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.

1 comment:

  1. Hope you don't mind, but I copied this quote to my blog. Very interesting thought.