The Link Between Cognitive Decline and Cold Sores
There have been a number of studies that have tied infections to an effect on other parts of the body. A recent study looked into how all kinds of infectious agents, including those that cause cold sores, could be affecting memory.
Alexandra Sifferlin, of Time, reports that those with higher levels of infectious agents were at a 25-percent greater risk of showing signs of cognitive decline. Researchers tested the participants numerous times over a number of years, but their test scores did not continue to decline. The conclusion is that the infections do not continue to take a toll on the brain, but rather leave it damaged after a one-time attack, so to speak.
Other theories are that the infections build up little by little over time until they cause damage blood vessels. Or, the infections could simply be directly causing cognitive decline somehow.
Much more research is needed to find more answers, but new ways of treating dementia and cognitive decline could be developed if the tie between infection and memory loss is proven and better understood.