Can Fungus Cause Alzheimer’s?

A Spanish research team recently conducted a study that provides compelling evidence that Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by a fungal infection.Can Fungus Cause Alzheimer's?

Learn more about the research, its conclusions and implications for future Alzheimer’s studies.

Fungus Found in Brains of People with Alzheimer’s

A Spanish research team conducted a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, suggesting that an infectious microbe may cause Alzheimer’s. Researchers analyzed the blood vessels and brain tissues of 11 deceased people that died with the disease. They found “several fungal species” in all of the deceased but no evidence of fungus in the 10 Alzheimer’s-free people they examined.

While the study is not conclusive, researchers are encouraged by the study stating:

“The possibility that Alzheimer’s is a fungal disease, or that fungal infection is a risk factor for the disease, opens new perspectives for effective therapy for these patients.”

Can Fungus Cause Alzheimer’s? A Question of Causation

Currently, most researchers believe that Alzheimer’s is caused by brain plaques built up by toxic proteins, but drug trials targeting these plaques have been largely unsuccessful, leaving some to question the relationship.

Researchers believe that the finding of several different fungal species could explain “the diversity observed in the evolution and severity of clinical symptoms in each Alzheimer’s patient.” Additionally, a fungal cause would explain the slow progression of the disease and the inflammation caused by Alzheimer’s, which is a natural response to fungi.

However, it is not clear if the fungal infection is the cause of the disease or if it is a result of living with Alzheimer’s. People with Alzheimer’s typically have a weaker immune system which could leave them at an increased risk for a fungal infection.

Researchers were cautious to note that more studies need to be done, stating, “It is evident that clinical trials will be necessary to establish a causal effect of fungal infection of Alzheimer’s. There are at present a number of highly effective antifungal compounds with little toxicity. A combined effort from the pharmaceutical industry and clinicians is needed to design clinical trials to test the possibility that the disease is caused by fungal infection.”

What do you think about the correlation between cognitive decline and fungal infection? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. 

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Please leave your thoughts and comments

  • Linda

    Joe had a fungus infection for years and always tried to get Drs to take it seriously but no one would . Now he has Alzheimer’s . Many members of his family live a long time but no one had Alzheimer’s. Has anyone else had this experience
    ?

    • Fudge4u

      My Dad had a fungal infection forever, too; on his hands and feet. His fingernails were all cracked and funky.

    • David

      Hi Linda, You are not alone. For years I have been trying to get recognition from the ‘National Health service.’ I now call them the ‘National Death Service’ because it is more fitting. Doctors and staff are brainwashed and restricted by the government in order to avoid paying costly lawsuits for negligence and misdiagnosis. Consequently they avoid anything they don’t understand like the plague. There is no doubt in my mind that Alzheimer’s/dementia is caused by fungi. I have suffered since a little boy with involuntary muscle movements which of late has become severe. I have a 62 year history which is far too detailed to go into here. Five of my relatives have died of Alzeimers/dementia and now my mother whom I nurse will make six. My father suffered for years and died two years ago. The symptoms are hard to spot at first but after a substantial amount of time the picture starts to unfold. Basically, I have narrowed it down to three main symptoms although there are numerous side symptoms according to the area of the body affected.

      1) Thick sticky mucous discharge often mistaken for catarrh 2) Inflammation 3) Muscle tension

      When the larynx is infected the patient will experience a scratchy tickle in the throat and there will be inflammation. This will be diagnosed as reflux acid when it isn’t and antacid pills will be prescribed. The patient will take these for years not realising that they are not doing any good.

      Only a singer will notice the muscle tension because they will start to have problems with their voice. ENT will not know what it is and at best will diagnose Dysphonia. A non singer will not even notice, other than possibly some hoarseness, but eventually this will escalate into Dysphagia leading to death by choking and inability to swallow food.

      The peristalsis will not squeeze properly and the patient cannot get their food down. Indigestion problems will occur. This gets completely ignored.

      If the infection gets into the stomach it will cause stomach bloating and irritable bowel syndrome.

