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(114,904 posts)
Fri Aug 19, 2016, 09:52 AM Aug 2016

Zika Virus May Affect Brain Function in Adults

Many researchers have suggested for some time that the Zika virus may have serious health consequences—particularly on brain function. Several months ago, health officials verified that the virus can cause a range of congenital birth defects, including microcephaly and brain damage in infants born to mothers who were infected during pregnancy.

Zika’s effects on adults have not yet been studied widely. Although most adults who contract the virus remain asymptomatic, some researchers suspect the Zika virus may also have deleterious effects on the adult central nervous system in ways that we don’t fully understand. Simply put, Zika may not be as innocuous for adults as public health officials currently claim.

A new study published Thursday in Cell Stem Cell contains some of the first research to look specifically at how the virus may affect the brains of adults who become infected. Though this research, conducted on mice, is highly preliminary, it provides clear evidence that health officials may need to closely monitor and track patients’ neurological and cognitive functions even after the acute infection has resolved.

The study found that the Zika virus appears to target neural progenitor cells—stem cells that are the earliest form of brain cells, which eventually become fully formed neurons. While the fetal brain is composed of mostly neural stem cells, they are present in only two areas of the brain in adults: the anterior forebrain and the hippocampus. These regions are critical to neuroplasticity and are linked to memory and cognitive function.


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Zika Virus May Affect Brain Function in Adults (Original Post) cali Aug 2016 OP
Scary, scary stuff! PearliePoo2 Aug 2016 #1
well, this is very preliminary (the adult brain stuff) cali Aug 2016 #2
would explain the number of red state down south..... dembotoz Aug 2016 #3
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