Scientists from Griffith University found that a bacterium commonly present in the nose can sneak into the brain and set off a cascade of events that may lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
The research is published in Scientific Reports and was conducted by Associate Professor Jenny Ekberg et al.
Previous studies have found that the bacterium Chlamydia pneumoniae can invade the brain via the nerves of the nasal cavity.
While this bacterium often causes respiratory tract infections, it has also been found in the brain which has raised the question of whether it causes damage to the central nervous system.
The research team has performed extensive research in animal models to show not only how the bacteria get into the brain, but also how it leads to Alzheimer’s disease pathologies.
In this study, they found that once the bacteria are in the central nervous system, the cells of the brain react within days by depositing beta-amyloid peptide, which is the hallmark plaque of Alzheimer’s disease.
After several weeks, numerous gene pathways that are known to be involved in Alzheimer’s disease are also dramatically activated.
The research also found that when the bacteria invade the olfactory nerve, peripheral nerve cells become infected and these cells may be how the bacteria can persist within the nervous system.
These cells are usually important defenders against bacteria, but in this case, they become infected and can help the bacteria to spread.
The team says the new findings give them the drive to urgently find treatments to stop this contributing factor to Alzheimer’s disease.
If you care about Alzheimer’s disease, please read studies about a new biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease, and these two old drugs may help treat Alzheimer’s disease.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about why some older people less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease, and results showing this daily habit may help treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.