The lack of association between herpes simplex virus 1 or Toxoplasma gondii infection and cognitive decline in the general population: An 11-year follow-up study

M. Torniainen-Holm, J. Suvisaari, M. Lindgren, T. Härkänen, F. Dickerson, Robert H Yolken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Inflammation has been suggested to be one, possibly treatable, cause of cognitive decline and dementia. The purpose of the present article was to investigate whether the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) or Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infections are related to cognitive decline or dementia. Method: The Health 2000 survey, conducted 2000–2001, is a population-representative sample of people over 30 years old that involved 7112 participants. The sample was followed up in the year 2011, in the Health 2011 study. At both time points, cognitive performance was assessed with two tests from the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD) assessing verbal fluency and verbal learning. In addition, the abbreviated Mini-Mental State Examination was administered to people aged over 55. In addition, tests assessing reaction and movement time were performed at baseline. Dementia diagnoses from nationwide health care registers were followed up until the end of year 2013. The presence of HSV-1 and T. gondii immunoglobulin G (IgG) was determined by solid-phase immunoassay at baseline. Results: HSV-1 or T. gondii seropositivity, or IgG antibody levels, were not associated with cognitive decline when investigated as infection × time interactions. In addition, the infections were not associated with the risk of dementia. Conclusions: In a large sample of participants that is representative of the whole country and with a long follow-up, the results suggest that latent HSV-1 or T. gondii infections are not related to either decline in cognitive performance or dementia risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-164
Number of pages6
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Volume76
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • HSV-1
  • Neuropsychology
  • Prevalence
  • Toxoplasmosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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