New York: Cold sores may increase the risk of developing memory problems, especially in women, a new study has warned. The virus that causes cold sores, along with other viral or bacterial infections, may be associated with cognitive problems, according to the study published in journal Neurology. The study found that people who have had higher levels of infection in their blood (measured by antibody levels), meaning they had been exposed over the years to various pathogens such as the herpes simplex type 1 virus that causes cold sores, were more likely to have cognitive problems than people with lower levels of infection in the blood. "We found the link was greater among women, those with lower levels of education and Medicaid or no health insurance, and most prominently, in people who do not exercise," said author Mira Katan, with the Northern Manhattan Study at Columbia University Medical Center in New York and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. The study was performed in collaboration with the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida. For the study, researchers tested thinking and memory in 1,625 people with an average age of 69 from northern Manhattan in New York.
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