There has now been more progress made in this field of research. Harvard professors Rudolph Tanzi and Robert Moir have discovered that amyloid is an anti-microbial protein in the body, part of the immune system's natural defence against invading microbes.
They exposed cultured human nerve cells and lab animals to various infections and found that the amyloid had a protective role.
This might explain why decades of research into anti-amyloid thera pies have not worked - the theory that amyloid is the cause of the dementia may be far too simplistic.
Recently 33 scientists from around the world published jointly in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease to express their dismay at the lack of recognition for recent breakthroughs in the links between infection and Alzheimer's.
Borrelia bacteria coated with beta-amyloid have already been found in Alzheimer hippocampal plaques at autopsy. If it turns out that this is at the root of most LOAD (Late-onset Alzheimer's Disease), that will be wonderful news as it could open the door to effective therapies for millions.
This is a very exciting field of research - I truly hope that the funding bodies will catch on and give it the attention it deserves. A reflex disbelief that bacteria could cause peptic ulcers years ago led to millions of people suffering (and often dying) needlessly.
Today it is universally understood and accepted that the bacteria Helicobacter pylori causes ulcers and gastric carcinoma, and many many lives have been saved as a result.