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Zika may damage brain cells in adults, not just in developing fetuses

2016-August-19       Source: CRIenglish.com

New research is suggesting adults, and not just newborns, may also be in danger of brain damage brought on by the Zika virus.

New research is suggesting adults, and not just newborns, may also be in danger of brain damage brought on by the Zika virus.

A new US-based study suggests the virus may also end up affecting the memory and learning centers in adult brains.

Research has focuses on what's known as neural progenitor cells.

These cells grow and divide in fetuses to create neurons, which are what carry information throughout our brains.

It's believed the Zika virus attacks progenitor cells, causing microcephaly and other brain abnormalities in newborns.

However, the new research also suggests adults may not be immune to the effects, as adults also maintain a small number of progenitor cells in the areas of the brain used for learning and memory.

Researchers say they believe these cells in adults might also be attacked by Zika, leading to learning and memory impairment in adults as well.

However, this research is still in the early stages.

Zika, which is spread by mosquitos, but can be transferred from human to human through sexual contact, remains prevailant on the American continent, though the virus has made its way into Asia through travel transfers.

Editor: Will

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