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Researchers Find Herpes Viruses in Brains Marked by Alzheimer's Disease (npr.org)
152 points by molecule 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 79 comments

As someone who gets cold sores this worries me. I know when I am super stressed because a cold sore will begin to appear on my lip. It's always there but stress allows it to replicate, all parts of my immune system are not able to cope during stressful events. I hope this doesn't mean I'm at risk for Alzheimer's disease.

At least it's now known when people sleep it clears out beta-amyloid proteins in their brains. Not a cure but at least it's good to know sleep helps flush out the bad stuff.


My doctor told me to take Lysine 500mg per day to prevent them. You have to take it everyday forever, but it works really really well. Surprised it's not a more well known treatment. I only found out about it a couple years ago. Good luck!

Note that these results describe the presence of HHV-6 and HHV-7, which cause roseola. Herpes simplex is HSV-1 and HSV-2, which cause cold sores and genital herpes, respectively.

Ah thanks, good to know.

I don't know your situation, but if you don't already, you should get an RX for Valtrex or some other anti-viral. You can usually take it _before_ the cold sore appears if you can tell it's about to (swelling, stress, etc...) – and it can and often entirely suppresses the external appearance for most people.

Dude, that seems insane to me. Maybe you haven’t ever dived into the possible side effects of anti virals. But maybe you should?

The risk/reward ratio of such a drug for cold sores is extremely poor.

Are we thinking of the same drug? Because Valtrex is pretty safe as long as your kidneys are normal and you drink enough water every day. I take 500 mg daily to prevent 5 to 10 (at least!) cold sores per year. My quality of life is so much higher with this drug (imagine not being able to be intimate on like half of all your dates...) For people like me who get cold sores at the drop of a hat (or shaving or even a sharp cold breeze), it’s a fine risk, and I’d even be willing to risk more.

The more disturbing side effects are rare, but very very serious. I would consider the drug for, say, shingles. But not a chance for a cold sore that’s nothing but a minor nuisance for a few days:


Virtually any drug looks scary when viewing its side effects in totality like that. The throwaway you're replying to is correct in saying it's a pretty safe drug.

>But not a chance for a cold sore that’s nothing but a minor nuisance for a few days

Except the virus regularly sheds asymptomatically, and Valacyclovir reduces that risk significantly, thus affording far more protection to one's partners.

I otherwise agree with you, but for sexually active adults who are positive, taking it is virtually an obligation unless their partner(s) already have the virus as well.

Exactly! It’s also way more than a “minor nuisance”. Try two weeks of painful, disgusting scabbing, washing your hands constantly (God help you if you self-infect your eye, which is totally a thing), and a decent amount of pain and self-esteem problems. Oh, and forget about using your mouth for pretty much anything besides eating, and even that can be difficult. It’s totallt a quality of life thing. I have so many outbreaks, which can be caused by something as benign as shaving or kissing someone with a beard (and I happen to be into dudes), that there really is no other option. I guess I could spend my life breaking out in gross herpes sores, or... I could take a pill every day like I have been for years with no ill effects, and enjoy the things that everyone else does.

Good point. For some people outbreaks can be frequent and/or severe, and it really does become a quality of life thing in that case.

This is why it’s a prescription. You should go over risks and any symptoms with a doctor and get regular checkups.

XalvinX 8 months ago [flagged]

You actually buy and take some kind of man-made chemical every single day to avoid getting a cold sore every month or two?

Here is the list of known side-effects here (sorry about the formatting but i guess carriage returns don't translate well):

Along with its needed effects, valacyclovir (the active ingredient contained in Valtrex) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking valacyclovir:

More common

Discouragement feeling sad or empty irritability lack of appetite loss of interest or pleasure tiredness trouble concentrating trouble sleeping Rare

Black, tarry stools chest pain chills cough decreased frequency or output of urine fever flu-like symptoms headache lower back or side pain reduced mental alertness shortness of breath yellow eyes or skin Incidence not known

