The hepatitis C virus known to affect the liver seems to be more harmful for the human body. According to recent research undertaken by the University of Alberta, the hepatitis C virus injures and inflames brain cells, which trigger neurological problems for some patients living with the disease. Claimed to be a novel investigation, the findings are beneficial for 300,000 Canadians suffering from neurological issues due to hepatitis C.
Experiments on human cadavers were undertaken by the investigators. The virus was supposedly observed in the brain of a deceased patient with hepatitis C. Usually any type of virus or infection may not pass the blood-brain barrier easily. Through the course of investigations, experts made three discoveries. It appeared that neurons in the brain causing motor functions, memory and concentration were damaged by the virus.
“For a long time, the medical community has recognized some people who have hepatitis C also have memory loss and poor concentration, which is very disabling for those patients. Now we have some understanding about the cause of these neurological symptoms that can lead to the development of future treatments for people with hepatitis C. This discovery is significant because this is the first time anyone has confirmed that the hepatitis C virus can infect and injure brain cells,” highlighted Chris Power, the Canada Research Chair in Neurological Infection and Immunity with the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.
The hepatitis C virus seemingly resulted in inflammation of the brain so more neurons were hampered. Presumably, this virus is also capable of halting autophagy, a natural process in the brain cells wherein cells are known to throw unwanted toxic proteins. The brain cells possibly gathered huge amounts of toxic proteins further harming the brain cells.
The research is published in PLoS One journal.