Herpes exposure may complicate schizophrenia

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According to findings from a study published in the May issue of Schizophrenia Research, individuals with schizophrenia who’ve had exposure to herpes simplex 1 tested lower on a range of cognitive tests. Furthermore, a reduction in gray matter volume in areas of the brain linked to executive functioning and psychomotor speed was found in patients with serum antibodies to the virus. David Shretlen, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, commenting on the findings said, “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.” Click here to read an article from United Press International that discusses this study more.

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