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Alzheimer''s disease plaques and tangles: Repositories of a herpes simplex/immune system battle leading to neuronal destruction

The protein components of the plaques and tangles seen in the Alzheimer's disease brain offer a clue to the origins of the disease: It turns out that they are heavily enriched in human proteins used by herpes simplex during its life cycle: Many immune system related proteins are also found in these structures. The battle between the immune system and the virus may well have been won, but at the terrible cost of collateral neuronal damage, mediated by the complement and inflammatory systems.

Alzheimer’s disease plaques and tangles: Cemeteries of a Pyrrhic victory of the immune defence network against herpes simplex infection at the expense of complement and inflammation–mediated neuronal destruction.
Neurochem.Int, epub Dec 15th, 2010
 
 

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