A team of 31 scientists and clinicians from institutions all over the world are suggesting that microbes, particularly the herpes virus and chlamydia bacteria, are major cause of dementia. They are thought to prevent neurons from communicating with each other, leading to memory loss and cognitive decline. It is also suggested that these viral or bacterial infections trigger the build-up of plaque in the brain associated with the disease.
The team explain that viruses and bacteria can often lie dormant in the brains of elderly people, but they can become active after stress or if the immune system is compromised. It has been known for a long time that viral infections in the brain can cause symptoms very similar to those seen in Alzheimer’s.