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Evidence is building that the cold sore virus may be linked to Alzheimer's disease, an expert says.
In lab tests, Manchester University found brains infected with the herpes simplex virus, HSV-1, saw a rise in a protein linked to Alzheimer's.
Scientists believe the discovery could pave the way for a vaccine that may help prevent the brain disorder, New Scientist magazine reported.
The researchers infected cultures of human brain cells with the virus and found a "dramatic" increase in levels of the beta amyloid protein - the building blocks of deposits, or plaques, which form in the brains of people with Alzheimer's.
Previous research has established that HSV-1 is found in the brains of up to 70% of people with Alzheimer's.
University of Rochester Medical Center
it was more likely to cause a problem in people
who carry a mutant version of a specific gene called ApoE4
the team stained brain slices taken from dead Alzheimer's patients and found DNA from HSV-1 attached to the plaques.