Herpes virus can increase your risk of memory problems
Herpes simplex – the virus that causes cold sores – may seem like a simple nuisance, but in reality, the infection can have an impact on cognition and memory in the long term.
A new study has shown that herpes simplex virus, along with other viral and bacterial infections, can increase an individual’s risk of developing cognitive problems. The study found that those people who had higher rates of these infections, which they had been exposed to over the years, had more memory problems than people who had lower rates of infection.
The idea of looking at the link between infection and memory revolves around viruses and bacteria, which can cause inflammation in the body, the researchers said. Previous research has shown that such inflammation is associated with the development of dementia and an increased risk of vascular diseases such as stroke. Another idea is that these pathogens are directly neurotoxic , meaning they can enter the brain and affect brain tissue and neurons directly, the researchers added.
Scientists have found that it is in fact the combinations of all the pathogens that cause herpes that are associated with cognitive problems. It is not just one pathogen, but the cumulative effect of all infections. So it’s bad if a person has an infection, but even worse if he has multiple infections. This effect of multiple infections is associated with cognitive impairment. However, these infections have not been associated with memory and cognitive impairment over time.
The researchers added that further research is needed to better establish the link, but if the findings are valid, it could serve as an impetus for earlier intervention and vaccination of patients.