Study Title
Herpes simplex virus type 1 and Alzheimer’s disease: possible mechanisms and signposts
FASEB Journal

Ruth F. Itzhaki


Support for the concept that herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), when present in the brains of apoli- poprotein E-4 carriers, is a major risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is increasing steadily, with over 120 publications providing direct or indirect evidence relevant to the hypothesis. No articles have contested the concept, apart from 3 published 13–18 yr ago. This review describes very recent studies on the role of HSV1 but refers also to older studies that provide background for some lesser-known related topics not covered in other recent reviews; these include the relevance of herpes simplex encephalitis and of epilepsy to AD, the action of IFN, and the possible relevance of the different types of DNA damage to AD—in particular, those caused by HSV1—and mechanisms of repair of damage. New epidemiologic data supporting previous studies on mild cognitive impairment and progression to AD are reviewed, as are those examining the relationship between total infectious burden (additive seropositivity to various microbes) and cognition/AD. The latter indicates the involvement of HSV1 and cytomegalovirus (and the necessity of taking into account any marked differences in sensitivity of antibody detection). Recent studies that provide further support for the occurrence of repeated reactivation of latent HSV1 in the brain in AD pathogenesis are also discussed.

August 1, 2017
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