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Subject: "Alzheimer's risk and nerve pain"     Previous Topic | Next Topic
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Conferences Neuralgia / Pain Topic #425
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jomoca
Member since Sep-7-13
2 posts
Sep-07-13, 07:19 PM (CST)
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"Alzheimer's risk and nerve pain"
 
   LAST EDITED ON Sep-07-13 AT 07:24 PM (CST)
 
Hi, I'm a first time poster and a long, long time sufferer of herpes. I get sores around my mouth and the occasional genital outbreak, but can keep these from occurring with suppressive therapy (Valaciclovir 500 mg once daily). However, I am always aware of neuralgia pain, worst when I am tired or stressed, and believe that my overt symptoms ( ie visible outbreaks) are only just kept at bay by the medication. Interestingly, my husband also has the occasional Herpes outbreak and it invariably follows that my neuralgic pain worsens soon after. The pain is not debilitating and is an issue mostly at night. My arms, hands, legs both sides of my chest are touch sensitive as is the area on both sides of my breastbone.Not like any other pain I can describe - a constant burning sensation but exquisitely painful if poked. (So articulate I am - not - it makes me feel like such a hypochondriac!)
My questions are these. Is there any benefit in increasing the Valaciclovir because my research suggests a twice daily regime is more effective? It might allow me to get more restful sleep? And also, is there any creditable research that suggests a link between Alzheimer's and Herpes and does the suppressive therapy assist in prevention or delay of Alzheimer's if there is such a link?
A long message, but I would really appreciate some answers and informed discussion.
This virus is a misery, and I fully empathise with fellow sufferers.


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starrattadmin
Charter Member
2067 posts
Sep-08-13, 10:21 AM (CST)
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1. "RE: Alzheimer's risk and nerve pain"
In response to message #0
 
Okay.

First the hypothesis circulating right now is that there is an association between HSV1 (i.e. oral herpes -- which 85% of people over the age of 69 have already) and Alzheimer's.

There are a couple of studies out that show a possible link with HSV1 and Alzheimer's'/cognitive decline, BUT it is not a clear cut thing. One study found cognitive difficulties are most likely to appear in people who have low income, lower education, no health insurance and especially in people who don't exercise.

The study of the link between HSV1 and Alzheimer's / HSV1 is very early stuff. What the link is (i.e. correlation versu causal -- i.e. it just tends to be there versus what trouble it actually is causing) is not clear cut.

The other thing that needs to be put in here is that there are other things that put you at risk for Alzheimer's including: age (i.e. the older you are), family history/genetics, female gender, removal of ovaries, diabetes, head injury, down syndrome, mild cognitive impairment, and/or low levels of education. It's causes and development are not clear-cut.

The symptoms you are describing that are occurring above the waistline do not sound like genital herpes, although they do sound like they are neurological in origin. Neuralgia connected with genital herpes is generally going to involve the nerves originating from the lumbar and/or sacral areas of your back which will involve your legs/groin/lower back area -- not your arms/chest/breastbone. In your shoes I would want a thorough workup done to find out if there is something else going on other than herpes. Your physician may need to refer you to a neurologist.

As far as your Valtrex regimen goes. For suppression you can take up to 1g (i.e. 1000 mg) of Valtrex once daily for suppression and you may find that settles down your OBs. When you have an outbreak you switch to twice daily 500 mg for a few days to calm things down more effectively.

I do not know of any research connecting Valtrex treatment to reduced likelihood of Alzheimer's. Probably because this research is relatively new and Alzheimer's takes decades to develop.

To summarize:

- No evidence connecting HSV2 to Alzheimer's
- Possibly some evidence connecting HSV1 to Alzheimer's, but things are in the early stages so the picture is not clear
- You are on the lower suppression dose for HSV2 suppression, so you could up that to 1000 mg/day for better control of your symptoms below the waist (take 500 mg twice daily for actual OBs)
- You should see a doctor and maybe get a referral for the problems you are having above the waist

I hope this helps.

Be well,
Lorraine

Hoe eet jy 'n olifant? Bietjie vir bietjie.
(Translation from Afrikans: How do you eat an elephant? Bit by bit.)


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jomoca
Member since Sep-7-13
2 posts
Sep-08-13, 10:58 AM (CST)
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2. "RE: Alzheimer's risk and nerve pain"
In response to message #1
 
   Thank you Lorraine. You sound very sensible and well informed. I will ask my GP for a referral to a neurologist mainly because insomnia ( due to pain) has become such a problem. My dad died quite young with Alzheimer's and he had herpes all his life and I have always wondered if there was a connection. I'll look out for the research as it evolves.. My herpes seems relatively manageable in comparison to other contributors to this forum and for that I am grateful -the Valtrex seems to do the trick although I'm a reluctant drug taker and am concerned about long term side effects. Take care. jomoca


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starrattadmin
Charter Member
2067 posts
Sep-08-13, 02:42 PM (CST)
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3. "RE: Alzheimer's risk and nerve pain"
In response to message #2
 
There is quite a bit of long term data on acyclovir (which is what Valtrex breaks down into inside your body) and it is, arguably, one of the safest drugs out there when taken over the long term (30+ years of data these days).

Whatever medication you opt to take is a personal choice.

Been kicking around this board for 12 years, you pick a few things up along the way.

Be well,
Lorraine

Hoe eet jy 'n olifant? Bietjie vir bietjie.
(Translation from Afrikans: How do you eat an elephant? Bit by bit.)


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