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Study links multiple viral infections to a higher risk

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New research has linked multiple viruses to an increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Designed by MNT. Photo by Aleksandar Zdravkovic/EyeEm/Getty Images & Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
  • is currently 219 viruses All of which are known to infect humans and cause inflammation in the body.
  • Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found a correlation between viral illness and an increased likelihood of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  • The study found a potential link between exposure to the virus and risk of neurodegenerative disease, but more research is needed to confirm causality.

as long as history Viruses are cellular parasites, microscopic infectious particles that can only multiply inside living cells, such as those of humans and other animals.

is currently 219 viruses known to infect humans. Viruses cause a variety of illnesses associated with different symptoms. However, one thing all viruses have in common is that they trigger an inflammatory response as the body works to defend itself against an invasion.

Previous research has viral inflammation It can adversely affect areas of human health, such as: cardiovascular health and lung health.

Now, researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found a correlation between having a viral illness early in life and an increased risk of developing it. neurodegenerative diseasesuch as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

The research will be published in a journal neuron.

Neurodegenerative diseases affect the body’s central nervous system, including the brain. Such conditions can affect certain bodily functions such as movement, balance, speech, thinking and memory.

The types of neurodegenerative diseases are:

There is currently no cure for neurodegenerative disease.Doctors recommend certain modifications to people Risk factor Helps prevent or slow the progression of these conditions.and many have medicine Helps treat and manage symptoms of disease.

For this study, researchers first searched about 300,000 medical records in Finnish biobanks. FingenFind people with one of six neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, systemic dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and vascular dementia.

Scientists analyzed the filtered records to see if any of these people had also been checked for viral infections at the hospital.

Through this initial phase of research, the research team identified 45 significant associations between neurodegenerative disease diagnoses and previous viral infections.

The team then narrowed these associations down to 22 after performing a second medical record search of 500,000 medical records. UK Biobank.

Of the six selected neurodegenerative diseases, researchers reported that generalized dementia was the most associated with viral exposure. They found links between dementia and more than six different viral diseases — viral encephalitisviral warts, all flu, influenza and pneumonia, viral pneumonia, and other viral diseases.

Scientists report that people infected with viral encephalitis are at least 20 times more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease than those without the virus. We found that cases were associated with risk for the widest range of neurodegenerative diseases.

“Over the years, several laboratory-based experiments have suggested that viruses may be risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Mike NullsSenior author of the study, leader of the NIH Center for Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias (CARD) Advanced Analytics Expert Group, said: medical news today.

“What surprised us is that we can [to] We can get similar results by data mining medical records,” he said.

The study looks at a potential link between exposure to the virus and the risk of neurodegenerative disease, but the researchers note that causality cannot yet be confirmed.

“We’re not working on mechanical relevance at this point, we’re just showing relevance. Much more work needs to be done,” warned Dr. Nalls. “The results of this study provide researchers with several new and important pieces of the neurodegenerative disease puzzle.”

“In the future, we will use modern data science tools to not only find more fragments, but also allow researchers to understand how those fragments, including genes and other risk factors, come together. I plan to do so,” he added.

Dr. Melita PetrosyanA neurologist, director of the Pacific Movement Disorders Center at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, Calif., who was not involved in the study, said: MNT:

“The way I think about exposure to these kinds of viruses is that they’re part of the puzzle and what causes someone to become infected with whatever drives these neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. indicates that there is nothing…that condition.”

“What it points to is that there are factors. In this case, we’re talking specifically about environmental factors, but we know from other studies that there are also genetic factors. It plays a role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases, and these processes take decades for the disease to manifest,” she added.

Vaccines are now available for various viral diseases. How might these findings change the way doctors advise their patients to get specific immunizations?

for example, previous research Associated shingles vaccine with reduced risk of dementia.and Other research Associates influenza vaccine with reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

“The obvious idea is that if we can reduce the viral load, we can reduce the viral inflammatory process, and ultimately reduce systemic inflammatory processes that may be associated with neurodegeneration over the years. It means we can,” Dr. Petrosyan elaborated.

“It’s something that should ideally be on the minds of people making vaccine decisions about having yet another tool in their pocket to reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disease,” she said.

She added that it can be difficult for patients to understand that vaccines can have long-term effects as well as short-term effects.

“While it’s not on the minds of people considering vaccine decisions, ideally it would be nice to see people more motivated to get vaccinated to protect themselves from potential neurodegenerative disease risks. It’s really great, but it’s also about protecting the community,” said Dr. Petrossian.

MNT also talked to Dr. Clifford SegillA neurologist at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, he was also not involved in the study and had a different take on the findings.

“I use their exact words — no causality has been found from this study. [and] “Medical decisions should not be based on material relationships,” he warned.

Dr. Segill says that for certain viruses, Herpes with virus west nile virus — can cause confusion and memory loss later.

“People are confused when these viruses cause encephalitis,” he explained. “And later in life, people with encephalitis may develop more encephalitis. amnesiaIt is an exaggeration to say that people with viral encephalitis have dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. If they become confused later in life, the confusion is due to viral encephalitis, not Alzheimer’s disease. ”

Regarding next steps in this research, Dr. Segill said: neuroimaging“If any of these patients had any abnormalities from any of these viruses, we would like to see the neuroimaging results to correlate that,” he added.

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