London: Cold sore virus could lead to cognitive symptoms characteristic to schizophrenia patients, research led by Johns Hopkins scientists has found.
To investigate, the researchers recruited 40 schizophrenic patients from outpatient clinics at the Johns Hopkins and Sheppard Enoch Pratt hospitals in Baltimore, Md. Blood tests showed that 25 of the patients had antibodies for HSV-1 and 15 didn`t. The researchers gave all of the patients tests to measure speed of coordination, organizational skills and verbal memory. The patients then underwent MRI brain scans to measure the volume of particular regions of their brains. As in previous studies, results showed that patients with antibodies to HSV-1 performed significantly worse on the cognitive tests than patients without the antibodies. But expanding on those earlier studies, analysis of the brain scans showed that the same patients who performed poorly on the tests also had reduced brain volume in the anterior cingulate, which controls processing speed and the ability to switch tasks. There was also shrinkage in the cerebellum, which controls motor function. The results suggest that HSV-1 might be directly causing the cognitive deficits by attacking these brain regions, said Schretlen. The researchers said that the results already suggest new ways of treating the disorder. Data from other studies has shown that antiviral medications can reduce psychiatric symptoms in some patients with schizophrenia. "If we can identify schizophrenic patients with HSV-1 antibodies early on, it might be possible to reduce the risk or the extent of cognitive deficits," he added. The study has been published in the May Schizophrenia Research. ANI
New Delhi: A day after Home Minister P Chidambaram said Maoists could be behind the attack on Jnaneswari Express, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday said she was not sure about the involvement of the Left-wingextremists. "I do not know whether it is Maoists who were behindthe attack. But whoever is behind the attack should bepunished," Banerjee told reporters here. She said she does not want to comment further on theissue before the investigation is over.
"I am not a political astrologer. I cannot say anythingbefore investigation," she said. Chidambaram yesterday said the needle of suspicionpointed to Maoists or their frontal organisations. The Railways has asked for a CBI probe into theincident which claimed 149 lives. However, the state governmenthas not favoured such an idea. "The matter of CBI probe is under the consideration ofMinistry of Home Affairs," Banerjee said. The priority before the government is to ensurepassengers` safety and security, she said.
Banerjee termed the incident as a brutal murder ofinnocent people and said the government will do everything topunish the culprits. On May 28, 13 coaches of the Maharashtra-bound expresswere derailed and the train was later hit by a goods train coming fromthe opposite direction. Asked about the police firing incident in West Bengalduring yesterday`s civic body polls in which one person waskilled, the Trinamool Congress chief said her party activistsshould not be blamed for it and held Chief Minister BuddhadebBhattacharya responsible. "It is the Chief Minister`s constituency. The CM allowedthe goons to rig the elections. It is their internal fight.They did not allow the Trinamool workers and candidates to bethere. TC does not know anything," she said. PTI
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