Research Papers

Viruses such as the Herpes Simplex Virus are linked to Neurodegenerative Diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease

Summary: Neurodegenerative Diseases are Multifactorial Diseases of the Central Nervous System, Triggered by Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors, as well as Advanced Age. This reviews discusses the role of pathogens such as viruses and how they are hypothesised to have a role in the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. It discusses the specific ways that viruses are implicated such as the way they modify the function of proteins involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as their capacity to overtake the host cells and induce inflammation and degenerative processes. This paper also discusses the link between specific viruseses and neurodegenerative disease such as the herpes simplex virus and Alzheimer’s disease, showing that a herpes simplex infection can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

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Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are fatal neurological diseases that can be of idiopathic, genetic, or even infectious origin, as in the case of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The etiological factors that lead to neurodegeneration remain unknown but likely involve a combination of aging, genetic risk factors, and environmental stressors. Accumulating evidence hints at an association of viruses with neurodegenerative disorders and suggests that virus-induced neuroinflammation and perturbation of neuronal protein quality control can be involved in the early steps of disease development. In this review, we focus on emerging evidence for a correlation between NDs and viral infection and discuss how viral manipulations of cellular processes can affect the formation and dissemination of disease-associated protein aggregates.

Article Publication Date: 04/08/2022
DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1010670

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