Alzheimer’s disease and disseminated mycoses - Online First - Springer

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by the presence in the brain
of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles that provoke neuronal
cell death, vascular dysfunction and inflammatory processes. In the
present work, we have analyzed the existence of fungal infection in AD
patients. A number of tests have been carried out in blood serum,
including the detection of antibodies against several yeast species and
fungal proteins, and also the presence of fungal (1,3)-β-glucan. Results
from this analysis indicate that there is disseminated fungal infection
in the majority of AD patients tested. Of interest, several AD patients
contain high levels of fungal polysaccharides in peripheral blood,
reflecting that disseminated fungal infection occurs in these patients.
Together, these results suggest the presence of disseminated mycoses in
blood serum from AD patients. To our knowledge these findings represent
the first evidence that fungal infection is detectable in blood samples
in AD patients. The possibility that this may represent a risk factor or
may contribute to the etiological cause of AD is discussed.
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