The Role of Viruses in Dementia

  • Anne M. Deatly
  • Ashley T. Haase
  • Melvyn J. Ball
Part of the Infectious Agents and Pathogenesis book series (IAPA)


Dementia is a clinical state characterized by impaired cognition and behavior. In this chapter we briefly summarize the historical, clinical, and neurological aspects of dementias that are known or suspected to be caused by unconventional virus-like agents as well as large and small conventional viruses with RNA or DNA genomes. These different agents gain access to the central nervous system (CNS), an organ normally protected from systemic infections, to cause (either directly or indirectly) the pathological damage that results in a state of dementia by mechanisms involving complex host—viral interactions. Wherever possible, we discuss how a particular virus induces the neuropathological changes and offer conjectures on other aspects of pathogenesis. We also emphasize the role of host factors such as genetic predisposition and the immune regulatory system in the dementing diseases associated with viral infection.


Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy Trigeminal Ganglion Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Measle Virus Progressive Multifocalleukoencephalopathy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne M. Deatly
    • 1
  • Ashley T. Haase
    • 1
  • Melvyn J. Ball
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Division of NeuropathologyOregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA

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