Fungal infections could be linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, scientists have claimed in a new study.
Tests on brain samples from deceased Alzheimer’s patients showed they contained fungal proteins, The Local reported.
800,000 people have the degenerative disease in the UK, which mainly affects the elderly, and for which there is currently no known cure.
Symptoms include short-term memory loss, difficulties retaining new information, having difficulty recognising previously familiar people and places, and having mood swings.
Researchers said their findings offer “compelling evidence” to suggest that people with the form of dementia have species of fungus in their blood that may have invaded the central nervous system.
Different species of fungus were present depending on how advanced the disease was, according to research published in the ‘Journal of Alzheimer's Disease’ by scientists from Barcelona's Severo Ochoa Centre for Molecular Biology and the Carlos III University of Madrid.
“Future studies could help determine the role of fungal infections in the appearance of development of Alzheimer's,” they added.