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Growing evidence implicates herpes viruses in Alzheimer's

Microscope pictures of the herpes virus cells
Human herpes virus taken with transmission electron microscopy. Photo: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

Beyond the chicken pox and flu, viruses are increasingly believed to play a role in other serious diseases, like cancer and brain diseases.

Case in point: Researchers announced today in Neuron that they found more live herpes viruses in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease than in those without the disorder. This doesn't prove the virus causes the fatal neurodegenerative disease 5.7 million Americans currently live with, but it suggests it plays a role in Alzheimer's pathology and may inform treatment.