Alzheimer's disease--a spirochetosis?

Neuroreport. 1993 Jul;4(7):841-8.


The aetiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD), which affects a large proportion of the aged population is unknown and the treatment unresolved. The role of beta amyloid protein (beta A4), derived from a larger amyloid precursor protein (APP) in AD is the subject of intense research. Here I report observations that in 14 autopsy cases with histopathologically confirmed AD, spirochetes were found in blood and cerebrospinal fluid and, moreover, could be isolated from brain tissue. Thirteen age-matched control cases were without spirochetes. Reference strains of spirochetes and those isolated from brains of AD patients, showed positive immunoreaction with monoclonal antibody against the beta amyloid precursor protein. These observations suggest that spirochetes may be one of the causes of AD and that they may be the source of the beta amyloid deposited in the AD brain.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Alzheimer Disease / immunology
  • Alzheimer Disease / microbiology*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / immunology
  • Brain / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Middle Aged
  • Silver Staining
  • Spirochaetales / immunology
  • Spirochaetales Infections / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Spirochaetales Infections / immunology
  • Spirochaetales Infections / microbiology*
  • Treponema pallidum / immunology


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal