Borrelia burgdorferi in the Alzheimer’s Brain
In a newly published article in the IOS Press, researchers identified the Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete, the causative agent of Lyme disease in autopsied brain tissue of patients diagnosed Alzheimer’s. In addition, they found a significant number of Borrelia-positive aggregates with a known biofilm marker, alginate. Immunohistochemical data also showed that Borrelia-positive aggregates co-localized with amyloid and anti-phospho-tau markers.
Investigators studied patients diagnosed with either Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases. They found the presence of B. burgdorferi antigen and DNA in patients with Alzheimer’s pathology. One of the brain specimens was from a person previously diagnosed with Lyme disease. Researchers additionally infected two mammalian cell lines with B. burgdorferi which resulted in a significant increase in the expression of amyloid-β and p-Tau proteins in both cells lines post-infection. This finding further supports the potential relationship of B. burgdorferi and amyloids.
Results of the study indicate that B. burgdorferi can be found in Alzheimer’s brain tissues, in spirochete, known antibiotic resistant biofilms, and co-localized amyloid markers. These findings provide evidence for a likely association between B. burgdorferi infections and biofilm formation, Alzheimer’s pathology, and chronic neurodegenerative diseases.
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