Chicken pox beholds brain tumour risk

by Medindia Content Team on  August 25, 2001 at 12:37 PM Research News   - G J E 4
Chicken pox beholds brain tumour risk
A new finding by the researchers now reckons the evil effects of chicken pox virus.Yes !! these chicken pox virus protects against the development of brain tumors later in life.

In the previous study which was done a couple of years ago , an unexpected finding was that the patients with brain tumour called gliomas were less likely to have had varicella zoster, another condition caused by chiken pox virus.

The recent study undwells the fact that glioma patients are also less likely than people without the cancer to have antibodies to varicella-zoster circulating in their blood. Once a person has had chickenpox, varicella-zoster remains in the central nervous system and years later can be reactivated to cause shingles, a painful condition that affects the nerves and skin.

Dr. Margaret Wrensch of the University of California, San Francisco,the study's lead author in his study which involved 134 glioma patients found that 60% less likely than similarly aged, healthy participants to have antibodies to varicella-zoster virus--an indicator of past infection.But the cause of this relationship is not known . In the original study, she explained, "we just kind of stumbled on the association" between chickenpox history and glioma risk.

As this study is just a lightener , more research should be done to unveil the role of chickenpox infection in the prevention of glioma,the most common of the tumors that can arise in the brain.

The possible speculation is that varicella-zoster cells and developing glioma cells may have some of the same antigens on their surfaces. Antigens are substances on cell surfaces that draw an immune system attack. So a person who has had chickenpox may have an immune system that is primed to fight gliomas.


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