OT: Forgetful? Virus may be eating your brain

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lenasvn, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Forgetful? Virus may be eating your brain
    Tuesday, 24 October 2006

    Viruses may be able to cross into the brain, causing steady damage over the years (Image: iStockphoto)
    Forget where you left your glasses? Did those keys go missing again? A virus may be to blame.

    Viruses that cause a range of ills from the common cold to polio may be able to infect the brain and cause steady damage, a team at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota reports.

    "Our study suggests that virus-induced memory loss could accumulate over the lifetime of an individual and eventually lead to clinical cognitive memory deficits," says Dr Charles Howe, who reports the findings in the latest issue of the journal Neurobiology of Disease.

    The viruses are called picornaviruses and infect more than 1 billion people worldwide each year.

    They include the virus that causes polio, as well as colds and diarrhoea. People contract an average of two or three such infections a year.

    "We think picornavirus family members cross into the brain and cause a variety of brain injuries. For example, the polio virus can cause paralysis," Howe says.

    "It can injure the spinal cord and different parts of the brain responsible for motor function. In the [mouse] virus we studied, it did the same thing and also injured parts of the brain responsible for memory."

    The researchers infected mice with a virus called Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus, which is similar to human poliovirus.

    Infected mice later had difficulty learning to navigate a maze. Some were barely affected, while others were completely unable to manage.

    When the mice were killed and their brains examined, a correlating amount of damage was seen in the hippocampus region, related to learning and memory.

    One virus particularly likely to cause brain damage is enterovirus 71, which is common in Asia, the researchers say.

    It can cross over into the brain and cause encephalitis, a brain inflammation that can lead to coma and death.

    "Our findings suggest that picornavirus infections throughout the lifetime of an individual may chip away at the cognitive reserve, increasing the likelihood of detectable cognitive impairment as the individual ages," the researchers write.

    "We hypothesise that mild memory and cognitive impairments of unknown aetiology may, in fact, be due to accumulative loss of hippocampus function caused by repeated infection with common and widespread neurovirulent picornaviruses."

    Other viruses kill brain cells, including the herpes virus and HIV.
  2. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Well, it certainly feels like that's what's happening to my brain!

    So maybe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis really is the correct name for what ails some of us...

    On a more serious note, it's good to see that Reuters has picked up on this, as that means it will be widely distributed to many newspapers.

    For years, the medical establishement insisted that the blood/brain barrier kept viruses from infecting the brain. Clearly, that's not true.

    I met a neurologist who was a fellow in NIH's virolgy lab at one point. He said that everytime they got a new microscope, they found new viruses and other "bugs" they didn't even know existed.

    Let's hope some more researchers get funding to check out how this might unlock part of the puzzle of CFS/ME!
    [This Message was Edited on 10/29/2006]
  3. nerdieduckie

    nerdieduckie New Member

    Ack, animal testing...

    Aside from that, a very good and interesting article. Makes me wonder if my dad has problems with that. He didn't know where the car was located in the parking lot yesterday and we were standing directly beside it. He didn't realize this... O_O

    I dunno that I like the idea of virii invading my brain. *hunts for barbed wire fencing*
  4. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    as other illnesses are crossing over into our country daily (from all over the world) and frustrating doctors and schools. It's scarey if you research it.
    [This Message was Edited on 10/29/2006]
  5. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    I wonder how many viruses are brought into this country and set loose to intentionally make us ill?

    Wonder if Home Land Securty test for that?
  6. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    I have heard many theories about this, including the goverment 'test' (wihth out consent/knowledge).

    I subscribe to theory that FM or CFS is caused by extreme stess over a long time. The autonomic system shuts down and then other things happen.

    I am not an expert on it.

    Just my theory.

    Good for posting the article.

    And (as I am afraid to post: govenment can cause this kind of stress. I would not rule them out. Why not? We guess our where our symptims come from and we might as well look at the big picture.

  7. kbak

    kbak Member

    my body may make it but my brain is on the way out! I know my brain is being eaten. I feel like I come across as a complete moron to people sometimes.

    Please be kind, I'm losing my mind!

  8. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    I've been in a chronic brainfog flare for the past week.

    In the old days viruses and bacteria were used as a "bio weapons" against the enemy. There's no doubt it is and was effective. How do you research the effectiveness? Well, interesting question, do I need to say more?

    I wasn't even thinking in that direction when posting this article, now ya got my foggy brain going (slooowly, sloowly),,LOL!

  9. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I appreciate your sharing it with us. They don't say whether the damage, or some of the damage, is reversible. The reason I mention this is because we had a woman here several years ago who was in complete remission with CFIDS. She thought all her memory loss and cognitive problems were permanent. When she recover, she also recovered all her cognitive functioning and her memories. To me, this was reason to have hope.

    I know that when I am in relapse, my cognitive abilities and memory suck. I've been in a relapse, probably as a result of my sick gallbladder, since Easter. I've noticed that as I continue to decline and my fatigue worsens, my memory and cognitive functioning has worsened.

    Thanks again for posting this. I believe research will turn up a lot of complications of common viruses which show up later down the road. My old doc talked about this a lot. He was convinced that viruses cause more illnesses than we ever imagined.

    Love, Mikie
  10. homesheba

    homesheba New Member

    have that cause i always say that its like my brain is messed up!
    is there like a way to have our brains looked at to see if there are holes and stuff?
    will a dr do that? would insurance pay?
  11. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    There are a number of types of encephalitis that people contract, and recover from. And I can't think of any case of someone with CFS/ME dying of encephalitis. I agree with Mikie: I think whatever is causing our cognitive problems is reversible.
  12. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    They can see those things on MRI. I am too foggy to remember where I read it (Dr Cheney perhaps?), but he explains where this can be seen on the scan. I think it's the frontal lobe, but I'm not sure,,,,anyone?

  13. sues1

    sues1 New Member

    The Irony is that while I was in grade school, I temporary lost use of my legs. I had a woken during the night with fever and up chucking. I've always had some leg pain since, yet I would walk for miles and cycle and everything.

    My mother rushed me to ER. She was afraid it was Polio. I was sent home with the DX of "stomach Flu"..only allowed tea and toast for three days, some kind of med and to stay in bed.

    Yrs. later some Dr. and nurses has said that it might of been a polio strain.

    Legs hurts bad right now....weak. My fibro fog gets bad also.
  14. fight4acure

    fight4acure Member


    Thanks for posting this! I would like to know the source of this article, and author.

    Thanks hon! Will you post this on the research thread (with the source of article and author) or do you want me to post it on there for us all?


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