Actions that are out of control agitation anxiety back, leg, or stomach pains bleeding gums blood in urine or stools blurred vision change in consciousness change in mental status changes in behavior, especially in interactions with other people changes in patterns and rhythms of speech dark or bloody urine difficult or labored breathing difficulty speaking difficulty swallowing dizziness drowsiness dry mouth fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse feeling that others are watching you or controlling your behavior feeling that others can hear your thoughts feeling, seeing, or hearing things that are not there general tiredness and weakness hyperventilation increased thirst itching lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position light-colored stools loss of consciousness mood or mental changes nausea and vomiting nervousness pale color of skin pinpoint red spots on the skin pounding in the ears puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue redness of the skin restlessness seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there seizures severe mood or mental changes shakiness and unsteady walk shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet skin rash slurred speech sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth stiff neck swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs swollen or painful glands talking, feeling, and acting with excitement tightness in the chest trembling or shaking of the hands or feet trouble in speaking troubled breathing unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination unusual behavior unusual bleeding or bruising unusual tiredness or weakness upper right abdominal pain vomiting weight gain wheezing Some side effects of valacyclovir may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Body aches or pain cramps difficulty in moving ear congestion heavy bleeding loss of voice muscle aches muscle pain or stiffness nasal congestion pain pain in joints sneezing sore throat stuffy or runny nose Less common

Constipation diarrhea Incidence not known

Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin hair loss or thinning of the hair hives or welts increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight red, irritated eyes redness or other discoloration of the skin severe sunburn For Healthcare Professionals Applies to valacyclovir: oral tablet

Gastrointestinal Very common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 16%) Common (1% to 10%): Vomiting, constipation, anorexia, dyspepsia, dry mouth, flatulence Frequency not reported: Tooth disorder Postmarketing reports: Diarrhea[Ref]

Nervous system Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 16%) Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, somnolence Frequency not reported: Migraine Postmarketing reports: Seizures, tremors, ataxia, coma, dysarthria, encephalopathy[Ref]

Neurologic/psychiatric events, sometimes severe, have included confusion, agitation, convulsions, hallucinations, and coma have generally been reversible with discontinuation. These events have mostly been seen in patients with renal impairment or in patients receiving higher doses.[Ref]

Psychiatric Neurologic/psychiatric events, sometimes severe, have included confusion, agitation, convulsions, hallucinations, and coma have generally been reversible with discontinuation. These events have mostly been seen in patients with renal impairment or in patients receiving higher doses.[Ref]

Common (1% to 10%): Depression, insomnia Postmarketing reports: Aggressive behavior, agitation, confusion, mania, psychosis, auditory and visual hallucinations[Ref]

Renal Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Increased serum creatinine Frequency not reported: Acute renal failure Postmarketing reports: Renal failure, renal pain[Ref]

Hematologic TTP/HUS, including some fatalities, has been reported during clinical trials in patients with advanced HIV disease and in allogeneic bone marrow transplant and renal transplant recipients, who were receiving 8 g per day.[Ref]

Common (1% to 10%): Decreased neutrophil counts, decreased platelet counts Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Decreased hemoglobin Frequency not reported: Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome Postmarketing reports: Thrombocytopenia, aplastic anemia, leukocytoclastic vasculitis[Ref]

Hepatic Common (1% to 10%): Abnormal ALT, elevated alkaline phosphatase, elevated AST Postmarketing reports: Hepatitis[Ref]

Hypersensitivity Postmarketing reports: Acute hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis, angioedema, dyspnea, pruritus, rash, urticaria[Ref]

Dermatologic Common (1% to 10%): Rash Frequency not reported: Acne, pruritus Postmarketing reports: Facial edema, erythema multiforme, photosensitivity, alopecia[Ref]

Cardiovascular Postmarketing reports: Hypertension, tachycardia[Ref]

Ocular Postmarketing reports: Visual abnormalities[Ref]

Respiratory Common (1% to 10%): Nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, rhinitis, pharyngitis Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dyspnea Frequency not reported: Sinusitis, bronchitis[Ref]

Musculoskeletal Common (1% to 10%): Arthralgia Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Back pain[Ref]

Genitourinary Frequency not reported: Dysmenorrhea, urinary tract infection[Ref]

Other Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue, asthenia, fever, chills[Ref]

General The most commonly reported adverse reactions have been headache, nausea, and abdominal pain.[Ref]

References 1. "Product Information. Valtrex (valacyclovir)." Glaxo Wellcome, Research Triangle Park, NC.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

You don’t need to take it every day, though some do, you can also take it only at the onset of an outbreak.

> You actually buy and take some kind of man-made chemical every single day to avoid getting a cold sore every month or two?

