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Antiviral creams containing aciclovir are widely available to purchase at chemists. If used at the ‘tingle’ stage, they can shorten outbreaks by 12%, and a newer antiviral cream, Fenestil®, contains penciclovir 1% and has a similar benefit. The HVA also lists Lomaherpan® cream as an effective alternative, which contains Melissa officinalis . In an HVA trial, 72% of participants said it prevented an outbreak from developing.
Antiviral tablets can be prescribed by your GP and taken at the first sign of an outbreak, or more regularly as a preventative measure by those who experience frequent recurrences.
Relationship Of Apoe And Of Infection And Infectious Burden To Cognition
Adjusted linear and logistic regressions estimated the association between IBI and cognition, with a term included for the interaction between APOE-4 and IBI. The data revealed interactions between IBI and APOE-4 , and HSV1 and APOE-4 for processing speed in those subjects who had full neuropsychological test results. IBI was associated with slower processing speed among non4 carriers, but not among APOE 4 carriers. HSV1 seropositivity was associated with slower processing speed among non4 carriers, but not among APOE 4 carriers. Two intriguing features of the study were discussions on the relevance of differences in APOE-4 frequency amongst the different ethnic groups, and the relevance of the pleiotropy of APOE-4 , with APOE-4 acting as a modifier of the association between IBI and cognition, and in turn being modified to some extent by ethnicity. The authors, however, seemed unaware that APOE modulates the consequences of infection in a number of infectious diseases , not just in the cited protective action of 4 in HCV-infection of liver . In addition, in AD patients, their suggestion that APOE-4 carriers might have increased susceptibility to HSV1 is unlikely to be correct, in view of the very high proportion of people infected with HSV1.
Assessment Of Hsv1 Antibodies
The serum samples were collected and centrifuged in EDTA treated containers. The aliquoted plasma was frozen at 80 °C based on standard procedures. From the 2000 serum samples, chemiluminescence immunoassay was done to determine if immunoglobulin G antibodies to HSV1 were present. The DiaSorin LIASION HSV1/2 IgG assay analyzer gave an index value ranging 0.530, based on the presence of the antibodies. Samples with an index value below 0.9 were considered negative for the virus. Index values ranging from 0.9 to 1.1 were considered equivocal. Based on these ranges, a dichotomous variable for the virus was created. Values below 1.1 were defined as seronegative, while values of 1.1 and above were defined as seropositive for the HSV1 antibodies. No information was available on HSV immunoglobulin M antibodies status.
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What Causes Herpes Cold Sores New Research
The finding could lead to new ways to prevent recurring cold sores and herpes-related eye disease, U.S. and British researchers say.
More than half of Americans are infected with herpes simplex virus. It is spread through close contact with someone who has the infection and can re-emerge at any time.
“Now we understand more what can induce HSV to come out of hiding and reactivate, we can start to understand how this works at the level of the infected nerve cell,” said researcher Anna Cliffe, an assistant professor of microbiology, immunology and cancer biology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
“Our long-term goals are to understand how to make sure herpes simplex cannot respond to these signals and therefore, prevent reactivation occurring,” she said.
Current therapies against HSV act to prevent the virus from replicating once it comes out of hiding. No therapies yet can target the infection in its latent stage, Cliffe explained.
“Herpes simplex virus hides in nerve cells for life, so once you have herpes simplex you always have it,” she said. “Sometimes, it comes out of hiding, and this can cause clinical disease, like cold sores, eye disease and genital lesions.”
But scientists didn’t fully understand what may act on the infected nerve cells and cause the virus to come out of hiding.
Oral Sex And Cold Sores Shouldn’t Mix
“A study we did showed that around 70% of women with genital herpes have HSV-1, indicating they are likely to have contracted the virus through receiving oral sex from a partner with a cold sore,” says O’Mahony.
“There is virtually no risk of transmission from mouth to genitals from someone who doesn’t have an active cold sore,” reassures O’Mahony. Just make sure that if your partner gets cold sores they are aware of the signs of an impending outbreak and avoid receiving oral sex during this time.
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Hsv1 Enters The Brains Of Elderly People As Their Immune System Declines With Age
We discovered in 1991 that in many elderly people HSV1 is also present in the brain. And in 1997 we showed that it confers a strong risk of Alzheimers disease when present in the brain of people who have a specific gene known as APOE4.
The virus can become active in the brain, perhaps repeatedly, and this probably causes cumulative damage. The likelihood of developing Alzheimers disease is 12 times greater for APOE4 carriers who have HSV1 in the brain than for those with neither factor.
Later, we and others found that HSV1 infection of cell cultures causes beta-amyloid and abnormal tau proteins to accumulate. An accumulation of these proteins in the brain is characteristic of Alzheimers disease.
Times of stress may reactivate the herpes virus, and this may eventually lead to long-term brain damage
We believe that HSV1 is a major contributory factor for Alzheimers disease and that it enters the brains of elderly people as their immune system declines with age. It then establishes a latent infection, from which it is reactivated by events such as stress, a reduced immune system and brain inflammation induced by infection by other microbes.
