Alzheimer's Disease in some case could be caused by a brain infection, some scientists have found.
A new study by researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston suggests that Alzheimer's Disease can be added to the list of transmissible infections.
Dr. Claudio Soto, a professor of neurology at the UT medical school, who authored the study, found that Alzheimer's can spread in a way similar to Mad Cow Disease.
"Our findings open the possibility that some of the sporadic Alzheimer's cases may arise from an infectious process, which occurs with other neurological diseases such as mad cow and its human form, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease," Soto said in a news release from UTHealth.
He and his team came to these conclusions by studying what can cause the buildup of characteristic disease-causing proteins in the brain by injecting the degenerative cells into mice. They then observed how the proteins reacted in the animal's brains, according to reports.
The U.K.'s Daily Mail reported that the findings can be used to help researchers understand, "the underlying mechanisms that trigger the devastating disease and may help develop ways to prevent and treat it."
Sporadic Alzheimer's is one form of the disease that affects 5.4 million Americans. Sporadic Alzheimer's strikes people who may or may not have a family history of the disease, and accounts for 90-95 percent of all cases, according to information from the National Emergency Medicine Association , a non-profit group that supports the National Alzheimer's Council.
Familial autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease is a rare form of the disease that is clearly passed on from generation to generation
For more information about how Alzheimer's Disease can affect the brain and memory, thinking and reasoning skills, check out the Alzheimer's Association website at www.alz.org.
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