The viral hypothesis: how herpesviruses may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease

Michael Wainberg, Tain Luquez, David M. Koelle, Ben Readhead, Christine Johnston, Martin Darvas, Cory C. Funk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The hypothesis that infectious agents, particularly herpesviruses, contribute to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis has been investigated for decades but has long engendered controversy. In the past 3 years, several studies in mouse models, human tissue models, and population cohorts have reignited interest in this hypothesis. Collectively, these studies suggest that many of the hallmarks of AD, like amyloid beta production and neuroinflammation, can arise as a protective response to acute infection that becomes maladaptive in the case of chronic infection. We place this work in its historical context and explore its etiological implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5476-5480
Number of pages5
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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