(NaturalHealth365) While everyone has misplaced keys from time to time, this type of forgetfulness is normal. On the other hand, forgetting your child’s name or how to tie your shoe is a serious neurological problem called “Alzheimer’s disease.” While it is the most common form of dementia, it also has the most potential for damaging the brain’s neurons. Changes in the affected person include memory loss, the ability to think clearly, as well as odd behavior.
In previous years, Alzheimer’s was considered a chronic disease that resulted from cause and effect that included lifestyle factors. However, new research has proven an association with infectious disease. In fact, studies are showing up to 95 percent of the American population has been infected by a disease that could eventually result in Alzheimer’s.
There is a clear and present danger for all Alzheimer’s disease patients
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the causes of “the kissing disease” – better termed mononucleosis. While the symptoms of mononucleosis subside after a few weeks or months, CMV silently contributes to Alzheimer’s disease according to The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
In a human controlled study, CMV antibody levels showed a significantly higher association with neurofibrillary tangles which are commonly known as the primary markers for the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, CMV is in a person’s body for life once is it contracted. Among every 100 adults in the United States, 50 to 80 percent are infected by the age of 40.
Herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 proven to induce neurodegeneration
Several data indicate that neuronal infection with herpes simplex virus types 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2) cause biochemical alterations reminiscent of Alzheimer’s disease. HSV-1 is known for causing cold sores and fever blisters, while HSV-2 is known for genital herpes.
The Journal of Neurovirology recently reported data that demonstrated HSV-1 infection induces early upstream events in the neuronal cells that eventually leads to amyloid-ß deposition and tau hyperphosphorylation – which suggests it as a possible risk for Alzheimer’s. Oxidative damage is also one of the earliest events of the disease, and evidence published in PLoS One suggested HSV-1 and oxidative damage interact to promote neurodegeneration events.
The Neurobiology of Aging journal also recently reported that HSV-2 infection leads to all major pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists proved that HSV-2 strongly alters the tau phosphorylation state, amyloid-ß precursor protein, and autophagy process in human neuroblastoma cells – which lead to the appearance of Alzheimer’s disease-like neurodegeneration markers.
The ‘chickenpox virus’ infects the central nervous system
The varicella-zoster virus (VZV) usually manifests itself as chickenpox (varicella) in children which then becomes latent in neurons of cranial and spinal ganglia in most people. The elderly, as well as those who have a compromised immune system, may reactivate the virus to produce shingles (zoster). According to the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, VZV can infect a wide variety of cell types in the central and peripheral nervous system which explains the virus’ diversity of clinical disorders including its contribution to Alzheimer’s.
Epstein Barr is a risk factor for cognitive decline and the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
The Epstein Barr virus (EBV) is one of the most common viruses and is better known for mononucleosis than CMV. Symptoms include that of the common cold: sore throat, swollen lymph glands, headache, fatigue, and fever.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 95 percent of adults are inflicted with the virus by the age of 40. And, while the virus does become dormant, the Neurobiology of Aging journal did detect a high percentage of Alzheimer’s patients with EBV.
Bottom line: With 35.6 million dementia sufferers in 2015 and numbers growing for Alzheimer’s disease, annihilation of the condition is necessary. Current research is moving in a positive direction as they find its true cause.
Clearly, data proves that viruses are a contributing factor for the condition with more evidence pointing to poor nutritional intake and deficiencies – which make matter worse. It’s important to include a healthy lifestyle, especially an organic and nutrient-dense diet that feeds the brain for protection. And, of course, avoid as many environmental toxins as possible.
About the author: Abby Campbell is a medical, health, and nutrition research writer. She’s dedicated to helping people live a healthy lifestyle in all aspects – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Abby practices, writes, and coaches on natural preventive care, nutritional medicine, and complementary and alternative therapy.
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