According to Science Daily , the Zika virus is reportedly associated with brain diseases, especially with the autoimmune disorder. This focuses more on the brain’s myelin, similar to multiple sclerosis , a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system.
It says that contracting the Zika virus may show different signs and effects on the brain. In the research, it was found out that six people have developed neurologic symptoms and manifested the autoimmune disorder in their blood test and other medical examinations.
These patients have also had fever followed by rashes while some had severe itching, red eyes, as well as muscle and joint pains. However, the neurological symptoms vary from person to person because some people develop these symptoms right away while others take up to 15 days.
Out of the six people in the study, two had developed acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) while the rest tested positive of the Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). ADEM is characterized with swelling or inflammation of the brain and spinal cord that targets the myelin.
This consists of a single attack which people recover from within six months. In the brain scan, it displayed a damage of the white matter of the brain. The GBS attacks the myelin of the peripheral nervous system only and could also be associated with the Zika virus.
It was also reported that five out of six had difficulty in using in their motor functions. One had a problem with vision and the other one had a problem in memory and thinking.
But, according to Ferreira, contracting the Zika virus doesn’t mean they will all get to experience brain problems. It’s only with those who have nervous system problems. Most of them do not manifest brain symptoms.
It was also noted that they should be more aware of developing ADEM cases and other autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system, though it is not as high as the Guillain-Barré syndrome incidence. However, research is still being done on the reason for the Zika virus’ strong connection with GBS and other inflammatory or immune disease of the nervous system.