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Cold Sores And Cognitive Problems: Mind Over Matter?

Cold Sores And Cognitive Problems: Mind Over Matter?

Probably one of the more overlooked aspects of cold sores is the effect they have on people’s mental health as a whole. With someone who suffers from a condition such as acne or breakouts, focus is also rightly put on how the aesthetics of the spots make them feel mentally, but not so much with regard to the cold sore virus. The cognitive effects of cold sores can often be dismissed as something that is purely ‘all in the mind’ and has no real basis in medical fact, or any real physical manifestation. However, recent news from the USA suggests that cold sores can indeed have a long term effect on the brain. Further to this, interesting research from Australia suggests that a cure for the virus in all its forms could well be on the first steps to successful future development, too.
Cold sores and cognitive issues
An interesting news report into cognitive problems arising from cold sores was released earlier on this year which claimed to have found a link between mental problems and the cold sore virus. A study, which was undertaken by the University of Columbia in the USA, enlisted just over one thousand six hundred participants, each with varying levels of the herpes simplex virus in their bloodstream. These participants were followed for a total of eight years, with regular blood testing taking place and cognitive ability tests alongside. It was found that people taking the tests with a higher infection rate for the cold sore virus than others, were around twenty five percent more likely to suffer from some form of mental problem down the line, but in particular conditions like memory loss. Dr Mira Katan, from the University of Columbia Medical Center said that viruses such as the one that creates cold sores can not just trigger inflammation at the site where the cold sore (or other manifestations of the herpes virus) will appear, but it will also trigger off inflammation in blood vessels throughout the body too. This can have a direct effect on the brain in the long term and end up causing the problems described above. The study found that there were a number of factors that could help to guard against both problems materialising in otherwise healthy patients. They found that access to proper healthcare for both conditions, including prescribed medication from a reputable source, alongside a good diet and plenty of exercise, too. These three things were enough to help minimise any issues caused by both conditions and help patients to ward off the chances of problems developing either now or in the future. However, whilst this is generally sound advice, there is always hope that a cure can be found –  and there are signs that this may be about to happen.
Could there be help on the horizon?
Scientists in Australia are hoping that they may be close to making a breakthrough in dealing with the condition, which may in turn lead to an eradication of the herpes virus in all its forms and indeed the mental problems that can be associated with it. Researchers from the University of Queensland’s spin off company Coridon have been given the go ahead to start trials to test a vaccine which can be given to people in order that they can start to live a normal life again. If the trial is a success it is hoped that down the line it may provide a cure which would mean that many people who rely on daily medications and prescriptions for topical creams to control the virus would no longer need them, or at the very least be able to manage on a reduced program of drug treatment.
Australian company Dynamiclear has released the world’s first “One Application” treatment for the symptoms of Herpes & Cold Sores
Professor Ian Frazer, leading the research has recruited twenty people to take part in an initial trial. These people are aged between eighteen and forty five and have never suffered from a cold sore in their life before. They will be given three separate shots of the vaccine and have a blood test taken after each one. The results from these will be analyzed to see if the participants have developed any immunity to the virus at all. It is hoped that if this trial is a success, then the vaccine will be developed within the next six years for use on sufferers of the herpes virus. The research and work will be conducted at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and the results are expected to be published shortly.

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