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"The Viral Hypothesis of Alzheimer's Disease: Time to put it to the test!" by Steven P. LaRosa, M.D.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) was estimated to affect 35.5 million people worldwide in 2010 and is expected to affect 115.4 million people by 2050. Approximately 10% of people over 65 are affected and 50% of population > 85 are affected. The currently approved drugs provide minimal benefit. The benefit of experimental drugs observed in Phase II clinical trials has been followed by resounding failures in adequately powered Phase III clinical trials. Even the results of the highly publicized Biogen study have significant questions associated with it. It is quite clear that a new strategy must be entertained and tested.
Four members of the Human Herpes Virus family have been associated with development of Alzheimer’s disease; HSV-1, VZV, HHV-6A, and HHV-7. HSV-1 is capable in vitro leading to the production the Beta amyloid protein found in senile plaques and phosphorylating tau protein seen in neurofibrillary tangles seen in Alzheimer’s, a phenomenon that can be blocked by co-incubating …

“The State of Sepsis and Alzheimer’s Disease Research: Birds of a Feather” by Steven P. LaRosa, M.D.

I have spent the greater part of 20 years as a clinical trialist is sepsis. Recently I have become interested as an Infectious Disease Physician in the viral disease of Alzheimer’s disease. What has amazed me is how similar the situation is in both fields. Both illnesses afflict affect millions worldwide with the annual incidence growing rapidly as the population ages. Despite improvements in background care, the one month mortality from sepsis remains high at 20%. There are no adjuvant agents FDA approved to reverse the organ dysfunction seen in sepsis. The prognosis in those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease is also poor, and currently FDA-approved therapies amount to what my colleague states as “giving the patient a cup of coffee”.
The history of clinical trials in the two disease entities is also remarkably similar. Thousands of patients and millions of dollars have been spent on clinical trials of experimental therapies. These two diseases are the “holy grails” or “Moby Dicks”…