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MedicalNewsToday: Can herpes contribute to cognitive decline?


Senior Member
... Dr. Nimgaonkar and colleagues say that previous cross-sectional studies (studies that look at data from a single time point) have found a link between exposure to certain viruses and decreased cognitive functioning.

These viruses include: cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV) and the protozoa Toxoplasma gondii, which many people are familiar as the parasite found in cat feces.

"Our study is one of the few to assess viral exposure and cognitive functioning measures over a period of time in a group of older adults," Dr. Nimgaonkar says.

He adds that it is possible that these viruses "are triggering some neurotoxic effects."

To further investigate, the researchers used the Monongahela-Youghiogheny Healthy Aging Team (MYHAT) study, which involved over 1,000 adults over the age of 65 years who were evaluated annually for 5 years to detect any cognitive change.

After looking for signs of viral exposures in blood samples, the researchers found that exposure to CMV, HSV-2 or toxoplasma is linked with aspects of cognitive decline typically considered to be age-related decline...


Old Bones

Senior Member
Does anybody know if HSV-2 has ever been linked to ME? The article mentions that HSV-1 doesn't have the same effect on cognitive decline.


Senior Member
Just to give some prevalence figures:

Cytomegalovirus is found in 58% of adults. Ref: 1

Herpes simplex II is found in 16% of adults. Ref: 1

Toxoplasma gondii prevalence varies enormously (10% to 90%) from country to country.


Senior Member
Sth Australia
Very interesting. Maybe why my brain is so very screwed up to the point my family is worried that I may have Alzeihemers.. I carry CMV, toxoplasmosis and HSV (I forget though which HSV it is).

Doesn't CMV vary by country too. I think somewhere I read in the past it was 25% have been exposed to it .