Fungal infection is likely the cause of Alzheimer’s disease

Fungal infection is probably the cause of Alzheimer's disease (Credit: Ars Electronica/Flickr)
Fungal infection is probably the cause of Alzheimer’s disease (Credit: Ars Electronica/Flickr)

Main Point:

Fungal infections are related to the Alzheimer’s disease and can be among the important causes of this disorder.

Published in:

Scientific Reports

Study Further:

Alzheimer’s disease is a disease of older ages in which memory, thought, and speech of the patient are impaired. This disease finally results in complete helplessness. In a recent study, scientists have found that fungal infections occur in the brains of patients of Alzheimer’s disease.

In the study, scientists studied the brains of 11 patients of Alzheimer’s disease and compared those brains with the brains of 11 people, who were healthy in the life and died at the same ages. Scientists studied different areas of the brain for the possibility of fungal infection. They found evidence of fungal cells in neurons in various damaged areas of the brain of patients of Alzheimer’s disease. Evidence of fungus was also found in the cells making up the blood vessels.

“100% of the AD patients analysed thus far by our laboratory present fungal cells and fungal material in brain sections,” Researchers wrote in the paper.

“Moreover, antifungal treatment in two patients diagnosed with AD reversed clinical symptoms,” Researchers have further noted in the paper.

Scientists have reported that either Alzheimer’s disease is a fungal disease or it is caused by fungal infection. However, further studies are still required as this research has been done on a very small number of people, and to confirm the link of fungal infection with Alzheimer’s disease, studies on a large number of people are required.

“It is evident that clinical trials will be necessary to establish a causal effect of fungal infection in AD,” Researchers stated.

Sources:

Pisa, D., Alonso, R., Rábano, A., Rodal, I., & Carrasco, L. (2015). Different Brain Regions are Infected with Fungi in Alzheimer’s Disease Scientific Reports, 5 DOI: 10.1038/srep15015

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutics, in Hajvery University, Lahore, Pakistan.