Surprising Link Between Herpes Zoster and Dementia
Herpes zoster does not appear to increase dementia risk ― on the contrary, the viral infection may offer some protection, a large population-based study suggests. Herpes zoster (HZ) is an acute, cutaneous viral infection caused by the reactivation of varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Previous population-based studies have reported both decreased and increased risks of dementia after having HZ.
@yash-0 t's thought that HZ may contribute to the development of dementia through neuroinflammation, cerebral vasculopathy, or direct neural damage, but epidemiologic evidence is limited. To investigate further, Schmidt and colleagues used Danish medical registries to identify 247,305 people who had visited a hospital for HZ or were prescribed antiviral medication for HZ over a 20-year period and matched them to 1,235,890 people who did not have HZ. For both cohorts, the median age was 64 years, and 61% were women.