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Revista médica de Chile

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MARTIN, Carolina; SOLIS, Loretto; CONCHA, Margarita I  and  OTTH, Carola. Herpes simplex virus type 1 as risk factor associated to Alzheimer disease. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2011, vol.139, n.6, pp.779-786. ISSN 0034-9887.

Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is ubiquitous, neurotropic, and the most common pathogenic cause of sporadic acute encephalitis in humans. Herpes simplex encephalitis is associated with a high mortality rate and significant neu-rological, neuropsychological, and neurobehavioral sequels. HSV-1 infects limbic system structures in the central nervous system (CNS), and has been suggested as an environmental risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. The possibility that HSV-1 reactivates in CNS neurons causing chronic progressive damage at cellular level and altering the neuronal functionality has not been thoroughly investigated. Currently it is ignored if recurrent reactivation of HSV-1 in asymptomatic patients involves some risk of progressive deterioration of the CNS functions caused, in example, by a neuroinflammatory response against the virus or by direct toxicity of the pathogen on neurons. Therefore, studies regarding the routes of dissemination of HSV-1 from the peripheral ganglions to the CNS, as well as the possible cellular and molecular mechanisms implied in generating neuronal damage during latent and productive infection, are of much relevance.

Keywords : Alzheimer disease; Encephalitis; viral; Herpesvirus 1; human.

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