Yes? I don’t understand why you’re being so judgemental considering this is between me and my doctor and Valtrex is an incredibly safe drug. Unless you’ve gotten cold sores like I have (try four at a time), I’m really not interested in what you have to say, which seems to just be a regurgitation of side effects, which I will remind you have to be reported from the experimental group REGARDLESS of whether or not they’re actually caused by the medication (because you really have no way of knowing). Furthermore, I don’t actually experience any of those side effects. The main concern is that Valtrex may cause reversible kidney damage, but they do labs every so often and my kidneys are totally fine.

Thats's interesting but I'm referring to a cold sore not the genital or other types.

As annoying as it is I can live with it I was just worried it was the type that raised the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

>Thats's interesting but I'm referring to a cold sore not the genital or other types.

"Cold sores" is just another word for oral HSV-1 or more rarely oral HSV-2. While HSV-2 is commonly referred to as genital herpes due to its historical preference for that site, the truth is that both viruses can readily infect both oral and genital sites. Genital HSV-1 for example is very prevalent:

"With respect to genital HSV-1 infection, 140 million people aged 15-49-years were estimated to have genital HSV-1 infection worldwide in 2012, but prevalence varied substantially by region. Most genital HSV-1 infections are estimated to occur in the Americas, Europe and Western Pacific, where HSV-1 continues to be acquired well into adulthood" [0]

In other words, the dichotomy between cold sores and genital herpes is largely pointless; it's the same virus. Oral can transmit to genital and vice/versa. Why one is heavily stigmatized and the other not is simply puzzling.

[0] http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simpl...

Valacyclovir treats a broad range of viruses: "shingles, cold sores, and genital herpes. It can also treat chickenpox..."

Cold sores are herpes. Having an open sore makes it much more likely for you to transmit the virus to others.

The study referenced in the article says they found HHV-6 in normal brains but there was "increased HHV-6A and HHV-7 in brains of subjects with Alzheimer’s disease" [1]. So I would say that is surprising and worth noting.

[1] https://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(18)30421-5

It may be worth noting but it also could very easily be a mistake of identifying an effect as a cause. Once the body is unhealthy all kinds of organisms use that opportunity to stake a claim.

Great point. Healthy people (or any other life form) do not suddenly get sick and die. I think this is a major issue with the entire system of Western medicine. Instead of focussing on healthy diet, lifestyle, exercise, managing stress, the system just wants to identify certain 'germs' and give pills that are supposed to kill those 'germs'...

As I understand it, licensed physicians in the US, even after like 12 years of higher education, never even study nutrition...what could possibly be more fundamental to human health than the food you eat??

Refreshing to see a comment like jacquesm made here.

> I think this is a major issue with the entire system of Western medicine

As opposed to magic like Chinese medicine? Animal Spirits? Shaman? What exactly are you comparing to?

Western medicine, for all its serious flaws, has done more to increase life expectancy and save lives than any other system. By many orders of magnitude.

> Healthy people (or any other life form) do not suddenly get sick and die

Demonstrably false, all throughout human history. In some societies people simply reused children's names and didn't mourn the way we do because it was an absolute certainty that at least a few of your children would die young.

People have been suddenly dropping dead from cancer, flu, random infections, et al for all of human history. In my mother's youth every summer random kids came down with polio. They woke up one morning saying "momma I can't move my legs" and that was the end of their dreams.

Animals also drop dead. Why do you think there are so many animal rituals designed to avoid actual combat? Why do you think males of species that fight each other chest pound, yell, stomp, leap, or otherwise put on these displays? Because one injury can mean death. Even a scrape can easily get infected. Such displays are designed to avoid this scenario as often as possible.

> Instead of focussing on healthy diet, lifestyle, exercise, managing stress,

Western medicine does focus on these things. They aren't magic cures any more than pills are... but peddlers of woo and unscientific nonsense often like to pretend diet can cure every disease, so I'd urge caution lest someone think you're one of those people.

Hey there, you needn't be so belligerent on this topic; it's a topic where everyone cares about the right things - i.e., keeping people alive and well for longer.

Through my own health challenges that have extended back 10+ years, I've avidly used both conventional medicine and natural/complementary treatments (acupuncture, naturopathy, emotion-based therapies, therapeutic breathing exercises), and through extensive experience I know better than most that both have their place and both serve very different functions.

Nobody doubts that modern medical innovations like antibiotics, complex surgery and many other western medical approaches have done tremendous good in terms of curing previously incurable illnesses and extending lives.

But on the matter of "people have been suddenly dropping dead from cancer, flu, random infections, et al for all of human history", it's uncontroversial that people's propensity to contract these illnesses and die from them is heavily influenced by their underlying state of health, i.e., factors like organ function, immune system fortitude, inflammation, hormone and neurotransmitter levels, nutrient intake/absorption and emotional state - all of which interact in vastly complex ways.

