Herpes Virus Could Lead To This Disease, Review Finds

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Recent studies have started to suggest that it is probable that two incurable diseases might have something to do with one another. The herpes simplex type 1 and type 2 viruses might have a connection to the much-debated about cause for Alzheimer’s. Recently, three separate studies have come out about the connection between the two diseases and all seem to show that there is a correlation between individuals that have the herpes virus and those that develop Alzheimer’s.


What Is Herpes?

The herpes simplex virus, both type 1 and type 2, is a virus that remains dormant in the host’s body and will often take months, if not years, to manifest with any symptoms after it was contracted. Type one usually causes sores and blisters around the mouth and facial area while type two causes sores and tenderness around the genitals. Although type one herpes can sometimes cause genital sores, it is not common. Both types of virus are transmitted through saliva, bodily fluids or sexual contact. Even if sores are not present, the virus can still be transmitted from person to person.

Outbreaks of sores are usually triggered by stressors in the body or in the person’s life. General illness, physical or emotional stress, fatigue, trauma, menstruation and even immunosuppressants such as chemotherapy and steroid treatments. The first time that the blisters manifest they are usually the most painful. Oral herpes, or cold sores, usually manifest with a tingling and burning sensation prior to the breakout and blisters themselves will be very tender and possibly painful. Genital herpes, type 2, shows symptoms with aches and pains in and around the genital area as well as burning, pain or difficulty urinating. Some people also experience a discharge and blisters can also occur.

Treatment for herpes usually consists of an antiviral medication that can help to lessen the symptoms or time of the outbreak, but there is no current cure for the herpes virus. Two types of antivirals, penciclovir and famciclovir, inhibit the replication of the HSV-1 and HSV-2 virus; penciclovir is topical medication while the other is a prodrug that is transformed into penciclovir in the body. Acyclovir and valacyclovir are both very effective against herpes viruses as they specifically target virus-infected cells. These antivirals are available as topical and oral solutions but are more expensive treatments than the other antivirals.

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