News

Dementia: Alzheimer's disease caused by herpes viruses? Antiviral therapy could help


Can herpes remedies protect people from Alzheimer's?

The latest study results could revolutionize Alzheimer's treatment. The herpes simplex virus seems to play a crucial role in disease and herpes remedies reduce the risk of dementia.

In their current study, scientists from the University of Manchester and the University of Edinburgh found that there is strong evidence that viruses are involved in Alzheimer's disease. Herpes remedies could be used to treat Alzheimer's. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Journal of Alzheimer's Disease".

Treatment with herpes remedies significantly reduces the risk

Post-mortem analyzes of brain tissue showed that people who lived with this form of dementia had more type 6 and type 7 herpes viruses compared to people without Alzheimer's, the researchers report. This could show a connection between herpes and dementia, the experts continue. In fact, three other studies have also suggested such a relationship. These suggested that shingles (herpes zoster infection) can lead to a higher risk of dementia. Another study also found that aggressive treatment with herpes remedies can significantly reduce the risk of dementia.

The investigation had over 33,000 participants

The current study examined 8,362 people aged at least 50 years. The participants had previously been diagnosed with a herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection. In addition, a control group of 25,086 healthy people was examined. The two groups were medically observed for almost a decade between 2001 and 2010. In the group with people with herpes, the risk of dementia was over 2.5 times higher than in the control group, the study authors explain. Significantly, the study also showed that aggressive antiviral treatment reduced the relative risk of dementia ten-fold.

Long-term damage to the brain can be avoided

Noteworthy is not only the extent of the antiviral effects, but also the fact that despite the relatively short duration and timing of treatment, most of the severely affected patients with HSV1 prevented long-term brain damage that could lead to Alzheimer's, the explains Study author Professor Richard Lathe from the University of Edinburgh.

Can childhood vaccination prevent Alzheimer's?

Safe and readily available antiviral drugs could play an important role in fighting the disease. Perhaps in the future it will even be possible to prevent Alzheimer's by vaccinating against the virus in childhood, says study author Professor Ruth Itzhaki from the University of Manchester. Successful treatment with a particular drug or vaccination is the only way to prove that viruses are the cause of the non-infectious human disease, the expert added. (as)

Author and source information


Video: We Might Be Totally Wrong About Alzheimers (August 2020).