Could cold sores lead to Alzheimer's?

December 8, 2008 2:33:33 PM PST
There's mounting evidence that suggests catching cold sores could put you at risk of Alzheimer's disease. Scientists have shown the herpes virus behind cold sores is a major cause of the protein plaques that accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. They say this infection causes damage to brain cells which die and then disintegrate.

On the plus side, scientists reporting in the journal Pathology believe this discovery may mean antiviral drugs used to treat cold sores could also prevent dementia.