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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Bennett 2012.

Inflammation and reactivation of latent herpesviruses in older adults

updated
Bennett JM, Glaser R, Malarkey WB, Beversdorf DQ, Peng J, Kiecolt-Glaser JK. Inflammation and reactivation of latent herpesviruses in older adults. Brain Behav Immun. 2012 Jul;26(5):739–46. PubMed #22155500.
Tags: etiology, neat, inflam-sys, random, pro

PainSci summary of Bennett 2012?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This paper presents good evidence that “inflammaging” (increase in systemic inflammation with aging) may be related to the gradual weakening of the immune system, allowing some kinds of common minor infections to “reactivate” after lying dormant in our cells for years or even decades.

original abstractAbstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

Inflammation increases with age and is associated with many chronic diseases that are prevalent among older adults. Persistent pathogens such as latent herpesviruses and chronic bacterial infections can act as a source of inflammation. Herpesviruses, including Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV), establish latent infections following primary infection and reactivate when the cellular immune system is compromised. EBV and CMV replication can induce proinflammatory cytokine production and thus could influence systemic inflammation. The present study addressed relationships among EBV and CMV antibody titers, and levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in a sample of 222 community dwelling older adults (mean(age)=64.1±14.1 years). Participants were divided into two groups based on whether they were EBV seropositive and CMV seronegative (EBV+CMV-), or EBV and CMV seropositive (EBV+CMV+). Among individuals who were EBV+CMV-, EBV antibody titers were not associated with either CRP or IL-6 levels. However, among those who were EBV+CMV+, higher EBV antibody titers were related to elevated levels of CRP and IL-6 in those individuals with higher CMV antibody titers; there was no relationship between EBV antibody titers and CRP or IL-6 levels in those participants with lower CMV antibody titers. These data suggest that the combination of latent EBV and CMV reactivation (indexed by antibody titers) may boost CRP and IL-6 production. Thus, reactivation of multiple herpesviruses may drive inflammation and could contribute to poorer health among older adults.

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This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: