Herpes may be behind half of Alzheimer's cases

But the study shows the link only applies to those who have had a severe HSV1 infection

As if it’s not bad enough that cold sores are unsightly and painful, they could cause up to 50% of cases of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a review.

But the good news is, according to lead author Professor Ruth Itzhaki from the University of Oxford, UK, that this makes antivirals are a justified treatment of Alzheimer’s.

The review of three studies published in the past two years that examined health insurance data from more than 99% of the Taiwanese population shows the risk of senile dementia is much greater in patients with severe cases of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1) or varicella zosta virus (VZV) infection.

"HSV1 could account for 50% or more of Alzheimer's disease cases," says Professor Itzhaki, who has spent over 25 years at the University of Manchester investigating the potential link.

The study also shows that antiviral treatment leads to a