“Viral Relicts” in the Genome Could Fuel Neurodegeneration

Genetic remnants of viruses that are naturally present in the human genome could affect the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers at DZNE come to this conclusion on the basis of studies on cell cultures. They reported their results on August 18, 2023 in the journal Nature Communications. In their view, such “endogenous retroviruses” could contribute to the spread of aberrant protein aggregates--hallmarks of certain dementias--in the brain. Thus, these viral relicts would be potential targets for therapies. The open-access article is titledReactivated Endogenous Retroviruses Promote Protein Aggregate Spreading.”
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