Harvard Researchers are saying that beta-alyloid proteins are part of your innate immune response and may be beneficial as they trap foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses; however, these traps form the plaque seen in Alzheimer’s.

Study author Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital states, “Each plaque had a single bacterium at its center.”  Mice that didn’t produce beta-amyloid were at greater risk of dying from the infection and did not have any plaques in their brains.”

They are theorizing that a small amount of beta-amyloid is protective whereas larger amounts could be damaging, and similarly to leaky gut syndrome, we tend to have a leaky blood-brain barrier the older we get.

Ruth Itzhaki, Ph.D., professor emeritus of molecular neurobiology at Britain’s University of Manchester, and colleagues in 1991 linked Alzheimer’s to herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) – the type that causes cold sores.  There are currently more than 100 studies supporting this link.

Itzhaki states,
” … [W]e propose that infectious agents, including HSV-1, Chlamydia pneumonia, and spirochetes, reach the CNS [central nervous system] and remain there in latent form.  These agents can undergo reactivation in the brain during aging, as the immune system declines, and during different types of stress (which similarly reactivate HSV-1 in the periphery).  The consequent neuronal damage — caused by direct viral action and by virus-induced inflammation — occurs recurrently, leading to (or acting as a cofactor for) progressive synaptic dysfunction, neuronal loss, and ultimately AD [Alzheimer’s disease].  Such damage includes the induction of Aβ [amyloid beta] which, initially, appears to be only a defense mechanism.”

In addition to viruses, bacteria, and fungus, an infectious protein called TDP-43 (think prions and Mad Cow Disease) has also been linked to AD as well as low Vitamin D (helps build the immune system and brain chemicals that protect brain cells).  Singer, Kris Kristofferson, went through this private hell.  He was wrongly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but had Lyme Disease.  For years doctors told Kristofferson it was either Alzheimer’s or dementia, and may have been the result of blows to his head from boxing, football and rugby.  The medication he was given gave him bad side effects and didn’t help.

Sound familier?

Since starting treatment for Lyme Kristofferson “has made remarkable strides.”  His wife Lisa said,

“all of the sudden he was back.” Although he still has some bad days, there are other days when he is “perfectly normal,” she said.

Please tell your family and friends who have an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis this story.  We need to look out for one another.

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