Navigation Links
Even Mild Infections Hasten Decline With Alzheimer's
Date:9/7/2009

They speed memory loss as much as 10-fold, researchers find,,

MONDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For people with Alzheimer's disease, even a minor infection can double the rate of memory loss, British researchers report.

In this new study, researchers found that Alzheimer's patients who had respiratory, gastrointestinal or other infections -- even minor bumps and bruises -- can have high levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), in their blood. TNF-a is a protein linked to inflammation, and has been associated with memory loss or other types of cognitive decline.

"Illnesses that we normally consider to be of little consequence in the healthy aged person need to be taken more seriously in patients with Alzheimer's disease," said lead researcher Clive Holmes, from the Clinical Neurosciences Research Division at the University of Southampton in the U.K.

"Short-lived illnesses or conditions that cause inflammation outside the brain are associated with a marked decline in memory function in patients that have Alzheimer's disease. This decline is not a temporary effect, and remains after the illness has resolved," he added.

The report is published in the Sept. 8 issue of Neurology.

For the study, Holmes and colleagues looked at blood tests and cognitive ability in 222 Alzheimer's patients. The researchers measured these factors at the start of the study and three more times during the trial.

In addition, caregivers reported any infections or accidental injuries suffered by the patients during that time.

Over the six months of the study, 110 people had an infection or injury that resulted in inflammation. These people had memory loss at twice the rate of those who did not have infections or injuries, the researchers found.

Memory loss among patients with high TNF-a levels at the start of the study was four times greater than among patients with low TNF-a levels.

"The effect of these illnesses on memory function is most marked in subjects who also have existing chronic inflammatory conditions," Holmes said. "Here, the rate of memory decline is 10-fold. We believe the signal is coming from these illnesses and being sent to the brain by TNF-a, a protein known to be associated with a range of inflammatory conditions," he said.

For those whose TNF-a levels were high at the start of the study, an infection increased their memory loss 10 times over those who had low TNF-a levels, the study authors found.

Greater care is needed to prevent these conditions occurring in people with Alzheimer's disease, Holmes said.

"Thus the use of influenza vaccinations should be encouraged, and early treatment of infections may reduce the deleterious effect of these infections," he said.

"Finally, the development of drugs or lifestyle changes, such as moderate exercise that has been shown to reduce TNF-a in patients with Alzheimer's disease, are worth examining for their beneficial effects on slowing down the disease process," Holmes said.

Greg M. Cole, associate director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, said this is a very interesting study associating episodes of infectious disease with increases in a pro-inflammatory molecule in blood and rates of cognitive decline in people who already have Alzheimer's disease.

"Like all association studies, it does not prove causal relationships," Cole said. "However, it makes some sense because the molecule they measure in blood, TNF-a, is known to traffic from the blood to trigger increased brain inflammation in animal models, and has been a candidate target for disease intervention," he said.

However, common anti-inflammatory medications, such as Celebrex or Aleve, have generally failed to slow disease progression in clinical trials, Cole said.

"This study raises the question of whether or not anti-inflammatory drugs in previous and perhaps future trials may have been or may be more helpful in the subset of dementia patients with other conditions causing inflammation outside the brain," he said. "If this is true, it might help explain why people taking anti-inflammatory drugs for systemic inflammatory diseases appear to have less risk for getting Alzheimer's."

Maria Carrillo, director of medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer's Association, noted that TNF-a is not the only protein involved in inflammation and cognition.

"This study tells us that inflammatory processes are involved in cognition," Carrillo said. "TNF-a could be a therapeutic target, but there are other neuromodulators out there that are therapeutic targets," she said.

More information

For more information on Alzheimer's disease, visit the Alzheimer's Association.



SOURCES: Clive Holmes, MRCPsych, Ph.D., Clinical Neurosciences Research Division, University of Southampton, U.K.; Greg M. Cole, Ph.D., neuroscientist, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, and associate director, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine; Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., director, medical and scientific relations, Alzheimer's Association; Sept. 8, 2009, Neurology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Hospital infections cost $1 billion in lost bed days
2. Relapse of Infections is the Most Challenging Aspect of Treating Clostridium Difficile Infections in the Hospital Setting
3. Antibiotics Being Prescribed Less for Respiratory Infections
4. MinuteClinic Offers New Rapid Pink-Eye Test; Detects Viral Conjunctivitis Infections in Minutes
5. Rapid Swine Flu Test Misses Many Infections
6. Eliminating Cell Receptor Prevents Infections in Animal Study
7. Pet Bite Injuries: K-State Veterinarian Shares Tips to Minimize Risk of Bites and Bite-Related Infections
8. Following CMS Cuts to Reimbursement for Medical Errors, New Devices Aimed at Reducing Nosocomial Infections Emerge
9. Immune System Gene Discovery Sheds Light on Staph Infections
10. Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) Implements PNA FISH(R) Tests to Help Provide Better Care for Patients with Bloodstream Infections
11. Breast cancer drug shows promise against serious infections
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Even Mild Infections Hasten Decline With Alzheimer's
(Date:6/26/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... On ... as sponsor of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle ... honor of the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a ... fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for ... popular and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network ... the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased ... location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health ... of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards ... at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... PARK RIDGE, Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS ... caliber of students receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders ... hands. The 2016 scholarship winners, announced today online at ... refused to let type 1 diabetes stand in the ... Lilly Diabetes has supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Guerbet announced today that it has ... Horizon Award . One of 12 suppliers ... for its support of Premier members through exceptional local ... and commitment to lower costs. ... of our outstanding customer service from Premier," says ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Tenn. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... automating, integrating and transforming the patient payment ... of several innovative new products and services ... of its revenue cycle offerings. These award-winning ... more efficient workflows, remain compliant in an ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: