New Alzheimer’s Study - Guess What Was Hanging Out In Brain Tissues - HHV-6A & HHV-7

Wally

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https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180621121914.htm
More evidence for controversial theory that herpesviruses play role in Alzheimer's disease
Date:
June 21, 2018
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
In a large-scale analysis, researchers use data from three different brain banks to suggest that human herpesviruses are more abundant in the brains of Alzheimer's patients and may play a role in regulatory genetic networks that are believed to lead to the disease. This work lends support to the controversial hypothesis that viruses are involved in Alzheimer's disease and offers potential new paths for treatment.
(Edited Post to Add)
... in a large-scale analysis published June 21 in the journal Neuron, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai use data from three different brain banks to suggest that human herpesviruses are more abundant in the brains of Alzheimer's patients and may play a role in regulatory genetic networks that are believed to lead to the disease. This work lends support to the controversial hypothesis that viruses are involved in Alzheimer's disease and offers potential new paths for treatment.
...
They found that human herpesvirus DNA and RNA were more abundant in the brains of those diagnosed postmortem with Alzheimer's disease and that abundance correlated with clinical dementia scores. And the two viruses they found to be most strongly associated with Alzheimer's, HHV-6A and HHV-7, were not as abundant in the brains of those with other neurodegenerative disorders. When they constructed networks that modeled how the viral genes and human genes interacted, they were able to show that the viral genes were regulating and being regulated by the human genes -- and that genes associated with increased Alzheimer's risk were impacted.
 
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Sidny

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Thanks for posting this @Wally

I hope this crispr work gets fast tracked and they develop a cure for all of these ridiculously insidious neurotrophic herpes viruses. Seeing the association between hsv1 with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative processes as well as the fact that half the population harbors it (and half the population eventually develops Alzheimer’s) I think it’s safe to say more than just correlation is at play here. Yet the official government statements say “no known cause” with hundreds of millions in research and foundations galore. Tragic really.
 

Hip

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This is interesting, though these are not the first pathogens to be linked to Alzheimer's:

Herpes simplex virus 1 is associated with Alzheimer's disease in individuals who possess the APOE-4 form of the APOE gene (APOE-4 enables HSV-1 to enter the brain). 1

Alzheimer's disease is associated with the bacteria Chlamydia pneumoniae 1 and Helicobacter pylori, 1 and with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. 1

Fungal infections have been found in the brains of Alzheimer patients. 1
 

Sidny

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This is interesting, though these are not the first pathogens to be linked to Alzheimer's:

Herpes simplex virus 1 is associated with Alzheimer's disease in individuals who possess the APOE-4 form of the APOE gene (APOE-4 enables HSV-1 to enter the brain). 1

Alzheimer's disease is associated with the bacteria Chlamydia pneumoniae 1 and Helicobacter pylori, 1 and with the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. 1

Fungal infections have been found in the brains of Alzheimer patients. 1
Very interesting @Hip thanks for sharing. Would you say if those infections could be eradicated that Alzheimer's then couldn't develop?
 

Hip

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Would you say if those infections could be eradicated that Alzheimer's then couldn't develop?
I tend to think that many chronic illnesses will turn out to be caused by common infectious pathogens. But at the moment, there is not much hard proof of this. The reason is that correlation does not imply causation: so just because you find a pathogen in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, for example, that on its own does not prove the pathogen causes the disease.

I could be that the pathogen causes the disease. But, for example, it could be that Alzheimer's weakens the brain's immune system in some way, which then lets pathogens opportunistically infect the brain.

It is relatively easy to detect pathogens in the tissues of patients with chronic illnesses; but much more difficult to prove that those pathogens actually cause the illness.


Three different brain autopsies found enterovirus in the brains of ME/CFS patients. But that alone is not considered enough evidence to prove that ME/CFS is due to an enteroviral brain infection.
 

Wishful

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My first impression on reading it is that they didn't prove that it was causal rather than a result of Alzheimer's, which I see Hip agrees with. Much more research needed.
 

