, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 180–181 | Cite as

Herpes Viruses, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Related Dementias: Unifying or Confusing Hypothesis?

  • Avindra NathEmail author
Current Perspective

Since the original publication by Tzeng et al. [1] showing in a retrospective study that patients who received antiherpetic therapy for mucosal or skin eruption by Herpes simplex viruses type 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2) had a lower risk of microvascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and “other dementias,” there has been wide publicity about the possible association of human herpes viruses 6 and 7 (HHV-6, HHV-7) with AD. This warrants that we discuss these viruses together to see if there might be a unifying hypothesis. It is important to recognize that Herpes viruses are a family of viruses that consists of HSV-1, HSV-2, varicella zoster virus (VZV; HHV-3), Epstein Barr virus (EBV; HHV-4), cytomegalovirus (CMV; HHV-5), HHV-6A, HHV-6B, HHV-7, and HHV-8 that are known human pathogens. Each of these is a distinct virus and causes very distinct clinical syndromes. For example, HSV-1 most often causes herpes labialis, HSV-2 causes genital herpes, VZV is the cause of chicken pox and...


Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Infections of the Nervous SystemNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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