Cold Sores

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Cold Sores/Herpes Simplex Virus 1.

What Are Cold Sores?
Cold Sores May Be Linked to Alzheimer's

What Are Cold Sores?

Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are tiny, clear, fluid-filled blisters that form around the mouth and are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV1) living inside your nerve tissue. Cold sores usually do not last longer than two weeks. However, the sores are highly contagious and tend to recur when the virus is reactivated by a trigger such as stress, sunlight, fever or illness.
Source:Academy of General Dentistry,

Cold Sores May Be Linked to Alzheimer's

People who get cold cores may be at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, researchers said Monday.

The BBC reported that scientists writing in the Journal of Pathology have discovered that the herpes simplex virus type 1, which leads to cold sores, is a major cause of the protein plaques that accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.

There is currently no cure for herpes. However, the findings by researchers at the University of Manchester in England suggest that antiviral drugs used to treat cold sores may be effective in preventing Alzheimer's, the BBC said.

The researchers found DNA evidence of HSV-1 in 90 percent of the plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. When the virus is present in the brains of elderly people with a specific genetic factor, there is a high likelihood of Alzheimer's.

"We suggest that HSV-1 enters the brain in the elderly as their immune systems decline and then establishes a dormant infection from which it is repeatedly activated by events such as stress, immunosuppression, and various infections," said Professor Ruth Itzhaki.

Around 70 percent of American adults have oral herpes, or cold sores, according to the network.

Most cases of genital herpes are caused by the herpes simplex virus 2, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As many as 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, according to the CDC and the Alzheimer's Association.

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