Sidny

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If a certain pathogen/pathogens were found in someone suffering from a chronic disease and those same microbes were not found in healthy controls would that not be enough to imply a sort of causation?

Maybe examination should be broader and tissues could be tested for all known pathogens associated with that disease (instead of just what the specialists are looking for) and compare those results to healthy people
 

Hip

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If a certain pathogen/pathogens were found in someone suffering from a chronic disease and those same microbes were not found in healthy controls would that not be enough to imply a sort of causation?
I guess that would be a stronger case for causation if the pathogen was found uniquely in those with the disease; but usually things are not that clearcut: usually you find the same pathogen in a small percentage of healthy controls as well as in lots people with the disease.

For example, there is some evidence that obesity is actually a chronic disease caused by adenovirus 36. This virus is found in 30% of obese people, and has been postulated as a possible cause of the worldwide obesity epidemic, as it causes a multiplication of fat cells (adipocytes), and when mice are infected with the virus, they develop obesity.

However, you also find adenovirus 36 in 11% of non-obese people. So this is an example of finding the pathogen in both people with the disease and healthy controls without the disease, which makes it harder to prove causality.

Personally I subscribe to this infectious pathogen hypothesis as a cause of obesity.



I am not quite sure what sort of evidence is generally required before a pathogen linked to a disease is actually proven and accepted by the scientific community as causing the disease. Koch's postulates may need to be satisfied before causality is accepted (although these may be too strict).

I know that lots of everyday chronic diseases have been linked to various pathogens, but even after decades of research, definitive proof that these pathogens cause these diseases still seems to be elusive.

For example, there is an animal retrovirus called mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) which can also infect humans, and for over 50 years this virus has been linked to human breast cancer. But even after 50 years research, it is still not concluded whether or not this virus can actually cause breast cancer, even though we know it causes mammary cancer in mice.

MMTV incidentally is postulated to be the reason why dog owners statistically show higher rates of breast cancer: because this virus may pass from dogs to humans.
 
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junkcrap50

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so just because you find a pathogen in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, for example, that on its own does not prove the pathogen causes the disease.

I could be that the pathogen causes the disease. But, for example, it could be that Alzheimer's weakens the brain's immune system in some way, which then lets pathogens opportunistically infect the brain.
Researcher's at Harvard and Mass General have found that the plaque in Alzheimer's patients brain may be part of the brain's ancient immune system. Whereby, it may actually be an effort to protect the brain by encapsulating and neutralizing a foreign invader.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health...n-alzheimers-and-brains-ancient-immune-system
 

Gemini

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it could be that Alzheimer's weakens the brain's immune system in some way, which then lets pathogens opportunistically infect the brain.
@Hip, excerpts in the NY Times article support your point.

The researchers "created computer models mapping the molecular and genetic networks disrupted as Alzheimer's progresses. What the scientists found surprised them. Genes that were active in Alzheimer's pathology turned out to be active in fighting viruses."

These herpes viruses have the ability to enter brain cells. And said Dr. Dudley , "The viruses have a direct sort of push-pull with lots of known Alzheimer's genes."
 
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My understanding of how the HHV-1 virus works is that it infects the glial cells that protect neurons. It demyelinates them, leaving behind the amyloid plaques that were part of the myelin sheath that was protecting the neuron. Once it reaches the brain, it goes into neurons and becomes dormant. When it is reactivated, it does more damage. The cumulative damage is what causes symptoms.

There is a cure for HHV-1, a vaccine developed at the Einstein hospital in NYC, but it's hard to make. The virus is modified to remove the gene for the glycoprotein D, which exposes other viral capsid proteins as targets of antigens.
 

Sidny

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There is a cure for HHV-1, a vaccine developed at the Einstein hospital in NYC, but it's hard to make. The virus is modified to remove the gene for the glycoprotein D, which exposes other viral capsid proteins as targets of antigens.
Do you have more info on this?