Herpes simplex virus type 1 and Alzheimer’s disease: link and potential impact on treatment

Roberta Mancuso, Mariaconcetta Sicurella, Simone Agostini, Peggy Marconi, Mario Clerici

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia worldwide, is a multifactorial disease with a still unknown etiology. Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) has long been suspected to be one of the factors involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. Areas covered: We review the literature focusing on viral characteristics of HSV-1, the mechanisms this virus uses to infect neural cells, its interaction with the host immune system and genetic background and summarizes results and research that support the hypothesis of an association between AD and HSV-1. The possible usefulness of virus-directed pharmaceutical approaches as potential treatments for AD will be discussed as well. Expert opinion: We highlight crucial aspects that must be addressed to clarify the possible role of HSV-1 in the pathogenesis of the disease, and to allow the design of new therapeutical approaches for AD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2019


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • human herpes simplex virus type-I
  • immunity
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • pharmaceutical treatments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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