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Herpes Zoster Virus and Bell's Palsy

Giovanni Maga maga at vetbio.unizh.ch
Tue Mar 14 09:15:18 EST 1995

In article <dk_larson-1303950958400001 at dk_larson1.pnl.gov>,
dk_larson at pnl.gov (Darren K Larson) wrote:

> HI
>    Does anyone know anything about the virus called herpes zoster?  I've
> read that it is a possible cause of Bell's Palsy (partial paralysis of
> face due to damage to facial nerve).
>    ANY information you have regarding treatment of this virus would be
> helpful.  Are there any anti-viral drugs that could combat this virus? 
> Acyclovir?
>    Thanks
>    Darren K Larson
>    dk_larson at pnl.gov

VZV is the varicella-zoster virus, an herpesvirus which cause a common
desease called varicella (especially in childhood) and some more serious
deseases like shingles. The latter is due to the reactivation of VZV, which
becomes latent after the first infection in the NS (usually in neurons of
the peripheral ganglia) and then undergoes to spontaneous reactivations
causing painful inflammations of the trigeminus. I am not aware of any
relationship between VZV and Palsy, even if a similar effect in some
serious VZV reactivations could be envisaged. I am not aware as well of any
effective drug against VZV, since the best antiherpetic drugs like ACV,
DHPG and BVdU are poorly affective against it. Usually VZV infections
recede spontaneously.

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