It's not a damning dismissal of Western medicine to say that it doesn't do so much to focus on these factors that are further upstream; it's too busy dealing with people who are acutely unwell or at risk of mortality.

Of course when you visit a general physician for a checkup they'll tell you to avoid smoking, to not consume too much alcohol or junk food and to eat plenty of vegetables.

But if you really want to go deep into understanding and optimising your underlying health - which I needed to do, due to having impairments that conventional medicine couldn't help with - less conventional approaches can be highly beneficial.

And for what it's worth, I do know a lot about the placebo effect!

I can see you are a True Believer and I'm not going to respond to this comment. Good day to you.

Your understanding is incorrect in that Nutrition is included in medical education, although you are right in that it isn't much.

There is a saying in medical education that med profs often like to quote: "Half of what we teach you will be wrong in four years, the problem is we don't know which half"

When I was in medical school we were just emerging from the 'fat is bad', towards what I see now as a more 'carbs are bad' (this is a dumb oversimplification but I think sums up the trends). Thumbing through my 2001 copy of 'Harrison's Internal Medicine' there is just a 40 page section on nutrition (out of 2600 pages), and most of that is on various forms of malnourishment (rickets, scurvy, etc...)

The biggest problem with studying what is good nutrition is that it is really hard to control what people eat in a randomized study and there are so many confounders when you try to look at retrospective studies on healthy populations (for example, 7th Day Adventists live longer, is it because of the diet, or because of community, etc...?)

You read more into my comment than I wrote and you're dead wrong in that physicians do not study nutrition.

>> "We mapped out the social network, if you will, of which genes the viruses are friends with and who they're talking to inside the brain," Dudley says. In essence, he says, they wanted to know: "If the viruses are tweeting, who's tweeting back?"

Finally, a relatable metaphor for millennials like me!

> They also found that these Alzheimer's risk genes seem to make a person's brain more vulnerable to infection with the two herpes viruses.

If that is the case, people predisposed for Alzheimer will naturally have more herpes virus in the brain - does not seem like viruses are anywhere near the root cause of Alzheimer's.

Someone noted (vedtopkar) these are "HHV-6 and HHV-7, which cause roseola". Note that it's an incredibly common infection in babies.

There's also another study investigating association between HHV-6 and measles virus serology and brain antibody in autism:


Reading these studies makes me think an ineffective blood-brain barrier or a brain-specific defence might trigger common viruses to present a wider family of brain-related diseases.

We also know there is literature on encephalitis caused by both HHV-6 and measles. I'm speculating that even in a micro, benign form, this condition is enough the shake brain structure.

We should probably investigate a more complex but more generic model of brain diseases.

> measles virus serology

Potentially topical oddball thing I learned while looking up something on measles. About 1 in 10000 people[1] that contact measles go on to develop subacute sclerosing panencephalitis[2] 6 to 15 years later. While results in brain deterioration and death.

[1] Might be 10X higher.

[2] Obligatory Wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subacute_sclerosing_panencepha...

It always struck me as odd how accepting everyone was of the inevitability and benign-ness of chickenpox. Even though we know the virus is still present after the rash, it seemed strange to me how it was assumed no less visible effects were occurring.

HPV is another which I found odd how little importance was placed on preventing its spread growing up. Even today we're still selective about the immunization of people against this virus, knowing it's responsible for most occurrences of cervical cancer.

I suspect we'll almost certainly learn something less obvious about herpes of comparable importance to HPVs role in cervical cancer.

>It always struck me as odd how accepting everyone was of the inevitability and benign-ness of chickenpox.

Funny enough, genital Varicella Zoster (chicken pox) is a thing. Somewhat rare since most people already contract the virus at a different site during childhood, but it happens. It even presents very similar to a normal HSV-1/2 genital infection since it is also a herpesvirus.

Spent a month with shingles. Chicken pox is satan, y'all.

This is not surprising. At least one study [1] showed 85% of people's brains are PCR-positive for at least HHV-6. It is also important to keep in mind that herpesviruses have evolved with us (and many other species) and in some ways are considered part of our normal flora. They may also play an important role in the proper development of our immune system.

The data in this paper is suggestive (and complicated!!), but there is no convincing mechanism for the virus having anything to do with the development of Alzheimers. The real virology here will be very hard.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11285567

Likewise, detectable RNA/DNA does not mean there's virus (virions).

