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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 501862, 34 pages
Research Article

Alzheimer's Disease: APP, Gamma Secretase, APOE, CLU, CR1, PICALM, ABCA7, BIN1, CD2AP, CD33, EPHA1, and MS4A2, and Their Relationships with Herpes Simplex, C. Pneumoniae, Other Suspect Pathogens, and the Immune System

PolygenicPathways, Flat 2, 40 Baldslow Road, Hastings, East Sussex TN34 2EY, UK

Received 3 August 2011; Accepted 2 September 2011

Academic Editor: Francesco Panza

Copyright © 2011 Chris Carter. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Alzheimer's disease susceptibility genes, APP and gamma-secretase, are involved in the herpes simplex life cycle, and that of other suspect pathogens (C. pneumoniae, H. pylori, C. neoformans, B. burgdorferri, P. gingivalis) or immune defence. Such pathogens promote beta-amyloid deposition and tau phosphorylation and may thus be causative agents, whose effects are conditioned by genes. The antimicrobial effects of beta-amyloid, the localisation of APP/gamma-secretase in immunocompetent dendritic cells, and gamma secretase cleavage of numerous pathogen receptors suggest that this network is concerned with pathogen disposal, effects which may be abrogated by the presence of beta-amyloid autoantibodies in the elderly. These autoantibodies, as well as those to nerve growth factor and tau, also observed in Alzheimer's disease, may well be antibodies to pathogens, due to homology between human autoantigens and pathogen proteins. NGF or tau antibodies promote beta-amyloid deposition, neurofibrillary tangles, or cholinergic neuronal loss, and, with other autoantibodies, such as anti-ATPase, are potential agents of destruction, whose formation is dictated by sequence homology between pathogen and human proteins, and thus by pathogen strain and human genes. Pathogen elimination in the ageing population and removal of culpable autoantibodies might reduce the incidence and offer hope for a cure in this affliction.