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Herpes may cause Alzheimer's disease—Research

Herpes may cause Alzheimer's disease—ResearchFor Alzheimer's patients, antimicrobial trials may be a recourse hitherto largely unexplored.

As researchers seek a reliable treatment for Alzheimer's disease, an interesting link has emerged.

In an editorial published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, specialists from several top institutions urge researchers to focus on "one particular aspect of the disease [that] has been neglected."

According to these specialists, the link between the herpes virus, chlamydia and spirochaete bacteria, and dementia merits further investigation into what role these bacteria might play, if any, in the onset and progression of Alzheimer's.

"The first observations of HSV1 [herpes] in AD [Alzheimer's disease] brain were reported almost three decades ago," the editorial says. "The ever-increasing number of these studies ... warrants re-evaluation of the infection and AD concept."

Additionally, "Herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) produces damage in localized regions of the CNS [central nervous system] related to the limbic system, which are associated with memory, cognitive and affective processes, as well as personality (the same as those affected in AD)."

Read also: Cheese affects the brain the same way opioids do (VIDEO)

Although there is substantial evidence suggesting Alzheimer's and herpes are plausibly linked, "
the topic is often dismissed as ‘controversial,’" according to the specialists.

"AD causes great emotional and physical harm to sufferers and their carers, as well as having enormously damaging economic consequences," they explain. "Antiviral/antimicrobial treatment of AD patients ... could rectify the ‘no drug works’ impasse."

Source: US News
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