      Short term memory starts to go and then the fatigue hits. Patients find it extremely difficult to function because they feel so tired and exhausted.

      Light headedness, pain at the base of skull, migraines and numerous other niggling problems can occur.

      I have been researching this for ten years and there is nothing really to speak of that categorically recognises this problem but because of a long family history and the fact that I am suffering with it myself I have managed to piece together what is going on.

      My conclusions are this:- It is a fungal infection that transmits on the mucosa. It is infectious and can be passed on with intimate oral contact. I believe that it gets into the blood stream via the lungs but I cannot be sure of this. A woman can contract it in the vagina and it can lead to fibroids if not caught in time on a smear test. Mouth to mouth it seems that a potential victim of the infection is more susceptible if they have a viral infection probably because the mucosa is producing excess mucous. I believe that under normal circumstances the disease is not transmitted that easily, otherwise we would be reaching epidemic proportions by now.

      Another symptom is a cracking in the ear and the head feeling like it has a flu infection in one side and the head and ears go strange like you are in a very echoey cavern. Often diagnosed as tinnitus. You might experience a change in pressure periodically and a sine wave which will disappear after a few seconds.

      The fungal infection will cause minor aches and pains in the back of the lungs area but will not really be noticeable as anything serious. Shortness of breath can be a symptom and might be diagnosed as mild asthma but the test will not be conclusive. A pain might occur in centre of the chest and will be diagnosed as suspected angina but it isn’t.

      Flu like body aches or aches in bones can be a symptom and also I believe it causes arthritis in some joints.

      Sore patches in the nose diagnosed as rhinitis is another symptom I have encountered.

      Many doctors diagnosis’ is nothing more than an educated guess or assumption. They are often wrong. Tests will be negative so they will give it their best guess.

      So how to fight back? This is what I have had to do and so far I have kept my sanity, almost restored my singing voice and can actually function again with the aid of drugs diet and supplements.

      1) No yeast or sugar and especially no alcohol. This is a hard adjustment but vital. Read up on Candida diets for information. We are not dealing with a candida infection but all fungi are fed by sugar and yeast. Alcohol converts to sugar in your body. This can cause havoc as the infection progresses.

      2) Fluconazole will clear the head and give some relief but you are looking at dosages of at least 200mg per day and you will have to source the drug because no doctor will prescribe it without proof of the infection which you will never get. The body can build up a resistence to the drug.
      The drug will produce a reaction within approx. 90 minutes and the patient will experience a clearing effect in the head and some relief providing they are not too far advanced. If they are already incoherent then there is no way to tell what they feel if they cannot communicate.

      3) Itraconazole will have a drastic impact on the infection but taken at maximum dose 200mg every 12 hours. I could only stand the dose for 5 weeks maximum and then had to half it and eventually stop to give my body a rest. It drastically regressed the dystonia muscle spasms to virtually non existent and released the tension in my voice almost restoring my vocal ability to 100%. It seems that resuming the dosage after a rest works well and continues to regress the infection. Maximum length of time on this drug is 8 months. Blood monitoring should be performed but you can get a GP to do this. The drug is not safe for patients with liver problems and the same goes for Fluconazole or any antifungal drug. Having said all this I have been taking these drugs now for six years. I hate doing it but it works so there is no choice and it is my body and my decision.

      4) I have found that 1,274mg of capryllic acid 2 tablets three times a day works almost as well as fluconazole and even dries up the mucous in the throat to a large extent. This is a harmless supplement and better than taking drugs but in my case it isn’t enough without the drugs.

      So far I have not found a cure but at least these things do regress the infection and hold things at bay. I believe that without them I would now be a vegetable.
      I have had to take all of these things entirely at my own risk and you should understand that we are in uncharted territory here so everything will be at your own risk. If you do take anything I have said on board you have to do it at your own risk and feel your own way, as it were, because there is no cure as yet and no health professional will listen to you.
      If you persist and put pressure on doctors then there favourite diagnosis is that you have psychiatric issues. Be careful, because a Psychiatrist will always look for an answer from your symptoms. He will assume that there is nothing medically wrong with the patient other wise the doctor would have dealt with it and therefore it must be in the mind.

