Virus sleeping inside you can cause a stroke

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists at the University of Colorado’s Anshut Medical Campus believe they have found how shingles can increase the risk of stroke.

Thus, latent viral infections can reawaken after years of dormancy and cause serious health problems.

Most people become infected with the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) during childhood, leading to chickenpox.

Although most signs of the disease resolve quickly in many people, the virus itself does not always go away. Instead, it often remains dormant inside the body.

In about 30% of people, the VZV virus will re-emerge at some point in their lives and cause disease again. This time the disease is called shingles.

For most people, shingles is characterized by a rash, but the disease can be accompanied by a number of other complications.

“Most people are aware of the painful rash associated with shingles, but they may not be aware that the risk of stroke is increased up to a year after infection,” one of the authors of the new study explained.

Scientists wondered how a reactivated varicella-zoster virus could increase the risk of stroke.

The researchers speculated that this was due to tiny, pouch-like molecules called exosomes. These molecules are produced inside cells and carry cargo to tissues in other parts of the body.

The hypothesis was that the reactivated virus triggers the production of exosomes carrying blood clotting proteins.

For the study, the scientists isolated exosomes from 10 healthy people and 13 patients with herpes zoster.

The results showed that exosomes from patients with herpes zoster contained significantly higher amounts of blood clotting proteins than exosomes from healthy people.

In addition, these levels were still elevated when samples were taken from patients with herpes zoster three months after the acute illness subsided.

Much work remains to be done to better understand the link between stroke and viral infections, scientists say.

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