The disease known as late-onset Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative condition recognized as the single most common form of senile dementia. The condition is sporadic and has been attributed to neuronal damage and loss, both of which have been linked to the accumulation of protein deposits in the brain. Significant progress has been made over the past two decades regarding our overall understanding of the apparently pathogenic entities that arise in the affected brain, both for early-onset disease, which constitutes approximately 5% of all cases, as well as late-onset disease, which constitutes the remainder of cases. Observable neuropathology includes: neurofibrillary tangles, neuropil threads, neuritic senile plaques and often deposits of amyloid around the cerebrovasculature. Although many studies have provided a relatively detailed knowledge of these putatively pathogenic entities, understanding of the events that initiate and support the biological processes generating them and the subsequent observable neuropathology and neurodegeneration remain limited. This is especially true in the case of late-onset disease. Although early-onset Alzheimer's disease has been shown conclusively to have genetic roots, the detailed etiologic initiation of late-onset disease without such genetic origins has remained elusive. Over the last 15 years, current and ongoing work has implicated infection in the etiology and pathogenesis of late-onset dementia. Infectious agents reported to be associated with disease initiation are various, including several viruses and pathogenic bacterial species. We have reported extensively regarding an association between late-onset disease and infection with the intracellular bacterial pathogen
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Balin, Brian J. PhD; Hammond, Christine; Little, Christopher S.; Hingley, Susan; Al-Atrache, Zein; Appelt, Denah; Whittum-Hudson, Judith A; and Hudson, Alan P, "Chlamydia pneumoniae: An Etiologic Agent for Late-Onset Dementia" (2018). PCOM Scholarly Papers. 1960.