The last 8 or so years have seen a large increase in the number of studies supporting the concept of a major role for herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1) in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The main advances have been made through studies in humans and in mice, investigating the likelihood of reactivation of the latent virus in brain. Others have aimed to explain the mechanisms in cells whereby the increase in amyloid-beta (Aβ) production on HSV1 infection of cells and mouse brains occurs, and the reason that infected cells make this increase. The possibility that other herpesviruses are involved in the development of AD has been explored, and human herpesvirus type 6, Epstein-Barr virus, and cytomegalovirus, in particular, have been implicated. Epidemiological studies have further supported the role specifically of HSV1 and its reactivation in the disease. Antiviral studies have continued, comparing those acting by different mechanisms, such as restricting viral replication, or blocking viral entry into cells, to treat HSV1-infected cell cultures, and then examining the extent to which the virus-induced increases in Aβ and AD-like tau are reduced. All the studies support the usage of antiviral treatment to slow or halt the progression of AD.
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