Breaking News
August 21, 2018 - Clinical Trials Balance Out Urban, Rural Cancer Survival Rates
August 21, 2018 - New target found for treating thoracic aortic aneurysm
August 21, 2018 - Tumor cells’ ‘tells’ may allow some cancer patients to dodge unnecessary chemotherapy
August 21, 2018 - Dehydration changes shape and activity of the brain, reduces task performance
August 21, 2018 - Scientists discover peptides that can be used as new antibiotic candidates
August 21, 2018 - ‘Compulsivity circuit’ may drive alcohol-seeking behavior in heavy drinkers
August 21, 2018 - Type 2 diabetes on the rise among youngsters
August 21, 2018 - Genital warts may promote HIV sexual transmission
August 21, 2018 - Drop the C-word to reduce anxiety and overtreatment, say experts
August 21, 2018 - Kid-friendly MRI equipment has advantages for grown-ups, too
August 21, 2018 - Scleroderma Foundation names Tulane professor as ‘Doctor of the Year’
August 21, 2018 - Chagas disease causes chronic heart disease and has spread outside of Latin America
August 21, 2018 - FDA stirs debate by approving ‘natural’ app
August 21, 2018 - Clay may help fight disease-causing bacteria in wounds
August 21, 2018 - Emerging field of diabetology could address growing crisis in health care
August 21, 2018 - Experts examine stool protein biomarkers that indicate inflammatory bowel disease
August 21, 2018 - Orphazyme Announces Enrollment of First Patient in Phase III Clinical Trial of Arimoclomol for ALS
August 21, 2018 - Ovarian cancer cells hoard iron to fuel growth
August 21, 2018 - New Biodesign fellows will focus on vision care
August 21, 2018 - Prenatal DDT Exposure Associated with Greater Risk of Autism
August 21, 2018 - Cruciferous vegetables found to protect against colon cancer in mice
August 21, 2018 - New studies point to a promising future for bioengineered teeth
August 21, 2018 - ACR expresses concerns on step therapy in a recent meeting with HSS Secretary
August 21, 2018 - Gene therapy with telomerase does not increase cancer risk, study shows
August 21, 2018 - Ovarian cancer screening influenced by unconscious bias, study shows
August 21, 2018 - Scientists report novel gene therapy that halts vision loss in canine model of blinding disease
August 21, 2018 - RxBenefits introduces new tailored and flexible approach to managing hospital pharmacy benefits
August 21, 2018 - Motif Bio Announces FDA Acceptance of New Drug Application With Priority Review for Iclaprim for Treatment of Acute Bacterial Skin and Skin Structure Infections
August 21, 2018 - Google Glass helps kids with autism read facial expressions, study finds
August 21, 2018 - Thrombospondin-1 contributes to development of aortic aneurysm in mice and humans, study finds
August 21, 2018 - National Foundation for Cancer Research receives Safeway Foundation grant
August 21, 2018 - Protein aggregation in neurons linked to gene regulation in Huntington’s disease
August 21, 2018 - Aravive Biologics gains Fast Track Designation for AVB-S6-500 from U.S. FDA
August 21, 2018 - FDA Approves Opdivo (nivolumab) for Certain Patients with Previously Treated Small Cell Lung Cancer
August 21, 2018 - Success of blood test for autism affirmed
August 21, 2018 - Diabetic patients with disrupted sleep may need more time to heal their wounds
August 21, 2018 - AADE honors six educators for achievements in diabetes education
August 21, 2018 - Scientists find two molecules that may combat cancer and chronic infections
August 21, 2018 - Two Strategies for Preventing Diabetes in Minority Patients
August 21, 2018 - Living as a Gallbladder Cancer Survivor
August 21, 2018 - Can we predict the long-term outcome of boys with ADHD?
August 21, 2018 - GBCA creates model for developing scientist-advocate collaborations in cancer research
August 21, 2018 - Healthy diet could help promote healthy cellular aging in women
August 21, 2018 - Researchers develop gene expression predictor for immunotherapy response in melanoma
August 21, 2018 - Genome sequences of ape parasites provide insights on origin and early evolution of malaria
August 21, 2018 - MDI Biological Laboratory introduces Morris Scientific Discovery Fund for eligible research programs
August 21, 2018 - Pediatric brain tumor patients who undergo radiation less likely to recall recently experienced events
August 21, 2018 - Micro-flow model reveals complex interactions between the brain’s blood vessels and nerve cells
August 21, 2018 - Study investigates impact of osteoporosis on risk of developing dementia
August 21, 2018 - Federal method fails to detect most stores that sell cigarettes to minors
August 21, 2018 - Workers in open office seating have less stress than those in private offices and cubicles
August 21, 2018 - 1 in 4 in U.S. Has a Disability, CDC Reports
August 21, 2018 - Studies provide new insights into the role of sleep in chronic pain
August 21, 2018 - Study shows that rogue proteins may underlie some ALS and frontotemporal dementia cases
August 21, 2018 - Elevated LDL cholesterol levels linked to higher risk of CVD death in young, healthy people
August 21, 2018 - Measles cases on the rise in Europe
August 21, 2018 - CURE Media Group welcomes CancerCare to Strategic Alliance Partnership Program
August 21, 2018 - Blood management program associated with fewer transfusions in orthopedic patients
August 21, 2018 - Researchers create the world’s first artificial retina
August 21, 2018 - Yale researchers identify racial disparities in prescribing opioids for chronic pain
August 21, 2018 - BOOST-3 clinical trial aims to improve outcomes for severe TBI patients
August 21, 2018 - New study highlights Alzheimer’s herpes link, experts say
August 21, 2018 - Airline crew don’t have significantly elevated risk of thyroid cancer, new study finds
August 21, 2018 - States leverage federal funds to help insurers lower premiums
August 21, 2018 - New badge course explores research around skeletal muscle as an endocrine organ
August 21, 2018 - TG Therapeutics Announces Completion of Target Enrollment in the ULTIMATE Phase 3 Trials in Multiple Sclerosis
August 21, 2018 - Increased levels of human herpesvirus ID’d in Alzheimer’s
August 21, 2018 - To help patients quash pain, researcher develops practical guide for health care providers
August 20, 2018 - Medicine on the front line to be presented at Medical Innovation 2018
August 20, 2018 - Harbour Biomed and Kelun-Biotech collaborate to develop, commercialize anti-PD-L1 antibody
August 20, 2018 - The man who sold America on vitamin D — and profited in the process
August 20, 2018 - Finding the light in antimicrobials
August 20, 2018 - Unique pain program helps surgical patients wean off opioids safely and effectively
August 20, 2018 - Strawberries could mitigate colonic inflammation
August 20, 2018 - FDA Accepts New Drug Application (NDA) to Review Midazolam Nasal Spray, an Investigational Product for the Acute Treatment of Seizure Clusters
August 20, 2018 - Using Facebook to help young adults quit smoking
August 20, 2018 - ‘Liquid biopsy’ predicts lymphoma therapy success within days | News Center
August 20, 2018 - 5 Questions with Jordan Orange, Chair of Pediatrics
August 20, 2018 - New assay may help improve both sarcoma diagnosis and treatment
August 20, 2018 - New information on the brain regions related to metacognition, tactile sense
West Nile’s Long-Term Bite: Impact on Brain May Last Years: MedlinePlus Health News

