Herpes Virus Can Lead To Alzheimer’s Disease, New Research Shows


More than 30 million people in the world have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease which is the most common form of dementia. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease, only treatments to ease the symptoms.

BBC wrote an article in which author Ruth Itzhaki brings up research that could lead to a way to treat the disease.

Herpes virus and Alzheimer’s 

There’s been strong evidence that the herpes virus is a cause of Alzheimer’s and this suggests that effective and safe antiviral drugs might be able to treat the disease.

The author says that we may even be able to vaccinate our kids against it.

The virus which is involved in Alzheimer’s disease herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1) is also known for causing cold sores.

It infects most people during their infancy and then it remains dormant in the peripheral nervous system and more than that occasionally if the person is stressed the virus activates and can cause cold sores.

“We discovered in 1991 that in many elderly people HSV1 is also present in the brain. And in 1997 we showed that it confers a strong risk of Alzheimer’s disease when present in the brain of people who have a specific gene known as APOE4,” BBC author notes.

It seems that the virus can become active in the brain even repeatedly and this can cause cumulative damage.

Risks for developing Alzheimer’s is higher for carriers of HSV1

It has also been proved that the likely hood of developing Alzheimer’s disease is 12 times higher for APOE4 carriers who have HSV1 in the brain than for people with neither factor present.

“HSV1 infection of cell cultures causes beta-amyloid and abnormal tau proteins to accumulate. An accumulation of these proteins in the brain is characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease,” BBC’s article continues and explains.

The conclusion is that HSV1 is a significant contributory factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease and it enters the brains of seniors because their immune system declines as they age.

You can read the complete article here.


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