More and more studies show that herpes virus is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease

Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana

Elhuyar Zientzia

They confirm the relationship between common herpes virus and alzheimer's disease. In addition, a treatment pathway is proposed.

In recent years, various research has shown that there is a relationship between herpes and alzheimer's disease. However, as it is such a common virus (the same one that produces cold sores, HSV1), scientists have taken caution and wanted to investigate in depth this relationship to clarify the possible rear mechanism. And it seems that, in addition to knowing better and better, possible ways of treatment are being proposed.

This is what the researcher Ruth Itzhaki of the University of Oxford has done. In the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, the results obtained in this line of research have been reviewed and conclusions have been drawn. In the article’s title it confirms that the HSV1 virus is one of the main risk factors for Alzheimer’s (Corroboration of a Major Role for Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Alzheimer’s Disease) and explains that it is related to a gene: Apolproteprotein E gene (APOE-).

Herpes is a virus that we almost all have (even in lethargy), but those who have this gene have much more serious effects when the infection is activated, even in the brain. Furthermore, studies have suggested that hsv1 is one of the agents causing the accumulation of < -amyloids and plaques. Thus, in people with the gene and virus in the brain, the risk of developing alzheimer's is 12 times higher than in people who do not have either one or the other.

In view of all this, the researcher proposes that antiviral drugs can be effective in treating Alzheimer's disease. In fact, an article published in 2011 explained that a drug used to treat herpes, aciklobir, prevents duplicating the DNA of the HSV1 virus and reduces the accumulation of beta-amyloids in cell cultures. Now, in April 2018, in Taiwan, the first large-scale study (with 33,500 people) has been conducted, with hopeful results concluding that treatment against herpes reduces the risk of developing alzheimer's disease.

Therefore, although the case-effect relationship is not yet clear, they are clear that it exists and that to some extent it can lead to treatment.

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