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J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;46(3):655-63. doi: 10.3233/JAD-142718.

Variants in Antiviral Genes are Risk Factors for Cognitive Decline and Dementia.


A gene association study of factors regulating antiviral response such as interferon (IFN)-λ3, also known as IL-28B, mediator complex (Med) 23, and interferon regulatory factor (IRF) 7 with cognitive deterioration and Alzheimer's disease (AD) was performed. Differences in the TT genotype distribution of IL-28B single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) between AD patients and controls were found. The GG genotype of Med23 gene appeared to influence the progression of the disease, being more frequent in the APOE ɛ4 negative elderly that developed AD during the five year follow-up. Leukocyte positivity for Epstein Barr virus (EBV) and human herpes virus (HHV)-6 DNA was analyzed. Med23 GG genotype correlated with the positivity to HHV-6 DNA. EBV and HHV-6 plasma IgG levels were also investigated and EBV IgG levels were increased in AD with the IRF7 GG genotype. A differential genetic background in genes regulating anti-virus responses was associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline and AD. EBV and HHV-6 appeared to be risk factors for AD in genetically susceptible elderly.


Alzheimer’s disease; antiviral genes; case-control study; gene polymorphisms; herpes virus infection

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