An unusual example, but it's common to have Ebola virus RNA in semen (a fluid from another immuno-privileged site) with no detectable virus for months after primary infection. (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa1511410 among others.) Similar patterns exist for lots of other viruses.

True, but keep in mind:

It is a normal part of all herpesviruses to be quiescent. They have the capacity to reactivate from nothing but their genome into a fully functional virus.

Ebola is a negative-stranded RNA virus, and it is unlikely to find naked RNA in any body site. Rather, it is a mix of infectious virions and noninfectioius virus-like particles. The NEJM study you site was a qRTPCR only study. There was no attempt to actually culture the virus from the semen. Previous studies have tried culturing, and it difficult to culture semen-derived virus at the qRTPCR titers identified here.

So why don't they try to isolate the virus itself instead of looking for RNA/DNA? Too expensive? Or impossible perhaps?

This is more difficult than is sounds. Herpesviruses are quiescent (latent) for much of their lives and exist only as DNA, with no virions being produced. There are different latency "programs"--during some of these, there may be a handful of virus genes produced, and some there are no genes produced. Circumstances may cause these virus genomes to reactivate--transcribing genes and making virions.

Maybe confusingly, herpesviruses may still contribute to the biology of the cell even in the latent state.

DNA/RNA sequencing is also more sensitive in some ways (which can be both good and bad). It is also a very broad tool. You can go back to large datasets and try to squeeze more information out--even things you werent looking for originally, like herpesviruses. NCBI also hosts a very large repository of raw sequence data (SRA--the sequence read archive). Much of this data has decent metadata, so you could conceivably even do a new study on somebody else's old data.

Realistically, probably because they're not virologists. Looking for nucleic acids is easy/commonplace. Virus culture, electron microscopy and immunoassays are more specialized techniques.

If they aren't virologists, maybe they should leave this kind of research to those that are? The headline says "Researchers Find Herpes Viruses" ...but they didn't (or cannot?) find them? Then, umm...why does it say that?

People commonly take acyclovir for simplex 1 & 2. Does that suppress this virus? Can any of these common drugs pass the blood-brain barrier?

Might other herpes strains be involved? Zoster (chicken pox)? Epstein-Barr (mono)? Kaposi's Sarcoma/HHV8?

Acyclovir improves outcomes in HSV encephalitis [0], but does not completely cure it or prevent long-term damage in all patients.

The worst side effect of encephalitis is memory impairment:

> The most common and most disabling complication of herpes simplex encephalitis in our patients, and in other studies,9 10 20-24 was memory impairment, which especially affected short term memory. Occasionally remote memory is more severely affected than anterograde memory.

[0] https://jnnp.bmj.com/content/63/3/321

Don't forget Cytomegalovirus (CMV, or HHV-5)! (Also, the zoster/chickenpox virus is calle Varicella-zoster virus (VZV or HHV-3).

Since there is no proposed mechanism for how the virus may be involved, there is no way to know if acyclovir, cidofovir, or any nucleoside analog might help. These drugs only really help to stop actively replicating viruses (lytic viruses). Most of the herpesvirus life cycle is spent in "latency" where it only exists as a piece of DNA (some, like HHV6/7 may integrate into the host chromosome, others like HSV-1/HHV-1 and EBV/HHV-4 maintain their genome as a separate molecule). During this period, there are few, if any, genes made, but in some cases, those genes may be important to disease pathogenesis. The role of herpesviruses in latency-associated diseases is very complicated, and is also dependent on host genetics.

Stuff like this always reminds me of:


I'm guessing they are being as careful as they can in regards to selection bias.

People with Alzheimer's seem to have more things in their brain that shouldn't be there than normal. Past findings include types of immune cells that shouldn't be there, various yeast, other types of virus etc. It's not clear if all those are there due to the blood-brain barrier loosing structural integrity, or those cause Alzheimer's in the first place.


> In other news, Alzheimer's patients breathe oxygen and drink water. Beware!

This very remark undermines your snark. We clearly would not look at 'breathes air" or 'drinks water,' precisely because these are factors that are common in the population between those who do and those who do not develop Alzheimer's. It is, in fact, the very fact that the factors that the grandparent mentioned "don't belong in the brain" that is interesting, and suggestive of models other than, for example, "Alzheimer's is an isolated, simple condition that is relatively unaffected by confounds."

