The Herpes-Alzheimer’s Connection

A recently conducted meta-study, published in the journal Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience shows a relationship between the herpes virus HSV1 and Alzheimer’s disease.

Previous studies have noted that cold sores caused by the HSV1 virus are more prevalent among people who carry a gene variant called APOE-e4, which is also known to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.

The new study provides “striking evidence that people who have herpes viruses are at a much higher risk of developing senile dementia,” according to author Dr Ruth Itzhaki, from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.

Dr Itzhaki concluded that the HSV1 virus could account for 50% or more of all Alzheimer’s disease cases. In explaining the complex relationship that leads from the herpes virus to Alzheimer’s disease she stated:

“Our theory is that in APOE-e4 carriers, reactivation is more frequent or more harmful in HSV1-infected brain cells, which as a result accumulate damage that culminates in development of Alzheimer’s.”

It has been pointed out in more than 150 publications that there is a strong link between the HSV1 virus and Alzheimer’s. This new study adds both an explanation — and a potential treatment.

Antiviral medications targeted to herpes, which are known to be safe and well-tolerated, may prove useful as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The research suggests that the use of such medications might result in a dramatic decrease in the number of cases of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The good news for us is that although the the average age of the population is increasing quickly, new breakthroughs for the devastating diseases that plague the elderly population are being discovered quickly, as well. That should provide us with hope that many of the illnesses we are currently witnessing among the people we love will be curable within a few years. It is no longer far-fetched to imagine that Alzheimer’s disease and dementia will eventually become as rare as polio.

Until then, you can rely on Hamilton Grove Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Hamilton, NJ, to help your loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.

We have created a unique environment and care program specifically designed to address the needs of this population. Our Alzheimer’s Unit is situated in a separate, secure wing to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents. It offers a structured daily routine, mind-stimulating activities, excellent social interaction, with optimal patient independence in a calm and soothing atmosphere.

Read our reviews on,, and to hear what our residents and their families have to say.

Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 609-588-5800 or by clicking here.

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