Sunday, 27 January 2013

Guess what? Type 2 diabetes now.

It hardly surprises me now to find associations between the commonest herpes virus HSV1 and common diseases.  Here's a link to research that investigated HSV1 and type 2 diabetes:

An association of HSV1 with type 2 diabetes

This research concludes:

A significant association of HSV-1 infection with type 2 diabetes was found in the present study.

Again, particularly interesting for me is that type 2 diabetes can have an impact on cognitive function.  See this link (and others via google):

It's important to note that as yet I haven't read anything suggesting a direct link between the virus and the cognitive impairment that can occur in type 2 diabetes so the link with the virus may not be as direct as it is in the other diseases I've blogged about .

Monday, 21 January 2013

Bipolar also. What next?

Further searching has revealed a link between HV1 (the commonest herpes virus) and bipolar:

Infection with herpes simplex virus type 1 is associated with cognitive deficits in bipolar disorder

This is the conclusion of the article:

Serologic evidence of herpes simplex virus type 1 infection is associated with cognitive impairment in individuals with bipolar disorder.

So now I have found research linking this virus with cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's, schizophrenia and bipolar.

Surely, research into what this virus is capable of needs to be drastically escalated.

In the meantime, why isn't the comparatively safe and cheap anti-viral drug aciclovir prescribed to try and halt the cognitive impairment in all these diseases? 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Herpes, Alzheimer's and schizophrenia - yes!

I was reading about schizophrenia, prompted by an article about a young girl diagnosed with it.  Her hallucinations were described and I couldn't help noticing similarities between her symptoms and S's.

Further searches appeared to suggest possible links with Alzheimer's and dementia more generally.  It's clear that in schizophrenia, whilst the psychotic symptoms predominate (they're actually referred to as positive symptoms), there are also less prominent symptoms of cognitive deficits which closely resemble those of dementia. 

These include the loss of concentration skills, memory, coordinated movement and dexterity.  And these are associated with the same kind of brain shrinkage, in the same regions of the brain, as is found in patients with dementia.

The next obvious step was to google herpes and schizophrenia.  By now, I wasn't surprised to get a large number of interesting results.

Cold sore virus and schizophrenia

You really should read the article  -  it's not too long  -  but this extract is so similar to statements I've read about herpes and dementia:

"We're finding that some portion of cognitive impairment usually blamed solely on the disease of schizophrenia might actually be a combination of schizophrenia and prior exposure to herpes simplex virus 1 infection, which reproduces in the brain," says study leader David J. Schretlen, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The research, described in the May Schizophrenia Research, could lead to new ways to treat or prevent the cognitive impairment that typically accompanies this mental illness, including with antiviral drugs, the scientists say.

Citation: Disabled World News (2010-05-29) - Cold sore virus may contribute to cognitive and brain abnormalities in schizophrenia:

I need to think about all this and to do some further searching.  But clearly HV1 is an even more ubiquitous and harmful virus than most people think.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

e-petition about a scandalous situation

The petition here:

was recently started and is an attempt to get dementia considered as a disease (rather than something that just happens to  -  mostly  -  old people).  The importance of this is that, unlike other terminal diseases, it does not entitle the patient to free NHS care.

There is a currently a complex system via which certain cases can be considered for some NHS funding but people find that this is mainly an obstacle course that deters all but the most determined (and carers have one or two other things to concentrate on).  If you do get some funding you stand a good chance of having it taken away after a couple of months.

You may have heard of the 'Dilnot' proposal whereby, at some stage in the future, patients may only have to spend 'only' £35,000 or, more likely, £75,000 of their money on their own treatment!

Please consider signing the petition.  Remember no-one of whatever age can know when they or a loved one may be struck by one of the diseases that causes dementia.

If the petition attracts 100,000 signatures, the issue can then be considered for debate in parliament.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Another milestone

The total number of page views of this blog has just passed 10,000.  I just wanted to thank all those who have taken the time to read what I've written.  The blog has become increasingly important to me, both as way of sharing my thoughts and feelings with others, and also because the feedback I get suggests that people find it interesting and useful.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet I'm able to tell you that, although understandably the views are mostly from people in the UK, there is also a significant readership in the US.  Russia and Canada are represented next in the 'league table' with a surprisingly large number of countries also featuring.  I guess dementia fascinates and appals people the world over.

Thanks again to all of you.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Sometimes it's the little things that drive you mad

Twice today, ironically because we've had a nice weekend with one of my sons and his wife, I was quite relaxed and not quite as 'on the ball' as I usually force myself to be  So after handing S a drink I watched her start it and then carried on lighting the fire.  She then tried to put the drink down and, as so often, she managed to put it down on top of something else.  I heard it roll over and fall onto the carpet.

That meant quite a clean up, though as it had fallen onto a rather grubby bit of carpet I at least had the consolation of feeling that this was something I would probably have had to do in the near future.

But how to explain that I did a very similar thing a few hours later!  This time I left S, sitting down at the table, with a drink of fruit juice.  This is usually a bit safer, but you'd think I would have kept an eye on S until the glass was empty in view of the earlier spill.

Anyway, whilst I was happily getting on with the washing-up, S was busily walking up and down the hall carrying the half full glass of fruit juice at an angle that meant that most of it ended up on the wooden floor.  This was rather more annoying as I knew it would be much more difficult to clean up.  Though I know there's no point I did briefly remonstrate with S before remembering that there's no point.  This didn't help, though in the past I would have been much more obviously annoyed and frustrated and she would have been much more agitated.   So that's something positive I suppose.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Another herpes virus (CMV) has been found in the brains of 93% of people with Vascular Dementia

These herpes viruses cause a wide range of problems.

The article mentioned in this link dates from 2002  -  2002, for God's sake.  Any progress since?

You may wonder why this fact is not more widely known and why there has not been much research into the relationship between CMV and VD.

There is great hostility to this kind of research.  This may be because research tends to be funded by 'big pharma'.  Why would they be interested in a treatment that involved a cheap and widely available anti-viral drug?