About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Toxoplasma Gondii Infection may Lead to Permanent Changes in Mice Brains

by Kathy Jones on September 21, 2013 at 7:07 PM
Font : A-A+

 Toxoplasma Gondii Infection may Lead to Permanent Changes in Mice Brains

A new study led by Wendy Ingram from the University of California, Berkeley, and published in the journal PLOS One suggests that Toxoplasma gondii infection in mice, which makes them lose their fear of cats, may lead to permanent changes in the fear mechanisms in the rodents as their loss of fear of their predators continues to persist even after parasite is no longer detectable in their brains.

Advertisement

Even after infection with Toxoplasma has been removed from rodents' brains, they continue to behave as if unafraid of the smell of cat urine, suggesting that the infection causes long-term changes in the brain. Previous studies have suggested this persistent behavioral change may be due to brain inflammation or parasite cysts within brain cells. In this study, the researchers found that this lack of fear persisted even when inflammation markers or cysts could not be detected in mice. Based on experiments with low-virulence strains of Toxoplasma and exposing mice to the parasites over a long period of time, the authors suggest that the lack of fear occurs within the first three weeks of infection. The behavioral change persists even in the absence of parasite cysts and brain inflammation, suggesting a different mechanism may be responsible, such as proteins injected by the parasite into host cells. Ingram elaborates, "It is remarkable that even after the infection has been largely or completely cleared, a profound behavioral change persists. Simply having a transient infection resulting in what is potentially a permanent change in host biology may have huge implications for infectious disease medicine."



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
How to Battle Boredom during COVID
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Flu 

Recommended Reading
Brain Exercises to Improve Memory
An active brain can certainly help in improving memory by strengthening the connections between ......
Brain Food
It is a myth that the brain quits generating new cells once you reach adulthood. They are ......
Brilliant Human Brain - Animation
The most amazing and complex organ in the entire universe, the human brain continues to remain an .....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use