Connections between Alzheimer’s Disease and viruses are building, but stop freaking out about herpes
It starts with forgetting things you just learned, but over time, it becomes debilitating: Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth most common cause of death in the United States according to the Alzheimer’s Association. But researchers still aren’t sure what causes it—let alone how to treat it.
A groundbreaking new study by a coalition of American scientists offers more definitive evidence than any past study that Alzheimer’s disease is somehow connected to viruses. But story headlines have largely focused on the two viruses the researchers found in greatest quantity: human herpesvirus (HHV) 6A and HHV 7. While they might be connected to the degenerative brain disease, they’re far from the only viruses the researchers studied—and unlike their better-known cousins HSV 1 and HSV 2, they aren’t sexually transmitted.