      I would advise that you read up on candida to understand the nature of fungal infections and then I would suggest considering the capryllic acid at the dosages I have recommended to see if there is any result. It won’t regress the infection but it will help alleviate some of the awful heavy feelings that a patient experiences.
      I would also advise that you get power of attorney over your father’s health if he is still mentally sound enough to sign the documents, otherwise anything that you do regarding your father’s health will place you legally at risk of being responsible for any consequences that might occur.

      I am not a doctor am merely a victim of this disease so everything I have disclosed is personal experience.
      I hope that this will help or at least give some insight into this terrible disease. I am quite certain that if the health organisations really tried they would find a cure quite easily but sadly nothing ever gets done unless we are dealing with an epidemic life threatening situation that would affect the country’s economic standing.

      Good Luck!

      David.

      • Nostents4me

        Very Interesting, David. Have you tried to remove Mercury also ? Reason is that fungus thrive with Mercury and does not do very well without it, and mercury can also damage our immune defenses. But sulfur and mercury is like fly to fly paper meaning that sulfur rich OTC. compounds like MSM can remove Mercury (and also aluminium). The hypothesis is: years of mercury intake -> gradually more fungus can flourish, quicker with high sugar diets, which then results in brain disorders/dementia/Alzhiemer’s . My wife has Crohn’s disease and a good friend saw an article about studies that implied fungus from which the link with mercury came, and then hopefully MSM to remove the whole 3 storey building!
        This article below claimed 4 times more mercury in Alzheimer’s brains than in normal brains. http://customers.hbci.com/~wenonah/hydro/amalgam.htm , plus lots of more information tying mercury to dementia, also in young people that also most interestingly in cases recovered after mercury detox! Combined with the study above in this article it implies that mercury likely is a very important co-factor enabling fungus to grow and cause brain deterioration, but we do not know how interaction takes place and mercury may still have also other prominent roles.

        • David

          Thanks for that information. I was aware that mercury can cause problems but I was not aware of the extent of leakage from amalgam fillings. I have had a lot of fillings replaced because of this but there are still some present. After reading the article from the link you provided I think I should try and get the rest removed as soon as I can. It will be interesting to see if the infection subsides. Currently I feel that I have gone as far as I can go with medications. Fluconazole works well on the brain but itraconazole seems to work much better on the chest areas. Now I am alternating the drug weekly which seems to have a good effect. The logic is that if fluconazole clears the brain but not the mucosa then unless I address that specifically the infection will just spread back to the brain. Of course, Luis Carrasco’s team in Madrid have found more than one strain of fungi so there is also the possibility of resistance to the drugs and it may be necessary to develop a drug specifically for the strains of fungi involved. One of the Strains is Glabrata which has a resistance to fluconazole in 15% of patients. The others I don’t know about yet but this is another reason for using Itraconazole as well. Well…… every little bit helps! Thanks again for the interesting information.

      • Rosa&Jordi

        Hi David! Thank you for sharing this with us. We really appreciate it. We are a small group of families from Spain, that have relatives with Alzheimer’s disease. We also think that fungi are the cause or have an important role in the course of the disease. Therefore, we are giving our ill relatives fluconazole, 400mgr. every day. We would like to contact you.
        Our email is: fungalzheimer@mail.com

        • David

          Hi Rosa&Jordi,
          I have emailed you with my contact address today so if you don’t get it let me know on here otherwise no doubt you will email me. I hope the drug is helping them but there are things you should know about the effects of the drug particularly if the patient is unable to communicate their feelings to you. It would be interesting to know if your relatives have had any relief using this drug. Currently my train of thought is:- Fluconazole may relieve the brain infection quite well but if the main infection comes from the mucosa and that isn’t cleared then it will just spread back to the brain anyway. Currently I am alternating between fluconazole and Itraconazole weekly because you cannot take the drugs together. Really, I suppose it depends on symptoms in each individual case.

