AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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Likely Biological Link Found Between Zika Virus, Microcephaly

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Researchers suspect they have found how the Zika virus potentially causes microcephaly in fetuses after worked with lab-grown human stem cells. Based on their findings, the Zika virus infects certain cells that form the brain’s outer layer which makes them less likely to survive and divide normally. In the future, these researchers hope that their experiments and results could lead to screenings for drugs that could protect these susceptible cells from the virus. “Studies of fetuses and babies with the telltale small brains and heads of microcephaly in Zika-affected areas have found abnormalities in the cortex, and Zika virus has been found in the fetal tissue,” says Guo-li Ming, MD, PhD, a professor of neurology, neuroscience and psychiatry and behavioral science at the Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Cell Engineering. To read more on this study, click here

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