Oral Herpes Tied to Double Dementia Risk in Older Adults

A study found that a history of herpes simplex virus (HSV) doubles the risk of dementia in older adults. The study followed 1002 individuals aged 70 over 15 years and found that 7% developed dementia. Anti-HSV IgG positivity was associated with a higher risk of dementia, but not Alzheimer’s disease. Treatment for herpes virus did not lower the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s. The study’s unique aspect was the participants being the same age, making the results more reliable. This suggests that treating herpes virus early with common antiviral drugs could potentially help prevent dementia. Limitations include underrepresentation of certain health conditions and potential misclassification of dementia cases. The study was supported by various foundations with no relevant conflicts of interest.

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