This paper reports the proceedings of a virtual meeting convened by the European Interdisciplinary Council on Ageing (EICA), to discuss the involvement of infectious disorders in the pathogenesis of dementia and neurological disorders leading to dementia. We recap how our view of the infectious etiology of dementia has changed over the last 30 years in light of emerging evidence, and we present evidence in support of the implication of infection in dementia, notably Alzheimer's disease (AD). The bacteria and viruses thought to be responsible for neuroinflammation and neurological damage are reviewed. We then review the genetic basis for neuroinflammation and dementia, highlighting the genes that are currently the focus of investigation as potential targets for therapy. Next, we describe the antimicrobial hypothesis of dementia, notably the intriguing possibility that amyloid beta may itself possess antimicrobial properties. We further describe the clinical relevance of the gut-brain axis in dementia, the mechanisms by which infection can move from the intestine to the brain, and recent findings regarding dysbiosis patterns in patients with AD. We review the involvement of specific pathogens in neurological disorders, i.e. SARS-CoV-2, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), and influenza. Finally, we look at the role of vaccination to prevent dementia. In conclusion, there is a large body of evidence supporting the involvement of various infectious pathogens in the pathogenesis of dementia, but large-scale studies with long-term follow-up are needed to elucidate the role that infection may play, especially before subclinical or clinical disease is present.

Dementia, infections and vaccines: 30 years of controversy

Boccardi, Virginia
;
2023

Abstract

This paper reports the proceedings of a virtual meeting convened by the European Interdisciplinary Council on Ageing (EICA), to discuss the involvement of infectious disorders in the pathogenesis of dementia and neurological disorders leading to dementia. We recap how our view of the infectious etiology of dementia has changed over the last 30 years in light of emerging evidence, and we present evidence in support of the implication of infection in dementia, notably Alzheimer's disease (AD). The bacteria and viruses thought to be responsible for neuroinflammation and neurological damage are reviewed. We then review the genetic basis for neuroinflammation and dementia, highlighting the genes that are currently the focus of investigation as potential targets for therapy. Next, we describe the antimicrobial hypothesis of dementia, notably the intriguing possibility that amyloid beta may itself possess antimicrobial properties. We further describe the clinical relevance of the gut-brain axis in dementia, the mechanisms by which infection can move from the intestine to the brain, and recent findings regarding dysbiosis patterns in patients with AD. We review the involvement of specific pathogens in neurological disorders, i.e. SARS-CoV-2, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), and influenza. Finally, we look at the role of vaccination to prevent dementia. In conclusion, there is a large body of evidence supporting the involvement of various infectious pathogens in the pathogenesis of dementia, but large-scale studies with long-term follow-up are needed to elucidate the role that infection may play, especially before subclinical or clinical disease is present.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1566251
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