The Role of Viruses and of APOE in Dementia

Authors

  • R F Itzhaki,

    Corresponding author
    1. Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, Department of Optometry and Neuroscience, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, Manchester M60 1QD, United Kingdom
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  • C B Dobson,

    1. Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, Department of Optometry and Neuroscience, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, Manchester M60 1QD, United Kingdom
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  • S J Shipley,

    1. Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, Department of Optometry and Neuroscience, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, Manchester M60 1QD, United Kingdom
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  • M A Wozniak

    1. Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, Department of Optometry and Neuroscience, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, Manchester M60 1QD, United Kingdom
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Address for correspondence: R.F. Itzhaki, Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, Department of Optometry and Neuroscience, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 88, Manchester M60 1QD, UK. Voice: +44-(0)-161-200-3879; fax: +44-(0)-161-200-4433. ruth.itzhaki@umist.ac.uk

Abstract

Abstract: The virus, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), when present in brain, acts together with the type 4 allele of the APOE gene, a known susceptibility factor in Alzheimer disease (AD), to confer a strong risk of AD; in carriers of the other two main alleles of the gene, the virus does not confer a risk. It also has been shown that the outcome of infection in the case of five diseases known to be caused by viruses is determined by APOE. It is hoped that the discovery of the involvement of HSV1 in AD will lead to future antiviral therapy and possibly to immunization against the virus in infancy.

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