not take the stand this week after earlier including him on a list of witnesses for Mr Ristevski’s committal hearing.However a witness statement from Mr Rickard would remain in the brief of evidence, the court heard.Sarah Ristevksi, Borce’s daughter, is due to give evidence this afternoon. © Facebook Borce Ristevski's son Anthony Rickard.

We might even be looking at different root causes triggering similar biological mechanisms that lead to Alzheimer ' s in different people. The ultimate aim is finding a treatment for what's currently an untreatable disease . That's still some way off, but for now the virus -to- Alzheimer ' s link is looking

While most scientists do not think that changes in neurotransmitter levels cause AD, neurotransmitter levels are affected by the illness and contribute to the thinking problems that accompany it. Several medications used to treat symptoms of Alzheimer ' s Disease target neurotransmitters

While Tanzi and his team acknowledge the long-ignored work by other researchers supporting the viral hypothesis of Alzheimer’s, as it’s known, he said their research takes things in a slightly different direction. It’s an attempt to reconcile various theories about what causes Alzheimer’s.

Supporters of the viral theory have often speculated that germs such as HSV-1 — the most commonly blamed culprit — directly goad the brain into spiralling out of control through inflammation, with amyloid-β only being a bystander.

But in Tanzi’s version, amyloid-β still is the key cog behind the disease. Neurons use the protein to either kill or safely trap viral or bacterial particles in a “nano-net,” as Tanzi put it. In Alzheimer’s disease, this process goes off the rails, leading to the uncontrolled buildup of plaques.

From there, Tanzi’s work has shown, the plaques trigger the production of tangles — clumps of another brain protein called tau seen in the later stages of Alzheimer’s — which together then trigger chronic inflammation.

All of these moving parts align to wither the brain, eventually causing death.

In this scenario, it isn't so much the germ, but the immune system that’s at fault. “The microbes are the prequel to the amyloid hypothesis,” Tanzi said.

Aussie rock legend devastated after the brutal death of his cousin

  Aussie rock legend devastated after the brutal death of his cousin Aussie rock legend says he's shocked and saddened by the alleged killing of his cousin, Maryborough’s John Bourke.The former lead singer of hit 1980s band Uncanny X-Men, Mannix said he was shocked and saddened to learn the body of his cousin, John Bourke, 45, was found by a neighbour on Sunday.

Viruses that hide in the brain might influence Alzheimer ' s disease . However, the findings do not prove viruses cause Alzheimer ' s . But the theory that Alzheimer ' s starts from sticky plaques that clog the brain has had more support.

The polluted brain. Evidence builds that dirty air causes Alzheimer ’ s , dementia. Air pollution, particularly in major cities such as Los Angeles, California, may promote brain inflammation and disease .

Viruses are only one of the things that could set off Alzheimer’s, he pointed out. The same sort of seeding might happen in people whose genes cause them to make too much amyloid-β, in the absence of infection. And genetics might help explain why only some people’s infections cause the brain to start producing amyloid-β en masse.

“Just having the virus isn’t enough,” Tanzi said.

But given the widespread failure of Alzheimer’s treatments that have focused on stopping amyloid-β production, the viral link provides a new, clear direction for future clinical trials: Preventative antimicrobial drugs or vaccines that can stop these germs from ever reaching the brain in the first place.

Some recent if observational research (meaning, not controlled trials) has already suggested that these drugs can lower the risk of dementia.

These sorts of definitive studies are likely still a while away, but there’s certainly a change in the headwinds.

“I think we’ve gotten past the point where this idea is ridiculed, but some might be still violently opposing it,” Tanzi said, referring to the 19th century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer’s maxim about the three stages of truth (first ridicule, then violent opposition, and finally acceptance as self-evident).

The buck probably won’t stop with herpes either. Tanzi and his team are already at work conducting research on how the bacteria living in the brain could contribute to Alzheimer’s. Tanzi is also part of a research project that is attempting to map out the living microbial universe, or microbiome, of the brain, and how it might influence our mental and physical health.

Husband pleads not guilty to killing disabled wife in Adelaide parklands pond .
Peter Rex Dansie has pleaded not guilty to drowning his wheelchair-confined wife in a pond in Adelaide's parklands in 2017.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!