Sunday, August 21, 2016

Zika virus infection and the Alzheimers'

Hello everyone!


The mosquito-borne zika virus has spread to most of the parts of Latin America, Pacific islands and the US. It has been recently linked to Alzheimers' disease and depression!

The viral infection, which is blamed for a surge in the birth defect microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome in newborns, has now been shown to infect adult brain cells involved in learning and memory.
Adult brains retain some niches of neural progenitor cells (stem cells) which replenish neurons in parts of brain linked to learning and memory.
Zika virus infection affects hippocampus, causing cell death and reduced generation of new neurons.  Integrating new neurons into learning and memory circuits is key to the brain's ability to adapt and change. Without this process, the brain slides into cognitive decline thus leading to Alzheimers' disease.
Some deaths have been reported due the viral infection in patients already affected with Alzheimers and depression!
More research going on...

That's all :)

-Jaskunwar Singh

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