West Nile’s Long-Term Bite: Impact on Brain May Last Years: MedlinePlus Health News

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

HealthDay news image

TUESDAY, Nov. 7, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Some people with a history of West Nile virus may show symptoms such as muscle weakness or foggy memory years later, a preliminary study suggests.

West Nile is a mosquito-transmitted infection that turned up in North America in 1999. Since then, outbreaks have occurred across the United States each summer — with more than 47,000 reported cases overall, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, the true number is estimated to be much higher — more than 3 million — largely because most people with West Nile either do not get sick, or have flu-like symptoms such as a fever and headache.

A small number — fewer than 1 percent — develop serious inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues. About 10 percent of those patients die, according to the agency.

The new study suggests that some patients have lingering issues up to eight years later. And that may be true even among people whose initial infection was never recognized, the researchers said.

Of 117 people the study evaluated, nearly half had some kind of symptom during neurological exams. Most often, that meant decreased muscle strength, problems with reflexes or tremors.

In addition, 22 percent showed signs of “impairment” on memory tests.

It’s not possible to definitively point the finger at the patients’ past West Nile infections, senior researcher Dr. Kristy Murray noted.

However, these patients developed neurological issues at a much higher rate than would be expected in the general population, said Murray, an associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

In addition, her team found evidence of brain-tissue thinning among 30 people who underwent MRI brain scans.

And when the researchers focused on those who’d developed severe West Nile infections, they found tissue degeneration in several areas of the brain. That included regions related to movement and balance, plus essential functions like breathing and speaking.

Murray said the tissue damage was consistent with what could happen after an infection causes severe brain inflammation.

Greg Ebel is a professor of microbiology, immunology and pathology at Colorado State University.

He agreed there are some questions about whether the symptoms in these study patients can be pinned on West Nile itself. However, Ebel called the findings “important,” and said more research is needed to understand what’s going on.

“It’s important for us to know the extent and nature of the damage to the central nervous system,” Ebel said.

The findings are based on 262 Houston-area residents who enrolled in a long-term study of West Nile starting in 2002. All had a history of the infection, but had suffered varying degrees of symptoms. Some weren’t sickened at all, and had their infection discovered during routine blood-donor screening.

Of the 57 people who showed neurological issues, seven had never noticed any symptoms from their West Nile infection, according to the researchers.

That was a “surprise,” Murray said, and it’s unclear whether the infection directly caused the neurological symptoms in those people.

Unfortunately, there is no treatment to reverse the damage seen in some of these patients, according to Murray. But “supportive care” might ease symptoms like muscle weakness or tremors, she suggested.

Ebel said the findings underscore the importance of preventing West Nile infections in the first place.

Avoiding mosquito bites is key, he said. The CDC advises Americans to be aware of West Nile “activity” in their local area, and use insect repellent and clothing to ward off mosquitoes when outdoors.

To Murray, the study argues for more investment in finding a West Nile vaccine.

“This is impacting people long term,” she said, “and we still have no vaccine for it.”

The findings were scheduled for presentation Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, in Baltimore. Studies presented at meetings are generally considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

SOURCES: Kristy Murray, Ph.D., D.V.M., associate professor, pediatrics-tropical medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston; Greg Ebel, Sc.D., professor, microbiology, immunology and pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.; Nov. 7, 2017 presentation, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene annual meeting, Baltimore

News stories are written and provided by HealthDay and do not reflect federal policy, the views of MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles