Can Zika virus cause brain defects?

What are the main symptoms of Zika disease? How does it affect the brain of a child before the birth? Read the information below to learn more facts about widespread infection and its influence on a brain.

Zika virus symptoms

Zika virus symptoms

Symptoms of a disease are similar to symptoms of other infections, such as fever: it is the increased temperature, a dermal eruption, conjunctivitis, muscle and joints pain, a febricula and a headache. These symptoms are usually poorly expressed and keep on going for 2–7 days.

Zika virus – baby brain birth defects

According to a new research, the disease is dangerous not only to babies in mother's womb. Still, scientists were concentrated on studying the influence of Zika virus birth defects on a brain of the children who are in mother's womb. In April, the Center for control and prophylaxis of diseases of the USA published the results of researches confirming what Zika whose career are mosquitoes, causes a nanocephalic and can become the reason of other brain defects. However, according to the new research published in the last issue of Cell Stem Cell Journal, the virus can do harm to some cells of a brain of the adult.

Influence of Zika virus on a brain of the person

The new research was made by Rockefeller University and Institute of immunology. The special nervous cells existing in the adult's brain are in the center of a research. These cells possessing specific functions are widespread both in a brain of the developing fetus and at adults. In the press release of University of Rockefeller of a Cell, precursors are called stem cells of a brain are found that means that they have an opportunity to resupply brain neurons throughout all its life.

Zika virus – baby brain birth defects

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It is considered that Zika virus attacks these cells in a brain of babies in mother's womb that leads to the reduced brain volume. It is the distinctive feature of a nanocephalic. However, in the adult's brain, there are these cells too. Scientists believe that they possess some resilience to a Zika virus that explains that this illness isn't shown at adults.

Researchers had a suspicion that if Zika influences a brain of the developing babies, the virus probably exerts impact and adults. Therefore, they have decided to check this theory on mice, in whose brains the modification imitating Zika infection in a human body was made. According to the associate professor, this is the first research of influence of an infection of Zika on the adult's brain. 'According to our conclusions, infection with a virus isn't as harmless for adults as people believe'.

At mice, these cells live in two areas of a brain, which are the same areas, on which the Zika virus makes the impact at the adult. It is obvious that the virus doesn't influence the whole brain equally. At adults, only these two populations, which are the major for stem cells suffer from a virus. Scientists have also found out that in a brain infected by Zika more cells die and fewer of them are regenerated.

Influence of Zika virus on a brain of the person

According to professors of Institute of immunology, results of a research say that Zika makes a much bigger impact on a brain of children and adults than was considered earlier. 'This is a difficult disease. It makes catastrophic consequences for a brain at early stages of its development. However, most of the adults infected with Zika virus, seldom show easily found symptoms. Perhaps, the influence of a virus on a brain of the adult is just more difficult. Now we know what to look for'.

The professor says that most of the adults can probably overcome various impacts made on them by a virus; however, people with the weakened immune system can be more vulnerable. 'In difficult cases, the virus can theoretically affect a long-term memory or development of depression. – he explains – To prove that Zika makes the same effect on adults, as on mice, additional researchers are necessary. At the moment there are more questions than answers. However, the probability that Zika can exert the impact on adults, sharply aggravates its potential consequences for general health, because the virus continues to extend'.

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