NPR

Researchers Find Herpes Viruses In Brains Marked By Alzheimer's Disease

Two herpes viruses that cause skin rashes in toddlers may accelerate Alzheimer's disease when they infect brain cells. The finding suggests antiviral drugs might help protect the brain.

Two common herpes viruses appear to play a role in Alzheimer's disease.

The viruses, best known for causing a distinctive skin rash in young children, are abundant in brain tissue from people with Alzheimer's, a team of scientists reports Thursday in Neuron. The team also found evidence that the viruses can interact with brain cells in ways that could accelerate the disease.

"Our hypothesis is that they put gas on the flame," says , an author of the study and

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