Researchers examine consequences of fungal infection in brain

New Delhi, Jan 05 (ANI): To study the short-term consequences of fungal infections, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have developed a mouse model. They report the unexpected finding that the common yeast Candida albicans, a type of fungus, can cross the blood-brain barrier and trigger an inflammatory response that results in the formation of granuloma-type structures and temporary mild memory impairments in mice. Interestingly, the granulomas share features with plaques found in Alzheimer's disease, supporting future studies on the long-term neurological consequences of sustained C. albicans infection. The study has been published in the journal Nature Communications. Fungi are becoming a more common cause of upper airway allergic diseases such as asthma, as well as other conditions such as sepsis, a potentially life-threatening disease caused by the body?s response to an infection. Fungal infections causing airway allergic diseases and sepsis have been associated with increased risk for dementia later. These observations led us to investigate the possibility that fungus might produce a brain infection and, if so, the consequences of having that kind of infection. In some cases, fungi also could be involved in the development of chronic neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer?s, Parkinson?s and multiple sclerosis.
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