Herpes Viruses, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Related Dementias: Unifying or Confusing Hypothesis?
Since the original publication by Tzeng et al.  showing in a retrospective study that patients who received antiherpetic therapy for mucosal or skin eruption by Herpes simplex viruses type 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2) had a lower risk of microvascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and “other dementias,” there has been wide publicity about the possible association of human herpes viruses 6 and 7 (HHV-6, HHV-7) with AD. This warrants that we discuss these viruses together to see if there might be a unifying hypothesis. It is important to recognize that Herpes viruses are a family of viruses that consists of HSV-1, HSV-2, varicella zoster virus (VZV; HHV-3), Epstein Barr virus (EBV; HHV-4), cytomegalovirus (CMV; HHV-5), HHV-6A, HHV-6B, HHV-7, and HHV-8 that are known human pathogens. Each of these is a distinct virus and causes very distinct clinical syndromes. For example, HSV-1 most often causes herpes labialis, HSV-2 causes genital herpes, VZV is the cause of chicken pox and...
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