Wednesday, November 8, 2006


Forgetful? Virus may be eating your brain

`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 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.”‘

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