A recent research work contributes to the fact that the herpes virus might trigger towards the Alzheimer’s disease.
If this fact stands true, then we might soon witness the beneficiary effects of the antiviral medications for preventing against dementia.
In Britain, around eight lakh fifty thousand people are dementia patients. Majority of these patients have Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is characterised by building up of amyloid sticky plaques in the brain. The amyloid stick plaque built up kills brain’s healthy cells.
The research concentrated on the brain of the people who died on account of Alzheimer’s. These patients brain was found to contain twice the levels of HHV-6A and HHV-7 strains of Herpes virus in comparison to the non-Alzheimer’s brain.
The United States researchers believe that the Alzheimer’s disease might trigger an immune cascade. This immune cascade, in turn, might trigger the growth of sticky amyloid plaques. The research gives a ray of hope for the prevention of Alzheimer’s with the use of antiviral drugs.
The team was not at all focused on studying the impacts of herpes virus. The researchers were more dedicated to tracking the chemicals of the six brain regions of Alzheimer’s patients. The researchers focused on sequencing the DNA molecule from the dead patients. The DNA sequencing gave an insight into inherited genes. Later the RNA molecules were sequenced to study about the inherited gene expression.
Professor Ben Readhead says, “We didn’t go looking for viruses, but viruses screamed out at us. We saw a key virus, HHV 6A, regulating the expression of quite a few Alzheimer’s risk genes and genes known to regulate the processing of amyloid, a key ingredient in Alzheimer’s neuropathology.” Professor Ben Readhead is the lead author of the research study. Ben is also the assistant researcher at Arizona State University.
However, it is still difficult to conclude that the herpes viruses are responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.
The current research marks its presence in the journal Neuron.