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"Alzheimer’s Link To Herpes Virus In Brain, Say Scientists" - Hannah Devlin

  • The Guardian
  • New York, NY
  • (June 21, 2018)

The presence of viruses in the brain has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease in research that challenges conventional theories about the onset of dementia. The results, based on tests of brain tissue from nearly 1,000 people, found that two strains of herpes virus were far more abundant in the brains of those with early-stage Alzheimer’s than in healthy controls. However, scientists are divided on whether viruses are likely to be an active trigger, or whether the brains of people already on the path towards Alzheimer’s are simply more vulnerable to infection. “The viral genomes were detectable in about 30 percent of Alzheimer’s brains and virtually undetectable in the control group,” said Samuel Gandy, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and psychiatry, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “While these findings do potentially open the door for new treatment options to explore in a disease where we’ve had hundreds of failed trials, they don’t change anything that we know about the risk and susceptibility of Alzheimer’s disease or our ability to treat it today,” said Dr. Gandy.

- Joel Dudley, PhD, Director, Next Generation Healthcare Institute, Associate Professor, Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Executive Vice President, Precision Health, Mount Sinai Health System
- Samuel Gandy, MD, PhD, Professor, Neurology, Psychiatry, Associate Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, The Mount Sinai Center for Cognitive Health and NFL Neurological Care
- Benjamin P. Readhead, Icahn Institute for Multiscale Biology, Institute for Next Generation Healthcare, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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