  • Galafrey

    The sample size is just to small to get excited about. Supports the notion of doing more work, but that is all. Other infections are also being linked. Sad that the research cannot be made a higher priority and pursued with a broader mindset. Too much time has been spent barking up the wrong tree, and it has been too difficult to get funding for alternative hypotheses.

  • Kathy

    I can’t imagine having this information and the treatment being widely available and not trying it if could find a practitioner willing to do it. It’s not like it is hard to do.

  • Kerry Morton

    I am 48 and 5 years ago after being treated with 6 courses of antibiotics in 1 year I developed debilitating symptoms. Along with physical illness I had an acute mental illness that I can only describe as like alzeimers (mild form). At worst I couldn’t read, had short term memory loss, struggled with general day to day tasks. At best I had short term memory loss. Due to the acute onset of my symptoms and physical inabilities that were progressively getting worse but in a wave like fashion I thought it was down to the antibiotic treatment and still 5 years feel this may have affected my immune system. The mental symptoms of alzheimers came after physical problems; ear pain, bone pain, lymph pain. My white cell count was slightly raised, my temperature was slightly raised. My partner tried to help and on my good days I searched the Internet for answers. One day I read an article that my symptoms could be due to fungus, I went to the pharmacy and bought 2x150mg fluconazole; my ear pain subsided 2 days after taking it. It might be a coincidence but I was in a situation that no one could help me. I went to my GP and asked if I could have some fluconazole; I got 1 months supply. The effects were amazing I felt better about 2 days after taking them, but not 100% about 80%, this was from about 10%. 2 days after stopping the fluconazole I went down hill and felt shocking all the symptoms came back. Of I went back to the GP for more fluconazole, they were reluctant to give me anything. I was desperate I would have done anything at that point to get fluconazole. I went off to infectious diseases and handed a sheet of paper in with my history. He tested me for everything, my cd 4/8 was slightly raised and although they acted like I was mad when I said it was fungal they suggested that I had 6 months of antifungals. In total I had 10 months and in that time I switched my interest on herbal antifungal treatment. From the offset I still had my ups and downs and stopped the fluconazole after 10 months and carried on with the herbal medicine. I truly believe that my dementia symptoms were due fungus, but a cohort of 1 isn’t good, but an easy thing to research. Not only did my dementia symptoms improve, my palpitations disappeared, the dry skin on my feet improved, the plaque on my teeth improved, I do not suffer viruses like I used to. I do not get migraines anymore, I do not get menorrhagia anymore. I don’t get hangovers like before. I do not have any lethargy, mental illness or debilitating condition I live a perfect fit life now but still take herbal antifungals; like I said before I do not know if I have an underlying immune problem that caused the overgrowth of fungus or whether it was the fungus that caused the immune problem. Studies need to be done in this area; does your immune system have to be reduced to have a fungal overgrowth? People seem to say this, but where is the research? Do antifungals long term improve alzheimers, dementia, parkinsonism and various other chronic westernised illnesses. There’s the hypothesis, please somebody start the research not for me, I am OK!

  • Petey Manx Cat

    Could the fungus be linked to sugar and refined carbs in the patients diet?

  • thaddeusbuttmunchmd

    Diflucan should at Least be tried. Low Dose Lithium (Which is Not Ant-fungal) may have Great promise in preventing Dementia and treating Minor Cognitive Impairment. Bipolar patients who are on Lithium have a 5% incidence of Dementia whereas Bipolar over 65 have a 33%(!!) Incidence (those without Bipolar have a 16% incidence of Dementia-it rises after age 80.) Granted-given that those with Bipolar have so much higher incidence, perhaps there is a different mechanism a work. They also take about 1200mg/day….which can be Lethal. But, 20mg/day (which is very safe) of Lithium Orotate is a worthwhile supplement. I take it myself. I have NO Affiliation with any Lithium company.

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