Study: Glyphosate can cause Alzheimer’s disease

 A recent study has found that the herbicide glyphosate can possibly cause Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers from Arizona State University (ASU) looked at the effects of glyphosate exposure on the brains of mice and discovered that the herbicide can successfully cross the blood-brain barrier and infiltrate the brain.

Once it enters the brain, glyphosate can act to enhance levels of a critical factor known as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?). This molecule mainly serves as a pro-inflammatory cytokine that performs vital functions in the immune system. Dysregulated TNF-? levels, however, are linked to several neuroinflammatory diseases – including Alzheimer’s disease.

The ASU researchers also found in cell culture studies that glyphosate exposure promotes increased production of soluble beta-amyloid (A?) and reduces the viability of neurons. One of the diagnostic hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease in adults is the accumulation of soluble A?. This accumulation later leads to the formation of soluble A? plaques in the brain.

“We found increases in TNF-? in the brain following glyphosate exposure,” said senior study author Ramon Velazquez. “While we examined [Alzheimer’s disease] pathology, this might have implications for many neurodegenerative diseases – given that neuroinflammation is seen in a variety of brain disorders.” 

Study co-author and ASU graduate research assistant Joanna Winstone said: “The Alzheimer’s connection is that there’s a much higher prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in agricultural communities that are using this chemical. We’re trying to establish a more molecular-science-based link between the two.”

While the study’s findings in mice demonstrated a correlation between glyphosate exposure and classic symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, more work is needed before a causative link can be established. Thus, the researchers pointed out that glyphosate’s potential risks to brain health require critical evaluation – especially for those consistently exposed to the herbicide.

No exact underlying cause for Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease was first diagnosed more than a century ago by Alois Alzheimer, the German psychiatrist the condition was named after. It has perplexed many doctors as its underlying causes range from genetic factors, overall cardiovascular health, dietary influences and lifestyle choices.

The ASU study has added chemicals to the mix as glyphosate is commonly used as a herbicide across the globe. First manufactured by Monsanto, Bayer acquired the rights for the company and its flagship product glyphosate – sold under the brand name Roundup – in 2018.

A common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease starts its progress with a mild memory loss. However, as it develops, increasing confusion and a breakdown in communication abilities often result, as it attacks the brain’s pathways that are involved in processing language, memory and thought.

There are around 5.8 million Americans who are living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2020, but unlike heart disease or cancer, the death toll for this is on an upward trajectory. By 2040, the costs of the disease are projected to rise dramatically to between $379 billion and $500 billion annually. This staggering toll is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2050.

Despite vast investments in research and drug development, more studies are necessary as the illness remains without effective treatment. While a suite of therapies to address Alzheimer’s disease were already developed over the years, none have successfully alleviated the symptoms of the disease so far.

Study: Glyphosate can cause Alzheimer’s disease Study: Glyphosate can cause Alzheimer’s disease Reviewed by Your Destination on August 26, 2022 Rating: 5

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