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By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on June 1, 2010

Provocative new research suggests exposure to the common virus that causes cold sores may be partially responsible for cognitive impairment in schizophrenia.

John Hopkins scientists discovered shrinking regions of the brain and the loss of concentration skills, memory, coordinated movement and dexterity widely seen in patients with schizophrenia may result from exposure to herpes simplex.

“We’re finding that some portion of cognitive impairment usually blamed solely on the disease of schizophrenia might actually be a combination of schizophrenia and prior exposure to herpes simplex virus 1 infection, which reproduces in the brain,” says study leader David J. Schretlen, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The research, described in the May Schizophrenia Research, could lead to new ways to treat or prevent the cognitive impairment that typically accompanies this mental illness, including with antiviral drugs, the scientists say.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/06/01/common-virus-may-lead-to-cognitive-problems-in-schizophrenia/14205.html



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