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Viral Reactivation a Likely Link Between Stress and Heart Disease

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Waverunner, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Waverunner

    Waverunner Senior Member

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    Interesting study. It seems that reactivated viruses (EBV here) can play an important role for disease. Instead of testing for the virus, it might be a lot better, to look for antibodies. In case of EBV, the antibody is called dUTPase. Further studies are needed but it's good to know, that scientists are looking into the field of latent and reactivated viruses, which seem to be able to cause chaos in the immune system, as well as chronic inflammation.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130122162331.htm

    Jan. 22, 2013 — A new study could provide the link that scientists have been looking for to confirm that reactivation of a latent herpes virus is a cause of some heart problems.

    Looking at blood samples from 299 heart patients, researchers at Ohio State University found that those who had suffered a heart attack were the most likely to have inflammatory proteins circulating in their blood compared to patients with less acute symptoms. And having more of one of these proteins in the blood was linked to the presence of antibodies that signal a latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) reactivation.
    To date, these relationships have been hard to find because scientists have been unable to detect evidence of a virus in diseased areas of the cardiovascular system.
    In this study, however, the researchers instead looked for antibodies against a protein that can be produced even when only partial or incomplete reactivation of Epstein-Barr EBV occurs. And when this antibody was detected, it was associated with immune system malfunctions connected to inflammation -- a known risk factor for heart disease.
    Identifying a solid link between a reactivated virus and heart disease is important because of the prevalence of EBV, a human herpes virus that causes infectious mononucleosis and several different types of tumors. An estimated 95 percent of Americans have been infected with the virus by adulthood, and once a person is infected, the virus remains dormant in the body. It can be reactivated without causing symptoms of illness, but reactivation has potential to create chaos in the immune system.
    Stress is a known predictor of reactivation of EBV, meaning virus reactivation could be a mechanism by which stress leads to chronic inflammation and eventually cardiovascular diseases.
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