Quantcast
Connect with us

Study details possible link between Zika and severe joint condition

Published

on

Scientists in Brazil studying a possible link between Zika virus infection in the womb and severe joint abnormalities in babies say they should be added to the growing list of conditions to watch for.

In an analysis of seven cases of children with joint deformities, the researchers said the abnormalities – a condition known as arthrogryposis – could be a result of Zika’s effect on the developing baby’s motor neurons, cells that control the contraction or relaxation of muscles.

In all the cases, the mother also had either documented Zika infection, a Zika-like rash during pregnancy or had given birth to a baby with an abnormally small head.

The Zika outbreak was first detected last year in Brazil, where it has been linked to more than 1,700 cases of microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size that can lead to severe developmental problems in babies.

The mosquito-borne virus has moved rapidly through the Americas and has recently begun spreading within the United States, where Aedes aegypti mosquitoes thrive in the warm south.

Because this latest research, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on Tuesday, was an observational study looking back at cases of arthrogryposis, it could not draw definitive conclusions on whether Zika is a direct cause.

ADVERTISEMENT

But the scientists, based in Recife – the Brazilian city at the center of the Zika epidemic – said the condition might be related to the way Zika affects the brain and the way motor neurons carry signals to an unborn baby’s muscles.

If the signals are weak or deficient in some way, this can lead to fixed postures in the womb and consequently to deformities in a baby’s joints, said Vanessa van der Linden, a researcher at Recife’s Association for Assistance of Disabled Children, who led the study.

“We don’t know for sure, but we think there’s a problem with the motor neurons … and that the damage is probably because of the virus,” she said in a telephone interview. “We need to study more cases to understand this better.”

All the children studied also showed signs of brain calcification, a condition in which calcium builds up in the brain. Scientists think Zika infection destroys brain cells and forms lesions similar to scars on which calcium is deposited.

ADVERTISEMENT

Scientists have now established a strong link between Zika and microcephaly, but Jimmy Whitworth, a professor of International Public Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said these latest findings, alongside other studies, also reveal more of Zika’s harmful consequences.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that this virus can cause a wide range of other abnormalities including visual and hearing defects and brain damage in babies with normal sized heads,” he said.

The finding that the affected babies all had patterns of peripheral nerve damage, which had caused contracting of the joints, was “consistent with our knowledge that Zika virus is particularly damaging to nervous tissue”, he said.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Trump spends ABC interview trying to discredit Robert Mueller as ‘conflicted’

Published

on

President Donald Trump spent most of his interview with George Stephanopoulos blasting Special Counsel Robert Mueller, while he incorrectly quoted the report he published.

"I don't care what he says. It doesn't matter," Trump said when Stephanopoulos cited the Mueller report. "He wanted to show everyone what a good counsel he was. Now, he may have gotten confused said with that fact that I've always said, 'Robert Mueller was conflicted. He had numerous conflicts. One of them was the fact that he applied for to job to be the FBI director -- the head of the FBI. And, by the way --"

Stephanopoulos stepped in to say that former top aide Steve Bannon said that it never happened.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Donald Trump: ‘My life has always been a fight’

Published

on

The full interview with President Donald Trump finally aired on ABC Sunday, revealing the shocking way that he views his life.

Trump lamented that he's had such a hard life, as the son of multi-millionaires who paid to get him out of trouble multiple times.

"You're a fighter. You, you, it feels like you're in a constant kind of churn--" host George Stephanopoulos began.

"Yeah, uh, my life has always been a fight," Trump said. "And I enjoy that I guess, I don't know if I enjoy it or not, I guess -- sometimes I have false fights like the Russian witch hunt. That's a false fight. That's a made-up, uh, hoax. And I had to fight that."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

The right-wing scored more in years of Trump than eight years of George W. Bush: report

Published

on

President George W. Bush oversaw eight years that restricted rights, banned LGBTQ equality, appointed anti-choice judges and so much more. But under Donald Trump's presidency, social conservatives have managed to roll back any progress made by President Barack Obama's leadership.

A new Axios report listed out any anti-LGBTQ, anti-women and anti-poor policies.

“He campaigned saying that he would be a good friend to LGBT people,” James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, told VOX. "Actions speak far louder than words. And what he's done has been a wreck."

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

Investigating Trump's henchmen is a full time job, and I'm trying to bring in new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have more stories coming you'll love. Join me and help restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link

Investigating Trump is a full-time job, and I want to add new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have stories coming you'll love. Join me and go ad-free, while restoring the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link