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An illustration of linked neurons in the brain

SciShorts: Alzheimer’s Can Spread Like a Viral Disease

Through studies done on mice, researchers have discovered that Alzheimer’s disease could spread like a viral infection. One of the biggest symptoms of Alzheimer’s is the formation of clumps in the brain. This is due to a protein called amyloid-β. It was discovered that when this protein accumulated in the brain, the connections between regions of the brain became weak to cause memory loss and cognitive decline. Researchers have found that this protein which is formed in the blood may be an important cause of the disease. Since the protein is formed in the blood, Alzheimer’s could spread like an epidemic through blood transfusions and surgery.