Reactivation leads to direct viral damage in infected cells and to viral-induced inflammation. We suggest that repeated activation causes cumulative damage, leading eventually to Alzheimers disease in people with the APOE4 gene.
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New Treatment Options For Alzheimers Disease
The data suggests that antiviral agents might be used for treating Alzheimers disease. The main antiviral agents, which are safe, prevent new viruses from forming, thereby limiting viral damage.
It’s also been found that the anti-herpes antiviral drug, acyclovir, blocks HSV1 DNA replication, and reduces levels of beta-amyloid and tau caused by HSV1 infection of cell cultures.
Its important to note that all studies only show an association between the herpes virus and Alzheimers they dont prove that the virus is an actual cause. The only way to prove that a microbe is a cause of a disease is to show that an occurrence of the disease is greatly reduced either by targeting the microbe with a specific anti-microbial agent or by specific vaccination against the microbe.
Excitingly, successful prevention of Alzheimers disease by use of specific anti-herpes agents have now been demonstrated in a large-scale population study in Taiwan. Hopefully, information in other countries will yield similar results.
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See Do Microbes Trigger Alzheimers Disease
Taken together, the results dont support an association between HHV6 viruses and Alzheimers disease, but they also dont rule it out, Jacobson explains. The absence or low levels of viral material at the time of death doesnt mean that the viruses dont play a role during early stages of the disease.
For instance, they could feasibly initiate the condition, and then stop proliferating and become latent as neurodegeneration progressesa hit and run type of situation, notes Itzhaki, who wasnt involved in the research. Given that latent HHV6 produces little RNA, the chance of detecting latent transcripts might be very low indeed, she adds.
Supporting this notion, some recent work suggests that amyloid- proteinwhich forms some of the tangles characteristic in Alzheimers diseasecan form plaques around viruses such as HHV6, possibly as a way of protecting the brain against pathogens. Its possible that this process could trigger the disease, Jacobson says.
Exposure Gwas Data Set
For infections, we used the GWAS summary statistics data from 23andMe cohort . Individuals were included in this GWAS analysis using a set of strict self-reported questionnaires about their history of infection diseases to define phenotypes . Participants were selected for having> 97% European ancestry as determined through an analysis of local ancestry. We focused on four infections all caused by members of the human herpesvirus that were discussed in association with AD . The detailed descriptions of the GWAS data are presented in Table .
Table 1 Description of the GWAS studies used in the primary analysis
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Whats The Bottom Line And What To Do
First, you will likely read that researchers in the Alzheimer disease mainstream reject this research. I characterize this as the not invented here phenomenon. Funding agencies have spent billions of dollars pursuing other avenues, but so far they have proven almost worthless. The idea that they may have overlooked this approach for nearly 40 years will be hard to swallow.
Dr. Hugo Lovheim, the lead author of this research, has been quoted:
The identification of a treatable cause of the most common dementia disorder is a breakthroughWhether treatment of herpes infection with antiviral drugs may slow the Alzheimers progression is not known, but is certainly worth investigating in clinical studies.
Something which makes this hypothesis very interesting is that now herpes infection can in principle be treated with antiviral agents. Therefore within a few years we hope to be able to start studies in which we will also try treating patients to prevent the development of Alzheimers disease.
Does Alzheimer’s Make The Brain More Susceptible To Infection
The blood-brain barrier protects the brain by controlling what substances can pass from the blood into brain tissue. In Alzheimer’s disease, the blood-brain barrier is damaged, particularly in the brain region affected by Alzheimer’s.
Evidence suggests that inflammation, the Alzheimer’s hallmark amyloid protein and the ApoE4 gene, which are all linked to Alzheimer’s disease, can contribute to the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier. Once it has been weakened, bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances can get through into the brain more easily. This may explain why certain viruses and bacteria, such as herpes and spirochetes, are more common in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.
Transmission Is Only By Direct Skin Contact
Cold sores are only caught by direct skin contact with the affected area. Contrary to popular belief, there is virtually no risk of contracting the virus through sharing cups, cutlery, towels or lip salve. After contracting the virus, a cold sore is likely to appear after 4-6 days, although it may take up to two weeks for symptoms to occur.
Nigel Scott, information officer at the HVA, suggests that in some cases, it can take years for the first obvious outbreak to occur. “About a third of those infected will show obvious symptoms quickly, but the majority will remain undiagnosed. They might get minor symptoms such as a tingle, soreness or what seems like a cut lip that goes unnoticed. Then if something triggers the virus and they get a full cold sore years later, they are puzzled as to where they got it from because they had actually contracted it years earlier.”
It is highly unlikely the virus can be spread when a cold sore is not present .
“There has been so much hype about asymptomatic shedding that just causes needless worry,” says O’Mahony. “The risk of transmission is infinitesimally small. Most transmission occurs from an oozing lesion, though it’s important to avoid contact from the first sign of a tingle until after the skin has fully healed.”
