Herpes Virus Increases Alzheimer’s Risk, but Antivirals May Be Effective Therapy, Review Study Reports

Herpes Virus Increases Alzheimer’s Risk, but Antivirals May Be Effective Therapy, Review Study Reports
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1) may be linked to Alzheimer’s development, and antiviral therapies lower the risk of senile dementia in patients with severe herpes infections, according to a review study. The research, “Corroboration of a Major Role for Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Alzheimer’s Disease,” appeared in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. Increasing evidence has supported the concept that HSV1, found in most people by age 70, is a major risk for Alzheimer’s development. This concept proposes that latent HSV1 in the brains of carriers of the type 4 allele of the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE-ε4) is reactivated intermittently by events such as immunosuppression, peripheral infection, and inflammation. The consequent damage accumulates and eventually results in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. "HSV1 could account for 50% or more of Alzheimer's disease cases," Ruth Itzhaki, the review’s author from the University of Oxford, in the U.K., said in a press release. This hypothesis was based on scientific findings that viral HSV1 DNA was detectable in the brains of both Alzheimer's patients and healthy, asymptomatic elderly people. The difference, however, was that patients were APOE-e4 carriers, suggesting either greater viral damage or poorer repair. Accumulated damag
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2 comments

  1. Gary Richards says:

    I’ve wondered about the connection to a virus like HSV1 that stays in your system forever. Wouldn’t it now be prudent to develop a vaccine as we have done for HPV

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