Is Alzheimer’s the Immune System Gone Wrong?

February 19, 2018

It started with a simple observation by researchers: amyloid-beta, the protein that builds up in the brain and causes Alzheimer’s, looks very similar to an ancient protein in the blood that’s a critical part of the immune system, and the similarities to the “ancient immune system” don’t stop there. After a decade of research, there’s a lot of evidence that Alzheimer’s may be an immune reaction gone wrong.

There are blood proteins that function as a first response to invading pathogens—they hold things up until the heavy hitters arrive, and those proteins have been a part of the immune system for a long time. Amyloid-beta looks just like one of them, and further testing, first in a test tubes then in small animals like worms, shows that amyloid-beta is pretty good at killing pathogens and potentially helping the brain fight off diseases like encephalitis.

So what about Alzheimer’s? Best guesses that are still being researched are that the immune system is either over reacting to pathogens that make it to the brain, or that it’s an autoimmune reaction like lupus or allergies. Or both—maybe some people have different triggers for Alzheimer’s (certainly some get it faster/worse that others!).

There’s some evidence to support the overreaction theory. There are lifestyle habits known to increase or decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s, like diet and exercise, and inflammation is a suspected culprit. It could be that one piece of the Alzheimer’s puzzle is too much brain inflammation from poor diet and no exercise triggering the immune system.

Either way, the old recommendations still hold. You can control lifestyle habits, which have been shown to have an impact. And you can give yourself additional boosts with colloidal silver which offers immune support against pathogens. Or you can eat an antioxidant rich diet (or cheat with an antioxidant supplement). Take action now to support future brain health.

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