Focus of Research of Viral Infections Involves Neurodegenerative Diseases

1759 Words Jan 28th, 2018 7 Pages
Data suggests that viral infections promote hallmark events seen in neuronal degeneration such as in Alzheimer's Disease (AD). In AD, protein aggregates of β-amyloid peptides forming plaques and neurofibrillary tangles composed of hyperphosphorylated tau has been shown to impair brain functions. Areas affected are the hippocampus and cerebral cortex responsible for cognitive and locomotor skills. Other contributing factors to neuronal degeneration includes oxidative stress, and modifications to autophagic and apoptotic pathways. This paper looks at herpes simplex type-1 involvement in AD.
History
The origin of Herpes Virus is unknown but its lesions and transmission were recognized by Hippocrates and Shakespeare during earlier times (Kaplan 1973). In 1919, the experimental works of Lowenstein confirmed the infectious nature of HSV (Holden 1932). Twentieth century Herpes simplex virus (HSV) research lead to the discovery that aside from skin infections, HSV also infects the central nervous system (CNS) (Kaplan 1973).
Molecular Biology Herpesviridae, a family of viruses whose name is derived from the Greek word érpi̱s, meaning "to creep", used to describe the disposition of the herpetic lesions. These viruses have double-stranded DNA with linear genome packaged inside an icosahederal capsid (Kaplan 1973). The capsid is encased with tegument…
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