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Neuroinflammation – Part 5

March 16, 2011

Today’s London “Telegraph” reported on a study in the current issue of the journal “Neurology” that pretty much seals the case for neuroinflammation as causal in both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases.

Beginning with a group of 222 AD patients with an average age of 83, they obtained baseline data via blood work and cognitive testing. For the next six months they monitored the patients general health by periodic examination and reports from caregivers. Of the group, 110 had either accidents or infections with inflammation. Their memory loss as measured by the cognitive testing was double that of those who had remained healthy.

Further, of those whose initial blood work had shown high levels of the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-a,, showed memory loss at a rate of four times the healthy group. And, finally, those of this already inflamed group who had the ill-luck to suffer an additional infection during the period lost memory at a rate TEN times the rate of those in their the healthy group.

“Lead author Dr Clive Holmes, said: “One might guess that people with a more rapid rate of cognitive decline are more susceptible to infections or injury but we found no evidence to suggest that people with more severe dementia were more likely to have infections or injuries at the beginning of the study.”

Similar to the work I discussed by the St. Jude team as well as work by Carvey and others, we have the usual suspects – pro-inflammatory cytokines generated by our own immune systems.  While we will have to wait for publication later this week for more details, this picture is rapidly coming together and bringing new hope with it.

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