Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1) Linked To Increased Dementia Risk


  • A recent study conducted on a group of 70-year-olds in Sweden reveals that exposure to the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) may double the risk of developing dementia.
  • Approximately 80% of adults carry the HSV-1 antibody, and the study suggests that viral infections could be a potential contributor to cognitive decline.
  • While oral herpes typically manifests as inflammation and blisters around the mouth, the study suggests HSV-1 may have internal effects leading to dementia risk.
  • Epidemiologist Erika Vestin from Uppsala University emphasizes the need for randomized controlled trials to explore herpes treatment’s potential role in preventing or delaying dementia onset.

Viral Infections and Cognitive Decline: Exploring the Link to Dementia

As dementia’s root causes remain a highly investigated mystery, a study in Sweden suggests a potential link between the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and an increased risk of dementia. With 80% of adults carrying the HSV-1 antibody, common viral infections are emerging as potential contributors to cognitive decline. While Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, is often associated with abnormal protein clumps in the brain, the study sheds light on the internal effects of HSV-1 as a risk factor. The findings may pave the way for early-stage dementia treatment using anti-herpes virus drugs or preventive measures.

Call for Clinical Trials: Evaluating Herpes Treatment’s Impact on Dementia

Epidemiologist Erika Vestin and colleagues from Uppsala University advocate for randomized controlled trials to investigate the potential of herpes treatment in preventing or delaying dementia onset. The study highlights a growing body of evidence pointing to HSV-1 as a risk factor for dementia. While previous clinical trial applications on antivirals and dementia faced rejections from funding bodies, ongoing phase II trials studying the effect of a herpes treatment on Alzheimer’s may provide valuable insights. The results may drive dementia research toward early-stage treatment using common anti-herpes virus drugs.

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Source: Financial Express