Exposure to Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and Cognitive Impairments in Individuals With Schizophrenia.
ABSTRACT Latent infection with neurotropic herpes viruses, such as herpes simplex virus, type 1 (HSV1), has been generally considered benign in most immunocompetent individuals except for rare cases of encephalitis. However, several recent studies have shown impaired cognitive functions among individuals with schizophrenia exposed to HSV1 compared with schizophrenia patients not exposed to HSV1. Such impairments are robust and are prominently observed in working memory, verbal memory, and executive functions. Brain regions that play a key role in the regulation of these domains have shown smaller volumes, along with correlation between these morphometric changes and cognitive impairments in schizophrenia. One study noted temporal decline in executive function and gray matter loss among HSV1-exposed first-episode antipsychotic-naïve schizophrenia patients. Furthermore, a proof-of-concept double-blind placebo-controlled trial indicated improvement in cognitive performance following supplemental anti-herpes-specific medication among HSV1 seropositive schizophrenia patients. Cross-sectional studies have also identified an association between HSV1 exposure and lesser degrees of cognitive impairment among healthy control individuals and patients with bipolar disorder. These studies fulfill several Bradford-Hill criteria, suggesting etiological links between HSV1 exposure and cognitive impairment. Exposure to other human herpes viruses such as cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV2) may also be associated with cognitive impairment, but the data are less consistent. These studies are reviewed critically and further lines of enquiry recommended. The results are important from a public health perspective, as HSV1 exposure is highly prevalent in many populations.
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ABSTRACT: Background: Latent chronic infection with Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), a common neurotropic pathogen, has been previously linked with suicidal self-directed violence (SSDV). We sought to determine if latent infection with T gondii is associated with trait aggression and impulsivity, intermediate phenotypes for suicidal behavior, in psychiatrically healthy adults. Methods: Traits of aggression and impulsivity were analyzed in relationship to IgG antibody seropositivity for T gondii and two other latent neurotropic infections, herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) and cytomegalovirus (CMV). One thousand community-residing adults residing in the Munich metropolitan area with no Axis I or II conditions by SCID for DSM-IV (510 men, 490 women, mean age 53.6 +/- 15.8, range 20-74). Plasma samples were tested for IgG antibodies to T. gondii, HSV-1 and CMV by ELISA. Self-reported ratings of trait aggression scores (Questionnaire for Measuring Factors of Aggression [FAF]) and trait impulsivity (Sensation-Seeking Scale-V [SSS-V]) were analyzed using linear multivariate methods. Results: T gondii IgG seropositivity was significantly associated with higher trait reactive aggression scores among women (p < .01), but not among men. T. gondii-positivity was also associated with higher impulsive sensation-seeking (SSS-V Disinhibition) among younger men (p < .01) aged 20-59 years old (median age = 60). All associations with HSV-1 and CMV were not significant. Conclusions: Aggression and impulsivity, personality traits considered as endophenotypes for SSDV, are associated with latent T gondii infection in a gender and age-specific manner, and could be further investigated as prognostic and treatment targets in 7: gondii-positive individuals at risk for SSDV. Published by Elsevier Ltd.Journal of Psychiatric Research 09/2014; 60. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.09.019 · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In the present study we have performed both a meta-analysis and an analytical study exploring the presence of Chlamydia pneumoniae, herpes simplex virus type 1, human herpes virus 6, and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in a sample of 143 schizophrenic patients and 143 control subjects. The meta-analysis was performed on papers published up to April 2014. The presence of serum immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin A was performed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test. The detection of microbial DNA in total peripheral blood was performed by nested polymerase chain reaction. The meta-analysis showed that: 1) C. pneumoniae DNA in blood and brain are more common in schizophrenic patients; 2) there is association with parasitism by T. gondii, despite the existence of publication bias; and 3) herpes viruses were not more common in schizophrenic patients. In our sample only anti-Toxoplasma immunoglobulin G was more prevalent and may be a risk factor related to schizophrenia, with potential value for prevention.Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 01/2015; 11:843-852. DOI:10.2147/NDT.S79285 · 2.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), when present in brain of carriers of the type 4 allele of the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE), has been implicated as a major factor in Alzheimer's disease (AD). It is proposed that virus is normally latent in many elderly brains but reactivates periodically (as in the peripheral nervous system) under certain conditions, for example stress, immunosuppression, and peripheral infection, causing cumulative damage and eventually development of AD. Diverse approaches have provided data that explicitly support, directly or indirectly, these concepts. Several have confirmed HSV1 DNA presence in human brains, and the HSV1-APOE-ε4 association in AD. Further, studies on HSV1-infected APOE-transgenic mice have shown that APOE-e4 animals display a greater potential for viral damage. Reactivated HSV1 can cause direct and inflammatory damage, probably involving increased formation of beta amyloid (Aβ) and of AD-like tau (P-tau)-changes found to occur in HSV1-infected cell cultures. Implicating HSV1 further in AD is the discovery that HSV1 DNA is specifically localized in amyloid plaques in AD. Other relevant, harmful effects of infection include the following: dynamic interactions between HSV1 and amyloid precursor protein (APP), which would affect both viral and APP transport; induction of toll-like receptors (TLRs) in HSV1-infected astrocyte cultures, which has been linked to the likely effects of reactivation of the virus in brain. Several epidemiological studies have shown, using serological data, an association between systemic infections and cognitive decline, with HSV1 particularly implicated. Genetic studies too have linked various pathways in AD with those occurring on HSV1 infection. In relation to the potential usage of antivirals to treat AD patients, acyclovir (ACV) is effective in reducing HSV1-induced AD-like changes in cell cultures, and valacyclovir, the bioactive form of ACV, might be most effective if combined with an antiviral that acts by a different mechanism, such as intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG).Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 08/2014; 6:202. DOI:10.3389/fnagi.2014.00202 · 2.84 Impact Factor