On Thursday, a group of scientists published an editorial in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease that linked the disease to herpes and other viruses. A team of 31 clinicians and researchers wrote the piece, saying there was "incontrovertible evidence" that dormant, microbial factors are linked to the disease. The scientists specifically cited the herpes virus, chlamydia bacteria, and spirochaete bacteria as potential causes. As reported by The Telegraph, the herpes virus affects the central nervous and limbic systems. Damage to these is associated with mental decline and personality changes.
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According to the authors, such viruses and bacteria can be common among elderly people and suggested antimicrobial medication may help slow the progression of dementia. The authors also argue that a specific gene mutation may play a role in all of this. Specifically, APOEe4 makes a person more prone to infection disease and increases their risk of Alzheimer's by 20 percent. While there is still no cure for Alzheimer's, these scientists are hoping this information will drive better treatment methods.
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</p><p>(Photo: <em>Herpes labialis </em>credit: <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Herpes_labialis.jpg" target="_blank">Metju12</a>)</p>