Background: Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is thought to play an etiological role in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Methods: Plasma samples from 360 AD cases (75.3% women, mean age 61.2 years) and 360 age- and sex-matched dementia-free controls, taken on average 9.6 years before AD diagnosis, were analyzed for anti-HSV antibodies (immunoglobulin G, IgG, and immunoglobulin M, IgM) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.
Results: In the complete sample group, the presence of anti-HSV IgG and IgM antibodies did not increase the risk of AD significantly (odds ratio (OR) 1.636, P = .069 and OR 1.368, P = .299, respectively). In cases with 6.6 years or more between plasma sampling and AD diagnosis (n = 270), there was a significant association between presence of anti-HSV IgG antibodies and AD (OR 2.250, P = .019).
Conclusion: Among persons with a follow-up time of 6.6 years or more, HSV infection was significantly associated with AD.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Dementia; HSV; Herpes; Herpes simplex; Nested case-control study.
Copyright © 2015 The Alzheimer's Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.