Breaking News
November 17, 2018 - FDA announces new actions to limit sale of e-cigarettes to youth
November 17, 2018 - Warmer winter temperatures related to higher crime rates
November 17, 2018 - MCO places increasing emphasis on helping people find and access healthy food
November 17, 2018 - Group of students aim to improve malaria diagnosis using old smartphones
November 17, 2018 - Transplantation of feces may protect preterm children from deadly bowel disease
November 17, 2018 - Researchers explore whether low-gluten diets can be recommended for people without allergies
November 17, 2018 - New and better marker for assessing patients after cardiac arrest
November 17, 2018 - For 7-year-old with failing bone marrow, a life-saving transplant | News Center
November 17, 2018 - New first-line treatment for peripheral T-cell lymphoma approved by FDA
November 17, 2018 - Artificial intelligence could be valuable tool to help young victims disclose traumatic testimony
November 17, 2018 - Breakthrough in the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome
November 16, 2018 - FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for the Treatment of Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) Who Have Been Previously Treated with Sorafenib
November 16, 2018 - Eagle Books | Native Diabetes Wellness Program
November 16, 2018 - Patients with common heart failure more likely to have lethal heart rhythms
November 16, 2018 - How AI could help veterinarians code their notes | News Center
November 16, 2018 - Bias-based bullying does more harm to students than generalized bullying
November 16, 2018 - Researchers find first direct evidence that cerebellum plays role in cognitive functions
November 16, 2018 - Non-coding genetic variant plays key role in endothelial function and disease incidence
November 16, 2018 - EMA recommends first all-oral treatment to tackle deadly sleeping sickness
November 16, 2018 - Drug used to treat dizziness may slow down growth of triple-negative breast cancer
November 16, 2018 - AHA: Icosapent Ethyl Cuts CV Risk From Elevated Triglycerides
November 16, 2018 - ‘Orphan’ RNAs make cancer deadlier, but potentially easier to diagnose
November 16, 2018 - Air Cube touches down at hospital | News Center
November 16, 2018 - CRISPR-based tool shown to enhance cell-based immunotherapy
November 16, 2018 - Mechanisms that govern HIV latency differ in the gut and blood, finds study
November 16, 2018 - Researchers unravel mystery of NPM1 protein in acute myeloid leukemia
November 16, 2018 - High school students less likely to select milk, fruit for lunch when fruit juice is available
November 16, 2018 - Football coaches with great emotional competence are more successful
November 16, 2018 - Researchers awarded $10 million grant to address root causes of asthma in Puerto Rico
November 16, 2018 - Health Tip: Manage Morning Sickness
November 16, 2018 - Immunotherapy combination and chemotherapy show encouraging results in Phase II acute myeloid leukemia study
November 16, 2018 - ACC Latin America Conference brings experts to discuss latest cardiovascular science
November 16, 2018 - Pooled analysis of Intersect ENT’s steroid releasing implants in patients after frontal sinus surgery to be published
November 16, 2018 - Expectations about pain intensity can become self-fulfilling prophecies
November 16, 2018 - NIH awards $3.4 million to UC researchers to study gastrointestinal lymphatic system
November 16, 2018 - Highlighting Advances in Bioengineering and Analytical Technologies with eBooks
November 16, 2018 - Scientist Dr David Taylor of MR Solutions is a finalist in the BMW i UK Tech Founder Awards
November 16, 2018 - Earlier treatment could help reverse autistic-like behavior in tuberous sclerosis
November 16, 2018 - Sucking your baby’s pacifier could improve their health
November 16, 2018 - Vegetables and salad may include bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics
November 16, 2018 - Autism linked to prolonged connection between brain regions
November 16, 2018 - Endocrine Society chooses four Diabetes Caucus leaders as winners of Diabetes Champion Award
November 16, 2018 - Brain and muscle cells found within kidney organoids
November 16, 2018 - Person’s sex hormones may play key role in trauma survival, finds study
November 16, 2018 - PTEN Genetic Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 16, 2018 - Toxic metal pollution linked with development of autism spectrum disorder
November 16, 2018 - Calcified nodules in the retina increase risk for progression to late stages of AMD
November 16, 2018 - ZEISS teams up with arivis AG to offer complete 3D imaging solutions
November 16, 2018 - Georgia State professor receives $1.2 million grant to study how the brain controls eating behavior
November 16, 2018 - Specific bacterial toxins reduce number of cells suppressing immune response
November 16, 2018 - Review by ID physician improves outcomes for outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy
November 16, 2018 - Conditions that produce signs similar to arthritis
November 16, 2018 - New artificial intelligence-based method predicts treatment effectiveness
November 16, 2018 - AHA: Dapagliflozin Noninferior to Placebo for MACE in T2DM
November 16, 2018 - Surgery remains best treatment for appendicitis, Stanford study finds
November 16, 2018 - Non-surgical fistula creation system Ellipsys becomes key focus of attention at CiDA
November 16, 2018 - Researchers find no link between ‘allergy friendly’ dogs and lower risk of asthma
November 16, 2018 - Researchers elucidate new rules of connectivity of neurons in the neocortex
November 16, 2018 - Treating children with ‘bubble baby disease’
November 16, 2018 - Nexus announces availability of Arsenic Trioxide Injection in the US
November 16, 2018 - Researchers find metabolite shuttle between cells in the liver that may combat tissue fibrosis
November 16, 2018 - AHA: PTSD Common Among Those Who Suffer Tear in the Aorta’s Wall
November 16, 2018 - Many RA patients’ pain related to central nervous system
November 16, 2018 - Changes in Himalayan gut microbiomes linked to diet
November 16, 2018 - Inhibition of prostaglandin E2 enhances ability to combat infectious colitis
November 16, 2018 - Chronic dry eye can slow reading rate and disrupt day to day tasks
November 16, 2018 - Researchers develop new drug molecule that inhibits inflammation
November 16, 2018 - Dementia symptoms peak in winter and spring, study finds
November 16, 2018 - Stanford tobacco researcher weighs in on JUUL
November 16, 2018 - Increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake during pregnancy reduces risk of premature birth, review finds
November 16, 2018 - Researchers find no link between infants waking up at night and later developmental problems
November 16, 2018 - Both parents and children agree about confidential medical services
November 16, 2018 - FDA warns against use of unapproved pain medications with implanted pumps
November 16, 2018 - Precision medicine-based approach to slow or reverse biologic drivers of Alzheimer’s disease
November 16, 2018 - Study provides new insight into norovirus outbreaks, may help guide efforts to develop vaccines
November 16, 2018 - Inexpensive, portable air purifier could help protect the heart from pollution
November 16, 2018 - New 15-minute scan could help diagnose brain damage in babies up to two years old
November 16, 2018 - Deep brain stimulation not effective for treating early Alzheimer’s
November 16, 2018 - Traditional chemotherapy superior to new alternative for oropharyngeal cancers | News Center
November 16, 2018 - What This Pond Protist Does With Its Genome Will Astound You
Could we prevent Alzheimer’s disease by treating herpes?

Could we prevent Alzheimer’s disease by treating herpes?

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

An exciting new review paper by Professor Ruth Frances Itzhaki suggests that over half of all cases of Alzheimer’s disease could be traced back to Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV1) ; the virus responsible for cold sores and genital herpes.

HerpesvirusImage Credit: Lightspring / Shutterstock

Importantly, the research suggests that the use of antivirals to treat severe herpes virus infection could reduce the risk of senile dementia.

The review, which traces Dr. Itzhaki’s lifetime of work on the causation of Alzheimer’s disease, was recently published in the journal, Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience.

If confirmed, this groundbreaking work points to an inexpensive and effective means of preventing Alzheimer’s disease, which is one of the most costly medical conditions in the world.

HSV1 underlies Alzheimer’s disease

Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) is notorious for its tendency to remain dormant in a patient’s neurons and immune system.

The infection is reactivated under conditions of weakened immunity or stress. This results in the reappearance of cold sores. Most older adults show the presence of antibodies against HSV1.

In older studies, Itzhaki had shown that cold sores are more common in patients who carry the gene variant APOE-ε4, which is also associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

She theorizes that Apolipoprotein E-ε4 (ApoE-ε4), which has been strongly linked to Alzheimer’s disease, predisposes the patient to more frequent or damaging reactivations of HSV1 in the neurons of the brain. This causes harmful changes within the neurons to accumulate, resulting in Alzheimer’s disease.

Proving the link

In most countries there simply isn’t enough population data to put the HSV1 theory to the test, since information on the reduction of dementia risk in individuals treated with antivirals, for instance, is not typically collected.

Taiwanese scientists have succeeded in accumulating this type of data, however.

The National Health Insurance Research Database has over 99.9% of the population on its rolls, and data mining of this vast repository is underway in multiple areas to explore contagious diseases and other conditions.

As a result, 2017-18 witnessed the publication of three separate reports on the Taiwanese data relating to the occurrence of senile dementia, caused mainly by Alzheimer’s disease, as well as on the treatment of patients who have frank HSV or VZV (varicella-zoster virus, chickenpox virus) infection.

The striking results include evidence that the risk of senile dementia is much greater in those who are infected with HSV, and that anti-herpes antiviral treatment causes a dramatic decrease in the number of those subjects severely affected by HSV1 who later develop dementia.”

How does this work? Itzhaki and her colleagues already demonstrated that HSV1 infection led to the characteristic neuronal plaques and neurofibrillary tangles of Alzheimer’s disease, which supports the epidemiological findings.

This was proven by the presence of viral DNA within amyloid plaques in brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease at postmortem.

In addition, in cell cultures infected with HSV1, both amyloid plaques and tau tangles accumulate, but this can be inhibited by the use of antivirals.

Preventing Alzheimer’s disease

Dr. Itzhaki stresses that the Taiwanese data apply only to severe infections with HSV1 or VZV, which are atypical.

To strengthen their findings, detailed epidemiological data on dementia would need to be drawn from people with mild HSV1 infection (both cold sores and genital herpes). This data is difficult to find, however, with barely any records.

The focus of future research will be to verify the observation that HSV1 infection is causally related to Alzheimer’s disease and to define the nature of this link.

However, Itzhaki is already looking forward to the exciting prospect of being able to treat this widespread and often disabling condition with antiviral drugs directed against HSV1.

Taking inspiration from the global use of human papillomavirus (HPV) immunization to protect against cervical cancer, the research team is hopeful that uncovering this virus-disease link will lead to the effective treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, by a vaccine against HSV1, for instance.

Considering that over 150 publications strongly support an HSV1 role in Alzheimer’s, these Taiwan fndings greatly justify usage of antiherpes antivirals – which are safe and well-tolerated – to treat Alzheimer’s disease. They also incentivize development of an HSV1 vaccine, which would likely be the most effective treatment.”

Source:

This news story is based on a press release by the journal, Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience, and the review itself, entitled “Corroboration of a Major Role for Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Alzheimer’s Disease” which was published today.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles