Should we rethink of causes of dementia?

ScienceDaily. Published online: 12 May 2016.

Cerebral_amyloid_angiopathy_-2b-_amyloid_beta_-_intermed_mag_-_cropped
Image source: Nephron // CC BY-SA 3.0

University of Adelaide researchers have developed a new theory for the causes of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases, involving an out-of-control immune system.

Published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, the researchers have assembled strong evidence that the neurological decline common to these diseases is caused by ‘auto-inflammation’, where the body’s own immune system develops a persistent inflammatory response and causes brain cells to die.

Previously, researchers have focused on the role of protein deposits called amyloid plaques that lodge in the brain of Alzheimer’s affected people. But it is now clear that this is an inadequate explanation for Alzheimer’s Disease.

There are many distinct forms of neurodegeneration including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Diseases. These conditions are distinguished by the different types of brain nerve cells that are first affected and by the symptoms that first appear. However, as all of these diseases progress, they become more similar.

Read the full commentary here

Read the original research abstract here

 

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