START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
Feb 3, 2013

“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, like it does in an autoimmune disease.

For their study, Boche and colleagues will use brain tissue generously donated by people who had Alzheimer's disease when they died. With reference to donors' medical records, the researchers will compare the brains of those who had infections when they died with those who did not.

They will be particularly interested in immune cells known as "microglia", which go around mopping up cellular debris. They will use fluorescent tags to label the cells in the brain, and look at them under the microscope. The team will be looking for signs that infection causes distinct changes in microglia in people with Alzheimer's. Boche says they believe the microglia may produce chemicals that are harmful to surrounding cells and make Alzheimer's worse.

"The findings could have important implications both for our understanding of the disease and for the management of healthcare in the elderly," says Boche, adding that she and her team are "incredibly grateful to Alzheimer's Research UK and their supporters for providing us with the funds to make the research possible".

The hope is the findings will increase understanding about how to delay the progression of Alzheimer's, a disease that affects over half a million people in the UK. Eric Karran, Director of Research at Alzheimer's Research UK, says: "Slowing the progression of Alzheimer's could have a huge impact on families and allow people more valuable time with their loved ones." "Only by understanding the factors that drive the disease, can we develop new and innovative ways to slow it down," he adds. Last year, several new studies helped with funds from the charity, showed that inflammation plays an important role in Alzheimer's, and the charity expects this latest project will build on those results.

In June 2012, scientists in the US reported the results of a small trial where a group of Alzheimer's patients treated for 3 years with an immunotherapy drug showed no symptom decline over the treatment period.

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Sunday February 3, 2013, 9:41 pm
Tags: group medical Springhill [add/edit tags]

Group Discussions
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:


Toffee M.
male ,
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\nSpringhill Medical Scam Alert –| The calls can grab your attention as a grim recorded voice warns of increasing rates of death and injury from falls or other home-alone medical emergencies. But the real incentive to proceed and \"press ...

No shares

Mar 31
Blog: How to Extend the Life of your TRIAD Boilers by Kayleigh L.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — \\nHow to Extend the Life of your TRIAD Boilers \\r\\n \\r\\nCorliss Engine Review\\r\\nEvery user desires to prolong the life of a unit. TRIAD assists their clients in achieving this important objective by informing them of ways they can avoid problems... more
Feb 27
Blog: Dr Oz Weight Loss - The 100% Natural And Very Efficient Diet Pill by Debra S.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — \\nYes, Dr. Oz called Garcinia Cambogia Extract (HCA) the Holy Grail of Weight Loss. He went on to say, “Anytime I see a scientist get this excited about something like Garcinia Cambogia Extract and when I looked through some of this research and... more
Blog: My Favorite Websites by krysta I.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — \\nIFAW:\\r\\nOCEANA:\\r\\nPETA:\\r\\nEARTH 911:\\r\\nANI MALs ASIA:\\r\\n \\r\\n\\r\\n\\n more
Feb 21
Blog: testing one two three by Geoff M.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — hello world more
Blog: Garcinia Cambogia Reviews From Actual People Garcinia Pure Extract Is A Huge Success February 20 by Dany M.
(0 comments  |  0 discussions ) — \\nGarcinia Cambogia Reviews From Actual People Garcinia Pure Extract Is A Huge Success February 20\\r\\nGarcinia Cambogia System The Dr. Oz Lose Weight Quick Process Without Having Side Effects\\r\\nHe went on to say, “At any time I see a researcher... more
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.