Herpes linked to Alzheimer's: Antivirals may help

ScienceDaily | 7/12/2018 | Staff
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When the Taiwanese authors looked at subjects who suffered severe herpes infection and who were treated aggressively with antiviral drugs, the relative risk of dementia was reduced by a factor of 10.

Manchester's Professor Ruth Itzhaki and Edinburgh's Professor Richard Lathe say the paper, by Tzeng et al. and published in Neurotherapeutics in February 2018, also shows that herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1) leads to an increased risk of developing the disease.

Article - Others - Research - Groups - Taiwan

"This article and two others by different research groups in Taiwan provide the first population evidence for a causal link between herpes virus infection and Alzheimer's disease, a hugely important finding," said Professor Itzhaki.

They publish a commentary in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease on the three articles, arguing that they provide the strongest evidence yet for a causal link between herpes infection and Alzheimer's disease, backing 30 years of research by Professor Itzhaki.

Professor - Itzhaki - Implications - Data - Condition

Professor Itzhaki said: "I believe we are the first to realise the implications of these striking data on this devastating condition which principally affects the elderly. No effective treatments are yet available.

"Almost 30 million people worldwide suffer from it and sadly, this figure will rise as longevity increases.

Antivirals - Part - Disease - Patients

"But we believe that these safe and easily available antivirals may have a strong part to play in combating the disease in these patients.

"It also raises the future possibility of preventing the disease by vaccination against the virus in infancy.

Treatment - Drug - Vaccination - Microbe - Ways

"Successful treatment by a specific drug, or successful vaccination against the putative microbe, are the only ways to prove that a microbe is the cause of a non- infectious human disease."

Most Alzheimer's disease researchers investigate its main characteristics -- amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles; however, despite the vast amount of research, the causes of their formation are unknown.

HSV1 - Humans - Youth - Body

HSV1 infects most humans in youth or later and remains lifelong in the body...
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