Thursday, March 28, 2013
Cold Sores & Brain Damage
I just read an article posted on www.bottomlinepublications.com which reports that “There’s growing evidence that Alzheimer’s may be caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1), the same virus that causes fever blisters or cold sores on the face and mouth.”
I don’t want to believe that a simple cold sore can cause so much damage.
The article goes on to say that “It is not believed to be caused by the other herpes simplex virus—HSV2, genital herpes, which is transmitted sexually.” I'm not sure if that's good news or bad news. Since I don't have herpes, does that mean I'm lined up to get more bad brain tumor news? Or, if you have had HSV2, etc. you have a chance of even more horrible problems?
Another question that popped into my mind was "How would this happen?" According to the article, “HSV1 attacks the immune system, particularly the peripheral nervous system. Once it has attacked, it never leaves the body but lies dormant and occasionally reactivates, causing a flare-up of blisters or enlarged lymph nodes, especially when set off by a trigger, such as stress or fatigue.”
You can read the full article at: http://www.bottomlinepublications.com/content/article/health-a-healing/warning-a-cold-sore-could-cause-alzheimers
Interestingly, or perhaps disturbingly, there is also a lengthy conversation on ABTA’s Inspire web site that tosses in sun overexposure into the conversation about the connection between cold sores and brain tumors: http://www.inspire.com/groups/american-brain-tumor-association/discussion/quick-survey/?ref=as&asat=78099999
Since I am a melanoma cancer survivor, this just adds fuel to my late-night worries.
One victim wrote that “I was told when I was first diagnosed that there is about a 20% higher incidence in Brain Tumors in the Southeast US. I was also recently told at Duke University that airline pilots used to have a higher rate of brain tumors also. I know that I personally was both a Lifeguard and a sun worshiper, I got a really bad sunburn in college once, on my face and lips and have had many, many years of cold sores, just about every year for twenty years or so.”
My reaction to this is that we are all searching for an answer to the question of “Why did I/my spouse/my child/my loved one get this nasty, unforgiving, relentless and criminally powerful tumor?” And in that quest, we will leave no stone unturned, no rumor un-investigated and no fact un-dissected.
Image credit: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/photo_18564300_a-cartoon-mouth-with-a-cold-sore.html'>blamb / 123RF Stock Photo</a>