Summary: The herpes simplex virus 1, the virus responsible for cold sores, may account for 50% of Alzheimer’s disease cases. HSV1 causes protein deposits which are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. Findings also reveal antiviral treatments can help to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s in those with HSV1.
What causes Alzheimer’s disease? The answer could be right under our noses, says leading expert Professor Ruth Itzhaki. Her latest paper presents a lifetime of research evidence that the herpes virus responsible for cold sores can also cause Alzheimer’s – and new data which show antiviral drugs drastically reduce the risk of senile dementia in patients with severe herpes infections. The review in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience raises the tantalizing prospect of a simple, effective preventive treatment for one of humanity’s costliest disorders.