Alzheimer’s risk 10 times lower with herpes medication

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A new commentary by scientists at the Universities of Manchester and Edinburgh on a study by Taiwanese epidemiologists supports the viability of a potential way to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

When the Taiwanese authors looked at subjects who suffered severe herpes infection and who were treated aggressively with antiviral drugs, the relative risk of dementia was reduced by a factor of 10.

“This article and two others by different research groups in Taiwan provide the first population evidence for a causal link between herpes virus infection and Alzheimer’s disease, a hugely important finding,” said Professor Ruth Itzhaki from the University of Manchester.

“These safe and easily available antivirals may have a strong part to play in combating the disease,” she said.

“It also raises the future possibility of preventing the disease by vaccination against the virus in infancy.

“Successful treatment by a specific drug, or successful vaccination against the putative microbe, are the only ways to prove that a microbe is the cause of a non-infectious human disease.”

Most Alzheimer’s disease researchers investigate its main characteristics – amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles; however, despite the vast amount of research, the causes of their formation are unknown.

The herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), which has been found to lead to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, infects most humans in youth or later, and remains lifelong in the body in dormant form.

From time to time, the virus becomes activated and, in some people, it then causes visible damage in the form of cold sores.

The Taiwanese study identified 8362 subjects aged 50 or more during the period January to December 2000 who were newly diagnosed with severe HSV infection.

The study group was compared to a control group of 25,086 people with no evidence of HSV infection.

The authors then monitored the development of dementia in these individuals over a follow-up period of 10 years between 2001 and 2010.

The risk of developing dementia in the HSV group was increased by a factor of 2.542. But, when the authors compared those among the HSV cohort who were treated with antiviral therapy versus those who did not receive it, there was a dramatic tenfold reduction in the later incidence of dementia over 10 years.

Professor Richard Lathe from the University of Edinburgh said the findings were encouraging.

“Not only is the magnitude of the antiviral effect remarkable, but also the fact that – despite the relatively brief duration and the timing of treatment – in most patients severely affected by HSV1, it appeared to prevent the long-term damage in the brain that results in Alzheimer’s,” he said.

Do you suffer from cold sores? Are you worried about an increased risk of dementia as a result? Would you consider taking antiviral medication to reduce that risk?

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Written by Ben


Total Comments: 8
  1. 0

    Alzheimer’s is such a cruel disease, I would think there would be plenty of volunteers to test this.

  2. 0

    Great if it works but expensive . Coconut oil 2 has benefits 2 but only take in small doses That Redi Mind sounds promising but it’s expensive heard about Ghinko Bolba B 4 Think that is wrong spelling . I used 2 take a dessert spoon of coconut oil on my morning porrige but then stopped I think worrying about Cholesterol but may try again I had many worries then & not really time 2 monitor myself being a 24 hour carer 4 a Dementia patient . I had given 2 him also then worried 2 about the cholesterol 4 him also but maybe it would have worked out better for us both Sad we can’t B wiser @ the time but often in retrospect .

    • 0

      It sounds as though you have a busy and also worrying life. I have enormous respect for carers.

      Please don’t waste your precious money on coconut oil and/or any other over the counter vitamins or whatever. Research has shown that many of them not only do not contain much of whatever is recommended and some of them are positively harmful. It’s the modern snake oil story. Eat well and ask your doctor to let you know what is best for you.

  3. 0

    Very interesting. Is this for all types of dementia?

  4. 0

    Is this for all types of dementia I lost My Nana and Mum to this awful heartbreaking disease.

  5. 0

    A wonderful discovery – if it works.

  6. 0

    yea I started on the coconut oil 5 years ago an lo & behold it did seem 2 help 4 2 or 3 years but blo me down I was walkin around aldi,s 1 day & theres a cheaper 1 so I gave it a go & lo & behold I seemed 2 get worse again I tried 2 buy the other brand again but long an short n/a anymore even woollies & coles have different brands now long an short it deffinatly did help at first but now I would say my bodie has got usta it I just wish some bright spark would get outa bed 1 day & invent a pill that would help aye???

  7. 0

    coconut oil has been given a bad name but look up all of the research and you will find how good it is . does not raise cholesterol at all , many people take two tablespoons a day with only good results , just be sure if you are going to purchase it has to be organically grown extra virgin cold pressed , i have been using for years , i am eighty , male , i best not mention the brand i use as it will probably be deemed i am possibly linked somehow which is certainly not the case , it is a truly wonderful product for health . that is any coconut oil as mentioned re purity….



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