Ultimate cause of Alzheimer’s may be fungal, cadaver study suggests

“This new finding is remarkable in many ways. Has anyone heard about this work in the media? Pub Med includes a 2014 article in J. Alzheimers Disease of fungus  in Alzheimer’s brains. The abstract says:

To our knowledge, these findings represent the first evidence that fungal infection is detectable in brain samples from Alzheimer’s disease patients. The possibility that this may represent a risk factor or may contribute to the etiological cause of Alzheimer’s disease is discussed.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24614898

A Google review today finds the study in GIZMODO October 26, 2015.  http://gizmodo.com/new-study-suggests-alzheimers-is-associated-with-brain-1738788855

Clearly this is astoundingly good news by opening a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s. I am eager to follow this topic.” Bill Chesnut, MD

 Ultimate cause of Alzheimer’s may be fungal, cadaver study suggests

 The Economist (10/23) reports that a study published online Oct. 15 in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that “the ultimate cause of Alzheimer’s is fungal.” Researchers arrived at this conclusion after examining “brain tissue from 25 cadavers, 14 of which belonged to people who had had Alzheimer’s disease when alive.” The study authors now “think a clinical trial of anti-fungal drugs is the next logical step.

From the abstract of the study: The possibility that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has a microbial aetiology has been proposed by several researchers. Here, we provide evidence that tissue from the central nervous system (CNS) of AD patients contain fungal cells and hyphae. Fungal material can be detected both intra- and extracellularly using specific antibodies against several fungi. Different brain regions including external frontal cortex, cerebellar hemisphere, entorhinal cortex/hippocampus and choroid plexus contain fungal material, which is absent in brain tissue from control individuals. Analysis of brain sections from ten additional AD patients reveals that all are infected with fungi. Fungal infection is also observed in blood vessels, which may explain the vascular pathology frequently detected in AD patients. Sequencing of fungal DNA extracted from frozen CNS samples identifies several fungal species. Collectively, our findings provide compelling evidence for the existence of fungal infection in the CNS from AD patients, but not in control individuals.

Pisa, D. et al. Different Brain Regions are Infected with Fungi in Alzheimer’s Disease. Sci. Rep. 5, 15015; doi: 10.1038/srep15015 (2015).