The herpes virus could be a cause of at least 50% of Alzheimer’s Disease cases. According to a recent paper published in the Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience journal, the same virus that causes cold sores could be linked to an increased risk of dementia.
The HSV1 (herpes simplex virus type 1) is very common and (unfortunately) remains permanently within the body. The virus can only be resolved by the body’s natural immune system or by anti-viral drugs (which can put its actions on hold).
There is evidence that in older individuals, the HSV1 may interfere with brain cell functioning and have harmful effects on cognition leading to dementia. An estimated 5.5 million American live with Alzheimer’s (2017). Approximately 5.3 million are age 65 and older and about 2000,000 individuals are under age 65. In a different perspective: One in 10 people ages 65 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia (10%).
There is good news. It is highly probable that the disease may be less likely if affected individuals with HSV1 were provided anti-viral treatment. Better yet, HSV1 could be prevented with early childhood (infant) vaccinations carried out in a subsequent series of future “booster” vaccinations.
Your doctor can perform a blood test to determine if you have HSV1. A topic worth discussing at your next checkup.