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Sure! It'a common misconception that the brain is completely separated from the immune system. If it were, it would take one evolutionarily successful pathogen to threaten the existence of our species. The brain is indeed (usually) impenetrable to immune cells circulating in the blood stream, but there are "resident" immune cells protecting it from everything that manages to pass all the other barriers. You can read more about it on Wikipedia [1].

By "factor" I didn't mean a biological entity, but rather... well, a factor contributing to the development of the disease. (As you might have noticed, English is not my native tongue, and I couldn't come up with a sophisticated synonym to "a thing that makes a contribution to sth" ;-))

It's been long postulated that AB/tau proteins are only a symptom of Alzheimer's and not a causative agent (which would explain why, so far, no treatment has been successful despite pre-clinical successes). According to some hypotheses, what we observe is the effect of "strayed" lymphocytes going postal and attacking brain cells after being activated by a microbial agent – and HSV is one of the suspects.

Hope that helps. If something is not clear, feel free to ask and I'll try to explain :-)

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroinflammation




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