Traces of fungus have been discovered in the brains of Alzheimer’s sufferers, researchers said, relaunching the question: might the disease be caused by an infectious microbe?

There is no conclusive evidence, but if the answer turns out to be “yes”, it means Alzheimer’s disease may be targeted with antifungal treatment, a Spanish team reported in the journal Scientific Reports. The five-member team had found cells and other material from “several fungal species” in the brain tissue and blood vessels of all 11 deceased Alzheimer’s patients analysed, but not in ten Alzheimer’s-free controls.

The findings are published just a month after scientists warned in the sister journal Nature of a risk of accidental surgical transmission of Alzheimer’s “seeds” from one person to another.

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