A new study seems to show that the herpes virus of cold sore and metzitza b'peh (MBP) infamy may play a role in the contracting, r"l, of Alzheimers Disease. LiveScience.com reports:
New research supports growing concerns that herpes plays a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.
The latest work, announced today, shows a link between a gene and herpes simplex 1, or HSV. The form of the ApoE gene called ApoE-4 is the leading known risk factor for Alzheimer’s. And HSV is the form of herpes that causes cold sores around the mouth. More than 80 percent of Americans are infected with HSV.
The researchers, at the University of Rochester Medical Center, found that ApoE-4 effectively puts out a welcome mat for the herpes virus, allowing it to be more active in the brain.
“The data suggest that ApoE-4 may support the ability of HSV to be a more virulent pathogen,” said Howard Federoff, lead author of the research published online in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.…
HSV is a chronic infection that lives in people for a lifetime, periodically flaring up. The virus is usually latent, locked inside cells, but occasionally stress, fatigue, certain foods and even sunlight can spark the virus into an active phase that damages cells and causes cold sores.
The alert among us may recall that Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler suggested that herpes transmitted through MBP, which is known to cause severe brain damage, might also adversely (or "sub-clinically") impact the brains of newborns, causing learning disabilities and even mild retardation. His educated guess may not be far off.