New evidence links Zika virus to neurological disorders

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A link between the Zika virus and neurological disorders deepens as scientists discover microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome may be the most obvious diseases caused by the virus.

After observing the virus replicating in brain tissues of aborted and stillborn fetuses, scientists suspect the Zika virus can act directly on nerve cells. They are also considering the possibility that the virus may attack nerve cells directly in adults.

Brain and spinal cord infections such as meningitis, encephalitis and myelitis newly discovered in people exposed to Zika have all been caused by direct attacks on nerve cells.

“What we're seeing are the consequences of this virus turning from the African strain to a pandemic strain,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine told Reuters.

Meanwhile, more and more cases of microcephaly are being linked to Zika-exposed patients.

Microcephaly has no known cure. Children with the condition are born with abnormally small brains and skulls, which in the most serious cases can cause the early death of the child, or even the death of the baby while he or she is still in the womb.

Even if the babies survive, they will be intellectually and physically handicapped, or in the best cases suffer from psychomotor impairment.

Another neurological disorder commonly linked with Zika virus is Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is when the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system by destroying the myelin sheath that surrounds the axons of peripheral nerves.

The first symptoms of GBS include weakness or abnormal sensations in the legs, which gradually spread to the arms and upper body and eventually lead to breathing difficulties.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Causes of Microcephaly
2. Microcephaly in babies
3. Microcephaly causing the early death of a child or death in the womb
4. Children with microcephaly
5. Depiction of GBS that myelin sheath surrounding the axons of peripheral nerves is destroyed
6. Symptoms of GBS
7. Zika virus replicating in a dead fetus’ brain tissue; depiction of Zika virus directly attacks brain tissue of an adult
8. Zika virus causes meningitis
9. Zika virus causes encephalitis
10. Zika virus causes myelitis

VOICEOVER (in English):

“Another neurological disorder commonly linked with the Zika virus is Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is when the body’s immune system destroys the myelin sheath that surrounds the axons of peripheral nerves.”

“The first symptoms of the syndrome include weakness or abnormal sensations in the legs, which gradually spread to the arms and upper body and eventually lead to breathing difficulties.”

“After observing the virus replicating in brain tissues of aborted and stillborn fetuses, scientists now suspect the Zika virus can act directly on nerve cells. Researchers also believe the virus may attack nerve cells directly in adults.”

“Newly discovered brain and spinal cord infections in those exposed to the Zika virus include meningitis,”

“...encephalitis,”

“...and myelitis. Such infections were all caused by direct attacks on nerve cells.”

SOURCES: Reuters, Tech Times
http://www.reuters.com/article/health-zika-nerves-idUSL2N1782A5
http://www.techtimes.com/articles/147658/20160406/zika-virus-and-neurological-problems-mystery-link-between-the-two-continues-to-deepen.htm