Scientists from the University of Southampton have launched an investigation into whether certain common infections can increase progress of Alzheimer's disease.
The study is being funded by Alzheimer's Research UK and will attempt to build upon previous research, which suggests the immune system plays a significant role in the development of the condition.
Dr Delphine Boche, leading the study, explained that factors currently accepted as increasing risk of Alzheimer's - old age, diabetes and obesity - cause inflammation in the brain.
"There is already evidence that the immune system is on high alert in people with Alzheimer's and we think that an extra trigger, like an infection, could tip the balance and make immune cells switch from being protective to harmful," she noted.
Brain tissues donated to medical research will form the basis of the study, with scientists using doctor's notes to compare the brains of patients with infections and those without.
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