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HHV-6 and EBV identified as risk factors in Alzheimer's Disease

New findings suggest that EBV and HHV-6 may be environmental risk factors for cognitive deterioration and progression to AD in elderly persons. Researchers from the University of Bologna analyzed DNA from peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) and brain samples from AD patients, discovering that EBV and HHV-6 positivity was significantly elevated in both PBL and brain tissue samples of AD patients compared to controls. The group also followed a population of elderly individuals for 5 years, and found that EBV-positive or HHV-6–positive PBL samples increased significantly among those in the population who developed clinical AD.  READ MORE

Valganciclovir shows promise during first randomized clinical trial for CFS patients with HHV-6 & EBV infection

Preliminary results from a randomized clinical trial led by Stanford physician Jose Montoya to evaluate the use of valganciclovir in a subset of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have been published in the Journal of Medical Virology this month.  In the study, thirty CFS patients with elevated IgG antibody titers against HHV-6 and EBV were randomized 2:1 to receive valganciclovir (VGCV) or placebo for 6 months in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.  Clinical endpoints of the study were aimed at measuring physical and mental fatigue, while biological endpoints included monocyte and neutrophil counts as well as cytokine levels.  READ MORE

New HHV-6B specific cellular receptor identified

In an article published in PNAS earlier this month, a group led by Dr. Yasuko Mori at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan has identified a novel cellular receptor specific for HHV-6B entry.  The cellular receptor for HHV-6A entry was previously identified as human CD46, but the receptor for HHV-6B has not been clear until now.  CD134, a member of the TNF receptor superfamily, has now been shown as a specific entry receptor for HHV-6B.  READ MORE

HHV-6 encephalitis associated with chorea

A recently published case report from Brown University and the Women & Infants’ Hospital of Rhode Island describes a 14-month old child with multiple episodes of febrile status epilepticus, followed by chorea and developmental regression, caused by human herpes virus-6 encephalitis. Chorea, an abnormal involuntary movement disorder, has been previously described as a complication of relapsing herpes simplex virus I infection, but not as a manifestation of human herpes virus-6 infection.  READ MORE