Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Could that cold sore increase your risk of memory problems?

Date:
March 25, 2013
Source:
American Academy of Neurology (AAN)
Summary:
The virus that causes cold sores, along with other viral or bacterial infections, may be associated with cognitive problems, according to a new study.

The virus that causes cold sores, along with other viral or bacterial infections, may be associated with cognitive problems, according to a new study published in the March 26, 2013, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Related Articles


The study found that people who have had higher levels of infection in their blood (measured by antibody levels), meaning they had been exposed over the years to various pathogens such as the herpes simplex type 1 virus that causes cold sores, were more likely to have cognitive problems than people with lower levels of infection in the blood.

"We found the link was greater among women, those with lower levels of education and Medicaid or no health insurance, and most prominently, in people who do not exercise," said author Mira Katan, MD, with the Northern Manhattan Study at Columbia University Medical Center in New York and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. The study was performed in collaboration with the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami in Miami, FL.

For the study, researchers tested thinking and memory in 1,625 people with an average age of 69 from northern Manhattan in New York. Participants gave blood samples that were tested for five common low grade infections: three viruses (herpes simplex type 1 (oral) and type 2 (genital), and cytomegalovirus), chlamydia pneumoniae (a common respiratory infection) and Helicobacter pylori (a bacteria found in the stomach).

The results showed that the people who had higher levels of infection had a 25 percent increase in the risk of a low score on a common test of cognition called the Mini-Mental State Examination.

The memory and thinking skills were tested every year for an average of eight years. But infection was not associated with changes in memory and thinking abilities over time.

"While this association needs to be further studied, the results could lead to ways to identify people at risk of cognitive impairment and eventually lower that risk," said Katan. "For example, exercise and childhood vaccinations against viruses could decrease the risk for memory problems later in life."

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Leducq Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Katan, Y. P. Moon, M. C. Paik, R. L. Sacco, C. B. Wright, M. S. V. Elkind. Infectious burden and cognitive function: The Northern Manhattan Study. Neurology, 2013; 80 (13): 1209 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182896e79

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "Could that cold sore increase your risk of memory problems?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325183813.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). (2013, March 25). Could that cold sore increase your risk of memory problems?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325183813.htm
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "Could that cold sore increase your risk of memory problems?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325183813.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins