Mouth herpes virus can double dementia risk, study shows

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A recent study conducted by researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden has revealed a significant link between the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and an increased risk of developing dementia.

The study focused on 1,000 individuals who were 70 years old, tracking their health over 15 years.

Published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the findings suggest that individuals who have been infected with HSV at any point in their lives are twice as likely to develop dementia compared to those who have never been infected.

Herpes simplex virus is quite common, with up to 80% of the adult population in Sweden potentially carrying the virus.

The infection is lifelong, with symptoms that can fluctuate in severity throughout a person’s life, though many may never experience any symptoms at all.

This study is particularly noteworthy because of its homogeneous age group, which eliminates age as a confounding factor in the development of dementia.

Erika Vestin, a medical student at Uppsala University, highlighted the significance of this, as it adds a layer of reliability to the results.

With dementia affecting 55 million people worldwide and known risk factors including advanced age and genetic predispositions, the potential link between HSV and dementia offers a new avenue for understanding and possibly mitigating the risk of this debilitating disease.

The confirmation of HSV as a risk factor for dementia echoes previous research and adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting a connection.

This study’s findings open the door to further investigations into whether treatments targeting HSV could effectively reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Specifically, there is an interest in exploring the effectiveness of existing anti-herpes medications in dementia prevention, as well as the potential for developing new vaccines.

The implications of this research are profound, suggesting a shift in how we approach dementia research and treatment.

By focusing on early intervention and prevention through the use of anti-herpes drugs or vaccines, there may be a possibility to significantly impact the trajectory of dementia development in individuals at risk.

This represents a hopeful prospect in the ongoing battle against dementia, highlighting the importance of continued research and innovation in the field.

If you care about brain health ,please read studies about Vitamin B9 deficiency linked to higher dementia risk, and cranberries could help boost memory.

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The research findings can be found in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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