Reactivated herpes simplex infection increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

BACKGROUND:Previous studies have suggested a link between
herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 and the development of Alzheimer's
disease (AD).

METHODS:The present analysis included 3432 persons (53.9% women, mean age at inclusion 62.7 ± 14.4 years) with a mean follow-up time of 11.3 years. The number of incident AD cases was
245. Serum samples were analyzed for anti-HSV antibodies (immunoglobulin
(Ig)G and IgM) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.

:The presence of anti-HSV IgG antibodies was not associated with an
increased risk for AD, controlled for age and sex (hazard ratio, HR,
0.993, P = .979). However, the presence of anti-HSV IgM at baseline was
associated with an increased risk of developing AD (HR 1.959, P = .012).

CONCLUSION:Positivity for anti-HSV IgM, a sign of reactivated infection, was found to almost
double the risk for AD, whereas the presence of anti-HSV IgG antibodies
did not affect the risk.

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