According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 4.4 percent of the population of the United States will have bipolar disorder at one point in their lives.
While the precise causes of such, often debilitating, psychiatric conditions remain unknown, scientists do know that both genes and the environment play a role.
New research that now appears in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology highlights the fact that environmental factors such as viruses may be the driving force behind these disorders.
An international team of scientists led by Bhupesh Prusty — from the Department of Microbiology at the University of Würzburg in Germany — discovered that in the brains of people who lived with bipolar and major depression, a class of neurons called Purkinje cells was infected with the herpesvirus HHV-6A.
Purkinje neurons are inhibitory brain cells located in the human cerebellum, which is the brain area responsible for controlling movement, muscles, balance, and posture.
However, some research has also tied this brain region to language, cognition, and mood.
How HHV-6 may cause depression, bipolar
Prusty and team started from the hypothesis that the human herpesviruses HHV-6A and HHV-6B may drive the development of psychiatric disorders.
So, they examined two large cohorts of brain biopsies from the Stanley Medical Research Institute in Kensington, MD.
“We were able to find active infection of HHV-6 predominantly within Purkinje cells of human cerebellum in bipolar and major depressive disorder patients,” Prusty reports.
The Latest on: Herpesvirus HHV-6A
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The Latest on: Herpesvirus HHV-6A
- Genes from ‘fossil’ virus in human DNA found to be activeon November 11, 2019 at 5:06 am
The researchers were interested in two versions of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) that can integrate into chromosomes and be ... However, relatively little is known about the second virus, HHV-6A. After ...
- Researchers find genes from 'fossil' virus in human DNA to be activeon November 5, 2019 at 6:06 am
The researchers were interested in two versions of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6 ... However, relatively little is known about the second virus, HHV-6A. After infection, both viruses can remain dormant ...
- Human Herpesvirus-6 Entry into Host Cellson November 1, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) belongs to the herpesvirus family and is categorized into variant A and B (HHV-6A and HHV-6B). Primary HHV-6 infection in children and its related diseases are almost ...
- New Insights on Human Herpesvirus 6on October 3, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infects almost all of the human population ... There are two types of the virus: HHV-6A and HHV-6B. HHV-6B primarily infects in infancy as sixth disease, whereas HHV-6A ...
- Herpesvirus: Trigger for Many Brain Pathologies?on July 14, 2019 at 7:38 am
Olfactory neurons can serve as a conduit into the brain for pathogens, including herpesvirus and oral bacteria ... The results suggest that HHV-6A, and -6B, may spread from the nose through the ...
- Going Viral: Alzheimer’s Research at Herpes Conferenceon July 11, 2019 at 3:49 pm
Himself a herpesvirus expert, Pellett described what’s known about HHV-6A, -6B, and 7, collectively called roseoloviruses, and disease. The viruses primarily infect, and persist in, lymphoid cells, ...
- Unusually High Levels of Herpesviruses Found in the Alzheimer’s Disease Brainon June 30, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Two strains of human herpesvirus—human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) and human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) —are found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease at levels up to twice as high as in those ...
- Researchers Make Possible Link Between Alzheimer’s and Herpes Viruson June 21, 2019 at 5:00 pm
The two herpes viruses observed were herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) and human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7). Both strains are related and, according to the HHV-6 Foundation, infect almost 100 percent of human beings ...
- Herpesvirus may lead to bipolar, depressionon August 13, 2018 at 8:09 am
Another study that we covered offered "the first population evidence for a causal link between herpes virus infection and Alzheimer's disease." Next, Prusty and his colleagues plan to study the ...
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