The herpes virus may have implications in pregnancy and can be dangerous to newborns so if you have a cold sore never kiss a baby, and wash your hands before skin contact.
What To Do About Swallowing Problems
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses to later stages, the person may no longer be able to chew and swallow easily. This is a serious problem. Difficulty with swallowing may lead to choking or cause food or liquid to go into the lungs, which is known as aspiration. This can cause pneumonia, which can lead to death.
The following suggestions may help with swallowing:
- Make sure to cut food into small pieces and that it is soft enough for the person to eat.
- Grind or blend food to make it easier to eat.
- Offer soft foods, such as yogurt, applesauce, mashed avocado, sweet potatoes, and bananas.
- Don’t use a straw, which may cause more swallowing problems. Instead, have the person drink small sips from a cup.
- Offer drinks of different temperatures warm, cold, and room temperatureto see which might be easiest for the person to drink.
- Don’t hurry the person. He or she needs time to chew and swallow each mouthful before taking another bite.
- Encourage the person to feed themselves as much as possible during meals. If the person needs support, try using overhand, underhand, or direct hand feeding approaches.
- Don’t feed a person who is drowsy or lying down. He or she should be in an upright, seated position during the meal and for at least 20 minutes after the meal.
- Say “swallow” to remind him or her to swallow.
- Find out if the person’s pills can be crushed or taken in another form.
Dental Skin And Foot Problems
Dental, skin, and foot problems may take place in early and moderate stages of Alzheimer’s disease, but most often happen during late-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
Dental problems. As Alzheimer’s disease symptoms worsen, people will need help taking care of their teeth or dentures. Brushing and flossing help to maintain oral health and reduce bacteria in the mouth, which may decrease the risk of pneumonia.
Make sure the person’s teeth and teeth surfaces are gently brushed at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. The last brushing session should take place after the evening meal or after any medication is given at night. You may find that using a child’s size toothbrush is easier for the person.It is also best to floss once per day, if possible. If this is distressing to the person, an interdental brush, which is a small brush designed to clean between the teeth. Try to check the person’s mouth for any problems such as:
- Food “pocketed” in the cheek or on the roof of the mouth
Be sure to take the person for regular dental checkups for as long as possible. Some people need medicine to calm them before they can see the dentist. Calling the dentist beforehand to discuss potential sensitivities may also be helpful.
Skin problems. Once the person stops walking or stays in one position too long, he or she may get skin or pressure sores. To prevent them, you can:
To check for pressure sores:
Can Herpesvirus Increase Your Risk For Alzheimers Disease
In the wake of several recent failures of Alzheimers therapies targeting beta-amyloid there is a growing interest in novel ideas on what may cause or accelerate the progression of Alzheimers disease. Since the 1980s, growing evidence has suggested that infection with herpes simplex virus -1 may play a role.
HSV-1 is a member of the herpesvirus family, which includes HSV-1 and HSV-2 , varicella zoster virus , cytomegalovirus, and Epstein-Barr virus. Although herpesvirus is very common in the general population, many who are infected never develop symptoms. After infection, HSV-1 can evade the immune system and remain latent by hiding in the nervous system. However, in certain conditions, such as stress or when the immune system is suppressed, HSV-1 can reactivate that is replicate, spread, and possibly cause another cold sore. In fact, a high proportion of cognitively healthy elderly individuals and Alzheimers patients have HSV-1 viral DNA in brain tissue after death .
The 11th International Conference on HHV-6 and HHV-7 last month brought together researchers studying human herpesvirus with researchers studying Alzheimers disease to discuss a possible link between the two. The consensus of the meeting was that herpesviruses do not cause Alzheimers disease but may accelerate its progression. However, more work is needed to uncover this connection. Here we review some of the evidence.
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The Latest Research On The Hsv Type 1 And Alzheimers Disease
Although funding agencies and mainstream researchers pretty much dismissed this line of research, some epidemiologists began digging deeper. The Swedes in particular noted that there seemed to be an increased risk of Alzheimer disease after herpes simplex virus reactivation . Researchers tracked 3,432 subjects for over 11 years. They found that reactivated herpes infections were linked to a doubling of the risk for Alzheimer disease compared to individuals who were not infected.
The latest headline-making research comes from Umea University in Umea, Sweden . These investigators identified 360 individuals with a diagnosis of Alzheimers disease and 360 cases of dementia-free controls. All patients had given blood long before , and it had been stored in a medical Biobank. The scientists analyzed the blood for antibodies to herpes simplex virus type 1. The presence of the antibodies was associated with a two-fold increased risk for dementia:
Symptoms Of Cold Sores
A cold sore usually begins with a slight tenderness or tingling on the edge of the mouth. It develops into a painful, swollen, red lump. After a day or two, the area blisters, bursts, and crusts over. The yellow crust peels away and secretes a clear liquid. It can take up to two weeks for the sore to heal.
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