News from the web:
When we come down with the flu, we might think the worst is over after a week of a sore throat and body aches. But such viral infections may have lasting, unseen effects on the brain, emerging research suggests.
Viruses such as influenza and herpes may leave brain cells vulnerable to degeneration later in life, and increase the risk of developing diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, research suggests. That’s because these the viruses can enter the brain and trigger an immune response — inflammation — which can damage brain cells.
Viruses and other sources of inflammation “may be initiating factors in some of the most common neurological diseases,” said Dr. Ole Isacson, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, who discussed the topic in an article published today (Feb. 15) in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
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