It is these very same correlations that can lead us to the likely rocks to turn over, and that is where the newsworthiness and interest derives. Everybody knows about correlation and causation. It's possibly not causative, for example, but seems to be correlative that people who snark about correlation and causation tend to shoot themselves in the feet with their sarcasm. I sure know where I'll look for a deeper explanation, though!

> precisely because these are factors that are common in the population

Herpes is also extremely common in the human population (cold sores, anyone?) so I fail to see how this somehow proves your point.

But Herpes in the brain isn't common in the human population.

> The team found that levels of two human herpes viruses, HHV-6 and HHV-7, were up to twice as high in brain tissue from people with Alzheimer's.

Yes, HHV-6 is common throughout the population, including in the brain. It's an endogenous retrovirus, so is inherited via DNA, or is easily transmitted from person to person, particularly in childhood.

The issue is severity, not presence.

By the way, the variants of herpes in question are HHV-6/7, which are different to the herpes simplex viruses (HSV1/2) that cause cold sores and skin breakouts.

craftyguy truncated the comment. "...common in the population between..." those who do and those who do not. I was talking about the water and breathing comment, clearly meaning that both the diseased and the unaffected have the behaviors of drinking water and breathing air in common. It's not absolute frequency that matters, but a difference in frequency between the diseased and the disease-free that is potentially explanatory.

"Correlation's not causation"

Is not some magical incantation

With just a word or two of proof

We all get closer to the truth

- mfringel the rhetorical safety officer

Please quote from the linked article where they imply causation.

In the article, tbey only mention that HHV-6 and HHV-7 virus levels are increased. Don’t really see where causation is implied at all. It’s the same with elevated levels amyloid beta, only one piece of the puzzle.

That was my point - the article doesn't imply any causation, so the "correlation != causation" meme is an irrelevant criticism.

Scientists have engineered a version of Herpes virus that can kill cancer cells


Offtopic: after declining GDPR consents I was redirected to text only version of the page:


Same here. Personally, I kind of prefer the text only version. :)

Oh, my god. Is there a browser extension or a third party website or anything out there that does this for all websites? I haven't had much luck, but that's partially because some sites have chosen to make themselves unusable without javascript enabled.

NPR, thank you for this subdomain <3

"Reader Mode" is built into Firefox. (Dunno about chrome, I don't use that)

There is also https://outline.com

You have no idea how helpful this is to me right now. I am in Chile on the most abominably slow pre-paid cell phone connection. I'm reading this from the mountains as we speak

Thank you so much

Put the phone down! :-)

But I need to take photos like this! [1]

We have service here, believe it or not. There's even wifi at 9,000ft in elevation. We're at 13,000 feet right now


+1 for Outline

If Firefox does not offer the reader mode button/icon for a page, you can still use it using this:

about:reader?url=<insert url here>

I only learned about it from their GDPR notice. I declined tracking permission and they gave me the best version ever!

Safari's "Reader Mode" also does this.

You can also automatically enable "Reader Mode" for a single domain or all domains by pressing the reader mode button for like 2 seconds. Which is something I just recently discovered. I like this feature a lot on my iPhone. It can also be automatically enabled on macOS in the same way.

Thanks, this is useful to me.

It is also often useful to get rid of the "you've used up your 10 articles for the month" messages that obscure article text.

Thank you, unfortunately I don't have an iToy anymore, the battery exploded :*(

This reminds me of a line from one of Eddie Murphy's comedy routines back in the 80s: "Herpes is like luggage; you keep that s--t forever."


We've asked you a number of times to please make your comments thoughtful and informative. If you won't, we'll ban the account.


Respectfully, which rule is at issue here?

This site is for substantive, intellectually interesting discussion. The guidelines aren't rules (or else that's what they'd be called), they're there to help guide us in that direction. When commenters repeatedly post unsubstantive comments from which we don't stand to learn anything, that's not using the site as intended. If there isn't any insight in your comment, don't post it.

Not arguing with this, albeit subjective, logic, just trying to understand what's going on in this instance. How should I have expressed the insight that, "Even prior to Alzheimers, getting mentally limited as we age might be a result of an accumulation of viruses in the brain, some of which might be obtained through sexual exposure?" -- except more succinctly?

I am still not sure what is objectionable in this comment. I post in good faith, and I expect especially the mods will uphold the guideline to read a comment in the strongest plausible interpretation.

This is Roseola, not Herpes Simplex.

This is also talking Alzheimers, not general mental decline. I'm just throwing out a wild thought stemming from this article.

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