Will Chickenpox Virus Trigger Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer's is a disease that advances gradually. Although elderly folks are the ones who are most commonly affected, this disease is increasingly alarmingly affecting young adults as well. Alzheimer's disease comes from forgetfulness in the beginning. Scientists continue to investigate potential risk factors and causes for this brain condition, despite the fact that the exact causes of Alzheimer's are unclear. One such study revealed that the virus that causes chickenpox can also cause Alzheimer's.

An Oxford and Tufts University research team created a 3-D model of the human brain, according to a study that was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. They discovered that the varicella zoster virus, which activates HSV and causes shingles and chickenpox as well as activating herpes simplex, may also cause Alzheimer's. This virus can harm brain neurons, which could cause mental issues.

"Our data reveal one pathway to Alzheimer's disease, triggered by a VZV infection, which causes inflammatory triggers that awaken HSV in the brain," says one of the study's authors. Although we found a connection between VZV and HSV-1 activation, other inflammatory brain processes may also awaken HSV-1 and cause Alzheimer's disease.

The research group proposed a link between HSV-1 and Alzheimer's. Before, there was no proof of a connection between the two, but now they have. According to WHO reports, billions of people are herpes virus (HSV-1) infected but do not exhibit symptoms. In brain nerve cells, the virus is dormant. Blisters and uncomfortable open sores are herpes symptoms that are brought on when this virus becomes active. Also, it might cause irritation of the skin and nerves. When the virus is active, some persons show minimal or no symptoms.

One of the researchers explained how this dormant virus can contribute to Alzheimer's disease by saying, "It's a one-two punch of two very common and typically benign viruses, but the lab tests suggest that if a new exposure to VZV wakes up dormant HSV-1, they could create issue. Alzheimer's disease may still be caused by other infections or by different cause-and-effect chains, and risk factors including head injuries, obesity, and alcohol use suggest that these chains may come together at the re-emergence of HSV in the brain.

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