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Leading researchers from the U.S., U.K., and Europe at a Swiss conference last month reported progress on incriminating several infectious agents as possible triggers of Alzheimer’s disease, says Leslie Norins, MD, PhD, a speaker and CEO of Alzheimer’s Germ Quest, Inc. The independent advocacy group sponsors the $1 million challenge award for the scientist who proves a “germ” of some sort causes Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Norins says this breadth of serious evidence from credentialed investigators in several countries confirms his group’s decision to offer the $1 million challenge award as a help to continuing momentum for examining microbes.

He says several participants informally told him their proposals to pinpoint the role of the bacterial and viral suspects were stalled because the major grant agencies seem prejudiced against funding investigations of any microbe as the root cause of Alzheimer’s. Instead, they are allocating most of the billions of Alzheimer’s research dollars available worldwide this year to additional studies of the same two brain proteins favored for two decades, amyloid plaques and tau tangles.

The principal categories of infectious agents discussed were herpes viruses, spirochetes, and chlamydia. An unusual bacterium, Bartonella, was also flagged. The new view of brain amyloid as an innate immune defense, rather than “trash”, was also presented.

Gingivitis (infected gums) received attention from three speakers, because the oral spirochetes which multiply in the inflamed tissue around the teeth can access the brain. Even ordinary tooth brushing can send showers of these supposedly harmless germs into the bloodstream. Dr. Judith Miklossy, conference chair, reported spirochetes, found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, could manufacture the amyloid seen, but other attendees believed it was produced by brain cells and not microbes.

The event, held in Crans-Montana, was organized by the Prevention Alzheimer International Foundation, Switzerland.

Alzheimer’s Germ Quest, Inc. is a public benefit corporation headquartered in Naples, Florida. Its mission is to accelerate and deepen the search for an infectious organism possibly causing Alzheimer’s disease. It neither solicits nor accepts outside donations.

SOURCE Alzheimer’s Germ Quest, LLC